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Coleman ‘disappointed’ by heavy defeat

Fulham concluded their pre-season tour of the US with a 4-1 defeat at the hands of the MLS All-Stars on Saturday.

Speaking after the match, Fulham Manager Chris Coleman was clearly disappointed with this side’s showing.

“The MLS boys are a good team and they got stronger as the game went on and we got weaker,” he said. “There’s always a possibility of that happening but I’m not making excuses for my guys. There are things that I won’t accept as a manager, certainly defensively, but I’ve let the players know that.

“There was always a danger that we were going to find it hard today. They scored two in the last five minutes which goes to show that we’re not fit yet. Our play wasn’t as good as it should be but that’s what pre-season’s for.

“I knew they were going to be two tough games, I was impressed with Crew on Wednesday, they played very good football, were fit and organised. I knew that today was going to be even harder but that’s what we want – tough games.

“Today we saw that we’re not quite there yet. There are a lot of things that we need to work hard on and we don’t want to be brushing things under the carpet.”

Mark Crossley’s involvement in the match lasted only 31 minutes. The big Welsh stopper had to be replaced shortly after the All-Stars took the lead when he sustained an injury. He was replaced by Jaroslav Drobny, himself not fully fit.

“Mark injured himself when he went down for the first goal so we had to put Jaro Drobny on, who is only 50% fit,” Coleman explained. “We’re certainly concerned now that we’ve got two weeks left, we’ve got some tough thinking to do regarding our goalkeepers but Mark thinks he’s going to be OK for Birmingham.”

All Stars thump Fulham

Fulham are still yet to record a win in pre-season after their fixture against an MLS All-Stars team ended in a comprehensive 4-1 defeat.

The Premiership outfit also lost to Columbus Crew during their tour to America and boss Chris Coleman will be left rueing his side’s inability to find the net after another fruitless performance.

United States international Landon Donovan helped the MLS composite side take the lead as he played in Taylor Twellman who slotted in past veteran keeper Mark Crossley on 23 minutes.

However, Fulham responded just 13 minutes later as Claus Jensen scored from the penalty spot after Chris Albright felled Portuguese winger Luis Boa Morte.

The hosts then began to take charge after the break as Ronnie O’Brien deflected Clint Dempsey’s volley past new signing Jaroslav Drobny on 56 minutes.

The Czech custodian then conceded two in the final ten minutes as Jeff Cunningham came off the bench to claim a brace.

The Colorado Rapids hitman, top scorer in the MLS this season, showed his prowess in front of goal as he fired in of the post before converting a driving run from the centre circle.

Fulham newboys Heidar Helguson and Niclas Jensen also featured in the defeat as Coleman looks to determine his starting eleven in time for the new Premiership season.

MLS ALL STARS (4-4-2): Reis (Garlick 89); Albright (Guerrero 45), Conrad, Vanney, Hejduk; O’Brien (Parkhurst 84), Joseph, Valakari, Dempsey (Cunningham 68); Twellman (Davis 75), Donovan (Gomez 64).

BOOKED: Cunningham.

GOALS: Twellman (23), O’Brien (56), Cunningham (86, 89).

FULHAM (4-4-2): Crossley (Drobny 31); Volz, Bocanegra (Goma 61), Knight, N. Jensen; Malbranque (Elrich 90), Rehman (Legwinski 75), C. Jensen, Boa Morte, McBride (John 61), Radzinski (Helguson 68).


GOAL: C. Jensen (36).

REFEREE:  Ricardo Valenzuela