Premier League stars have gotten 1,508% salary increase since 1992, as CNN's Jim Boulden explains.
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Clint Dempsey leans forward in his seat and tells a story. Back in his hometown of Nacogdoches, Texas, during his days in the second grade, an old, crusty gym teacher named Coach Long staged a kickball game one afternoon between the boys and the girls. Dempsey played hard, just like he always does, but then came an unexpected twist.
Martin Skrtel's early own goal gave Fulham a historic first win at Anfield on Tuesday and left Liverpool in danger of finishing outside the top eight in the English top flight for the first time since 1954.
With the derisory and ironic chants of "Hodgson for England" from the Anfield crowd ringing fresh in his ears, following Liverpool's stunning and stultifying 1-0 home loss to then bottom-placed Wolves, coach Roy Hodgson committed probably the final fatal two verbal missteps in what has been a tortuous six-month reign.
Chelsea still have work to do if they are to qualify for next season's Champions League after dropping points in a 1-1 draw at Fulham in the English Premier League on Monday night.
Wayne Rooney's first half goal gave Manchester United a 1-0 win over Fulham Monday to go back to the top of the English Premier League.
It usually goes one of two ways when a Premier League club signs a forward previously prolific in Holland: He could be a bust, like Mateja Kezman and Afonso Alves, or a hit, like Ruud van Nistelrooy and Luis Suarez. The path is a well-trodden one. In the last 20 years, only three forwards who top-scored in the Eredivisie have not played in England (Nikos Machlas, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, who may yet end up in the Premier League, and Bjorn Vleminckx, last season's top scorer).
Five things we learned from Saturday's action in the Barclays Premier League:
Five things we learned from the week's action in the Barclays Premier League
Two goals in the last five minutes gave Fulham a 2-1 Premier League home win over Arsenal on Monday to continue the recent run of shock results in England's top division.
The Manchester clubs City and United moved further ahead in England's Premier League on Wednesday, while Luis Suarez's Liverpool lost ground on the leaders after dropping points at Wigan.
These days, Everton needs Landon Donovan a lot more than the Los Angeles Galaxy captain needs the Premier League club.
It would be easy for Zak Whitbread to look back at the last nine months and think about what could have been.With better-timed good health, the 27-year-old Norwich City center back may already be on his way to the international career that has yet to materialize.
The "always a bridesmaid, never a bride" quips about Brad Guzan's European career can head to the back burner. At long last, Guzan is Aston Villa's No. 1 goalkeeper. With Monday's word that regular starter Shay Given will be out for the next month after tearing his hamstring in the first half of Aston Villa's 1-0 loss to Manchester United on Saturday, the Villans will turn to the 27-year-old Illinois native between the pipes. Guzan looked at ease upon entering against the Red Devils and didn't concede a goal, though he was hardly put to the test in 52 minutes.
The upset bug made its way around Europe over the weekend, with Mainz beating German power Bayern Munich and Getafe taming the all-mighty Barcelona, but for a few U.S. national team starters, their teams couldn't quite come up with the efforts necessary to stake claims to landmark Thanksgiving weekend victories against top competition.
The renaissance months for DaMarcus Beasley and Herculez Gomez have come to an abrupt halt.
Josh Gatt wasn't on the field as his team cemented a monumental achievement, but that doesn't mean he won't be able to reap the benefits of his club's first league championship.
The last time Herculez Gomez was on this kind of a run, he ended up with a scoring title and a ticket to South Africa.
The UEFA Europa League is seen by some as a schedule-congesting, second-rate competition.
The Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew admitted that his side had been "lucky" to beat Wolverhampton Wanderers, who "deserved a point at the very least." You needed the fingers of both hands to count the saves that the goalkeeper Tim Krul had to make at Molineux, including two impressive stops with his feet that kept Kevin Doyle and Steven Fletcher from scoring, and only a dubious call from the referee's assistant prevented a last gasp equalizer. It is still far too early in the season for the Premier League table to be much worth looking at, and Toon must navigate a course past Tottenham, both Manchester clubs and Chelsea in upcoming fixtures.
The rotating door at the U.S. Soccer infirmary, one that always seems to have high-profile inhabitants, keeps on turning.
If only Jozy Altidore and Robbie Findley had found this kind of form 15 months ago.
With a new era of U.S. Soccer under way, all Americans playing their club soccer either overseas or in Mexico have a clean slate with which to work in order to make an impression on new national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann.
Alejandro Bedoya might not have been included on Bob Bradley's CONCACAF Gold Cup roster, but there's not a whole lot more he could be doing for his club team in Sweden right now.
With most soccer leagues in Europe either finished or within a few games of finishing, the future is becoming even more clear for the contingent of Americans playing overseas.
On Wednesday evening in West London, Clint Dempsey became Fulham's top scorer in the Premier League era, scoring in each half against Bolton to first match and then surpass the benchmark of 32 set by fellow American Brian McBride and Steed Malbranque. It was somehow fitting that he should reach this milestone -- and in some style -- while all eyes were elsewhere, on the trumpeted and tempestuous Champions League meeting between Real Madrid and Barcelona. His quality seems forever caught in soccer's peripheral vision.
He scores with his left He scores with his right That boy Clint Dempsey Makes Drogba look ...
As the calendar gets set to turn to May, there's no better time to assess the promotion and European competition hopes and relegation fears among the Americans playing abroad.
The owner of an English Premier League football club has told supporters they can "go to hell" if they object to a newly erected statue of Michael Jackson outside the club's stadium.
With one unfortunate tackle, Stuart Holden's breakout season is over.
In what is becoming a historic season for U.S. soccer star Clint Dempsey, the Fulham midfielder had a chance to shock the English Premier League on Monday. During injury time of a scoreless game with Chelsea, Dempsey did what he does best, creating something out of nothing and drawing a penalty on defender David Luiz. Suddenly Dempsey found himself standing over a spot kick with the chance to steal a victory and, in the process, break Brian McBride's record for the most goals scored by an American (nine) in an English Premier League season.
Clint Dempsey was seemingly on the path to deliver again when Fulham was on the cusp of a landmark victory. He put in the dirty work, got himself into position to make a game-winning play and then did the unthinkable.
The fourth round of the FA Cup interrupted the Premier League calendar over the weekend, which meant the handful of eliminated top-flight clubs were not in action. Here are a few thoughts on some that were:
In a banner week for Americans in England, the one player who scored two goals might have turned in the third-most notable performance.
On this week's episode of "The Transfer Season," one American gets his final clearance to go overseas, one gets freed from his manager's doghouse and a few more get their names on the transaction ticker.
The winter transfer season is in full swing, and plenty of Americans have had their names tossed around in the daily rumor mill in one form or another, for better or for worse.
Christmas is a time for sharing, a time for caring and a time for firing your manager before the yawning jaws of relegation snap shut. Since the weather put paid to seven of the weekend's nine fixtures, let's have a look at who's in the danger zone:
The ever-growing highlight reel of top-notch, club-level goals scored by Americans has a new addition. And for the first time in a while, it is not another Clint Dempsey special.
During a weekend when most Americans were giving thanks, one soccer team in England once again showered thanks upon its star American.
Fortunately most United States soccer fans had their eyes on MLS Cup this past week, because there wasn't a whole host of memorable moments involving the Americans playing abroad.
With the opening of the European transfer window less than two months away, the United States' friendly against South Africa on Wednesday will be an excellent time for a few Americans stationed abroad to receive some much-needed exposure.
There's only one word to describe Ian Holloway's reaction to the suggestion that he might be fined for making 10 changes to his team against Aston Villa this week: apoplexy.
Clarence Goodson is taking his talents to the western outskirts of Copenhagen.
For at least one week, the discussion about the lack of U.S. goal scorers can be put to rest.
Glasgow Rangers and U.S. midfielder Maurice Edu experienced most of the peaks and valleys a professional soccer player in Europe can in a span of five days.
Thoughts on the weekend's action in the Barclays Premier League:
Upon returning from international duty, only a handful of Americans had successful transitions back into their clubs.
Clint Dempsey didn't need any assistance from Robert Green this time around.
Remember, Benny Feilhaber was born in Brazil.
Gale Agbossoumonde is widely regarded as one of the U.S.' top center back prospects, and within a few weeks' time he will no longer be team-less.
Amid plenty of discouraging "Did not play" or "Not in the 18" casualties, there were a few positive firsts last weekend for some U.S. national-team veterans playing overseas.
With the qualifying rounds and draws of the major European competitions in the rear-view mirror, a number of Americans learned their UEFA Champions League or Europa League fates this past week.
Seventeen years and seventeen days ago, I fell in love in the back of a cab. I was in a London black cab on my way to Wembley Stadium, which is like riding a rickshaw to the Great Wall of China or a camel to the Great Pyramid of Giza. That is to say, I was traveling to a postcard icon in a postcard icon when I fell in love with soccer.
In what was a rather quiet week for American soccer players abroad, aside from Sacha Kljestan's second goal for RSC Anderlecht and Clint Dempsey's returning to the starting lineup for Fulham, one up-and-comer managed to make some serious career headway.
There is always something to enjoy about a World Cup, and South Africa was no exception. But the verdict this summer was that we'd all seen better. So much of the soccer was mind-numbingly defensive and the final was so teeth-grindingly short of the occasion. We emerged from the tournament nursing something like a hangover, squinting and groggy, with a bit of a thirst on.
After all the hype and speculation surrounding a major transfer for Michael Bradley in the aftermath of the World Cup, the 23-year-old New Jersey native stayed put at Borussia Monchengladbach, and the Bundesliga club couldn't be happier to have him.
Managers are a bit like prom dates: It always feels better to have one whom everyone else wanted. So it is perhaps understandable that, having initially had their team's advances warmly received by the massively popular Martin Jol, some Fulham fans are not quite so excited about buying a wristlet for the slightly less affable Mark Hughes instead.
The Premier League is effectively a series of mini-leagues, and for many sides, seeking promotion or avoiding relegation is the main goal of the season. There is a clutch of sides for whom relegation should be no more than a distant threat, but for whom European qualification is an impossibly distant prospect. Here we look at three of the mid-table sides that may be moving up or down a notch this season:
Roy Hodgson arrived at Fulham in 2007 without much fanfare. He was regarded, probably largely because of an unhappy spell at Blackburn Rovers, as a mediocre manager who'd had reasonable success abroad with a string of mid-ranked countries -- Finland, Switzerland, Sweden -- but who couldn't really cut it at the highest level. His two years of rebuilding work at Internazionale in the 1990s, in which the Italian club finished seventh and third and reached the final of the UEFA Cup, was broadly ignored.
Bob Bradley's ability to squeeze a second-round appearance from a roster only marginally talented by World Cup standards has renewed an old debate, one that occasionally goes around the proverbial U.S. soccer supporters' table.
After two months at SI.com, I think I'm just about due a Mailbag column. The first thing to tackle is the mountain of mail I received after picking my Premier League Team of the Season, particularly on the absence of one man: Cesc Fabregas.
If Liverpool had played its entire season at home, it'd be in fourth right now, cosily certain of Champions League football after the summer and in absolutely no danger of finishing below noisy neighbors Everton. The team has taken an impressive 28 of the last 30 available league points at Anfield.
Barely a year ago, the drinking fan's Bobby Zamora chant of choice was thus: "When you're sat in Row Z and the ball hits your head, that's Zamora."
What a difference a week makes. Twelve goals in two games has put Chelsea right on the shoulder of Manchester United -- its opponent this weekend -- and given the Blues the Premier League's healthiest goal difference.
On perhaps the best first day ever of the NCAA basketball tournament -- and believe me, folks, I still watch -- the madness wasn't confined to the U.S. side of the Atlantic. As soon as U.S. midfielder Clint Dempsey scored his brilliantly delicate chip for Fulham to cap a four-goal rally that sank mighty Juventus in the Europa League Round of 16 and sent Cottagers fans into hysterics, variations of this question started rolling into my Twitter account:
There's cigar smoke and perfume in the evening air as the thronging masses head to Castle Limey for our annual awards ceremony. Only one man is headed the other way: a winking, temperamental, petulant, prima donna flagging down a lift to Madrid. Are you sitting comfortably now, the chilled Taittinger bubbling to perfection? Team Limey takes the stage.
It's a windy Saturday morning in New York City, the kind of day I'd normally spend holed up in my apartment working. Instead I've ventured out of bed to Clancy's, a midtown Manhattan Irish pub, to watch football -- the kind where you can't use your hands.
Midseason acquisitions have had big impacts on MLS races going back to D.C. United's Jaime Moreno in the inaugural 1996 season. In 2008, Brian McBride (Chicago), Darren Huckerby (San Jose), Nate Jaqua (Houston) and Jorge Rojas (New York) have boosted the chances of their respective teams of making the MLS playoffs.
With the English Premier League kicking off on Saturday, Team Limey took some time out to discuss the 2008-09 season with Arsenal and England legend Martin Keown.
Three weeks after helping rescue Fulham FC from the relegation abyss to stay up in the English Premier League, Kasey Keller has a decision to make. Should the 38-year-old American goalkeeper stay with Fulham, even if it means serving as a backup behind new signing Mark Schwarzer? Should Keller follow Brian McBride out the door and finish up his career in Major League Soccer -- specifically his hometown Seattle Sounders FC, which debuts in MLS next season?
Chelsea vs. Manchester United: They're now in a two-horse race to be both English and European champions. With only two games left in the Premier League season, they're tied on points and, once that's resolved, they'll contest the small matter of the European Cup final on May 21 in Moscow.