Dempsey, Friedel narrowly miss out on Champions League berth

Tottenham finishes the Premier League season one point behind Arsenal for fourth place, meaning another go-around in the Europa League for the club's American duo.
For Clint Dempsey and Brad Friedel, playing on Europe's grandest stage for the first time will have to wait for at least another season.

Tottenham was resigned to a fifth-place finish following its 1-0 victory over Sunderland and Arsenal's 1-0 triumph over Newcastle on the final day of the Premier League season, meaning the American duo came up just short of clinching a place in the UEFA Champions League and getting a chance to compete among the elite for the first time. By virtue of finishing one point behind Arsenal for fourth place, Spurs will be involved in the Europa League yet again.

Dempsey, who had moved from Fulham to Tottenham last summer in hopes of playing in the Champions League, was taken off in the 73rd minute of Sunday's season finale in favor of Jermain Defoe. It was his goal and assist against Stoke City last week that kept Spurs within one point of Arsenal entering the final day of competition.

Friedel, who turned 42 Saturday, conceded the No. 1 goalkeeper job to Hugo Lloris a couple of months into the season but remained Andre Villas-Boas' chief backup and cup competition keeper. He is signed on through next season after penning a contract extension in December.

Tottenham had finished in fourth last season but was forced down to the Europa League when sixth-place Chelsea won the Champions League and stole one of England's automatic berths in order to defend its title.

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