Dempsey will miss one or two weeks with calf injury; Shea debuts.
By Robert Wagman (in Washington, D.C.)
(Wednesday, February 27, 2013) -- United States midfielder Clint Dempsey will miss a week or two with Tottenham Hotspur after suffering a calf injury which caused him to miss Monday night's come-from-behind 3-2 victory over West Ham United in the English Premier League.
"He has a calf strain, so I think he will be out maybe one week or two weeks," Spurs manager André Villas-Boas told the media after the game.
Meanwhile, U.S. midfielder Brek Shea made his long-awaited debut for Stoke City in a 1-0 road loss at Fulham.
Dempsey, who turns 30 on March 9, has five goals in 21 Premier League appearances this season. If he recovers as expected, he should be ready for two crucial CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers for the U.S. men. After an opening 2-1 loss to host Honduras to open the opening round of qualifying, the U.S. hosts Costa Rica March 22 in Commerce City, Colo., and travels to Mexico four a match four days later.
Dempsey's presence is ever more important because U.S. all-time leading scorer Landon Donovan has ruled himself out of those two matches as he continues his sabbatical.
American goalkeeper Brad Friedel served a Spurs' backup.
Shea, who arrived from Major League Soccer's FC Dallas, entered for Stoke in the 24th minute, to replace injured teammate Matthew Etherington and was deployed on the left side of the Potters' midfield. . U.S. defender Geoff Cameron started the match for City at right back and the two played together until the 51st minute when Cameron came off in favor of an attacking midfielder.
Shea had one good period at the start of the second half. Almost immediately, he headed down a ball in the Fulham penalty area, but a teammate squandered the chance. Moments later, Shea sent a shot just wide of the far post and, in the 55th minute, he settled a ball in the box, launching a shot or cross which was batted down by Ashkan Dejagah's arm.
A penalty kick was awarded, but Jonathan Walters half-hit his spot kick, squandering Stoke's big chance of the afternoon. Shea made little impression after that.
In the English Premier League, Aston Villa remains mired in the relegation zone in the closely bunched bottom of the table. It needs every standings point and gave one up this weekend when it allowed Arsenal's Santi Cazorla rifle a point-blank bullet past U.S. keeper Brad Guzan in the 85th minute in a 2-1 loss to the Gunners.
Guzan had kept Villa in the match with five saves. American defender Eric Lichaj did not dress for Villa.
U.S. midfielder Sebastian Lletget was not dressed for West Ham despite recently receiving a contract extension and a promise of first-team time. He has been a regular starter on the reserve team.
U.S. keeper Tim Howard did not have one of his better outings, despite making three saves, as he might have done a better job on both Norwich City goals in Everton's 2-1 loss.
In the second-tier English League Championship, U.S. defender Jonathan Spector, recovered from a thigh injury, went 90 minutes for Birmingham City in its 2-0 shutout of Peterborough United.
American defender Zak Whitbread dressed, but did not play for Leceister City in a 0-0 draw with Blackpool.
Irish-American forward Conor Doyle dressed, but did not play for Derby County in a 2-1 loss to Watford.
U.S. defender Tim Ream and midfielder Stuart Holden did not dress for Bolton Wanderers in their 4-1 win over Hull City.
In the third-division League One, American defender Frank Simek went the distance for Carlisle United in its 1-1 draw with Milton Keynes Dons.
American striker Mike Grella dressed, but did not play for Scunthorpe United in its 2-1 loss to Hartlepool.
Robert Wagman is SoccerTimes senior correspondent.
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