Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

ChelseaNewcastle (Getty)

Chelsea will be looking to kick their season off with a second straight victory, as will Newcastle, when the two English Premier League forces square off at Stamford Bridge in today's marquee match-up.

The Blues opened the season with a victory against Reading, while the Magpies toppled Tottenham to get their new campaign off on the right foot. With the race for the Top Four in the Premier League expected to be a tight one yet again, this match will carry extra importance for both sides.

Elsewhere in England, Manchester United will be playing their home opener at Old Trafford against a confident Fulham side that opened the season with a resounding victory. At Villa Park, Aston Villa takes on an Everton side that will be looking to build on its season-opening upset of Manchester United.

If you will be watching today's action, please feel free to share your thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action (Today's TV schedule is after the jump):

TODAY'S SOCCER ON TV

10 a.m. - Fox Soccer Channel - Manchester United vs. Fulham

10 a.m. - Fox Soccer Plus/FoxSoccer2Go - Tottenham vs. West Brom

10 a.m. - FoxSoccer2Go - Aston Villa vs. Everton

10 a.m. - FoxSoccer2Go - Norwich City vs. Queens Park Rangers

10 a.m. - FoxSoccer2Go - Sunderland vs. Reading

10 a.m. - FoxSoccer2Go - Southampton vs. Wigan Athletic

10 a.m. - beIN Sport - Blackburn vs. Leicester City

12 p.m. - beIN Sport - Fiorentina vs. Udinese

12:30 p.m. - Fox Soccer Channel - Chelsea vs. Newcastle

12:30 p.m. - GOLTV - Eintracht Frankfurt vs. Bayer Leverkusen

2:40 p.m. - beIN Sport - Juventus vs. Parma

2:45 p.m. - GOLTV - Stuttgart vs. Wolfsburg

3 p.m. - Univision Deportes - Valenciennes vs. Ajaccio

4 p.m. - MLS Live/Direct Kick - Montreal Impact vs. D.C. United

4:45 p.m. - GOLTV - Defensor Sporting vs. Nacional

5 p.m. - beIN Sport - Malaga vs. Mallorca

5:30 p.m. - Univision - America vs. Tijuana

5:30 p.m. - Telefutura - Pachuca vs. Santos Laguna

5:30 p.m. - Univision Deportes - Tigres UANL vs. Toluca

5:30 p.m. - ESPN3.com - Vasco de Gama vs. Fluminense

7 p.m. - ESPN3.com - North Carolina vs. Gardner-Webb

7:30 p.m. - MLS Live/Direct Kick - Columbus Crew vs. New England Revolution

8:30 p.m. - MLS Live/Direct Kick - Houston Dynamo vs. Toronto FC

10:30 p.m. - MLS Live/Direct Kick - San Jose Earthquakes vs. Colorado Rapids

10:30 p.m. - MLS Live/Direct Kick - Portland Timbers vs. Vancouver Whitecaps

10:30 p.m. - MLS Live/Direct Kick - Chivas USA vs. Seattle Sounders


 

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85 Responses to Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

  1. Ted in MN says:

    fantastic strike from Pienaar to start. they’ve got one heck of a midfield at everton.

  2. Illmatic74 says:

    Dominant performance from Swansea in the early game.

  3. Ted in MN says:

    Ohhhh and another goal for Everton as everyone goes forward. Fellaini’s gonna get a goal a game this year!

  4. Eric says:

    Fellaini scores but Given could have definitely done better. Good news for Guzan.

  5. Ted in MN says:

    Biggest winner so far in toffees-villa is probably brad guzan. had a chance at the first one and should have had the second

  6. Ted in MN says:

    Naismith’s fitting in well.

  7. Citronomics says:

    ManPoo up 3-1 on a Raffael header. Here’s hoping they get the obligatory dubious penalty in the box call so they can rout Fulham (yes, biased because of the Deuce situation as normally root for them to lose)

  8. Ted in MN says:

    Another brilliant goal for Everton. Jelavic steps back out of the 6yard box to loads of space and one touches it in. no idea where the heck the centerbacks went.

  9. Ted in MN says:

    This team is fun to watch

  10. away goals says:

    Everton off to their customary slow start, fulham come crashing down, villa defense sans guzan and lichaj a shambles.

  11. Jon says:

    Villa are crap. Get some Yanks in before you get relegated.

  12. Matt C in Tampa says:

    Spurs’ play crying out to Deuce insertion…..or stay at FFC…get forgiveness of fans and go on to legendary status.

  13. Shark says:

    Given was the weak link for Eire (Ireland) in the Euros this summer…painfully obvious he has lost a step so to speak…thus his retirement from international football to try and hold on to his club #1 job…performaces like this and he will be on the bench real soon…Guzan has earned the opportunity and its time to let him take charge.

    Also this was the same club that would not play Bradley at all when he was on loan…go figure…

  14. Ted in MN says:

    agreed. why go to liverpool when you can win with fulham. sure they might not beat United but would liverpool (exception of the league cup)

  15. NE Matt says:

    Seb Hines with the start in the center of defense for Boro, and hes also grabbed his first goal of the year!

  16. biff says:

    Ha-Ha. My feeling exactly. I never pull for Man. U, but am doing so today. Clint gave his heart and soul to Fulham for over five years and has been repaid by being treated like $hi+ by Martin “Darth Vader” Jol and Fulham billionaire owner Mohamed Al-Fayedd. Clint is guilty of declining to sign a contract extension. He should have been given the dignified exit that he earned and deserved. Jol and Fulham should think long and hard about finally coming clean with the truth and offering a sincere publicly apology for their mistreatment of Clint. Two sides to every story. The truth will come out.

  17. Ted in MN says:

    and the silence rings out around villa park

  18. Citronomics says:

    Why do EPL match announcers drool over Dembele? For all his slick ball skills, where is the production and link up with teammates. For every nifty dribbling display, how many of his forays set up quality or dangerous attacks?

    Serious question. Fulham supporters care to chime in….

  19. Ben says:

    Me either. This is likely be the only time I root for ManU this year or for the foreseeable future.

  20. Ted in MN says:

    Jelavic draws a foul on a brilliant pass from Gibson. Red card. Villa’s getting torched.

  21. Dimidri says:

    Do you really need to repeat yourself on every post?

    Here’s my question-if Fulham said “clint had asked to leave, and while we respect his wishes, his are not the only ones at stake here. we feel the offers we’ve received so not meet our valuation, thus we would like to have his production for half a hear and reevaluate in January” would you call that bullying because they won’t acquiesce to Clint every whim?

    Its easy to pick on the silly stuff that’s said, but Clint is under contract, and Fulham have every right to get the best deal. and come on, is it really bullying when he can leave in a year anyway, with way more teams being able to afford him.

  22. Eric says:

    Spurs could start by playing their best players. There’s no reason Siggurdson should be on the bench.

  23. Tyler says:

    Don’t worry guys, Given is better because he’s European. They know what they’re doing over there.

    50 million for Andy Carroll? Don’t mind if I do.

  24. GTV says:

    Swanselona!

  25. Ted in MN says:

    Oh tim, no. thats bad

  26. Citronomics says:

    With respect, the one push back to your view (which I think is fair) is that a player’s valuation in the market is not solely a function of the seller’s price point. I have no idea what bids, if any, Fulham has received and what fee amounts the prospective buyers are offering. However, it *may* be that Fulham has not or will not accurately assess market value.

    As a result, it’s likely that If Fulham intends to sell, they are losing money by dragging this out.

    Cheers

  27. Beckster says:

    Guzan has to start next week. AV in deep trouble. They could use Lichje as well.

    In other right back news, Spector starts again for Birmingham. Packwood not in the 18.

  28. USAmr says:

    Lichaj come in and gets an assist!

  29. Tyler says:

    IDK if anyone else was paying attention last night, but RSL has a guy named Johnny Steele.

    Awesome? Yes.

  30. Citronomics says:

    Sweet. Fwiw, Parkhurst got n assist too and now has a couple of goals and assists so far as his club (which I can’t spell) is at the top of the table in Denmark.

    Great to see YA contributing offensively at a decent clip early in the European leagues season.

  31. NE Matt says:

    All he needs is the pornstar mustache now

  32. Dimidri says:

    Sure, but my point is it is there right to risk losing money. the majority of the ‘ you have to sell’ camp assume they’re being financial stupid, but think about it , if they do what I say, best case scenario they get deuce for a year( production+poss their record comvinces him to stay a la Kobe in the gasol trade year) and a higher fee than what they are currently being offered. worst case, they get maybe a slightly lower offer but get deuce production for half a yeR

  33. Illmatic74 says:

    The biggest reason for his hype is the dribbling displays. But, he is also very efficient with the ball and puts in a lot of work defensively. He has absolutely tore through United’s midfield this game.

  34. Citronomics says:

    Except (so far) Deuce has been frozen out of the first team so the benefit of playing him (and boosting the transfer fee for the mid-season window) won’t (assuming no change in the standoff) materialize.

  35. Eric says:

    Late to the party? Yes.

  36. RVP says:

    Buh bye Rooney!

  37. biff says:

    Moussa Dembele is a fricking beast. That performance today against Man U was outstanding and no doubt going to ignite some big offers from some big teams in the next few days. Like Clint Dempsey, Dembele certainly won’t be signing a contract extension and don’t see how Fulham can pass up a 10-million Plus transfer fee just to keep him until June and lose him for free.

  38. Illmatic74 says:

    Fergie should sign Dembele before he heads to the bus.

  39. MidWest Ref says:

    Liverpool just signed a Turkish midfielder on loan from Real Madrid. So now what does Deuce do?

    Why doesn’t Clint just play out the year and leave on a free?

    Macca and the old guy really tore into clint at halftime of the ESPN game this morning.

  40. GW says:

    Guzan will probably start but Villa have bigger problems than the insertion of Guzn or even Lichaj, who they clearly don’t view as starter material, will solve.

    This is not a very good team right now.

  41. Ted in MN says:

    as well they should. I’ve got no problem with saying I want out. Its part of football; its part of every sport. If he wants to play at a higher level, Fulham should acknowledge it. Yet, simply refusing to play is unprofessional. You signed a contract, and, until you are released from that contract, you damn well honor it.

  42. MidWest Ref says:

    a belated +1 for you tyler

  43. GW says:

    You are behind the times. MB90 plays for Roma and has nothing to with Villa.

    This is new management now.

    Guzan took the new contract knowing that Given would get first shot and was probably betting on exactly this sort of outcome. It won’t be long before he gets hits turn. The only problem is he now has a bad team in front of him.

    Lichaj may or may not start but he probably isn’t the answer. If he was he would have been starting by now.

    At this point Lichaj is sort of drifting into Jonny Spector,Mr. Utility man land; good enough to be a fill in when the starter turns to crap or gets hurt but not good enough to earn a spot full time.

    That versatility appears to be what is keeping Lichaj around. Hopefully he can build on it.

  44. MidWest Ref says:

    I don’t know that Fulham have placed a value on Clint for the market, nor have we heard of any bids.

    We heard/saw Liverpool announce that Clint was their player, before a deal was done.

    Isn’t this part of the problem, no one knows what Fulham want for the Deuce

  45. biff says:

    Yes, Dimidri, I do have to keep repeating myself in support of Clint Dempsey. You don’t like it, then don’t read it. I am totally pi$$ed off at the way Martin “Darth Vader” Jol and Fulham management have treated him and the lies that have been perpetrated. It was a complete hatchet job on America’s best player who also is one of the most popular members of the USNMT and I am not going to stand by idly and allow them to get away with it.

    We definitely have to be highly skeptical of any words that come out of Darth’s mouth. In his initial vicious bullying attack on Clint the day before the Norwich match, he said Clint refused to play and then Darth proceeded to do all he could to ruin Clint’s reputation. And, man, did he succeed, with the fans chanting against Clint the next day during the match and ripping him to shreds non-stop on the Fulham message boards. But then, lo and behold, Darth’s story starts to change in proceeding days, with such gag-me-with-a-spoon comments about Clint like: ”I told him I almost love him as a son last year…” Oh yeahhhh, Darth?

    link to bbc.co.uk

    And, now, in a fresh news story Darth Vader has the gall to claim: ”I never said he’s gone on strike.” Oh yeah? And then Darth goes on to advise Clint to be more like Robin van Persie. “There are always players in football like Van Persie who want to move, but they keep quiet.” Give me a break, Darth?

    link to sportinglife.com

    With all due DIS-respect to Jol, the guy is a complete mean-spirited jerk and I, personally, do not believe a word that comes out of his mouth. If you look at Jol’s comments on Clint, he always says that Fulham has not received a “firm offer” or an “official offer.” The question that reporters should be asking Jol is how many teams expressed interest in Clint and what Fulham’s reply was to those teams. If Jol said we ain’t gonna sell Clint no way no how or if he slapped a hugely inflated transfer fee on Clint, then those interested teams would say thanks but no thanks and would not make a “firm” offer and would move on. This story here claims Liverpool offered 5 million and fulham declined.

    link to thesun.co.uk

    I think what has happened for months and months behind the scenes is that Clint was being bullied by Darth Vader and Fulham management to try to force him to sign the contract extension and he stood firm and did not back down and he did not sign and Jol decided in one last attempt before the Norwich match to play really, really dirty–the hatchet job.

    Unforgivable, as Clint was denied a dignified exit by a team he played for with all his heart and soul for over five years. And make no mistake, Fulham is going to pay a heavy price in plunging support in the US and I imagine it will be many years before another American player joins the club.

  46. Ted in MN says:

    I disagree with how you’re interpreting this.

  47. GW says:

    The only sensible thing at this point is for Fulham to make sure they sell Dempsey before the window ends.

    Otherwise, they have an already devalued asset sitting around. Even if they get him back and playing, it seems unlikely now that he will approach last year’s heights and be a hot item in January. And of course they lose him at the end of the season.

    It seems as if both sides have mishandled this thing from day one and it now looks like both sides will pay. If I were the owner ( and he may be a huge part of the problem ) I’d consider firing everyone involved in allowing this fiasco to get to this point.

    Very unprofessional behavior from both sides.

  48. Eric says:

    Jol has even said Clint hasn’t refused to play. Fulham have stated that they’re just keeping him away from the team until this is sorted out one way or another.

  49. Ted in MN says:

    what he said was something to the extent of he doesn’t want to get injured playing and endanger a transfer. you’re right, but the way dempsey’s handling this has not been professional ie not showing up for the preseason. honestly, both sides are trying to do whats right for them. As an everton fan, i for one say the entirety of the blame belongs with liverpool. just sayin

  50. beachbum says:

    I agree

  51. beachbum says:

    hope he gets a sniff of the USMNT

  52. beachbum says:

    Dembele…the guy is awesome, one of my favorites to watch every weekend for sure. pure class, amazing first touch every time

  53. Mig22 says:

    Agreeed, I don’t think there is any blame to lay (except to Liverpool of course). Just the club and the player playing their hands as best as possible.

    But again, it’s Liverpool’s fault. :)

  54. kjasjerjk says:

    Literally everybody in the professional world does this at one time or another. I really dont understand why so many people are getting worked up about this. At work if you want a raise one strategy is threatening to quit and not working until you are paid the salary you think you deserve. Everybody is any job ever has tried to make the most money from their talents and Clint is doing the same.

  55. beachbum says:

    agreed. It’s the hatchet job by Jol as the company tool which is for shame tho, the public lies to discredit the player…tool

  56. beachbum says:

    Rooney strtechered off with a gnarly gash above the knee, very ugly looking

    Vidic is not the same player, looks noticeably weaker physically, and skittish back there in general; not the enforcer we’ve come to know, not yet this year at least

    Kagawa has been the engine for MU, once he subbed off MUs calm and attack lost continuity. Van Persie’s goal was the top shelf, what a first time rip!

  57. Mig22 says:

    Torres is playing like a man possessed. With Mata and Hazard, he looks reborn instead of having to deal with Sturridge. Mata and Hazard WANT to pass the ball.

    Bad news for the other teams in the Prem if Torres finds his scoring touch.

  58. beachbum says:

    that upper 90 goal was sweeeeeeet

  59. Mig22 says:

    yeah, I wrote my remark before he hit that one. :) Hooaah.

  60. Mig22 says:

    RVP’s goal and Torres’ were both jewels today.

    I’m looking forward to seeing what City will do tomorrow to answer. This could be one hell of a race this year.

  61. Citronomics says:

    So far (and yes it’s very early), Hazard looks the EPL buy of Summer 2012.

    Since, I don’t follow Chelsea regularly, is Di Matteo deploying a 4-3-3 or 4-2-1-3 with Hazard and Mata the wing forwards?

  62. beachbum says:

    here’s to that! so far it’s been fun, so many goals. Kagawa and Hazard both looking like excellent buys

  63. Mig22 says:

    It is early, yeah…but he does look awesome.

    I have watched their 4 real games and the formation is like a 4-2-1-3 but in a way it’s more like a 4-2-3-1. Bertrand is the wide player on the left, Mata mostly on the right but he moves central a lot. Hazard in the middle (but all over the place) and Torres is really alone up top.

    Bertrand plays like a pure winger (he’s really a LB) and Mata plays the right like Donovan might, not a true winger.

    Long answer to a short question.

  64. Jamie says:

    Glad to see you won’t ‘stand idly by’. Quite generous of you. We were all really hoping for someone to stand up to Jol, I see him quaking in fear as we speak.

    Moreover, your name calling in no way hurts you credibility and makes you the intellectual equivalent of who you are criticizing.

    Your argument seems to gloss over tons of relevant details, say how could Fulham ‘bully him’ as you put it when they have limited leverage (notwithstanding the ‘hatchet job’ as you put it, since you said they’ve been doing it all summer).

    Seriously, does your argument boil down to ‘Jol said something mean during heated transfer talks’? Really? You’ve never seen that happen before?

    You also failed to answer my question, if Fulham said they want to have him play for half a year and want to test the market in the winter, is that bullying? IF you think that is, you’re off your rocker. Clint has no god-given right to a transfer, he signed a contract, Fulham have every right to hold out for the deal THAT THEY THINK IS BEST, even biff the soccernomic wizard thinks they’re hurting their product.

    Let’s say that you’re right, that Jol is a lying SOB, that he has received multiple offers that are ‘firm’ and in your opinion worth CLint’s valuation-guess what, them turning those down is not bullying even if it might be not strategic.

    Moreover, as a self-professed Clint Dempsey fan, don’t you want him to leave as a free agent? Let’s see….Liverpool on a transfer, or any number of clubs who would love to have the 4th leading scorer in the EPL but won’t pay 10 mil for a dude who is 30 like Dortmund, Arsenal, Valencia, Roma, etc.

    If you are so right that Clint will ‘punish them’, why didn’t he say ‘look, I will not be a member of Fulham at the end of this year, whether you transfer me sooner or not. I will play, because I signed a contract, but I hold the power and even at age 29 a year is not that valuable to me with a team that can’t be in the CL til next year anyway. Do as you wish, but that is my decision and it will not change.” That would have been the right thing to do, and would have accomplished exactly what he wants as well.

    Oh, and somehow I doubt any American player will ever turn down Fulham because of this, that whole ‘EPL team in London with a Brian McBride bar’ thing is kind of attractive…but then again I’m sure Sean Johnson will make sure to read your post before he signs there and will realize his foolishness.

  65. Mig22 says:

    Newcastle have stabilized nicely. Getting more of the ball. I’d like to see an early sub from Chelsea. Get Oscar in there maybe for Miereles or even for Mata.

  66. chris says:

    Fiorentina v Udinese match was fantastic (Fio coming from behind in the 2nd half to win 2-1, the last goal scored in the 91’s min). Fio look fun to watch this season.

  67. Mig22 says:

    Did you watch it on BeIn? (one of the 8-12 folks in the US with access to it) or via an internet feed?

    I’m so disgusted about not having Serie A to watch this year.

  68. Mig22 says:

    What may go unnoticed about Chelsea’s performance today is how well the team played defense as a whole. That chance by Ba was the about the only real opportunity of the game. Cahill and Luiz were solid but the real defensive stars were Miereles and Mikel who just owned the center today.

  69. Citronomics says:

    I really regret that Liverpool sold Miereles. He was IMOba great compliment to Gerrard in their system. He could do some mop up work and spray sharp passes forward and get forward to assist build up, allowing Gerrard more freedom (which I think he thrives on).

    Psyched for and anxious about tomorrow’s tilt with Man City.

  70. Mig22 says:

    I never understood why so many Liverpool (and Chelsea) fans don’t rate him at all. He is quick, physical, and as you noted, is a very, very good passer.

    Good news for the Blues though so I’m happy.

    But I tell you want, if I was the Chelsea GM, I’d sell you Sturridge to make up for it. ;)

  71. Ben says:

    Let’s first hope he gets regular playing time at Villa.

  72. Ben says:

    Yeah, that was ugly. Reminded me of Holden’s injury, and had it been a few inches lower, it might have been a repeat. It’s sort of amazing that injury isn’t more common with the blades on the cleats.

  73. Lane says:

    West Ham sealed their fate today. DEMOTION!!

  74. argh dude says:

    Glad to see EDU make the move to Stoke. It’ll be tough but he will get his chances to start and make it.

    Lichaj and Guzan will both have chances to start soon. Patience my children

  75. biff says:

    The point is, Jamie, that Clint told Fulham last spring he wanted to leave and he declined to sign the contract extension. At the point, Jol and Fulham could have acknowledged Clint’s more than five years of loyalty to the club and helped facilitate a transfer for a fair fee, along the lines of announcing that they will let him go, but the price has to be right. Most clubs do this when players want to go, but not Fulham and most certainly not with Clint. Fulham put up roadblocks around Clint to discourage interest and kept bullying him to try to force him to sign the contract extension like they have done with other players in the past. Jol repeatedly has said since last spring that he hopes Clint changes his mind and stays and he is still repeating that mantra today. It’s a sorry situation and it didn’t have to be that way and Clint is not to blame and he is paying a heavy, heavy price. All that said, if Fulham does not let Clint go by August 31 for a nice 5-8 million transfer fee, then Clint will no doubt rejoin the team and fulfill his contractual obligations and leave as a free agent.

    As for Jol telling the truth, why does he keep changing his story. Jol looked pretty nervous today at Old Trafford. I mean more than just match nervousness. Maybe he knows that there are two sides to every story. And that the truth will come out.

  76. chris says:

    Actually watched a stream of BeIn that I was pointed towards on a msg board. Yeah, not happy to see Serie A once again on a channel that my carrier hasn’t picked up. Not the clearest pic on the stream, but better than just hearing about the results.

  77. southeast ronniet says:

    how do we know that clint didn’t show up for preseason sir….it was said that Jol kept clint away from the preseason affairs because he asked for the transfer and intimated that “clint’s head is not into it”…we won’t know the real truth behind this saga but assuming is not a good look for you!

  78. The Imperative Voice says:

    Salcedo from Tijuana (a rumored potential USA pool keeper) is getting from post to post making nice saves to keep Xolos ahead of America 1-0. I’d take this guy ahead of Guzan or Rimando…

  79. The Imperative Voice says:

    Two sides to every story? They got him to a European final and helped make him the player he is. He has a contract which Fayed has paid for years. They have no official offer and don’t seem to want to sell. They have reported Liverpool to the FA for their tactics. Are they not entitled to their contract and the right to say, “No?”

  80. The Imperative Voice says:

    Season’s already started, what about fulfilling that? All those of you giddy at the loss don’t acknowledge they’re playing short someone.

  81. The Imperative Voice says:

    But FFC’s position is no offer and they don’t sound interested in which case he can’t take the season off to be injury-free leaving on a free. All due respect but players get rested because the selling team doesn’t want to kill the sale playing the player and hurting him, not because it’s in the player’s sole best interest. They’re protecting their asset.

    Maybe something will happen in 6 days but if FFC is disinterested in selling then you can’t just pretend you’re trying to stay healthy for a transfer they don’t want to make. It’s a holdout.

  82. Leo says:

    “Clint got Fulham to a European final”

    Fixed that for you.

  83. Kevin_amold says:

    Since we’re fixing things here, if you’re referring to the Juventus goal, Clint got Fulham to the final 8 of a European final. He didn’t score, I don’t believe, against either Wolfsburg or Hamburg or Atletico.

    Dempsey was mostly a sub during those later rounds of Europa league. He scored a memorable goal, but Gera, Zamora, Davies, and Etuhu played far bigger roles.

  84. Leo says:

    By that rationale, if Deuce didn’t score, would they have been in the final?

    Don’t think too hard, I’m getting smoke signals over here.

  85. Kevin_amold says:

    I suppose. Point is, he didn’t play THAT big a role in the tournament. He scored a memorable goal to push the Whites ahead in a game that was headed for extra time with Juve down to 10.

    I love Dempsey, but his role in that European run was pretty limited.