U.S. men's schedule, results
Reyna has goal, assist as Man. City drubs Bolton 6-2.
By Robert Wagman (in Washington, D.C.)
(Tuesday, October 21, 2003) -- After watching most of a midweek UEFA Cup match on the bench, United States midfielder Claudio Reyna was back starting for Manchester City Saturday, registering a goal and an assist in a strong overall performance during a 6-2 romp over visiting Bolton Wanderers in England's Premier League.
City (4-2-3, 15 points) is tied for fifth place as the EPL approaches the quarter-mark of its 2003-04 season.
In the second leg of UEFA Cup second-round match Wednesday against Lokeren in Belgium, Reyna did not enter until the 83rd minute in a defensive midfield role, but helped seal a 1-0 decision that saw City advance 4-2 on aggregate. City manager Kevin Keegan was not happy with his team's performance, so he restored Reyna to the starting side on Saturday.
Manchester led only 1-0 at the break on the strength of Shaun Wright-Phillips' goal in the 26th minute. City erupted for five goals in the second half despite Wright-Phillips being sent off with a second yellow card in the 61st minute. Reyna completed the scoring in the 83rd minute with a shot inside the far post.
Tottenham Hotspur and its American goalkeeper Kasey Keller recovered from an embarrassing early gaffe to snatch a 2-1 last minute victory over Leicester City in England's Premier League Sunday on the road at the Walkers Stadium.
In the 37th minute, Leicester goalkeeper Ian Walker's let go with a long goal kick which was flicked ahead by Les Ferdinand to Paul Dickov who stormed down the left side. Keller got down and seemed to have covered Dickov's hard drive, but inexplicably let the ball slip through his legs for a 1-0 deficit.
The home crowd began a derisive chant of "USA, USA," but Keller recovered and slammed the door on Leicester the rest of the way. Spurs drew level on a goal by Mbulelo Mabizela in the 78th minute and went ahead 2-1 on Frederic Kanoute's tally in the 89th minute.
U.S. keeper Tim Howard had another easy day at the office, hardly called on to expend much energy as Manchester United (7-1-1, 22) defeated a listless Leeds United 1-0 to remain one point behind Arsenal (7-0-2).
Howard status as Manchester United top goalkeeper was greatly enhanced this week when French international Fabien Barthez, who led the club to the Premier League title last season, was sent to Marseille in France on a nine-month loan deal that will likely become permanent.
U.S. keeper Brad Friedel and Blackburn Rovers had a miserable week, being eliminated from the UEFA Cup before a chilly 1-0 setback to visiting Charlton Athletic last night.
Charlton received an early goal when Friedel could do little with Charlton defender Hermann Hreidarsson's glancing header off a corner kick. Rovers could do little to crack the Charlton packed defense after that while Friedel made two strong saves in the second half to keep his club in it.
Blackburn was eliminated from the UEFA Cup Wednesday, its 1-1 draw with Genclerbirligi of Turkey leading to a 4-2 loss in aggregate. Having lost 3-1 in Turkey in the first leg, Rovers had an almost insurmountable deficit to make up. Friedel played well, making nice saves on El Saka, Deniz Baris and Souleymane Youla, who had scored a pair of goals in the opening leg. Rovers, however, failed to convert numerous chances.
U.S. striker Jovan Kirovski is having a frustrating year. He is playing well for Birmingham City's reserves, but has been unable to crack the starting side on a club which spent lavishly for new offensive talent in the offseason and currently sits in fourth place at 4-1-4 with 16 points.
Kirovski did not dress for Birmingham's two 0-0 draws this week, Sunday with Aston Villa and last Tuesday against Chelsea. Kirovski did turn in a superb effort for the reserves midweek, notching a goal and an assist as the Blues ended a three-match losing streak by downing Bolton's reserves 2-0.
In the 16th minute Kirovski took a pass from Bryan Hughes, beat a defender and sent a perfect cross to Luciano Figueroa who headed it home. In the 70th minute, Kirovski doubled the lead, scoring from 18 yards on a snap shot off a back heel pass for the game-winner.
Crewe Alexandra of the First Division is still trying to land Kirovski on a loan, but Crewe's acting coach Neil Baker said his team has had a problem getting Kirovski's work permit reissued, as required by England's Home Office when a player changes teams, even on loan.
In a First Division meeting of teams employing Americans, Reading, with Marcus Hahnemann in net, prevailed 3-2 over Preston North End and U.S. midfielder Eddie Lewis on Nicky Forster's goal in stoppage time.
Reading tied the match at 2-2 nine minutes earlier when John Mackie scored on North End which was reduced to 10 men in the 35th minute after Marlon Broome's red card. In the foul-filled affair, each team scored on a penalty kick.
Lewis played well, but was replaced in the 56th minute as shorthanded North End added defensive help. Hahnemann was strong and made two sensational saves in the second half, particularly with a 70th-minute effort against Richard Cresswell.
Both Preston and Reading were victorious on Tuesday, following a weekend off for international matches.
Preston defeated Millwall 1-0 with Lewis playing 68 minutes before coming off, again in favor of a more central, defensive player. He triggered several good shots, sending one just inches wide just before the half.
Hahnemann gave up a bad tying goal to Marlon King in the 72nd minute, but Reading came back to defeat Gillingham 2-1 when Steven Sidwell found net 12 minutes later. Hahnemann was terrific until he tried to beat King to a ball in the penalty area, but missed his clearance attempt leaving King to roll the ball into an empty net.
U.S. defender Steve Cherundolo and Hannover 96 suffered through a 6-2 drubbing Saturday at Dortmund in the German Bundesliga. To make matter worse for Cherundolo, he shouldered much of the blame with four of the six goals coming from the right side he manned.
Afterward, Hannover coach Ralf Rangnick blasted Cherundolo for not being match fit and all but confirmed Julian de Guzman, a converted midfielder, would take the American's place in the starting lineup. "This performance won't be enough (for Cherundolo) to remain in the team," Rangnick said. "I will have to react if he continues like that."
"It was a crap day," Cherundolo said.
In Bundesliga 2 action, Americans striker Conor Casey came off the bench for Karlsruher, coming in in the 56th minute in a 2-0 loss at Erzgebirge Aue.
U.S. defender Gregg Berhalter also went 90 minutes and was solid for Energie Cottbus which defeated SVW Burghausen 2-1.
American Joe Enochs went the distance in midfield for VfL Osnabrück which drew 1-1 with VfB Lübeck.
In the third-division Regionalliga Nord, U.S. defender Cory Gibbs went the full 90 for St. Pauli which gave up a goal in injury time for a 2-1loss at Sachsen Leipzig.
In a Regionalliga Sued meeting featuring four Americans, Elversberg defeated Siegen 2-0. Grover Gibson, Tim Lawson and Michael Mason played 90 minutes for Elversberg while John van Buskirk came on for Siegen in the 64th minute. Lawson scored the eventual game winner in the 21st minute.
In France, U.S. defender Greg Vanney has been in and out of Bastia's starting 11 all season. This week, he went the distance as Bastia defeated visiting Lens 3-1.
In the UEFA Cup, American defender Oguchi Oneywu and La Louviere of Belgium put forth a brave effort, but were eliminated by Benfica of Portugal 2-1 on aggregate after a 1-0 loss at Boavista FC's Bessa Stadium in Lisbon. Onyewu went the distance and was a physical presence.
In a Belgian Jupiler League match Sunday, Onyewu became one of three players to be sent off in a foul-filled 1-1 draw with host Lierse.
Also in Belgium, American defender Alex Yi was given a start by new manager Dojcin Perazic and played 90 minutes for Royal Antwerp which, playing a man down, lost to AEC Mons 1-0. Yi was issued a yellow card.
In Norway, Robbie Russell went the distance for Sogndal which defeated LSK 2-1 in a match Sogndal needed to win to keep alive European hopes for next season.
Robert Wagman is a SoccerTimes senior correspondent and can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.