Terry's Form Will Delights Opponent

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John Terry
John Terry gets called a lot of names these days and he's getting used to it. Abuse and vitriol from opposing fans cascades down from the stands on the tainted Chelsea defender every week. But 'liability' is one taunt he thought he'd never hear.

Terry's failings and infidelities in his private life have spawned a wider examination of his on-field productivity, and in the closing weeks of the English Premier League season, he is failing the test.

Saturday's defeat at Tottenham – a loss that allowed Manchester United to narrow the gap at the top of the table to a single point – can be attributed almost solely to Terry.

It was he who gave away the penalty that allowed Jermain Defoe to fire Tottenham to an early lead that it would never relinquish. It was he who was turned inside out by the capable but hardly spectacular Russian striker Roman Pavlyuchenko. And it was he who brought down the curtain on a dismal afternoon for Chelsea by getting himself clumsily sent off for a rash challenge in the second half.

England head coach Fabio Capello, watching in the stands, couldn't have been impressed. United States chief Bob Bradley, no doubt tuning in on television, will have surely been encouraged.

In less than two months, the U.S. takes on England in their World Cup opener in Rustenburg and Terry is a wounded animal who shows no sign of recovery. Attack-minded Americans Landon Donovan, Clint Dempsey and Jozy Altidore should no longer be concerned about facing the once-dominant defender.