Spector Returns in Style

After weeks of being mired on the bench (or not even dressing) for West Ham in the Premier League, U.S. defender Jonathan Spector got a start in the Carling Cup yesterday and made the most of it, scoring two goals in the Hammers’ stunning 4-0 quarterfinal win over Manchester United, Spector’s former team.

The rangy Illinois native, who began his youth international career as a striker, started in midfield last night, and opened the scoring in the 22nd minute, athletically heading home a lob from Victor Obinna.

Fifteen minutes later, he and Obinna combined again, as Spector made a beautiful solo run, laid a ball into the box for Obinna, and when it got away from the Nigerian winger, pounced on the loose ball and buried it from nine yards.

Carlton Cole scored the Hammers’ other two goals on this snowy night at Upton Park, completely skinning Man U centerback Johnny Evans on both.

The victory puts West Ham in the semis with Arsenal, 2-0 winners over Wigan yesterday.

Today, Birmingham City takes on Aston Villa while Ipswich Town hosts West Brom to determine the other semifinalists.

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