By Tony Edwards – San Jose, CA (Nov 29, 2011) US Soccer Players — Tony asks about Carlos Bocanegra鈥檚 injury, looks at what Fulham and Everton might need to do to move higher in the EPL standings, and is the last one to become aware of AZ Alkmaar鈥檚 nickname.

How does Carlos Bocanegra鈥檚 injury affect Rangers?

Even with 10 defenders on their squad list, quite a bit. Bocanegra was only signed in August and he鈥檚 already third among defenders in minutes played and also leads their defenders in scoring. There鈥檚 a lot to be said for the quality of a player who can walk into a line-up and produce. Rangers, despite this weekend鈥檚 loss, remain four points up on Celtic in the Scottish Premier League.

What problems do Tim Howard鈥檚 Everton and Clint Dempsey鈥檚 Fulham share?

Scoring goals. Everton has only scored four times away from home, while Fulham has only scored 7 goals at home. Everton is ninth, with 16 points and a minus-1 goal difference. Fulham has 12 points, is in 15th place, and is also minus-1 in goal difference.

Dempsey is second (by 3 minutes) among most minutes played by Fulham field players and he鈥檚 tied for most goals scored (with 3). You鈥檇 expect Fulham to gel in the second half of the season and stay well clear of any relegation battles.

Everton鈥檚 situation is interesting. The seven teams in European places (Arsenal is in 7th on goal difference) all have at least 23 points already (say what you will about Newcastle鈥檚 chances of staying in a European place all season). Is a team in financial flux, as Everton are, going to invest in a short-term answer to their scoring problems in hopes of getting to the Europa League next season or should they look at rebuilding, if they feel secure knowing they have enough to stay in the EPL?

Can you name the colors you鈥檒l find on the Sounders new third jersey?

"Super cyan and electricity.鈥?But MLS uniforms have come a long ways since celery and cloudy jade, right? The Union have released their new uniform and the Revolution do so this coming weekend. Here is DC United鈥檚 new uniform.

What is the nickname of Jozy Altidore鈥檚 AZ Alkmaar?

"Cheese Farmers," according to the mighty Wikipedia, Alkmaar is known for its "traditional cheese market."

What American companies are getting into the soccer shirt business?

Warrior Sports and Under Armour. Warrior Sports is supposedly paying Liverpool more than $40 million a season to take over from Adidas. Under Armour is replacing Puma for Tottenham. Easy snark about Adidas focusing on Swansea and Derby aside, this is a huge investment for Warrior Sports (owned by New Balance).

Under Armour, maybe best known for its uniform stunts with the University of Maryland鈥檚 gridiron team, has less of a mountain to climb after several years of frankly uninspiring Tottenham shirts.