Packwood suffers serious leg break for Birmingham City; Dempsey nets pair.
By Robert Wagman (in Washington, D.C.)
By Robert Wagman
(Wednesday,. January 9, 2013) -- Things slowed down a bit in England with a weekend of FA Cup matches. Meanwhile, play started up again in Italy, Spain and Mexico.
It was a dreadful weekend for young United States defender Will Packwood. In the 66th minute Saturday of Birmingham City's third-round 1-1 FA Cup draw with Leeds United in a meeting of English second-tier League Championship teams, the 19-year-old suffered a badly broken left leg after colliding with Leeds striker Luciano Becchio and falling awkwardly to the turf.
Packwood and Becchino went up for a header and Packwood was knocked off balance. He landed on his left leg and immediately crumbled. Both Birmingham and Leeds medical staff worked on him for almost 10 minutes before he was removed by stretcher and taken directly to the hospital where the diagnosis was double breaks of both the fibula and tibia -- four distinct breaks in all.
He was operated on in Leeds General Infirmary and will be transferred to Spire Little Aston Rehabilitation Hospital in Sutton Coldfield. At
best, he is likely to miss nine months to a year. That not only ends his promising season at Birmingham, but his important role with the U.S. under-20 men, who are trying to qualify for their World Cup.
"I think it took the gloss off a fantastic performance by us today, Birmingham manager Lee Clark told his club's web site. "His young teammates and friends were distraught on the pitch, in tears. I tried to get them refocused and I just said to them, 'Let's try and win the game for Will,' but we couldn't do it.
"We've lost a good young player who's a magnificent kid. We love him to bits at the football club. He's so honest and genuine and he's a good pro. It's not actually his proper position, right back. He's played his entire career as a young lad as a center half and he must be in double figures for appearances at right back for us now. He just gets on with it. We're going to give him the best care possible and get him back fitter and stronger next season, and he'll have the support of everybody at the club."
"For those asking, it appears I have a double tib+fib fracture," Packwood said via Twitter. "Broken in as many as four places. Long road to recover…but not impossible! Thank you to everybody for all the support I've received! It means so much to me to have you all behind me."
Jonathan Spector did not dress for Leeds.
As bad as Saturday was for Packwood, it was good for U.S. midfielder Clint Dempsey. Starting his first match after missing three matches because of a groin strain, and then making two substitute appearances, Dempsey scored twice and set up third goal for Tottenham Hotspur of the English Premier League in a 3-0 FA Cup victory over Coventry City of the third-division League One.
Dempsey opened the scoring in typical fashion. He beat a defender to a spot in front of the net and redirected a low cross into the net for a 1-0 lead in the 14th minute.
In the 33rd minute, he rattled a shot off a goal-post and it caromed back to Gareth Bale, who put it back in. Four minutes later, Dempsey closed the scoring with a high looping header off a corner kick for his sixth goal for Spurs.
American Brad Friedel was in goal for Spurs and had four saves.
In other FA Cup matches. U.S. defender Geoff Cameron went 90 minutes for the Premier League's Stoke City in its 0-0 draw with Crystal Palace of the League Championship.
U.S. midfielder Maurice Edu did not dress for Stoke.
American defender Eric Lichaj went the distance for the EPL's Aston Villa in its 2-1 win over Ipswich Town of the League Championship.
American Brad Guzan was Villa's the backup keeper.
Everton of the Premier League was taking no chances playing on the road at Cheltenham Town of the fourth-tier League Two at Abbey Business Stadium. It played a number of regulars, including U.S. keeper Tim Howard and came away with an easy 5-1 triumph Monday night.
Howard was somewhat busy with six saves.
American defender Frank Simek played 90 minutes in Carlisle United's 4-0 loss to Swindon Town in a battle of League One sides.
Irish-American striker Conor Doyle played the final 11 minutes for Derby County of the League Championship in 5-0 whitewash of Tranmere Rovers of League One
American forward Mike Grella played the final 15 minutes for Scunthorpe Unite in a 0-0 draw with Shrewsbury Town in a battle of League One teams.
American defender Tim Ream dressed, but did not play for Bolton Wanderers in a 2-2 draw with Sunderland in a meeting of Premier League clubs.
American defender Zak Whitbread is injured and unavailable to Leicester City of the League Championship. American forward Robbie Findley did not dress for Nottingham Forest of the Championship. American midfielder Robbie Rogers did not dress for Stevenage of League One.
In Italy, U.S. midfielder Michael Bradley played 90 minutes for AS Roma in its 4-1 loss to Napoli.
In Spain's La Liga, U.S. defender Oguchi Onyewu did not dress in Málaga's 1-0 loss to Deportivo La Coruna,
In the Segunda Division, U.S. defender Carlos Bocanega did not dress for Racing Santander in a 2-1 victory over Ponferradina.
U.S. striker Herculez Gomez got his Mexican Clausura season off to a good start with a goal for Santos Laguna in a 1-1 draw with San Luis.
He went high for a cross and headed it sharply past Mexican national-team keeper Oscar Perez before being replaced in the 74th minute.
U.S. defender Edgar Castillo was credited with an assist and was shown a yellow card for Club Tijuana in a 2-1 decision over Puebla.
U.S. midfielder Joe Corona played the first 61 minutes for Club Tijuana. U.S. midfielder-defender Michael Orozco Fiscal went 90 minutes for Puebla, while U.S. midfielder DaMarcus Beasley played 72 minutes.
U.S. midfielder José Torres is injured and did not dress for Tigres UANL in its 3-0 shutout of Jaguares de Chiapas.
Robert Wagman is SoccerTimes senior correspondent.
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