Spector's first two goals in six years lead West Ham to shocking rout of Man. U.
By Robert Wagman (in Washington, D.C.)
(Thursday, December 2, 2010) -- United States defender Jonathan Spector scored the first two goals in his six years with West Ham United, helping the English Premier League cellar-dweller dump EPL-leading Manchester United from the Carling Cup with a stunning 4-0 quarterfinal victory.
Spector's strikes came in the 22nd and 37th minutes and gave West Ham a 2-0 lead.
United manager Alex Ferguson expected an easy time and started 10 reserves with none of his normal starters even on the bench and available as substitutes. West Ham manager Avram Grant, who seems to specialize in Cup upsets, started a team mixed with regulars and reserves, including Spector who has made few appearances for West Ham in recent months.
Spector might have had a third goal, but in the 16th minute, he was ruled offside when a shot by Victor Obinna hit off him and deflected into the net.
His effort in the 22nd minute counted. Spector ran onto a perfect cross from Obinna, beating Man. U. defender Darren Fletcher before heading a shot into the net for a 1-0 lead.
Spector made it 2-0 16 minutes later when he blasted home a rebound from close range after a hard shot by Obinna was blocked by a defender right into Spector's path.
"I think he's a professional guy. He's always trying hard, even when he didn't play," Grant said of Spector. "Today he got the chance and like every professional player you need to speak only on the pitch -- and he spoke very well today."
Now it remains to be seen if today's double leads to more playing time for Spector.
In Scotland, U.S. midfielder Maurice Edu was ready to return to action this weekend recovered from a sore left knee, but Glasgow Rangers' match with Dundee United was postponed because of a frozen field. Last weekend Edu missed a 3-2 triumph over Kilmarnock.
In the German Bundesliga, German-American midfielder Jermaine Jones was demoted to the Schalke 04 reserve team that plays in Germany's fourth division. Jones, who was slated to play for the U.S. in last summer's World Cup before being derailed by knee trouble, has been in Schalke coach Felix Magath's dog house for the past several weeks because of what Magath has perceived as Jones' indifferent attitude.
On Saturday, Jones was pulled at halftime of Schalke 5-0 loss to Kaiserslautern. Jones received a yellow card.
The prior weekend, Jones was held out of a 4-0 victory over Werder Bremen.
Schalke is in the Bundesliga relegation zone and is under great pressure from management to escape the drop zone. Magath's response was to send Jones and two other first-team players down to the reserve team.
"I did not like the attitude of Jermaine Jones in matches," Magath said last week.
Hannover 96 is a point below third place and its attendant European Champions League berth after defeating SC Freiburg 3-0.
U.S. defender Steve Cherundolo returned to the starting 11 after serving a one-game, red-card suspension and played 90 minutes. American midfielder DaMarcus Beasley each came off the bench for the final six minutes-plus.
U.S. midfielder Michael Bradley played 90 minutes for Borussia Moenchengladbach in its 4-1 loss to Borussia Dortmund on Saturday. In the prior outing, Bradley played 89 minutes of a heartbreaking 3-2 loss home loss to 1 FSV Mainz 05.
Moenchengladbach has not won at home this season, but looked to have escaped with a point against Mainz until a defensive error led to an 88th minute decisive goal. Bradley was immediately pulled for a striker, but to no avail.
Bradley received a yellow card in the match.
U.S. midfielder Ricardo Clark watched from the Eintracht Frankfurt bench a 4-1 loss to Bayern Munich Saturday and a 4-0 loss to TSG Hoffenheim the week before.
Likewise, German-American midfielder Daniel Williams dressed, but did not play for SC Freiburg in its 3-0 loss to Hannover this weekend or a 2-1 loss to Borussia Dortmund the week before.
In the 2.Bundesliga, American goalkeeper David Yeldell was called on to make only one save to keep a clean sheet for MSV Duisburg in its 2-0 decision over Hertha Berlin on Saturday. That followed a three-save ffort in a 2-2 draw with Energie Cottbus.
American keeper Luis Robles also recorded a shutout, making only one save for Karlsruhe in a 4-0 win Sunday over RW Oberhausen. Before that, he made three saves in a 3-1 loss to FC Augsburg.
American striker Kenny Cooper still has a bad ankle and is inactive for 1860 Munich, while Amaechi Igwe is sidelined for FC Ingolstadt with a knee injury.
In Belgium, U.S. midfielder Sacha Kljestan returned to RSC Anderlecht's starting lineup as the club surged to the top of the Jupiler Pro League.
Kljestan played 90 minutes and received a yellow card in a 4-1 victory over last-place Royal Charleroi SC. The win raised Anderlecht (11-2-4) to the top of the table with 37 points, one more than Genk, which lost on Friday.
In the previous game, Kljestan came off the bench as a injury replacement in the 25th minute and went the rest of the way in a 1-0 victory over Germinal Beerschot.
In France, U.S. defender Carlos Bocanegra, who hmissed several weeks with a neck injury, returned to St. Etienne's lineup last weekend and went the distance in a strong defensive effort that led to a 1-1 draw with Auxerre. Then, he went the 90 minutes in a 1-1 draw Saturday with AS Nancy Lorraine.
In a meeting of French second-division clubs last weekend, young American keeper Quentin Westberg made a rare start for Evian Thonon Gaillard, a 4-2 winner over Lyon-Duchere in the Coupe de France.
In Spain, Jozy Altidore dressed, but did not play for Villarreal, which recorded a 3-0 decision Saturday over Real Zaragoza. That followed his seat on the bench in a 1-1 draw with Valencia.
In the Danish Superliga, American defender Michael Parkhurst went the distance for FC Nordsjaelland in a 1-1 draw Suday with Sonderjyske.
Aalborg BK's two injured American forward, Marcus Tracy, who has a bad knee, and Chris Rolfe, with an ailing hamstring, have remained on the shelf.
In the second-tier Viasat Division finale before the three-month winter break, U.S. midfielder Benny Feilhaber went the distance for AGF Aarhus, which suffered its first loss of the season 1-0 to Bronshoj.
Robert Wagman is SoccerTimes senior correspondent.
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