031813_isi_dempseyclint_bpi_totthotsvpana.fr59 Ben Queenborough/isiphotos.com
Rising and Falling

Clint Dempsey Keeps Tottenham's Hopes Alive

The American star comes into the match late and keeps the Spurs in the Champions League hunt; one of Major League Soccer's early surprises falls to earth and a goalie struggles mightily.
BY Jon Arnold Posted
May 15, 2013
11:00 AM
Who’s Hot?
Clint Dempsey—There are times, like when he’s riding the pine for the majority of a vital match against Chelsea, when doubt about Dempsey at Spurs creeps in. There are other times, like when he’s willing Tottenham to victory against Stoke and a Champions League position by scoring one goal and assisting the other, when that doubt is washed away. Arsenal jumped back into the fourth spot midweek, but the ASN #2 is clearly in Andre Villas-Boas’ rotation and won’t look out of place at all should his club make the Champions League.

Kyle Beckerman—Few are as divisive as Beckerman, but he’s making sure Jurgen Klinsmann has every reason to call him into another camp. It might feel like cheating to include him the week after he scores a goal, but there was far more than that from the midfielder last week. He was Real Salt Lake’s best player in both a win against New England and the loss against Montreal, excelling both in his own third and in the opponent’s. With Salt Lake’s defense seeming a little green, he’s had more responsibility in that department but is still finding times to get forward and put in shots or, yes, even clean up set pieces for goals.
Who’s Not?
Mike Magee—The Galaxy midfeidler blasted out of the starting gates this season and scored as recently as April 27, but it was a bad week for Magee. He was a non-factor in both LA’s matches last week—a 1-0 defeat to Houston and a 3-1 loss in Vancouver. Against the Whitecaps, particularly, Magee’s defensive shortcomings were glaring with previously average Vancouver players looking top class coming down the Galaxy’s left side. Magee still sits second in MLS in goals scored, and it’s not like one bad week puts you on the scrap heap, but those “Call him up!” shouts don’t seem quite as plausible at the moment.

Bill Hamid—It’s bad enough for Hamid to have to deal with DC United’s back line—though the back line has had to deal with some howlers from the young keeper as well—but now? Now the starting job is in question after Joe Willis did a bang-up job Sunday in a loss to league-leading FC Dallas. Hamid and fellow “keeper of the future” Sean Johnson have taken their knocks. There are also highlight-reel saves that show why they have those labels in the first place, but Hamid won’t get too far with the national team if he can’t keep the starting role with MLS’s worst team.

Jon Arnold (@ArnoldcommaJon) is a writer based in Arizona and is ASN's CONCACAF correspondent.

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