U.S. men's schedule, results
Friedel, Rovers get back on winning track, 2-1 over Everton.
By Robert Wagman (in Washington, D.C.)
(Tuesday, November 11, 2003) -- United States goalkeeper Brad Friedel had a relatively easy time for Blackburn Rovers who snapped a five-match losing streak in the English Premier League, holding off visiting Everton for a 2-1 decision yesterday at Ewood Park.
Blackburn went into the game without a goal in its previous 274 minutes of play, but was ahead of Everton 2-0 within 13 minutes on goals by Markus Babbel and Dwight Yorke.
Everton pulled to within 2-1 in the 49th minute when James McFadden was off the bench and crossed to Tomasz Radzinski who sent a header past the previously untested Friedel.
While Rovers (3-7-2, 11 points) climbed out of the relegation zone into a three-way tie for 15th place, Everton (2-6-4, 10) fell into it in a tie for 18th.
U.S. goalkeeper Kasey Keller continued his run of superb play, but as has happened several times recently, Tottenham Hotspur still fell Saturday to English Premier League-leading Arsenal 2-1.
Keller made a number of sparkling saves and, for much of the match, it looked like Darren Anderton's goal in the fourth minute might hold up for Spurs and allow them to snatch an unexpected win. But in the 68th minute, when Keller went full out to block Thierry Henry's powerful shot, the rebound should have easily been cleared by his defense. Instead, Robert Pires was left unmarked and he pushed home the rebound for a 1-1 tie.
Ten minutes later, Fredrik Ljungberg launched a shot from 25 yards that looked to be causing Keller no problems when it hit the leg of a defender, changed direction and settled in the net for a 2-1 Arsenal lead.
U.S. midfielder Claudio Reyna, nursing what is described as a mild hamstring strain, did not suit up for Manchester City's Sunday and his club fell 3-0 to visiting Leicester City. Last Thursday, Reyna came out in the 25th minute of Thursday's 1-1 draw at home with Groclin Dyskobolia of Poland. Manchester started out strong, but Reyna came up empty when his six-yard header went over the crossbar.
City did go ahead on a Nicholas Anelka goal, but it was clear that Reyna was struggling and in pain. He was replaced by Paul Bosvelt and his absence was clearly felt as Manchester City squandered numerous chances.
Tim Howard and Manchester United were cruising to another easy victory when the American keeper hit a rough final 20 minutes and visiting United was fortunate to emerge with a 2-1 decision over Liverpool at Anfield.
A pair of goals by Ryan Giggs spotted United a 2-0 lead when Florent Sinama Pongolle entered for Liverpool in the 62nd minute. Almost immediately. Howard made an awful error, giving the ball to Sinama, but he held it too long before feeding Anthony Le Tallec and the Man. U. defense recovered.
In the 72nd minute, Sinama crossed to the back post and Harry Kewell put it past Howard to get Liverpool back to 2-1, but United held on from there.
Last Tuesday, United continued to roll through the first phase of group play in the European Champions League with an easy 3-0 triumph over Glasgow Rangers at home. Man. U. had defeated Rangers 1-0 in Scotland two weeks ago.
Howard was really only called upon twice in the rematch. Rangers' Shota Arveladze flicked on a long cross from Henning Berg, but Howard dove to control the sharply headed ball. Late, Howard did well to parry a fierce free kick from Michael Ball and watched defender Mikael Silvestre clear the rebound from danger.
In England's First Division, Preston North End drew with Crystal Palace 1-1 Saturday in a foul-filled affair. U.S. midfielder Eddie Lewis played solidly for North End, almost scoring early and sending in several dangerous balls. He got into a shoving match and received a yellow card in the 54th minute before coming out in favor of Lee Cartwright in the 66th minute for defensive reasons.
Preston went ahead on a goal by David Healy in the 50th minute, but was tied 1-1 when Andrew Johnson scored in the 83rd.
Marcus Hahnemann produced another clean sheet when Reading defeated visiting Wigan 1-0 Saturday. The American keeper was in fine form, denying Andy Liddell and Lee McCulloch. After Reading went ahead 1-0 on a goal by Andy Hughes in the 68th minute, Hahnemann made a spectacular save on Gary Teale in the final minutes to preserve the victory.
United States defender Gregg Berhalter climbed into a tie for first place in Germany's 2Bundesliga, coming from behind with two goals after intermission for a 2-1 home victory over Erzgebirge Aue to the Stadion der Freundschaft (Stadium of Friendship) on national television last night.
Berhalter had a weak first half along with many of his teammates, but after receiving the captain's armband after a second-half substitution, he regained the top form he has shown of late. Cottbus (7-3-2, 23 points is tied with Aachen (7-3-2).
Due to suspensions and injuries, Hannover 96's trainer Ralf Rangnick substantially changed his lineup for Saturday's Bundesliga match, but it didn't prevent a sobering 5-1 setback to visiting Werder Bremen. American Steve Cherundolo moved from his traditional back right position to the right midfield and went the distance, producing two good chances at a goal in the last 20 minutes, the second parried by Bremen keeper Andreas Reinke in the last second.
Cherundolo received his fifth yellow card of the season and, league rules require, will sit out the next game. Hannover had several other chances on the day, but converted only one.
American striker Conor Casey put in an outstanding 79 minutes Sunday for host Karlsruher SC, scoring the first-half goal which edged Lübeck 1-0 Sunday in the 2Bundelsiga.
With a little bit of luck, Casey could have had one or two more. Karlsruher (6-4-2, 20), which has been playing well lately, climbed into third place with the top three in the league promoted to the Bundesliga..
VfL Osnabrück, with American Joe Enochs in its midfield, had its best game of the season and came away with a 3-0 victory at home against Trier. With the victory, Osnabrück (3-5-4, 13) moved out of the relegation zone for the first time in nine weeks and is now 13th in the 18-team league. The bottom three teams will be relegated to the Regionalliga.
Enochs received a yellow card in the game.
In the third-division Regionalliga Nord, FC St. Pauli was unable to capitalize on a match with last-place VfR Neumünster at home, coming away with a 1-1 draw only after converting a questionable penalty kick in the 88th minute. U.S. defender Cory Gibbs was back in the starting lineup after his two-game suspension and played 90 minutes, receiving a yellow card for his efforts.
St. Pauli is rumored to be shopping Gibbs and his teammate Nascimento to other clubs in order to help ease the club's financial problems. The two players in question have the highest market value on the roster, but Gibbs is rumored to already have a verbal agreement with Jahn Regensburg in the 2Bundesliga for next season.
Americans Jacob Thomas of Eintracht Braunschweig and Pellegrino (Rino) Matarazzo of Preußen Münster squared off against one another Saturday with Braunschweig emerging as the 2-0 victor on two goals from Torsten Sümnich.
Thomas played 86 minutes and earned a penalty for his team that Jürgen Rische was unable to convert. Matarazzo started and went 56 minutes for Münster before leaving the game.
Yesterday, Münster fired trainer Peter Vollmann, whose team hadn't had a victory in 10 matches and was nine points away from the safety of the non-relegation zone. Münster plans on having a new trainer by this weekend's action. Otherwise, assistant trainer Peter Zanter will be in charge.
In Regionalliga Süd, SV Elversberg squandered a 2-0 lead at home, but managed to escape with a 2-2 draw against Kickers Offenbach. Former U.S. international Michael Mason scored the first goal for Elversberg in the 27th minute and put in 76 minutes. Tim Lawson also started and played the entire 90 minutes while fellow American Grover Gibson was substituted into the game into the 57th minute.
Sportfreunde Siegen hoped to build on two victories in a row in their away game against SC Pfullendorf Friday night, but a weak showing led to a 2-0 loss and a long bus ride home.
American John van Buskirk started once again in defense for Siegen, but moved forward into the attack after Pfullendorf's first goal. Despite two reasonable chances, he was unable to find the net. Siegen's fate was sealed after Björn Weikl received his second yellow card and ejected in the 68th minute.
Americans Eric Lukin and Joshua Caleb Norkus did not play for Siegen, but Lukin was back on the bench, having recovered from an injury.
American Jonathan Cummins did not play for VfR Aalen in a 3-1 road victory over FSV Mainz 05 Amateurs.
In France, Greg Vanney played 90 minutes for Bastia which fell 2-0 to Nice.
Robert Wagman is a SoccerTimes senior correspondent and can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 email@example.com.