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Prediction Time

For each of the past 8 seasons, I’ve posted my Barclays Premier League predictions with mixed results. So now I debut my picks here at HammyEnd.com so you may all have a good laugh at the “yank” when May comes around.

Feel free to post your preseason table predictions as well.

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Aldo de Nigris To Fulham?

Mexican international Aldo de Nigris has been “vaguely” rumored to be heading to Craven Cottage. The 27 year old, who had a breakout performance during Mexico’s 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup title run, is currently playing for Mexican first division club Monterrey.

The following comes from a Sky Sports article:

A mystery Premier League team are believed to be leading the race to sign Mexico Gold Cup hero Aldo De Nigris.

The Monterrey striker scored three goals during Mexico’s march to the CONCACAF title last month and is on the radar of a number of European sides.

Celtic had been strongly linked while Spanish side Deportivo de La Coruna were in the running before their relegation from the Primera Liga in May.

Now, though, the 27-year-old claims ‘advanced negotiations’ have taken place with a European team, but he has been instructed to contain his excitement.

He said: “There is a very advanced negotiation with a European team that is interested in me. They have seen me in action during the Gold Cup and have sent a proposal to Monterrey.

“I can’t say the name of the team, the only thing that I can say is that it belongs to a very important European league, one of the most important ones.

“It’s a team that has the chance to play in the Europa League next year. I can’t say the name of the team because I have been asked not to.

“In the next days I will be having a meeting with the board members of Monterrey, but they have already said to me that there will not be any problem in letting me go.”

Tottenham, Fulham and Stoke are the only Premier League sides who will participate in the Europa League next season, while Sevilla, Atletico Madrid and Athletic Bilbao are the representatives of Spain’s top division.

While it has been documented that Martin Jol wants to “go young” this summer, something can be said of picking up a hot striker who is hitting his stride at the age of 27. Aldo has scored 36 goals for Monterrey since first joining the club on loan during the 2008-2009 season, 31 of which have come during the last two seasons after joining the club on a permanent basis.

For Mexico, he earned his first senior team call up in 2010, earning two caps. He was named to the 2011 Gold Cup squad, scoring two goals in friendlies in the lead up to the Gold Cup and 4 goals during the Gold Cup itself. Only Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez (7) scored more goals during the Gold Cup while scoring more goals than Fulham ace, USA’s beloved Clint Dempsey (3).

If the price is right, I would pull the trigger on this in a heartbeat. I also wouldn’t be shocked if a swap with Carlos Salcido was involved, as it’s no secret that Salcido not only wants to return to Mexico, but specifically, wants to play for Monterrey.

Clint Nets USA Winner. “Possible” Battle v Salcido Looms

Once again, Clint Dempsey comes up with a big goal at a crucial time in a must win match. Seems like a broken record, but it’s the truth. Clint’s goal in the 77th minute was the cherry on top of a sundae built by Freddy Adu & Landon Donovan which gave the United States a 1-0 victory over Panama and thus punching their ticket to the final.

Freddy found Landon, who found space & eventually…a sliding Deuce for the winner. Once again, not the best U.S. performance ever, but we’ve reached yet another CONCACAF Gold Cup final versus Mexico. Wait, doesn’t another Fulham player suit up for “El Tri?”

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Clint Dempsey. Wow (and not in a good way)

The United States dominated Guadeloupe for 90 minutes Tuesday night. Luckily, we walked away with a 1-0 victory in the final CONCACAF Gold Cup group match, thanks to a first half thunderbolt from Jozy Altidore.

As for Clint Dempsey, I’m not sure if you can play well and have a crap performance at the same time, but that’s the only way I can describe his performance tonight. He had near misses, goofy attempts on goal & mucked up an absolute sitter a mere foot or two in front of the net. The sad thing is, Clint wasn’t the only one to miss an absolute sitter. I was pulling out what little hair I have, trust me.

Oakland Raiders owner, Al Davis, coined the phrase “just win baby” and I suppose I should feel good that we got our “must win” tonight and thus advancing to the Gold Cup Quarterfinals versus Jamaica this Sunday. But I’m having a hard time not looking ahead. Right now, I’m saying we’re not good enough to win the Gold Cup and that is very troubling to me, as we had positioned ourselves over the past few years as the region’s #1 team.

As for Clint, hell, everyone has an off night. He’ll be ready to go on Sunday.

See Clint Dempsey’s scorpion kick

I found it! If you look closely, you’ll notice the shot was on target but deflected off the Canadian defender. Enjoy:


On a side note, both Galavision videos I’ve posted have looked like crap during the opening seconds. Can someone translate “Sort that out” in Spanish for me?

UPDATE: Unfortunately, Jason’s video is not available for UK readers. You’ll have to make to with these highlights of the match instead: