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Posted at 4:37 PM ET, 11/30/2010

Video: Jonathan Spector's two goals for West Ham vs. Manchester United in Carling Cup

By Steve Goff

American Jonathan Spector, who was falling out of favor with lowly West Ham this season, scored the first two goals during a 4-0 Carling Cup demolition of Manchester United. Spector, a defender from the Chicago area who began his career in United's youth system, started in central midfield and played all 90 minutes.

By Steve Goff  | November 30, 2010; 4:37 PM ET
Categories:  Americans Abroad, England  | Tags:  Jonathan Spector  
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Good for Specs.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | November 30, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Spector-Cole for West Ham Downs United

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | November 30, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

"Spector" fifth highest trending topic WORLDWIDE on twitter. More importantly, 10th in America.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | November 30, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Spector? Must be some Twilight thing.

Posted by: Reignking | November 30, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations, Jon. He's proven once again that outside back is not his position.

Posted by: runningcloud | November 30, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse he'll re-invent himself as an attacking midfielder.
Can the US try a 2-7-1 formation?

Posted by: icehippo | November 30, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Sure, Steve Sampson is available.

Posted by: Reignking | November 30, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse


Careful. Or the next sound you hear will be Sunil Gulati rummaging around for Steve Sampson's resume.

Posted by: benonthehill | November 30, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Here's one comeback story I hope makes it to the world cup. We always need solid international defenders, losing Spector was very depressing.

I just hope he leaves that vein of form behind, and doesn't go Damarcus on us.

Posted by: UnitedDemon1 | November 30, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Spector's gotta be the greatest thing to hit this blog since at least that Kabuki thing.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | November 30, 2010 6:26 PM | Report abuse

despite poor form last season (id say mostly due to the fact that he is/was out of position at outside back)always thought BB should have plugged him (and goodson) in ahead of demerit at CB when it was clear gooch was not healthy. while BB has gone out of his way to try to boost gooch's confidence, he has done nothing for spector, including starting on the bench with a bunch of debutantes in last friendly. obviously loads of talent (Man U alum, EPL vet at 24) just has not been given a shot at proper position...

sorry for making a BB rant, but its been a while - not healthy to let simmer...

either way, seems like bottom dwelling west ham will need to make room for spector in starting 11 after this surprising development...

Posted by: rainORshine | November 30, 2010 6:41 PM | Report abuse

What do you do with a defender who's good at going forward but can't defend? Move him up...

Posted by: teo_68 | November 30, 2010 6:46 PM | Report abuse

THE ALL-ACTION RUNNER FROM AMERICA? I needs to get me a nickname like that. Wow.

Posted by: glfrazier | November 30, 2010 7:07 PM | Report abuse

really glad for him. it was tough to see him go from his great performance in the confed cup to not seeing the pitch in the world cup.
i think it's pretty safe to say we have way more midfielders than forwards, so i say it's time to move dempsey up to make room for another midfielder.

Posted by: la2stl | November 30, 2010 7:22 PM | Report abuse

anyone else find having two cup competitions in Britain (FA and league(carling))a touch redundant? just saying...

Posted by: rainORshine | November 30, 2010 8:06 PM | Report abuse

rainORshine: I agree. That's why we need to get rid of MLS Cup.

Posted by: christopher_a_metzler | November 30, 2010 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Wow! Good for Spector. Now he may get some more time at West Ham, he has been stuck on the bench for too long. He is young, has upside and can play. He needs to be on the field for the Hammers.

Posted by: Golden_Child | November 30, 2010 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Watching the replay now - he looks like the best player on the field and made a great run that set up another goal that was called back when it deflected off of him in an offside position. Small sample size caveats apply, but I don't think Spector belongs in central defense either. He has always looked best to me getting forward so I hope West Ham will give him some more time in midfield. If he can prove useful I would love to have him in the mix with the USMNT, especially since Jermaine Jones got dropped to Schalke's reserves.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | November 30, 2010 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Approximately 111 days until United's first league match of 2011.

Posted by: Curious99 | November 30, 2010 9:34 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations, Jon. He's proven once again that outside back is not his position.

Posted by: runningcloud | November 30, 2010 5:18 PM

Of course, the US does need some outside backs, but Spector looked wanting there, especially in his loimited action with West Ham.

He's always had serious skills. That's what got him into Man Utd.'s program to begin with. I'd say this effort today, especially that incredible second goal really does suggest that he's a better prospect in midfield. That was no defender slicing up the Man Utd. defense.

I'd love to see him get a look in central midfield, with West Ham or another club, and then with the USMNT. He might be exactly what the US needs there. We'll find defenders elsewhere. Lichaj will man one outside slot. Cherundolo will be in the running, and there will have to be some young player who steps up.

Posted by: fischy | November 30, 2010 11:53 PM | Report abuse

December Fools?



Posted by: jayrockers | December 1, 2010 12:06 AM | Report abuse

Seriously though,

2 goals and a third ruled out for offside. Hopefully this is the start of something for him (and West Ham) and Avram Grant doesn't do the same old thing most managers in the EPL do, trot out a weakened side in the Cups and stick with the "A" team in the League. As poor of form WHU has had this season, Specs has earned a start in the midfield. IIRC, he played there a couple of seasons ago and didn't do as poorly as he has shown in defense the last year or so.



Posted by: jayrockers | December 1, 2010 12:13 AM | Report abuse

Spector in central midfield for the MNT? I'm thoroughly unconvinced. We've got a bit of a glut at that position as it is.

Posted by: BooThisMan | December 1, 2010 1:50 AM | Report abuse

An American who actually finishes. One game does not a re-birth make but if he continues to show that he can close opportunities then he will get a chance as a mid-fielder for MNT. Our oft-mentioned glut of midfielders is a bit bogus, unless you are referring to our glut of internationally below average defensive minded midfielders who don't score, LD and CD aside - the latter of which can play up front.

Posted by: charlievox | December 1, 2010 8:19 AM | Report abuse

Glut of central midfielders, duder. Holden, Bradley, Edu, Jones. Call them internationally below average if you want, but they can all get forward, and even put the ball in the net on occasion. And I wouldn't sit any of them for Spector, even taking into account Jones's demotion and Spector's two (admittedly very nice) goals against Man U.

As for moving Dempsey up to make room for Spector, well, I don't think Jonathan's quite speedy enough to play outside mid. If Spector has a future with the USMNT, it's still on the back line.

Posted by: BooThisMan | December 1, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

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