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Casey scores twice to give Karlsruher 2-1 victory over Ahlen.

Four U.S. goalkeepers shine in England; three win.

Obtaining a work permit is part of the process for Americans seeking to play in England.

Howard stops two penalties, leads Manchester United past Arsenal.

Blackburn seriously looking at Reyna as possible acquisition.

Americans Abroad

In surprise, Sunderland transfers Reyna to Manchester City.

Claudio Reyna
Claudio Reyna returned to England's Premier League with his transfer from Sunderland to Manchester City
-- Sunderland web site photo --

By Robert Wagman (in Washington, D.C.),

(Thursday, August 28, 2003) -- United States midfielder Claudio Reyna, his rumored transfer to Fulham lagging, was sent by Sunderland to Manchester City today.

After being relegated to the First Division with Sunderland, Reyna returns to the Premier League and, if he passes a physical at the City of Manchester Stadium Friday, could be in a City uniform by Monday.

In an official statement, Sunderland said: "The club can confirm that after agreeing a 2.5 million-pound ($3.9 million) fee with Fulham, elements of the transfer deal were altered at the final stage, which Sunderland could not accept. . . Following this, City expressed an interest in the player -- matching Fulham's original 2.5 million-pound bid."

According to British press reports, the deal with Fulham, also in the Premier League, though considered imminent, was not completed because of problems regarding Reyna's personal terms and wrangling over a payoff on his Sunderland contract. There was speculation that Fulham wanted out of the deal because Reyna was being acquired as a replacement for midfielder Sean Davis whose move to Everton fell through this week because he failed a medical exam.

City is off to a fine start this season, tied for third place at 2-0-1 with seven points. However, manager Kevin Keegan reportedly is not happy with his depth in midfield, and became interested in Reyna when he heard Fulham's interest might be waning.

"The deal is all but completed and I don't anticipate any problems with the medical," Keegan said. "I hope to get Claudio registered by Monday so that he will be able to play in the next round of the UEFA Cup. He gives me options in several positions. He can play right back or in midfield, and he brings with him a wealth of experience. He will prove an invaluable influence for our younger players as well."

Going to Manchester instead of Fulham should turn out to be a tremendous boon for Reyna. In Fulham, he was moving to a team that despite its unexpectedly good start, is widely predicted to be one of the teams in danger of being relegated this seaon. In Manchester City, he is moving to a team that is expected to do well in the Premiership and has advanced through the qualifying round for the UEFA Cup competition this season.

In midweek Premiership action, U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard won his third in a row with his second shutout last night though Manchester United had a surprisingly difficult time dispatching Wolverhampton 1-0. Howard was not called on to do very much, but he did stop Senegal international Henri Camara once and forced him to shoot just wide another time.

U.S. keeper Kasey Keller again had a fine match for Tottenham Hotspur, preserving a clean sheet in a 0-0 draw with Liverpool last night. It was not a busy night for Keller, but he had to come up big twice in the second half first against Vladimir Smicer and Steven Gerrard to keep struggling Liverpool off the scoreboard.

In the German Bundesliga, U.S. defender Steve Cherundolo returned from a foot bruise that kept him out of the lineup Saturday, and played well for Hannover 96 which drew 3-3 with Hansa Rostock 3-3 which tied the match when Marco Vorbeck scored in stoppage time.

Cherundolo pushed the ball forward well on the right flank and registered two shots on goal, as well as receiving a yellow card.

Robert Wagman is a SoccerTimes senior correspondent and can be e-mailed at bobwagman@soccertimes.com.

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