Featured Matches
Previous
Germany
Argentina
ESPNDeportes Sep 3, 2014 6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Czech Republic
United States
Sep 3, 2014 6:15 PM GMT
Game Details
England
Norway
Sep 3, 2014 7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Philadelphia Union
Toronto FC
Sep 3, 2014 11:00 PM GMT
Game Details
New England Revolution
Sporting Kansas City
Sep 3, 2014 11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Chivas USA
Seattle Sounders FC
Sep 3, 2014 2:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Crewe Alexandra
Rochdale
0
3
FT
Game Details
Oldham Athletic
Bradford City
1
0
FT
Game Details
Accrington Stanley
Carlisle United
1
3
FT
Game Details
Barnsley
York City
2
0
FT
Game Details
Fleetwood Town
Morecambe
1
3
FT
Game Details
Notts County
Mansfield Town
2
0
FT
Game Details
Preston North End
Shrewsbury Town
1
0
FT
Game Details
Scunthorpe United
Chesterfield
2
0
FT
Game Details
AFC Wimbledon
Southend United
(3) 3
(2) 3
FT-Pens
Game Details
Cheltenham Town
Oxford United
2
0
FT
Game Details
Crawley Town
Cambridge United
2
0
FT
Game Details
Peterborough United
Leyton Orient
2
3
FT
Game Details
Stevenage
Gillingham
0
1
FT
Game Details
Wycombe Wanderers
Coventry City
0
1
FT
Game Details
Yeovil Town
Portsmouth
1
3
FT
Game Details
Ballymena
Institute
2
1
FT
Game Details
Cliftonville
Linfield
0
0
FT
Game Details
Coleraine
Crusaders
2
6
FT
Game Details
Dungannon Swifts
Warrenpoint Town
0
2
FT
Game Details
Glenavon
Ballinamallard Utd
1
0
FT
Game Details
Glentoran
Portadown
1
1
FT
Game Details
Sp. Belgrano
Huracán
1
1
FT
Game Details
Atlético Tucumán
Temperley
0
0
LIVE 0'
Game Details
ABC
CR Vasco da Gama
2
1
FT
Leg 2Aggregate: 3 - 2
Game Details
Goianiense
Boa MG
0
3
FT
Game Details
Paraná Clube
Sampaio Correa-MA
0
0
FT
Game Details
Portuguesa de Desportos
Joinville
1
1
LIVE 82'
Game Details
Next

Top 5: First XI costs in Premier League

Transfers 17 hours ago
Read

West Ham fan's fundraiser

The Toe Poke 5 hours ago
Read
Sep 19, 2005

Spector aims to boost World Cup credentials

Jonathan Spector has an uncanny ability to seize opportunities. The 19-year old has been doing it for his entire soccer career.

Perhaps Spector's maturity helps him make the best of his situations. Soft-spoken and polite off the field, the young American plays with the poise and tranquillity common among world-class defenders, exerting a calming influence when he's on the field.

Spector, who signed with Manchester United in the summer of 2003, exudes a quiet confidence of someone ten years his senior. Now on loan to Charlton Athletic of the English Premier League, the young American looks at the loan spell as merely his latest chance to excel.

"Here I have a better chance of first-team football," said Spector. "I want to break into the first team here. Once that happens, anything can happen."

Spector's made a habit of capitalizing on opportunities early on in his career. At a youth tournament in Northern Ireland, injuries to his team's backline forced his coach to throw Spector, who at that point in his career was a striker, in as a defender.

Despite having never played defence, he took the field and accounted well for himself. So well, in fact, that he drew the attention of a Manchester United scout in attendance. Before long, he had signed with the Red Devils at the age of 17.

Spector played five times with Manchester United's first team last season, with his first start coming in a Champions League qualifier against Dinamo Bucharest. However, he found it difficult to play regularly.

"Alex Ferguson thought it would be good for me to go out on loan," said Spector. "It's difficult to break into the squad because they have so many talented players.

"But at the same time, I really enjoy being there. You can learn so much from playing and watching the best players in the world."

He caught on with Addicks from the onset, but an injury cost him his spot on the first team before the season started.

"In preseason, he looked perhaps our best defender," said Charlton boss Alan Curbishley. "Unfortunately, he picked up a slight hamstring strain two weeks before the season started and wasn't fit for the first game."

Spector attributes the hamstring strain to overuse. Instead of a summer break, he travelled to the Netherlands to compete with the U.S. U-20 team in the World Youth Championships, where he picked up another injury.

However, he's fully healthy now and Curbishley gave Spector his Charlton debut against Chelsea Saturday as a substitute.

He subbed on in the 70th minute for the veteran defender Chris Powell. But by the time Spector entered the game, Chelsea had struck twice and already proceeded to squeeze the life out of the game. However, Spector competed solidly in his first appearance in front of the home fans, who may not have much longer to enjoy their new star.

In the postgame, Curbishley hinted that Manchester United might come calling for his young defender's services around Christmas. An injury to star left back Gabriel Heinze, who could be out for the season after suffering ligament damage against Villarreal Wednesday, has once again thinned the Red Devils' back line.

A Chrismas-time call-back to Manchester United would remind Spector strongly of what happened on his Christmas vacation one year ago. Last season, Spector went to the U.S. fully expecting to go on loan to Blackburn. However, injuries in defense forced Ferguson to call Spector on his cell phone during a family dinner. Before he knew it, his winter vacation was over and he was back on a plane to the U.K.

In front of him lies his biggest opportunity to date. He's hoping a strong season for Charlton Athletic will earn a spot on the United States World Cup squad.

He made his national team debut as a second-half substitute against Jamaica on November 17th of last year. He hopes the "surreal" experience will be the first of many caps for Uncle Sam.

He's also honest about his desire to represent his country in next year's World Cup in Germany. "It would be especially important for me because I have a German background. We still have family over there," said Spector, who's mother immigrated to Chicago from Germany at the age of four.

In fact, it was his German connection that helped him secure his transfer to Manchester United in the first place. Spector's German passport allowed him to skirt the rules that deny work permits to people under the age of 18.

"It's something I would relish," Spector said about playing in the World Cup. "At the same time, I don't pick the teams. But right now, I'm concentrated on what I need to do here."

He believes if he prepares himself as best he can, his national team dreams will sort themselves out.

"He's just waiting for his opportunity," Curbishley said, summing up his young player's football career. "I'm sure when it comes along, he'll grab it."

Andrew Winner is a freelance writer who covers U.S. soccer for ESPN Soccernet.com. He can be reached at andrewwinner@gmail.com