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Howard, Man. U. get the best of Friedel, Rovers before record crowd at Old Trafford.

Hahnemann's shutout leads Reading to 1-0 victory over Millwall.

Friedel, Rovers get back on winning track, 2-1 over Everton.

With Thomas' decisive goal, Eintracht Braunschweig stuns Hannover 96 2-0 in German Cup.

Keller's 12 saves can't stop Spurs' 1-0 loss to Bolton.

Cherundolo avoids bench and helps Hannover draw 1-1 with 1860 München.

Spurs ride Keller hot streak to middle of Premier League table.

Howard, Manchester United hold off Rangers 1-0 in Champions League.

Reyna has goal, assist as Man. City drubs Bolton 6-2.

Keller's threee straight shutouts are key to Hotspur revival.

Keller faces 24 shots, leads Spurs 0-0 draw with Reyna's City.

Reyna keeps it brief in Manchester City debut.

Fulham manager Coleman is irate over loss of Reyna to Manchester City.

One error ruins Howard's great effort, Man. U.'s perfect mark.

In surprise, Sunderland transfers Reyna to Manchester City.

Americans Abroad

Keller is key in Tottenham Carling Cup win, is named Spurs' Player of the Month again.

Kasey Keller
Kasey Keller won a dues with Claudio Reyna, but fell short in a matchup with Brad Friedel.
By Robert Wagman (in Washington, D.C.)
and Harris King (in Bamberg, Germany)

(Friday, December 5, 2003) -- Goalkeeper Kasey Keller's fine second-half performance, including a pair of late saves on United States teammate Claudio Reyna, allowed Tottenham Hotspur to oust Manchester City Wednesday in the third round of the Carling Cup, England's league cup.

The Hotspur advancement to the quarterfinals came five days after Keller was bested by another U.S. teammate, keeper Brad Friedel who posted the shutout in Blackburn Rovers' 1-0 decision over Tottenham in English Premier League play.

Keller, who has made more saves than any other keeper in the Premier League this season, was named Spurs "Player of the Month" for November, the second straight month he was accorded that honor.

In the Carling Cup, Spurs' strikers woke up from their recent slumber and took a 2-0 lead on goals by Darren Anderton in the ninth minute and Helder Postiga in the 30th while the defense and Keller held solid.

In the second half, Manchester City strongly pushed forward with Reyna getting greatly involved in the attack. But twice, within a minute around the 60th minute, Keller stopped strong shots from Reyna.

Ten minutes from the end, a dreadful defensive error cost Keller his clean sheet. Robbie Fowler scored a bizarre goal when defender Gary Doherty headed a seemingly easy clearance directly up into the air. Keller was blocked from it and it came down directly to Fowler who headed it into an empty net.

In Saturday's EPL match, it looked for 80 minutes as if Keller and Friedel would emerge with identical clean sheets. Then, in the 78th minute, a hard shot from Rovers' substitute defender Vratislav Gresko glanced off of Steven Carr, changed direction and settled behind Keller to give Rovers a 1-0 triumph.

The rivalry between the two American keepers is strong and both played exceptional matches. Not much happened in the first 45 minutes with Dwight Yorke's shot was the only one requiring a save from Keller. Friedel had as little to do, stopping one from Stephane Dalmat.

Things picked up on both ends in the second half. In the first five minutes, Friedel twice stopped shots from Postiga, a rising young Portuguese star. Keller, meanwhile, dove to save a Yorke header and then a long drive from Barry Ferguson.

After the match, both coaches praised Keller. "Kasey Keller made good saves at key times in the second half and that kept them in the game, but we kept at it and deserved to win." Blackburn boss Graeme Souness said

Tottenham manager David Pleat agreed: "Our goalkeeper did quite well when called upon, but unless you're a very, very good side in this league, you don't come away and expect to win easily."

Reyna came back at least a week early from a hamstring injury and then a bad case of the flu to join Manchester City for its UEFA Cup match in Poland, but a 0-0 draw was all Man. City could manage November 29 against Groclin Dyskobolia in crashing out of the competition 1-1 on aggregate.

Reyna came on in the 79th minute, but City could not break down the bunkered Groclin defense.

He started Sunday and went the full 90 minutes as City outlasted Middlesbrough 1-0. Reyna steadied the midfield and managed to push into the offense often. He was denied on a great scoring opportunity when Mark Schwarzer dove full-length to palm away his low drive.

Apparently, the Carling Cup doesn't mean much to Manchester United with the EPL championship and Champions League to worry about . So manager Alex Ferguson rested 10 starters, including U.S. keeper. Tim Howard and United was eliminated from the tournament 2-0 by West Bromwich Albion.

The First Division's Reading, with American Marcus Hahnemann in goal, gave it a good try, but came up on the short end of a 1-0 score to Chelsea, the Premier League winner. Hahnemann had one of the best games of his career and Chelsea, using most of its regulars, was fortunate to escape with a narrow win thanks to a Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink goal in the 57th minute.

Hahnemann made sensational saves on Jesper Gronkjaer, Hernan Crespo, Frank Lampard, Joe Cole and Marcel Desailly, but was beaten when Crespo squared a ball to an open Hasselbaink for an easy tap-in. Reading almost tied the game late, but Ivar Ingimarsson's shot was cleared off the line by a defender.

Chelsea manager Claudio Ranieri paid tribute to Hahnemann after the match. "I thought Reading's keeper did a fantastic job tonight," he said. "He saved four or five great chances and kept them in the game. Their keeper meant it was an exciting game because it was still open until the end."

Howard was in the lineup Sunday when Manchester United's offense was largely absent and the club fell 1-0 to Chelsea. Chelsea's tally came when Frank Lampard sent Tim Howard the wrong way on a penalty kick to give the Blues a 1-0 in the 30th minute.

Howard kept United in the match in the second half with superb saves on Lampard and Njitap Geremi. Chelsea (11-1-2, 35 points) vaulted into first place, a point ahead of Arsenal (10-0-4) and four up on Man. U. (10-3-1) into the league lead while the loss dropped Man U back into third place three points off the lead.

U.S. striker Jovan Kirovski who has been playing well for Birmingham City's reserve squad, was rewarded with an appearance with the first team, coming on in the 78th minute of a 3-1 loss to Liverpool. Kirovski replaced Christophe Dugarry after Liverpool added its third goal, but could do little to spark any kind of comeback.

In the First Division, Hahnemann did not have a busy day, but did enough to allow Reading to escape with a 2-1 victory over Watford. Less than a minute after Reading went up 1-0 on a own goal, substitute forward Lee Cook found himself unmarked at the far post and nodded Paul Devlin's cross behind Hahnemann.

Later, Hahnemann did well to keep out Marcus Gayle's near-post header and Reading won when England under-21 international Steve Sidwell scored two minutes from the end.

U.S. midfielder Eddie Lewis' who has been in and out of the starting side, made an early relief appearance Saturday for Preston North End which fell 2-0 to Sheffield United. Lewis replaced the injured Robert Edwards in the fourth minute,

Preston had the better of the run of play for the afternoon with Lewis twice forcing good saves from Paul Gerrard, but United went ahead on a penalty kick and added a late insurance goal.

Dallas teen Kenny Cooper continues to play well when he gets into Manchester United reserve matches. The 6-foot-3 19-year-old has three goals, usually come in as a substitute. Last week, he came in late in a swap when Man. U.'s goalkeeper was sent off in United's 5-3 loss to Sunderland.

American midfielder Frankie Simek and striker Danny Karbassiyoon started for the Arsenal reserves in a 1-0 loss to Southampton. Simek went the distance while Karbassiyoon, in his third reserve team appearance and first start, came out in the 73rd minute.

In France, U.S. defender Greg Vanney did not dress for Bastia which came back to draw 1-1 with Bordeaux.

In Denmark, American defender Wade Barrett played 90 minutes for AGF which suffered a 3-1 home loss to Herfĝlge BK.

Former Dallas Burn goalkeeper Matt Jordan finally made it onto the starting side and played well in his debut for OB Odense, winning 2-1 over Frem.

In the German Bundesliga, U.S. defender Steve Cherundolo and his Hannover 96 teammates tallied their biggest home victory of the season 3-0 against SC Freiburg. Cherundolo twice had opportunities to add to his four assists on the season, but both times Freiburg's goalkeeper Richard Golz was able to parry away the shot on goal. Cherundolo played a solid 90 minutes in his normal right-back position.

U.S. defender Tony Sanneh returned to the FC Nürnberg practice field for the first time in almost a year, a period in which he has been recovering from a serious back injury. He worked hard to change the muscle structure of his lower back to take pressure off the damaged nerves that have been causing him great pain. He says that he is, perhaps, 70 percent fit, but likely will not see any game action until after the winter break.

In Germany's 2Bundesliga, American striker Conor Casey went 90 minutes for Karlsruher SC which was shut out for the second week in a row. The 3-0 home loss to Jahn Regensburg followed last week's 3-0 defeat to Unterhaching.

American midfielder Joe Enochs and VfL Osnabrück reversed their weak play of the previous week, and came away with a 3-1 home victory against league leader Alemannia Aachen. Enochs left the match after 84 minutes with the game securely in hand.

Despite controlling much of the match, U.S. defender Gregg Berhalter went the distance for FC Energie Cottbus came away with a 1-1 draw to MSV Duisburg. Duisburg's equalizer came after Cottbus's Tanque Silva was called for a questionable hand ball in the box.

In the third-division Regionalliga Nord, American striker Jacob Thomas went 90 minutes in his team's 1-0 loss to Dynamo Dresden. The defeat was Braunschweig's second in as many games.

U.S. defender Cory Gibbs scored his third goal of the season shortly before halftime in FC. St. Pauli's 2-2- draw with Wattenscheid 09. Gibbs's goal came unexpectedly and seemed to wake up his teammates for a much stronger second half. Wattenscheid, however, was able to equalize shortly before the final whistle.

In other St. Pauli news, San Diego native Ian Joy, 22, impressed in a tryout, but will not be signed for the time being.

American defender Rino Matarazzo's match with Preussen Münster against Schalke 04 amateurs was postponed due to two of Schalke's players being members of Germany's under-20 team at the World Youth Championships.

Former U.S. international Michael Mason scored in the 67th minute, but his team SV Elversberg nonetheless fell 2-1 to FC Augsburg in Regionalliga Süd. Americans Grover Gibson and Tim Lawson also started for Elversberg with Lawson being substituted out in the 67th minute. Mason received a yellow card.

Two Americans saw action in Sportfreunde Siegen's 2-1 road defeat to SV Wehen. Defender Eric Lukin started and played 57 minutes to make room for a more offensive player. Forward John van Buskirk was substituted into the game in the second half to give the attack a boost, but was unable to reverse his team's fortunes. Fellow American Joshua Caleb Norkus did not play for Siegen.

American Jonathan Cummins did not play in VfR Aalen's 2-2 draw at Schweinfurt 05.

Robert Wagman is a SoccerTimes senior correspondent and can be e-mailed at bobwagman@soccertimes.com. Harris King, an American from South Carolina, has lived in Germany for five years. The Business English lecturer at the University of Bamberg can be e-mailed at ohk4@hotmail.com.

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