US SoccerUS Soccer

McBride Beats Keller, Gets Game Winner in Return to EPL

U.S. international forward Brian McBride made the most of his 58th minute debut Saturday for Fulham FC as he took just nine minutes in his return to the English Premier League to find the back of the net. He now has five goals in a total of nine EPL games after scoring four in eight apperances for Everton last campaign.

McBride, who was playing on the same side as U.S. international defender Carlos Bocanegra, scored the game winner in the 67th minute putting the ball past U.S. goalkeeper Kasey Keller to give Fulham a 2-1 win over Tottenham.

This occassion marks only the third time that two American-born players appeared for the same team in an EPL game since the EPL was created in 1992-93. McBride and a Norwegian named Espen Baardsen, who was born in San Rafael, Calif., played one game together for Everton last year while McBride was there on loan; and John Harkes and an Englishman named Steve Potts, who was born in Hartford, Conn., played 11 games together for West Ham during the 1995-96 season.

This is the second time that two U.S. National Team players played in the same game along with Cobi Jones and South-African born Roy Wegerle played 15 games together for Coventry in 1994-95.

With Bocanegra and Keller already on the pitch as a starter, McBride came on for Barry Hayles in the 58th minute. He nearly scored in the 65th minute as he tried to chip Keller, but the goalkeeper did well to make the save. Two minutes later McBride put a rebound in the back of the net after Keller had saved an initial shot by Fulham defender Ian Pearce.

A space opened in the Fulham rotation when striker Louis Saha was sold to Manchester United last week. Saha became the teammate of U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard, who also had a solid match despite giving up two goals in a 3-2 win over Southampton.