Evening Ticker: Spector bags a brace, Hahnemann loses starting job and more

SpectorGetty

By AVI CREDITOR

On a snowy night at Upton Park, Jonathan Spector emphatically ended his poor run of form.

Given the chance to start for West Ham for the first time in more than three months, Spector scored twice in the first half of his club's shocking 4-0 victory over his former team, Manchester United, in the quarterfinals of the Carling Cup on Tuesday.

Spector scored his first goal moments after being whistled for offside, which negated a would-be West Ham goal that he helped set up. He ran onto a chip from Victor Obinna in the area and nailed the header to open the scoring in the 22nd minute.

Fifteen minutes later, he pounced on a loose ball in the box, finishing with his left foot to double the lead. Spector, who played a central midfield role as opposed to fullback, had only scored once in his professional career before Tuesday's brace.

Highlights of the goals and a few more stories from around the soccer world are after the jump:

HAHNEMANN LOSES STARTING JOB

Marcus Hahnemann has seen this story play out before. Only the last time he was on the other side.

A year after winning the starting goalkeeper job at Wolverhampton from Wayne Hennessey, Hahnemann finds himself on the bench after manager Mick McCarthy has elected to stick with Hennessey as his starter after making the change ahead of Wolves' 3-2 victory over Sunderland on Saturday.

Wolves has yet to record a clean sheet this season, leading McCarthy to make the switch. He told The Guardian (UK): "(Hennessey) had a tough time and then Marcus came in. But we'd not kept a clean sheet, we'd not been winning games and it was my decision to change it. I think I've justified it."

After Hahnemann, 38, won the starting job from Hennessey last season, he performed well enough to earn a spot on the United States national team roster for the World Cup. He has been rumored to be considering a return to Major League Soccer, and this development wouldn't figure to sway his thinking in the other direction.

MOURINHO HANDED UEFA BAN

Jose Mourinho's week was further dampened after UEFA handed down a one-match suspension and a fine of almost $52,000 after the organization found him to be guilty of ordering two players to purposefully get sent off in Real Madrid's last Champions League match.

Mourinho allegedly told Sergio Ramos and Xabi Alonso to get second yellows so they would be suspended for Madrid's meaningless group-stage finale as opposed to picking up another yellow down the line and missing a knockout-stage match.

Mourinho will be banned from the touch-line for Madrid final group stage game against AJ Auxerre. If he is found of "improper conduct" again within the next three years, an automatic one-game suspension will go into effect.

Ramos and Alonso were fined, but they won't be forced to miss any more matches after sitting out the game against Auxerre.

RAPIDS ACQUIRE NANE FROM TFC

Another trade has gone down in the Major League Soccer offseason, with Toronto FC shipping midfielder Joseph Nane to the Colorado Rapids in exchange for a third-round draft pick in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft.

Nane played in 11 league matches in his rookie season out of Old Dominion University.

————–

Impressed with Spector's performance? Hope Hahnemann returns to MLS? What do you think of the punishment handed to Mourinho? Like the trade for Colorado and/or Toronto?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in Americans Abroad, European Soccer, MLS- Colorado Rapids, MLS- Toronto FC. Bookmark the permalink.

166 Responses to Evening Ticker: Spector bags a brace, Hahnemann loses starting job and more

  1. john.q says:

    caption: I’M THE KING OF THE WORLD!

  2. Neg says:

    That’s awesome Spector. Sometimes you just need a change of pace. Is there a link to the videos though, because they’re not coming up in Chrome or Internet Explorer for me.

  3. Barca says:

    This is the absolute last thing I expected to read today.

  4. Drew says:

    Spector/Findley forwards 2014!

  5. frank from sf says:

    wow, very nice taken goals!

  6. FatCox4U says:

    No sh*t i’m impressed with Spector’s performance. The mofo has been in a terrible slump all year and comes back to life against his old club.

  7. Spectra says:

    Oh no we’re now losing our fullbacks to central midfield roles. The USMNT will be entirely made of midfielders soon. NOOOOOOO!!!!!

  8. Isaac says:

    WOW! He did so well on BOTH goals. Great effort to get on the end of the first goal and excellent long run on the second, as well as prowess to follow the play up. I don’t know if I want to call it a rebirth or anything, but he definitely showed confidence we haven’t seen for over year. Good for him.

  9. Igner Ant says:

    Wow! Great work from Spector. That is outstanding to see. Hell yes, I’m impresses. I know, I know, I’m sure Man U wasn’t exactly at full strength- but still, a great day for him.

  10. Steve C says:

    WHU Coach’s thoughts: “Hmm.. he’s American.. maybe if I put him in Center Mid he might excel?”

  11. Derek says:

    Didn’t he start out as a striker?

  12. Igner Ant says:

    Seriously, if he winds up moving to midfield, we’ll just have to field a 1-8-1 in 2014.

  13. Jamie says:

    Don’t worry I’m freaking out too.

  14. Barca says:

    Why am I not surprised that he is moved into the midfield and he scores 2 goals against Manchester United. Oh wait… WTF Spector.

  15. Chris says:

    Oh my god that run he made to set up and then score his second goal was brilliant. One might even say Donovan-esque.

  16. Don Pelayo says:

    Unbelievable. After watching the highlights, what striker in the world wouldn’t be proud of those goals? The first diving header was phenomenal, as was his 40 yard run leading up to the second goal. Why does he always seem so slow for the USMNT? Perhaps a permanent move to midfield, likely as a CDM, would work for Spector.

  17. Don Pelayo says:

    Unbelievable. After watching the highlights, what striker in the world wouldn’t be proud of those goals? The first diving header was phenomenal, as was his 40 yard run leading up to the second goal. Why does he always seem so slow for the USMNT? Perhaps a permanent move to midfield, likely as a CDM, would work for Spector.

  18. wilyboy says:

    I didn’t want him in the Nats starting eleven after some foul play, but I knew that it was a bad run of form that he would outlast. Still too early to welcome him back, but if he wins back his spot with Villa or earns a good transfer, I think we can count on him for 2014.

    ps. No, this isn’t because Manchester fielded an amazing squad, but his confidence is palpable.

  19. Chris says:

    Yeah, at the beginning of his career.

  20. Chris says:

    West Ham?

  21. Jeremy says:

    Here’s from youtube- I’m sure they won’t be up long, enjoy for now

    link to youtube.com

  22. hmmm says:

    The question is now will he be heading to Cologne in January or not

    also when he starts Saturday will he be playing in this position or in the back?

    CONGRATS JOHN. He almost had a hat trick.

  23. patrick says:

    he’s got a MUCH better shot playing for the US as a defender than as a CDM. Edu, Bradley, Jones are all ahead of him. While I’m glad to see him playing well, I’d still like it to be as an outside back

  24. Brett says:

    One step closer to our dominant and innovative 2-7-1 formation

  25. hmmm says:

    If Spector can re-gain his form all will be good for our full back list. We have Lichaj who will be starting at the next WC at RB.and would be great if Spector will too at LV

    amazing that he’s only 24 and had spent 7years in england. amazing.

  26. hmmm says:

    So looks like Hahnemann is frozen out at Wolves. Good cause they’ll be relegated anyway. He is miles better than his backup. It’s the backline that’s horrid and the forwards who can’t score worth shite.

    Come back to Portland Marcus.

  27. Duck says:

    That’s why West Ham wasn’t playing Spector, they were just grooming him for the starting central midfield role. It all makes sense now. Great that an American is scoring, even if it is Anakin the FW/RB/CM (or maybe he looks a little like McBride?)

  28. Duck says:

    That’s why West Ham wasn’t playing Spector, they were just grooming him for the starting central midfield role. It all makes sense now. Great that an American is scoring, even if it is Anakin the FW/RB/CM (or maybe he looks a little like McBride?)

  29. Neg says:

    Good man Jeremy,
    Thanks truly appreciated.

  30. RedLine55 says:

    Who knows WHAT the heck Grant thinks. But he has played D-Mid quite a bit in his career and for West Ham… under Curbishly when he first got there, I think, when there were some injuries.

    He used to play Mid/Striker in the youths, so he definitely has a history with getting up there and making runs.

    Awesome game to watch, altogether! The snow, Johnny scoring 2 (.5)… whoo hoo!

  31. Illmatic74 says:

    He looks like Ryan Phillippe.

  32. Chris says:

    Does anyone know where we can get a full REPLAY of the game? I have go to see this thing.

  33. bizzy says:

    damn…I’m one of the people who dog specs day in day out….wow, he really came through on this one

  34. Chris says:

    For anyone who is interested, this match commentary from West Ham fans is nothing short of hilarious. They bash Spector at the beginning and then worship him like a god:
    link to westhamtillidie.com

  35. RedLine55 says:

    ha, great link. maybe they won’t be calling him Jonathan Spectator much longer…

  36. Isaac says:

    link to youtube.com

    No commentary but good highlights nonetheless.

  37. bottlcaps says:

    A lot of people don’t remember that Spector was a forward before being converted to a defender by…. Manchester United, as a product of their academy.

    A brilliant move by Grant and it may have saved him his job for now as even a MU Cup team, as opposed to their EPL/CL team is a formidable foe

  38. john.q says:

    word. he was great in the Confed Cup. i would love to see him return to form… hopefully as a leftback

  39. Jamie says:

    Yes he did.

  40. Isaac says:

    Actually, Spector was thrown in as a central defender against Austria in a U-17 match and that’s when Manchester United picked him up.

  41. Hokie_Futbol says:

    that’s hilarious. i love how they bash the lineup then all you see is SPECTORRRRRRRR. my favorite repsonses:

    “SPECTORRRRRRR!!!!! MESSSIIIIIIIII”

    and

    “Who is this Jon Spector guy”

  42. Bryan says:

    ManU? Well at least they were wearing their kit – but that was not the regular starters by a long shot

  43. wilyboy says:

    Yep. Sorry, brain fart. Was thinking of Lichaj and the competition and merged thoughts.

  44. Jamie says:

    “Is Spector Lionel Messi?”

    Haha awesome link!

  45. Ballwerth Berrodino says:

    I thought it was April 1st when I first saw this. This is ridiculous.

    Definitely the biggest game of his career. Considering he hasn’t been given a chance in a while a the club level, this is huge for his confidence to have this sort of game. Now he has 1 more month to audition for other clubs.

  46. Neg says:

    who writes another word against spector from today onwards will be punished!!!!!
    That was my favorite line of the commentary. Hilarious!

  47. Illmatic74 says:

    He was an absolute disaster playing leftback for West Ham

  48. K-Town says:

    They were not exactly using reserves. Giggs, Anderson, Fletcher, Chicharito, Macheda played to name a few. Not Man U’s top team, but no reserves played. A mix of starters, and other guys that all get minutes. Not a weak team for sure.

    And you can hardly say that WHU fielded a full strength team either, considering Spector was penciled in at CM. If WHU are just trying to showcase Spector to sell him like many teams do before offloading a benchwarmer, then they struck GOLD tonight.

  49. CaliNick23 says:

    amazing goals by spector hopefully he keeps it up.

  50. RedLine55 says:

    United was scouting the striker that Spector had to mark, as the story goes….

  51. Kawandinho says:

    Gareth Bale whoo?????? F ***KING Spector is here . Those are quality goals man. shoot we should probably use him as a right mid that a Right back.

  52. bizzy says:

    I’m looking at the goals and not believing what I’m seeing……against a team like Man U!!!! Spector???..our spector??? I’ve really eaten my words about specs….even if it’s just “a game” to perform at that level against a top team, it means he has the skill but maybe just playing at the wrong position(still can’t believe I’m saying this!!!). One more game like this and somebody’s job in the midfield of the USMNT is in serious jeopardy…. way to put the US on the map

  53. tnnelson says:

    watched it live. i had to pinch myself, it was absolutely the last thing i ever expected to see ever

  54. Canchon says:

    Bradley’s next friendly: 4-6-0. Book it.

    Seriously, how snakebitten is Spector? He scores two goals and excels at D-mid against Man U. Now as a D-mid he only has to beat out 5 other MF players to get on the field for BB, whereas at right (left?) back, ummmm…

  55. K-Town says:

    I love Mandon, but one might say NO American has ever scored one like that in England against a team like ManU. At least very few have, maybe Duece and McBride and…..hmmm nobody else comes to mind. I’m not saying it was some Maradonna goal, but it was sweet regardless who scored it. Great run, pass, hustle for follow up, and composure to slot it home all in one goal. Good job Spector.

  56. K-Town says:

    It wasn’t a reserve team by a long shot either.

  57. Brent McD says:

    just what we need — another central midfielder. haha just kidding, very happy for el inspector. really hope this jars him into a run of good form.

    btw — always thought he was slow as molasses, but he seemed to show decent pace on both of those goals.

  58. Texas Hammer says:

    I’ll spend this evening washing my mouth out for all the times I’ve cursed the name of Jonathan Spector. Hopefully he can keep it up because West Ham’s midfield situation has been a nightmare.

  59. Dave says:

    LOL I thought the same thing

  60. Derek says:

    Hilarious!

  61. john.q says:

    double word. but we do need leftbacks and he’s played it before at least.

  62. Brent McD says:

    just what we need — another central midfielder. haha just kidding, very happy for el inspector. really hope this jars him into a run of good form.

    btw — always thought he was slow as molasses, but he seemed to show decent pace on both of those goals.

  63. tnnelson says:

    wow that was great i was laughing aloud to myself reading that. “SPECTOR THE GENERAL, PARKER THE SERGEANT MAJOR”

  64. Derek says:

    Hilarious!

  65. Brent McD says:

    just what we need — another central midfielder. haha just kidding, very happy for el inspector. really hope this jars him into a run of good form.

    btw — always thought he was slow as molasses, but he seemed to show decent pace on both of those goals.

  66. Mingjai says:

    Spector for striker! His first touch that put himself in position for the second goal was something the current USMNT strike force only dreams of!

  67. babica says:

    I’ve always thought he had a little Val Kilmer in him.

  68. bizzy says:

    He TOOK IT TO MAN U….unbelievable!!! I’m tuning into the next West Ham game for sure!!

  69. Brent McD says:

    oops, pardon the spammage :-P

  70. BJ's are the best says:

    Wooo!!! Spector!!!! A brace is awesome for him. Actually anything would be.

  71. Brian says:

    Holy eff! Since when did Spector have wheels like that?

  72. RLW2020 says:

    seriously lets give it a shot!

    wow amazing shots and a very unexpected turn of events for spector! whatever position he plays always hope for the best..

  73. Brian says:

    Spector: Jack of all trades? Master of none?

  74. vivavilla says:

    I think the US should employ Spector as a centerback like Spain does Pique. Pique gets the freedom to make some penetrating runs into the attacking third, is solid passing (from the center), and is good in the air. Wasn’t Spector originally a forward? I think he’s been playing out of position this whole time as a right/left fullback and needs to play centrally in some way.

  75. Hopper says:

    Honestly, it’s a great story: Spector scores twice against his old club, playing out of his established position no less, after barely getting any playing time all season. I’m really happy for him. He’s always shown a confidence going forward when playing for the USA, so maybe this proves playing on the backline isn’t where he’s best?

    It’ll be interesting to see if this gives his career the spark it needs. Maybe we’ll see more of Spector in midfield?

  76. RLW2020 says:

    Jonathan “The General” Spector — West Ham fan

    i like it..

  77. Brian says:

    Ryan Phillippe’s face. Val Kilmer’s mouth/teeth

  78. Tony in Quakeland says:

    I have always like the idea of Spector in central defense much more than on the outside. I like his vision and think he could distribute well from there. The idea of letting him roam forward (assuming the CM covers) is interesting.

  79. Nick says:

    They’re all ahead of him right now, but there certainly is no concrete midfield pairing. Jones just got sent to Shalke’s reserve team and Edu is hurt, albeit not seriously. There’s no telling how far he can move up if he keeps getting significant minutes.

  80. KenC says:

    Quality goals. Nice to see Spector still knows how to attack.

  81. Chris says:

    foxsoccer.tv , but it’ll cost you.

  82. Gacm32 says:

    haha it was pretty damn close though. And it’s not like West Ham trotted out their first team either.

  83. Aristophanes says:

    WTF?!?!

  84. GW says:

    In case anyone is interested, here are the lineups. Second string for Man U but still a pretty formidable lineup.

    Note Pablo Barrera is Mexican and gives West Ham the second US-Mexico EPL pairing after Fulham.

    West Ham United Robert Green, Tal Ben Haim, James Tomkins (Winston Reid, 74), Matthew Upson, Jonathan Spector, Julien Faubert, Pablo Barrera (Zavon Hines, 76), Luis Boa Morte, Radoslav Kovac, Carlton Cole (Junior Stanislas, 89), Nsofor Victor Obinna

    Manchester United Tomasz Kuszczak, Chris Smalling, Da Silva Fabio (Da Silva Rafael, 65), John O’Shea, Jonny Evans, J (Wes Brown, 72), Luis de Abreu Anderson, Ryan Giggs, Darren Fletcher, Balcazar Javier Hernandez, Gabriel Obertan, Tiago Manuel Bebe (Federico Macheda, 46)

  85. Drew says:

    He’s been training with Robbie Findley

  86. GW says:

    In case anyone is interested, here are the lineups. Second string for Man U but still a pretty formidable lineup.

    Note Pablo Barrera is Mexican and gives West Ham the second US-Mexico EPL pairing after Fulham.

    West Ham United Robert Green, Tal Ben Haim, James Tomkins (Winston Reid, 74), Matthew Upson, Jonathan Spector, Julien Faubert, Pablo Barrera (Zavon Hines, 76), Luis Boa Morte, Radoslav Kovac, Carlton Cole (Junior Stanislas, 89), Nsofor Victor Obinna

    Manchester United Tomasz Kuszczak, Chris Smalling, Da Silva Fabio (Da Silva Rafael, 65), John O’Shea, Jonny Evans, J (Wes Brown, 72), Luis de Abreu Anderson, Ryan Giggs, Darren Fletcher, Balcazar Javier Hernandez, Gabriel Obertan, Tiago Manuel Bebe (Federico Macheda, 46)

  87. hmmm says:

    Our mid-field has depth ten times over. Spector can still play LB for us especially against CONCACAF opposition. This brace will help his morale. He will start saturday. Question is will he leave in January?

    Either way he’s BACKKKKKKKK. And West Ham are in the semi finals of the Carling Cup :) thanks to him

  88. Gaucholic says:

    i didnt know Spector had ball skills…

  89. johnnycougar says:

    Yeah, don’t forget Dempsey against Juventus, just to name one. Excellent goal though.

  90. Brad says:

    If we really want to play to our strengths, we might consider a 3-7-0

  91. Djchubakka says:

    That’s second goal was sick. He was a man on a mission. Talk about seizing the moment and taking advantage of an opportunity.

  92. MensreaJim says:

    Handsome hijo de…and look how happy his teammates are for him, that was great.

  93. Brad says:

    If we really want to play to our strengths, we might consider a 3-7-0

  94. simms21 says:

    I second this, coming from an Arsenal fan who has questioned Spector many times in the past this guy has done us a tremendous favor. I hope this is just the beginning for him.

  95. Eric says:

    Man U got Real’d by Jonathan Spector.

    Sounds like a great day to buy one of those lottery scratchers!

  96. Chris says:

    Ives, I need to give credit to the guys at TSG for this link. I wouldn’t have found this gem without them.

  97. spectorific says:

    I coughed my coffee all over my keyboard at work when he put the second in. People next door to my office were like WTF?

  98. PGS says:

    spector! it’s about time he got a break! those were sweet goals, and i’m counting the first one.

  99. montana matt says:

    ha!

  100. RedLine55 says:

    for sure. as far as finishing goes, i think that first one was just amazing. That cross had nothing on it, and he had to direct it AND put all the punch behind it… with a dive. Nasty. Looked like a Deuce goal. The 2nd goal lead up was obviously super slick, too!

  101. RedLine55 says:

    for sure. as far as finishing goes, i think that first one was just amazing. That cross had nothing on it, and he had to direct it AND put all the punch behind it… with a dive. Nasty. Looked like a Deuce goal. The 2nd goal lead up was obviously super slick, too!

  102. RLW2020 says:

    in theory that concept could work well with Edu or Jones at CM occasionally drifting back

  103. Turgid Jacobian says:

    Good for Specs. I was really hoping to see him come out of the funk he’s been in. Hope this is the first of several steps.

  104. DC Josh says:

    This has to be one of the strangest stories I have read in a while. Not only does Spector start at central midfield, but he nets a brace against his old club, which just happens to be one of the largest clubs in the world.

  105. Sleepy says:

    His face was on the front page of BBC News, my first thought was maybe he died. That seemed the only logical way he could be on the front page.

  106. Beckster says:

    Well done Specs! I really like him in a D Mid role. Who cares about the Nats – I’d just like to see him find the best position and playing time and have him be successful. After all the injuries, I just don’t think he is fast enough for the outside wing and fullback positions anymore. I like central D or this new position.

    As a few people mentioned up top, this was the last headline I expected to see today.

  107. montana matt says:

    Spector’s face on the front page of the Sun’s website. Congrats son.

  108. patrick says:

    jones was sent to reserves a punishment, not for his ability or form. Thinking, or iwshing Spector moves to CM is not in the best interest in the US, or Spector’s international career. If he desires a spot on the US squad he should do whatever he can to get minutes, otherwise there’s no Gold Cup for him

  109. Sam says:

    Avram Grant had some pretty good things to say about Spector: link to skysports.com

  110. DCP says:

    I thought the exact same thing. My next thought was someone hacked into SBI, but I think I believe it now.

  111. andy says:

    I always thought he looked like The Greatest American Hero

  112. StevePDX says:

    That second goal proves that Jonathan Spector is the love-child of Ryan Philippe and Thierry Henry.

    Seriously, perhaps this is what it takes for the man to get his mojo back. Crazier things have happened.

  113. marcus says:

    i would have ran over to where my coach was standing and celebrate in his face.

  114. K-Town says:

    True, neither team trotted out their first team. Fergie went with a young team with Giggs for leadership. But you can’t tell me that Flethcer, Chicharito, Macheda, Anderson, O’Shea, Obertan, Da Silva and Wes Brown are anywhere near Reserve players. And even though they are young, they all get minutes and only a few of them are inexperienced. No reason they should lose to WHU 4-0. Maybe not all the players were Starting XI, but both teams fielded players that consistently make the dressed 18 on their squads. I just don’t want people to try and cheapen what Spector did by suggesting that he only scored a brace against ManU becausehe played against reserve players from ManU.

  115. K-Town says:

    Seeing the field is awesome for him. Even dressing is awesome for him lately. Grant probably thought a Carling Cup game would be a good time to shop him around and showcase Spector. Spector made him some money today.

  116. cbr says:

    Center back… Have him and Ream form the most technical duo we have ever seen

  117. Brian says:

    LOL!

    What does LBM mean though?

  118. PetedeLA says:

    Can he stay at West Ham? Cologne sucks.

  119. Lieutenant in Sam's Army says:

    Don’t give Bob any ideas!

  120. Brian says:

    I like this idea. With Gooch not playing, Bocanegra aging, and DeMerit aging as well and back in MLS, I think Spector could be a good option in center defense, at least until Ream or Gonzalez really shines though (I guess you can throw Opara and Gale in there too). He’s certainly got the best feet skills and touch of any of our Centerbacks (Yes even more than Ream, you NYRB homers).

    Currently I see Dolo as our Right Back at least up until the Gold Cup next year and possibly even at the 2014 World Cup. He’ll be 35 (in 2014), but if he’s still playing for Hannover and has decent wheels then I see no reason why he can’t be the starter in Brazil, unless of course Eric Lichaj really blossoms and becomes a starting EPL stud right back. At any rate, I’d still put Lichaj as the No. 2 Right Back at this point and Spector as No. 3.

    Still, given how bad our left back situation is, I’d like to see Lichaj and even Spector given a try at Left Back. I know Lichaj has played a little Left Back for Aston Villa, and I’m curious as to see how he’d do there for the USMNT. And I know Spector’s time at Left Back for West Ham was pretty bad, but I’ve only seen him play Left Back for the USMNT once (the last friendly against South Africa) and I thought he was so-so. I just think with Jonathan Bornstein or Heath Pearce at we’re never going to get more than the usually mediocre, sometimes disastrous and rarely great, play at Left Back.

  121. Brian says:

    To be fair, I think he’s only played Left Back once under Bob’s reign and that was in the last friendly against South Africa, and his performances at Left Back for West Ham in the past have been poor. I’d like to see him get more opportunities at Left Back for the USMNT, but you can really say “Spector can still play LB for us especially against CONCACAF opposition” when he really hasn’t had the opportunity. Bob just seems really reluctant to put a right footed player at Left Back.

  122. Chris says:

    Luis Boa Morte

  123. Isaac says:

    I think the best part about the goals were the fact that they just seemed to come so naturally. Spector’s instinct on the diving header was incredible, not to mention the amount of power he head to put behind it.

    The second goal was started by great touch and dribbling, as he managed to slip his first man and use his strength to hold him off a bit. The second part was a bit simpler in that he just had to follow the play up, but he did it well and finished even better.

    As far as Spector in the central midfield, I wouldn’t be totally opposed to it. I’ve always wanted to see it happen at some point. He’d be a great anchoring defensive midfielder behind Bradley and Holden. He’s got good marking, positional sense, strength, aerial ability(as we’ve seen today) and seems a genuine ball-winner. Moreover, he’d provide the kind of smart, pinpoint distrubution and comfort on the ball in deep areas that we would really only get from Jose Francisco Torres.

    It just seems that while putting him at full back would allow him to get forward and show his crossing, passing and ability on the ball, it exposes him against pacy wingers. Center back is probably his best spot on the back line, but his technical ability would be wasted. Defensive midfielder is probably a great position for him because he can show his technical and tactical qualities on both sides of the ball. He’d be a lot like Xabi Alonso is for Spain and Madrid(although that didn’t help them last night did it)?

  124. Brian says:

    Ah gotcha. Thanks

  125. Isaac says:

    To add to that, I’m not saying he’d be better than Edu or Jones. I’m just saying it’s not a far-fetched idea, not anymore anyways.

  126. kimo says:

    Grant said in an interview that he moved Jon to central midfield a month ago and that he’s done very well in training and that the start was more than well deserved…interesting. Maybe he sees more time from here.

  127. Isaac says:

    But getting consistent playing time doesn’t, especially not in the German Bundesliga.

  128. MOUF says:

    a lot of pros did

  129. jrig5 says:

    How would Bornstein have done in the EPL tho? Oh wait, no one wanted him.

  130. jrig5 says:

    It’s weird, but this is one of the best games an American has ever had in England.

    What a turn of events.

  131. Scott A says:

    This makes me feel like I don’t know anything about soccer.

  132. RedLine55 says:

    Isn’t that part of the fun?

  133. Dainja says:

    PIGS ARE FLYING SOMEWHERE!!!!!!!!!! I watched the highlights just now on Fox Soccer without knowing what happened and rewinded that ish FOUR TIMES. I’m stunned. Never ever ever ever in my wildest NIGHTMARES. haha. Good gravy. That being said, good luck trying to crack the USMNT’s depth at CM.

  134. Illmatic74 says:

    Yeah I have always sort of viewed him as that.

  135. Cyrus says:

    Spector at Dmid, Lletget at attacking mid…the future of West Ham ;)

  136. Thorpinski says:

    Grant commented after the game that Man U did not field a player that could be bought for less than 10M pounds

  137. Thorpinski says:

    He also hinted that he might start this weekend

  138. KNPonder says:

    Thank you for the link . . . still laughing at the complete 360 on the comments. Classic.

  139. r.benjamin says:

    Wait a minute.. it’s not April 1 is it?

  140. john says:

    link to youtube.com

    Spencer couldnt do this

  141. Scott A says:

    Definitely

  142. Matt says:

    or Harkes’ English goal of the year from 35 meters

  143. mwc says:

    Click the Yanks Abroad Video Highlights link under the SBI Soccer Blog Roll on the right side of the SBI main page.

  144. bizzy says:

    It doesnt matter how many times you watch it…you still can’t accept what you’re seeing. Going into half-time and the score reads “SPECTOR 22′ 37’…..WTF!!!!!!!, SPECTOR SCORING, QUALITY GOALS MIND YOU, IN THE 22 AND 37 MINUTE AGAINST MAN U(EVEN IF THEY DIDNT HAVE VAN DER SAR,NANI, BERBERTOV, PARK, ROONEY ETC), AND HIS RUN, FROM HIS HALF, ALL THE WAY TO THE MAN U 18 TO SET UP BOA MORTE FOR THE GOAL THEY DISALLOWED….WOW. It’s too early to jump to conclusions but USMNT MIDFIELD PLAYERS beware!!!!!

  145. Aaron in StL says:

    Agree with all. He had a great little run on that second goal, both were great especially for a natural defender.

  146. Chris says:

    I agree with the first of these comments but not the second.

  147. Annelid Gustator says:

    Has a way of backfiring. See Mathis, Clint.

  148. nik says:

    Well done!

  149. kimo says:

    One thing about Spector that makes him attractive as a MF is he’s a long strider with the ball…Gerrard-like in open space (not saying he’s Gerrard…just similar dribbling in open space). He has deceptive pace at full speed…not necessarily quick but dangerous at full speed. His lack of quickness has hurt him as a back, imo. He has the athleticism and physical presence to be a force in the middle, imo. He’s more of a natural attacker than MB or Edu. He was a convert from a stiker position. Not sure how it all plays out…but it makes things fun…

  150. tim says:

    or make him the second choice goal keeper behind *gasp* robbie green

  151. Leo says:

    I love how we is all talkin’ `bout Jon Spector and not about Mourin-who? Where was you lads when our boy was down? Dust `im off, wouldya? That’s a good lad.

    Seriously, what a superb performance by Spector. Makes me proud to be an American.

  152. Dennis says:

    I have always thought that what limited his playing time at West ham was that he does not seem to have the instincts of a defender and too often got caught not paying attention to the player he should have been marking. He has always been able to strike the ball well and is solid in the air, skills that can be very useful going forward. Je is not unlike Bornstein in that regard. I think that Spector probably strikes the ball better, but Bornstein is better dribbling under pressure.
    Moving forward, that lack of total concentration is less of a liability for both players.

    Too bad that does not help the national team situation at left back, but I think it would improve both of their professional careers.

  153. Ben says:

    It can’t just be me who is thinking that Spector has been played out of position all this time. I’ve certainly ripped him in the past, but maybe the poor play was due to poor coaching rather than Spector. Personally, I’ve always been slightly perplexed, as spector has all the tools, about his play. However, maybe his problem is just that he doesn’t have the lateral quickness to deal with speedy, tricky wingers. Of course, for the past few years that is all coaches have asked him to do. A couple years back, I wanted to play center D. Clearly, he is more comfortable in the center of the park. In other words, he isn’t a rightback, and if he is being played there in the future, I’m not blaming him anymore, only the coach.

  154. Ben says:

    I’m with you. The one thing that he lacks is that quickness to deal with wingers. He isn’t slow or a bad athlete by any stretch, but he should be in the middle of the field, whether defending, midfield, or, apparently, attacking.

  155. Ben says:

    Don’t to be hard on yourself. I’d say this is a good indication that Spector is not an outside back, which is what every coach wants him to be.

  156. Ben says:

    Technical ability is never wasted on centerback. Personally, I’d like to field an entire team with technical ability.

  157. Kenny_B says:

    He was a disaster in the second half of the EPL last year. The first half not so disaster like.

  158. ThaDeuce says:

    Wow, that second goal was AMAZING. Do we have another central midfielder to put into our already too many options line-up?

  159. ThaDeuce says:

    and demspey vs. Chelsea, a brace against the full team, one in the 90th minute, in the rain…how sweet.

  160. ThaDeuce says:

    me too!

  161. ThaDeuce says:

    whoa! I never thought of that before! He can definitely play right wing! He has speed, the ability to take on players down the wing and put in crosses, he is accurate, and he can mark almost as good as a right back! why the hell not?? If we need deuce or landon up top, this is seriously something to consider.

    Altidore-Deuce
    Donovan———Spector
    who do we play in the center??? -Jones-Holden-Edu-Bradley

  162. ThaDeuce says:

    Very interesting nuggets in that video- the coach said ” we changed his postion in the training to midfield a month ago and he has done well in the training, so today he got his chance and just like every professional player you need to speak only on the pitch and i think he spoke very well today.”

    So spector has been training for midfield for over a month, his left back days are over!!

    Also, to call a young American soccer player “he is a professional, he is always trying, trying hard, even when he is not playing, when he is not even in the squad.” awesome to hear about that ethic from a coach compared to what we usually talk about with altidore and adu : ).

  163. ThaDeuce says:

    well, for the next world cup jones should not play as he will likely be too old to contribute effectively… we’ll just have to see what happens over the next 3 years to torres, bradley, edu, holden, and any new whippersnappers, but it could happen like this year with all the injuries.

  164. ThaDeuce says:

    True, i love seeing brede hangeland dominate fools