116street Soccer

Footballing from a lesser authority...

Location: New York, New York

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Know Your Yanks: Eddie Lewis

Some have referred to him as the "American Beckham," which is probably stretching things about as far as one's cosmic powers will allow. Nevertheless, Eddie Lewis is a solid contributor, and will be a key factor for the U.S. in Germany.

Eddie Lewis is a veteran of U.S. Soccer, having made his international debut in 1996. A former member of the San Jose Clash, Lewis spent three years in MLS, finishing his San Jose chapter by making the MLS Best XI in 1999. Lewis then made a move overseas, signing with Fulham FC in 2000. At Fulham, he saw very little playing time, and in his final season there (2001-02) he only played in one match, the season finale. Lewis made another move in 2002, this time to Preston North End, where he became a regular starter, before transferring to Leeds United in 2005. At Leeds, Lewis has become a key player, and he helped them get within one game of promotion to the Premiership in 2006.
Lewis is a natural left-wing midfielder, with deceptive speed, ball-control and dribbling skills. He is the U.S.' most gifted crosser and free-kick taker, leading some fans to refer to him as the "American Beckham." After playing in midfield for most of his USA career, the emergence of DaMarcus Beasley in 2002 caused Lewis to go first to the bench, but later to the left-back position, which he has claimed a starting role in. His ability to get forward and provide quality crosses has made him a valued player in that role, and enables Beasley (or Bobby Convey) to get further forward. He has made great strides defensively, and will not be seen as a liability against the world's best wingers and forwards.

Career Highlights:

1996: Makes pro debut with the San Jose Clash (USA, Major League Soccer). Makes U.S. Men's National Team debut.

1999: Named to MLS Best XI.

2000: Joins Fulham FC, (England, Division One) from MLS on a $2 million transfer.

2001: Gains promotion to Premier League with Fulham.

2002: Joins Preston North End (England, League Championship) from Fulham on an $800,000 transfer. Wins Gold Cup with USA. Advances to World Cup quarterfinals with USA, before elimination against Germany.

2005: Joins Leeds United (England, League Championship) from Preston on a free transfer.


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