U.S. national team midfielder Clint Dempsey resurrected Fulham's flagging Premier League campaign with both goals in Saturday's 2-0 win over Wigan, the Cottager's first league triumph in seven weeks and just their second all season.
Since proving his worth to new manager Mark Hughes, Dempsey has been in outstanding form. He now has four goals in his past six Premier League appearances. He tallied his first against Blackburn on Sept. 18 and found net again on Oct. 2 against West Ham.
He doubled his total in a 14-minute span during the first half of Saturday's game at Craven Cottage.
The first came in the 30th minute off a cross from Mexican international Carlos Salcido. Rivals back in North America, Dempsey and Salcido have become quite the pairing in London. The defender set up Dempsey's goal against Blackburn last month, and on Saturday his pass from the left wing found the Texan at the six-yard line, where he rose and headed it back inside the right post. They celebrated like best friends.
The second goal may have been even more impressive, a lighting-quick half volley off a difficult ball from Northern Ireland's Chris Baird. It came just a minute before half time and put the match out of reach for the Latics.
The win lifted Fulham (2-6-2) up to eighth in the Premier League, at least temporarily.
There is no American abroad in better form than Dempsey right now. Here's the video:
Meanwhile, in Scotland, U.S. midfielder Maurice Edu grabbed his second goal of the season for Rangers. His first came 10 days before in a UEFA Champions League game against Valencia. Unfortunately for Edu, he scored for both teams that day, and the Scottish champions were forced to settle for a 1-1 tie.
Edu put his side into the lead again in Saturday's Scottish Premier League game against Inverness CT, and did so in outstanding fashion. Rangers enjoyed some nice possession in midfield before Edu was set free with a pass from Steven Davis (another Northern Irishman) floated toward the left side of the penalty area.
Rangers would once again fail to win a game in which Edu scored, however. Caley equalized in the 81st minute. The draw dropped Rangers to 9-0-1. The lead the SPL by a point over eternal rivals Celtic.
Here's Edu's brilliant goal at Ibrox:
And that wasn't all. Down in the English third division, former Duke Blue Devil Mike Grella gave lifted his Carlisle United side to a 1-1 draw with Bristol Rovers on an 87th minute goal.
Carlisle's Web site described the goal like this:
United got their equalizer on 87 minutes when Ben Marshall took the ball to the bye line and cut it back. MIke Grella was there to score his second in two games with a first time shot that took (Rovers goalie Mikkel) Andersen out of it.
Grella's first goal for Carlisle came last week in a 4-3 loss to Charlton Athletic. United trailed 3-0 when he launched the comeback bid with a goal in the 58th. The match was 3-3 when Charlton snatched the winner in the 90th.
Grella, 23, has represented the U.S. at the under-17 and under-20 levels. He was drafted by Toronto FC last year but chose Europe instead, and signed with fallen English power Leeds United. His playing time was intermittent, however, and he was loaned to Carlisle this fall to ensure he got more minutes.
Carlisle is 5-4-5 and in 10th place in League One.