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Jonathan Spector

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Title: Jonathan Spector  
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Subject: Jonathan Bornstein, Oguchi Onyewu, History of the United States men's national soccer team, Landon Donovan, Ricardo Clark
Collection: 1986 Births, 2007 Concacaf Gold Cup Players, 2009 Fifa Confederations Cup Players, 2010 Fifa World Cup Players, 2011 Concacaf Gold Cup Players, American Expatriate Soccer Players, American Expatriate Sportspeople in the United Kingdom, American People of English Descent, American People of German Descent, American People of Irish Descent, American Soccer Players, Association Football Defenders, Birmingham City F.C. Players, Charlton Athletic F.C. Players, Chicago Fire Premier Players, Chicago Fire U-23 Players, Chicago Sockers Players, Concacaf Gold Cup-Winning Players, Expatriate Footballers in England, Living People, Manchester United F.C. Players, Naturalized Citizens of Germany, Parade High School All-Americans (Boys' Soccer), People from Arlington Heights, Illinois, Premier Development League Players, Premier League Players, Soccer Players from Illinois, Sportspeople from Cook County, Illinois, The Football League Players, United States Men's International Soccer Players, United States Men's Under-20 International Soccer Players, United States Men's Youth International Soccer Players, Usl Premier Development League Players, West Ham United F.C. Players
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Jonathan Spector

Jonathan Spector
Spector with West Ham United in October 2009
Personal information
Full name Jonathan Michael Paul Spector[1]
Date of birth (1986-03-01) March 1, 1986 [1]
Place of birth Arlington Heights, Illinois, United States
Height 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)[1]
Playing position Defender
Club information
Current team
Birmingham City
Number 23
Youth career
2002–2003 Bradenton Academy
2003 Chicago Sockers
2003 Chicago Fire
2003 Manchester United
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2003–2006 Manchester United 3 (0)
2005–2006 Charlton Athletic (loan) 20 (0)
2006–2011 West Ham United 101 (1)
2011– Birmingham City 117 (0)
National team
2003 United States U17 19 (0)
2005 United States U20 2 (0)
2004– United States 36 (0)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of October 25, 2015.
† Appearances (goals)

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of October 25, 2015

Jonathan Michael Paul Spector (born March 1, 1986) is an United States international soccer player who plays as a defender for Birmingham City. He started his professional career in England when he was signed by Manchester United as a teenager, but rarely appeared for the club. He played on loan at Charlton Athletic, then in 2006 joined West Ham United, for whom he played over 100 games before he was released at the end of the 2010–11 season.

Although he began playing as a striker during his youth career, Spector was converted into a defender as a professional. He most commonly plays as a right-back but is capable of playing across the defensive line and in central midfield.


  • Early life 1
  • Club career 2
    • Manchester United 2.1
    • West Ham United 2.2
    • Birmingham City 2.3
  • International career 3
  • Career statistics 4
  • Honors 5
    • International 5.1
    • Individual 5.2
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Early life

Spector grew up in the Chicago suburb of Arlington Heights, Illinois, which is also the hometown of former Fulham and US national team player Brian McBride. Jonathan went to St. Peter Lutheran school for elementary school and St. Viator for high school. The youngest of four siblings, he played high school soccer at St. Viator High School and started his club soccer career with Schwaben AC in Buffalo Grove, Illinois, before joining national power Chicago Sockers. He graduated from the United States Soccer Federation's Bradenton Academy at the age of 17 in the summer of 2003.[2] His father is of Russian Jewish, English, and Irish ancestry, and his mother was born in Siegen, Germany. Spector has acquired a German passport, enabling him to play in England without needing a work permit.[3][4]

Spector's grandfather was the NBA basketball player Art Spector, who was the first player to be signed by the Boston Celtics in 1946 and is known as the "Original Celtic".[5] He died in June 1987 when Jonathan was 15 months old.

Club career

Manchester United

Spector was discovered by a Manchester United scout while playing for the American Under-17 squad at the Milk Cup in 2003. Originally a striker, Spector was lined up in defense due to injuries for a game the scout had attended to scout other players. Impressed by Spector's defending, the scout alerted the club.[3][4]

Spector joined United in summer 2003.[4] He made his first appearance for the first team in the FA Community Shield match against Arsenal in August 2004.[6] In December, United manager Sir Alex Ferguson announced that Spector would be loaned out to fellow Premiership side Blackburn Rovers for the remainder of the season.[7] However, Ferguson was soon forced to postpone the deal due to an injury crisis in the United defense.[8] The injury crisis continued and Spector was not able to make his loan move before the transfer window closed on January 31, 2005. Before the start of the 2005–06 season, Spector went on a season-long loan to another Premiership club, Charlton Athletic, to obtain more first-team experience.[9] He finished the season with sixteen starts and eight substitute appearances.

West Ham United

Spector was signed by manager Alan Pardew for West Ham United in a deal initially worth £500,000 in June 2006, ending his association with Manchester United after eight appearances.[10] He made his debut for the club in the first round defeat of the UEFA Cup against Palermo in Sicily on September 28,[11] going on to make twenty-eight appearances in all competitions in the 2006–07 season.[12] Spector had initially been brought as backup to the West Ham defense, but he had an extended run of games due to injury problems and his ability to play anywhere in the back four with equal ease. On November 10, 2007, it was believed that Spector had scored his first professional goal, in the 5–0 away win at Derby County.[13] However, this was later credited as an own goal by Derby's fellow American international Eddie Lewis.[2][14]

He missed most of the 2008–09 season due to injuries, but following the departure of Lucas Neill, Spector played in 27 of a possible 38 games in the 2009–10 season.[15] Many of his appearances that year came at left-back, despite being a right footed player. When Gianfranco Zola left, new manager Avram Grant began deploying Spector in the midfield. He scored his first goals for West Ham and first in English soccer, scoring twice in a 4–0 home win over former club Manchester United in the League Cup on November 30, 2010.[16] He scored his first Premier League goal in the 2–2 draw away to Everton later that season.[17] Spector was released by West Ham in June 2011.[18]

Birmingham City

Spector playing for Birmingham City in 2012

Spector signed a two-year contract with Championship club Birmingham City in August 2011, four days before the opening of the league season.[19] He made his debut in Birmingham's first match in major European competition for nearly 50 years, the Europa League play-off round first leg against Portuguese club Nacional, which finished goalless.[20] Three days later, he played his first League game in English soccer at a level below the Premier League, in a 3–1 defeat at Middlesbrough.[21] Spector was played in central midfield for the first few months of his Birmingham City career, a position he said he enjoyed, and filled in at right-back in the European matches as Birmingham failed by a point to progress past the group stage.[22] Later in the season, he was used more frequently at right-back, at the expense of captain Stephen Carr,[23] and occasionally at left-back. The Birmingham Mail‍‍ '​‍s end-of-season review viewed his versatility as "an invaluable asset".[24] He missed the last two months of the season with a torn thigh muscle, returning for Birmingham's unsuccessful play-off campaign only to suffer a recurrence of the injury which was to keep him out of the summer's international programme.[25]

Carr was injured in the final pre-season game, and the only alternative right-back was the teenaged Will Packwood. Despite having taken no part in the warm-up games, Spector returned to action in the opening match of the 2012–13 season, as a second-half substitute for Packwood,[26] and started the next, though "short of match sharpness, he was rusty and had a torrid time of it".[27] He scored his first goal for Birmingham in a 3–2 defeat by Coventry City in the League Cup on August 28.[28] New manager Lee Clark preferred his "drive and energy" in midfield, with right-back duties shared between Packwood, loan signing Paul Caddis and others, but injuries soon forced his return to full-back.[29] Spector was restricted to ten appearances in the second half of the season by a succession of minor injuries,[30][31] culminating in ankle damage sustained in early April[32] that kept him out for what remained of the campaign. Although several senior players were released at the end of the season, Spector agreed a further two-year contract,[33] which he signed after he and wife Olivia Metzinger returned from honeymoon.[34]

Two weeks later, Spector fractured his cheekbone in five places during a pre-season game.[35] He returned to Birmingham's midfield for the 3–2 defeat by Leicester City in late August,[36] and a month later was involved in an eventful match at Queens Park Rangers. He had a goal disallowed shortly before QPR took the lead, and after 79 minutes was yellow-carded for diving in the penalty area when it appeared that Richard Dunne had tripped him.[37] In mid-October, he tore a thigh muscle in training.[38] This time, the injury kept him out for four months; he returned in mid-February 2014, and was a regular starter from then on, as Birmingham avoided relegation to League One on goal difference via a stoppage-time equalizer in the last match of the season.[39][40]

Again, Spector began the 2014–15 season as a regular starter, tore a thigh muscle a couple of months in,[41] and missed the next four months. By the time he regained fitness, Gary Rowett had replaced Clark as manager, Caddis was the right-back of choice, and Michael Morrison and Paul Robinson had established themselves at center-back,[42] which Spector had told Rowett was his position of choice. When Morrison injured an ankle in late January, he came back into the team in that position, initially with Robinson,[43] then partnering loanee Rob Kiernan,[44] and finishing the season, after a minor injury that coincided with Morrison's return to fitness,[45] playing alongside the latter.

Although Spector had hinted that he had been away from home and wider family long enough, and there was reported interest from Major League Soccer clubs, he confirmed that he and his wife felt settled in Birmingham,[46] and signed a new two-year contract.[47]

International career

In 2003, Spector played for the United States national team at the World Under-17 Championship in Finland and earned his first cap for the senior team on November 17, 2004, in a World Cup qualifier against Jamaica.

In 2005, Spector was part of the U.S. Under-20 team at the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship in the Netherlands and as the 2005–06 Premier League season approached its conclusion, was considered a long shot to be included in the United States World Cup squad. However, a shoulder injury sustained on April 17 in a game against Portsmouth[48] ended his chances of playing at the World Cup.

Spector was a member of the U.S. team that beat Mexico 2–1 in the CONCACAF Gold Cup Final in Chicago in June 2007. However, during the final, he had to be substituted by Frankie Simek as he collided heads with Mexican midfielder Andrés Guardado. Immediately after the substitution Benny Feilhaber struck the winning volley.[49]

Following injuries to Steve Cherundolo and Frankie Hejduk, Spector was included in the United States roster for the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup and took the chance to cement his place in the national team, starting at right-back for the entire tournament. He assisted Clint Dempsey to score a vital goal against Egypt in the last group stage match as the US scraped through to the semifinals on the basis of goals scored. In the final against Brazil, Spector once again assisted Dempsey in scoring the opening goal with a similar long cross from the right flank.

Having returned from a long injury lay-off, Spector was ever present at right-back for the remaining 2010 World Cup fourth round qualifiers in 2009 although he has also been partnered with captain Carlos Bocanegra in central defense occasionally due to Oguchi Onyewu's long-term injury.[50] He was rested for the USA's last qualifying match against Costa Rica on October 14 as qualification had already been secured and was recalled for friendlies in November and March. Coach Bob Bradley included him in the final 23-man squad for the World Cup although he did not appear in any games. Later in 2010, Spector was a starting right-back in friendlies against Brazil and Colombia.[51]

Spector received his first call-up to the senior national team in 18 months when he was added to the squad ahead of September 2015 friendlies against Peru and Brazil;[52] he played in the second game, as a second-half substitute in a 4–1 defeat.[53]

Career statistics

As of match played October 24, 2015
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League FA Cup League Cup Europe Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Manchester United 2004–05[6] Premier League 3 0 1 0 1 0 2[1] 0 1[2] 0 8 0
Charlton Athletic (loan) 2005–06[54] Premier League 20 0 2 0 2 0 24 0
West Ham United 2006–07[12] Premier League 25 0 2 0 0 0 1[3] 0 28 0
2007–08[55] Premier League 26 0[4] 1 0 1 0 28 0
2008–09[57] Premier League 9 0 0 0 0 0 9 0
2009–10[15] Premier League 27 0 0 0 2 0 29 0
2010–11[17] Premier League 14 1 3 1 4 2 21 4
Total 101 1[4] 6 1 7 2 1 0 115 4
Birmingham City 2011–12[21][58] Championship 31 0 5 0 1 0 8[5] 0 2[6] 0 47 0
2012–13[30] Championship 29 0 0 0 1 1 30 1
2013–14[39] Championship 22 0 0 0 2 0 24 0
2014–15[59] Championship 24 0 0 0 2 0 26 0
2015–16[60] Championship 11 0 0 0 3 0 14 0
Total 117 0 5 0 9 1 8 0 2 0 141 1
Career total 241 1 14 1 19 3 11 0 3 0 288 5
  1. ^ Appearance(s) in UEFA Champions League
  2. ^ Appearance(s) in FA Community Shield
  3. ^ Appearance(s) in UEFA Cup
  4. ^ a b Although Soccerbase and the statistics on Spector's West Ham profile give him two league goals for the club, his first West Ham "goal", against Derby County in November 2007, was credited as an own goal by the Dubious Goals Panel, so the figure of one league goal in total is correct.[2][56]
  5. ^ Appearance(s) in UEFA Europa League
  6. ^ Appearance(s) in Football League Championship play-offs



United States



  1. ^ a b c Hugman, Barry J., ed. (2010). The PFA Footballers' Who's Who 2010–11. Mainstream Publishing. p. 388.  
  2. ^ a b c "Player Profiles: Jonathan Spector". West Ham United F.C. Archived from the original on December 19, 2011.
  3. ^ a b "Mature beyond his years". Yanks Abroad. November 9, 2005. Retrieved August 20, 2012.
  4. ^ a b c Winner, Andrew (September 19, 2005). "Spector aims to boost World Cup credentials". ESPN FC. Retrieved May 17, 2015.
  5. ^ Arace, Michael (July 21, 2008). "Americans gain foothold in English Premiership". The Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved August 20, 2012.
  6. ^ a b "Games played by Jonathan Spector in 2004/2005". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved September 10, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Spector to join Blackburn on loan". BBC Sport. December 23, 2004. Retrieved June 24, 2007.
  8. ^ "Man Utd put Spector loan on hold". BBC Sport. January 1, 2005. Retrieved June 24, 2007.
  9. ^ "Charlton clinch Spector loan deal". BBC Sport. July 11, 2005. Retrieved June 21, 2007.
  10. ^ "West Ham sign Man Utd's Spector". BBC Sport. June 15, 2006. Retrieved June 15, 2006.
  11. ^ "Spector staying positive after debut frustration". West Ham United F.C. September 29, 2006. Retrieved May 17, 2015.
  12. ^ a b "Games played by Jonathan Spector in 2006/2007". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved September 10, 2012. 
  13. ^ "Derby hammered at home". Irish Times. November 10, 2007. Retrieved May 17, 2015.
  14. ^ "Jonathan Spector". Retrieved May 27, 2010.
  15. ^ a b "Games played by Jonathan Spector in 2009/2010". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved September 10, 2012. 
  16. ^ Whyatt, Chris (November 30, 2010). "West Ham 4–0 Man Utd". BBC Sport. Retrieved August 22, 2012.
  17. ^ a b "Games played by Jonathan Spector in 2010/2011". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved September 10, 2012. 
  18. ^ "Players released from 2010/11 Premier League clubs". June 16, 2011. Retrieved August 22, 2012.
  19. ^ "Birmingham City sign ex-West Ham man Jonathan Spector". BBC Sport. August 2, 2011. Retrieved August 2, 2011.
  20. ^ Tattum, Colin (August 19, 2011). "Nacional 0, Birmingham City 0". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved May 16, 2015.
  21. ^ a b "Games played by Jonathan Spector in 2011/2012". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved September 10, 2012. 
  22. ^ Tattum, Colin (December 26, 2011). "Jonathan Spector puts team before self at Birmingham City". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved May 16, 2015.
    "2011/12 UEFA Europa League: Standings: Group stage". UEFA. Retrieved May 16, 2015.
  23. ^ Tattum, Colin (February 18, 2012). "Jonathan Spector and Blues up for FA Cup Chelsea clash ". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved May 16, 2015.
  24. ^ Tattum, Colin (April 27, 2012). "Birmingham City – it's truly been a team effort". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved May 16, 2015.
  25. ^ Tattum, Colin (May 14, 2012). "Jonathan Spector: Birmingham City have a bright future". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved May 16, 2015.
    Tattum, Colin (July 11, 2012). "I won't rush Keith Fahey back into action – Lee Clark ". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved May 16, 2015.
  26. ^ "Birmingham City 1 Charlton Athletic 1". Birmingham Mail. August 18, 2012. Retrieved May 16, 2015.
  27. ^ Tattum, Colin (August 22, 2012). "Sheffield Wednesday 3 Birmingham City 2". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved May 16, 2015.
  28. ^ Evans, Gregg (August 29, 2012). "Coventry City 3 Birmingham City 2 aet". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved April 28, 2014.
  29. ^ Tattum, Colin (September 21, 2012). "Blow for Paul Caddis and Birmingham City". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved May 16, 2015.
    Tattum, Colin (November 13, 2012). "Jonathan Spector sure Birmingham City are on the rise". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved May 16, 2015.
  30. ^ a b "Games played by Jonathan Spector in 2005/2006". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved April 7, 2013. 
  31. ^ Evans, Gregg (December 14, 2012). "Birmingham City v Crystal Palace: Team news". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved May 16, 2015.
    Tattum, Colin (February 1, 2013). "Birmingham City v Nottingham Forest: Team news". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved May 16, 2015.
    Tattum, Colin (March 22, 2013). "Boost for Blues with duo on mend". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved May 16, 2015.
  32. ^ Tattum, Colin (April 8, 2013). "Birmingham City 1 Millwall 1". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved May 16, 2015.
  33. ^ "Birmingham City: Steven Caldwell to go in St Andrew's shake-up". BBC Sport. May 7, 2013. Retrieved May 16, 2015.
    "Birmingham City: Jonathan Spector agrees new contract". BBC Sport. June 27, 2013. Retrieved May 16, 2015.
  34. ^ "The right fit for Spector". Birmingham City F.C. June 28, 2013. Retrieved May 16, 2015.
    "Class notes" (PDF). A Lion for Life. Saint Viator High School. Winter 2014. p. 13.
  35. ^ Young, Gary (July 16, 2013). "Blow for Blues as Jonathan Spector signed off for six weeks". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved May 16, 2015.
  36. ^ Tattum, Colin (August 26, 2013). "Leicester City 3 Birmingham City 2". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved May 16, 2015.
  37. ^ Tattum, Colin (September 14, 2013). "Lee Clark: Jonathan Spector is a good lad, a great type, a great, honest professional". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved May 16, 2015.
    "QPR 1 Birmingham 0". Queens Park Rangers F.C. September 14, 2013. Retrieved May 16, 2015.
  38. ^ Tattum, Colin (October 20, 2013). "Lee Clark bemoans injury to Jonathan Spector". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved May 16, 2015.
  39. ^ a b "Games played by Jonathan Spector in 2005/2006". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved March 5, 2015. 
  40. ^ "Bolton 2–2 Birmingham". BBC Sport. May 3, 2014. Retrieved May 16, 2015.
  41. ^ Tattum, Colin (Octpber 2, 2014). "Birmingham City injury blow: Jonathan Spector sidelined for at least three months". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved May 16, 2015.
  42. ^ Dick, Brian (December 18, 2014). "How Michael Morrison can end the Blues merry-go-round in defence". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved May 16, 2015.
  43. ^ Dick, Brian (January 30, 2015). "Gary Rowett is plotting to sign a centre half to replace injured Michael Morrison". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved May 16, 2015.
  44. ^ Dick, Brian (March 24, 2015). "Birmingham City boss Gary Rowett full of praise for Jonathan Spector". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved May 16, 2015.
  45. ^ Kendrick, Mat (April 2, 2015). "Birmingham City team news: Injury worries over Jonathan Spector and Andy Shinnie". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved May 16, 2015.
  46. ^ Dick, Brian (April 30, 2015). "Jonathan Spector: I want to stay at Birmingham City". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved May 16, 2015.
  47. ^ "Birmingham City: Jonathan Spector signs new two-year deal". BBC Sport. May 15, 2015. Retrieved May 16, 2015.
  48. ^ Wagman, Robert & Davidson, Gary (April 17, 2006). "Spector dislocates shoulder in Charlton victory over Portsmouth". SoccerTimes. Retrieved June 29, 2007.
  49. ^ Dodd, Mike (June 25, 2007). "USA rallies to win Gold Cup". USA Today. Retrieved August 22, 2012.
  50. ^ "Spector revels in new role". West Ham United F.C. November 17, 2009. Retrieved May 17, 2015.
  51. ^ "2010 Lineups". U.S. Soccer. Retrieved May 17, 2015.
  52. ^ "Klinsmann Adds Defender Jonathan Spector ahead of Peru, Brazil friendlies". U.S. Soccer. September 1, 2015. Retrieved September 1, 2015.
  53. ^ "MNT Falls to Star-Studded Brazil 4–1 in Foxborough". U.S. Soccer. September 8, 2015. Retrieved September 9, 2015.
  54. ^ "Games played by Jonathan Spector in 2005/2006". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved September 10, 2012. 
  55. ^ "Games played by Jonathan Spector in 2007/2008". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved September 10, 2012. 
  56. ^ Rollin, Glenda & Rollin, Jack, eds. (2010). Sky Sports Football Yearbook 2010–2011. Headline. p. 544. ISBN 978-0-7553-6107-6.
  57. ^ "Games played by Jonathan Spector in 2008/2009". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved September 10, 2012. 
  58. ^ "2011/12 UEFA Europa League: Birmingham City FC: Squad: Qualifying phase". UEFA. May 17, 2012. Retrieved August 15, 2012.
  59. ^ "Games played by Jonathan Spector in 2005/2006". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved May 2, 2015. 
  60. ^ "Games played by Jonathan Spector in 2005/2006". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved October 24, 2015. 

External links

  • West Ham Utd Profile
  • Jonathan Spector career statistics at Soccerbase
  • Jonathan Spector articles on Yanks Abroad
  • Premier League profile
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