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Promotion accomplished, Berhalter surprises with move to 1860 München.

Promotion accomplished, Berhalter surprises with move to 1860 München.

DeMerit goal sparks Watford past Leeds 3-0 to join Premier League.

DeMerit, Lewis meet with life in Premier League at stake.

McBride voted Fulham's best player; Convey, Hahnemann rated best at their positions.

Stewart returns to NAC Breda to become technical director.

Berhalter, Cottbus clinch promotion with 3-1 win over München.

Everton gains Howard, making loan deal with Manchester United.

DeMerit stands out; Watford advances to promotion final.

Gibbs signs with Charlton; Lewis, Leeds United advance in promotion quest.

Lewis free kick gives Leeds 1-1 draw with North End in playoff opener.

Friedel, Rovers are heading to Europe after 1-0 decision over Chelsea.

Hahnemann, Convey help Reading close season with record.

Berhalter penalty kick moves Cottbus to brink of promotion.

Hahnemann, Convey are back in action as Reading nears record.

Beasley fined $1,852 by Dutch judge for driving under the influence of alcohol.

Americans Abroad

West Ham acquires Spector from Man. U. on $926,000 transfer.

Jonathan Spector
If Jonathan Spector had not separated his shoulder in April, he very possibly would now be with the United States men at the World Cup in Germany.
-- West Ham United web site photo --
By Gary Davidson
SoccerTimes

(Thursday, June 15, 2006) -- West Ham United has acquired the contract of 20-year-old United States defender Jonathan Spector from Manchester United for a transfer fee of $926,000 in a deal between English Premier League clubs.

Spector, who had a good chance of making the U.S. World Cup team until a dislocated shoulder sidelined him, spent the entire 2005-06 season on loan to Charlton Athletic, West Ham's London rival. With the final year of his deal with Manchester United cancelled, Spector signed a four-year contract with West Ham.

"I see it as a great opportunity for myself to become part of a young and exciting team, and I'm excited about playing under (manager) Alan Pardew, who has done a fantastic job in his time at West Ham," Spector told the West Ham web site. "The guys have just had a great year and hopefully I can be a part of helping the team to build on that success next season."

Spector injured his shoulder in a violent collision with Portsmouth striker Benjani Mwaruwari as both chased a ball during Charlton's 2-1 victory on April 17. He underwent surgery to repair the problem and is currently in his hometown, the Chicago suburb of Arlington Heights, undergoing rehabilitation.

"I'm doing all the rehab I need to do while I'm back home for the summer and, although I won't be fit to play when I begin preseason training at West Ham, my general fitness should be fine and I'll be ready to go for the start of the new season," Spector told the West Ham web site.

Spector joined Manchester United at 17 and became a stalwart of the club's youth teams before graduating to the reserve side. In 2004-05, Spector made four appearances for Man. U.'s senior team in various competitions and was loaned to Charlton after the season.

"He is a player we have been tracking for the past 18 months or so," Pardew told the club web site. "He is definitely one for the future and, with the UEFA Cup campaign to look forward to, he will add to our defensive capacity. Having developed as a young player at Manchester United, he arrives with a fantastic pedigree. I was also very impressed by his character, which was a big factor in bringing him to the club."

In his one season with Charlton, Spector played 20 times for the Addicks in Premiership contests, starting 13 matches. The 6-foot-1, 174-pounder also started twice in FA Cup play and made two appearances in the Carling Cup, starting once.

"He can play all along the back four and, over the next 12 months, we hope he will secure a first-team place and prove his worth as a Premiership player."

At the time of Spector's injury, U.S. manager Bruce Arena said the youngster, who has been capped three times, had been in good position to make the World Cup roster.

"Of course, it was a big disappointment to miss out on the World Cup," Spector admitted. "I'm not sure if I definitely would have made the squad, but I definitely had a good chance, and it would have been a tremendous honour to represent my country in Germany.

"I'm not too down about it, though. There is nothing you can do when it's due to an injury. You just have to accept it and hope for better luck next time."

Spector has represented the U.S. at world championships in the under-17 and under-20 age groups.

West Ham finished ninth in the Premier League at 16-15-7 with 55 points. Manchester United was second at 25-5-8 with 83 points. Charlton was 13th at 13-17-8 with 47 points.

Gary Davidson is SoccerTimes publisher and managing editor.

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