Americans Abroad Recap: Clint Dempsey's hat trick magic

Clint Dempsey became the first American to score a Premier League hat trick on Saturday
Despite going down 1-0 in the first half, Fulham took control in the second stanza as Clint Dempsey unleashed a flurry of offensive maneuvers to sink Newcastle on Saturday. After Danny Murphy equalized from the penalty spot in the 52nd, Dempsey switched to the driver’s seat, scoring three of Fulham’s next four goals.

The first came in the 59th minute when he bundled in an easy goal after a tremendous run by Bobby Zamora. Then, just six minutes later, Andy Johnson and Zamora did well with some nice combination play and found Dempsey whose right-footed effort skidded into the left side of the goal to put Fulham up 3-1.
Zamora then converted a penalty, which was followed by a Newcastle effort from Hatem Ben Arfa, but Dempsey put the finishing touches on in the 89th. Zamora was once again the provider but his through ball was brilliantly controlled by Dempsey as he raced onto it with his head before firing in another strong right-footed strike into the back of the net.

That’s two hat tricks for Dempsey in the last two weeks. His other came against Charlton in FA Cup play. Deuce has now tallied 15 goals in all competitions this season.

-Matthew Braine

Williams, Johnson take place in Hoffenheim draw, Gyau makes bench

Daniel Williams played the full 90 for TSG Hoffenheim at center back as it played out a bore draw with Steve Cherundolo’s Hannover 96 on Saturday in the freezing cold. Despite holding the edge in possession, Hoffenheim was unable to convert the few chances it created, and the match ended in a disappointing 0-0 scoreline. Fabian Johnson also made an appearance for TSG, entering in the 66th minute for striker Peniel Kokou Mlapa. The match was also notable as U.S. U-23 midfielder Joe Gyau made his first appearance on Hoffenheim's match-day squad. He was an unused substitute.

-Aaron West

Toffees blow early lead

Tim Cahill scored for Everton in the 24th minute but Blackburn tallied late to earn the visitors a 1-1 draw. Tim Howard was busy early on, stopping a strong David Dunn shot and after going up 1-0, the Toffees looked to be in control. However, in the 72nd, a scramble in the box led to a David Goodwille equalizer. The hosts tried to find a winner but in the end the score line stood even.


Altidore enters as sub in draw

Jozy Altidore came on in the 73rd minute for Alkmaar as it drew 1-1 with Ajax over the weekend. Despite a slow start, AZ took the lead in the 37th minute when Rasmus Elm curled a beautiful free kick past Ajax goalkeeper Kenneth Vermeer after Jan Vertonghen had fouled Adam Maher. Altidore entered the match in the 73rd minute for Charlison Benshop, and Alkmaar was unfortunate enough to concede in the 75th minute through a Simon Poulsen own goal. In the 81st minute, Altidore nearly made the difference for the home side, but saw his powerful header palmed away from the top corner by Vermeer to maintain the 1-1 draw. 


Donovan solid against Rovers

The midfielder was once again looking to set up teammates early and often on Saturday. Victor Anichebe should have scored after a nice pass from Donovan but the striker mistimed his shot badly. The Galaxy star was partially responsible for the opening goal as his crisp pass set up Marouane Fellaini’s shot and although that attempt was blocked, Fallaini’s position was tight and he fed Cahill for the easy score. Donovan nearly doubled the lead thereafter but his shot went high. After Rovers knotted the score, Donovan began looking for a winner and his sharp corner late almost led to a Fellaini winner but his effort was denied.  


Bradley goes the distance again in draw

Michael Bradley went 90 minutes for Chievo as it drew 2-2 away to Lecce, conceding a heartbreaking equalizer in the dying embers of the match. Alberto Paloschi netted a brace for Chievo in the first 24 minutes before Andrea Esposito pulled one back for the home side. Paloschi missed out on completing his hat trick in the 85th minute when Massimilliano Benassi kept out his left-footed strike. Chievo and Paloschi were left to rue his miss when David Di Michele latched onto the end of Cristian Pasquato’s far post cross.


Spurs lose wild one in Manchester

Friedel made just one save as Spurs lost a 3-2 at Etihad Stadium on Saturday. The London club fought back from 2-0 to knot the score but Mario Balotelli scored from the penalty spot in the 90th as City ran off a winner. The burly keeper halted a spectacular shot from Sergio Aguero early on but Samir Nasri and Joleon Lescott both scored before Tottenham clawed back. Even with the loss, Spurs have a five point cushion over fourth-place Chelsea.


Kljestan helps Anderlecht extend lead at the top

Sacha Kljestan went the full match as his Anderlecht side won a 1-0 decision at Kortrijk. Guillaume Gillet scored from the spot in the 44th minute to stretch Anderlecht's lead at the top of the Belgian Jupiler League to six points.

Edu scores but Rangers draw

Maurice Edu was active from the start on Saturday, testing the keeper early in the first half. Despite going down 1-0 after the restart, Edu equalized for the hosts in the 67th minute with a stupendous power strike. He nearly doubled his tally 20 minutes later but his shot went just a hair wide. For his part, Carlos Bocanegra played a solid contest, clearing a would-be goal off the line in the second half. However, Rangers would ultimately draw 1-1. The result drops the Glasgow outfit four points below Celtic in the table.