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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.

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.

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

Americans Abroad

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

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

(Tuesday, October 28, 2003) -- The hottest goalkeeper in the English Premier League right now is American Kasey Keller.

On Sunday, behind Keller's seven saves, Tottenham Hotspur collected a hard earned point, drawing 0-0 at home with Middlesbrough. The clean sheet was Keller's sixth of the young season and he has given up only a single goal in his last four matches.

Shaking off a dismal start and a change of managers, Spurs have ridden Keller's efforts to the middle of the Premier League table, tied for 11th place at 3-4-3 with 12 points.

Keller was busy in against Middlesbrough, coming up big twice in first-half injury time. First, he tipped a 30-yard blast from Szilard Nemeth over the crissbar. Then, on the ensuing corner kick, defender Dean Richards tripped Gaizka Mendieta. Mendieta curled the subsequent 25-yard free kick over the defensive wall, but Keller again tipped it over his bar.

Keller's best save came on Boudewijn Zenden's fierce shot from 20 yards in the 54th minute. Mendieta fed the Dutch international on the left edge of the box and his bullet was brilliantly turned round his right hand post by Keller.

Manchester City, with American Claudio Reyna in the midfield, could have used a couple of the six goals it scored last week against Bolton Wanderers in Saturday's 1-0 loss to Chelsea. City simply could not generate any offense and Reyna came out in the 79th minute in favor of striker Antoine Sibierski who did little in the remaining time.

Blackburn Rovers are not playing well, and despite a decent performance by United States goalkeeper Brad Friedel, they fell to Southampton 2-0. After a somewhat lackluster, scoreless first half, the action picked up after the interval. In the first minutes of the second half, Rory Delap dribbled past several defenders into the box and lashed a shot which Friedel held.

But Friedel could not do anything with a James Beattie free kick in the 58th minute. The striker, who Friedel had stopped moments earlier, sent a free kick from five yards outside the penalty area into the bottom left corner of the net where Friedel had no chance.

After Rovers' Andy Cole was sent off for throwing a punch in the 64th minute, Southampton put on the pressure and was rewarded near the end when substitute Leandre Griffit, completely unmarked, picked up a loose ball outside the box and rifled an unstoppable shot past Friedel.

Manchester United suffered its worst loss of the year 3-1 at the hands of an inspired Fulham. U.S. keeper Tim Howard did what he could, making four terrific saves, but in the end the United defense was simply overwhelmed by an attack led by French international Steed Malbranque.

United coach Alex Ferguson decided to rest Roy Keane, Phil Neville and Paul Scholes and the Man. U. midfield was largely absent. In the third minute, Malbranque caught the United defense asleep, found Lee Clark in full stride, and Clark cleanly beat Howard one-on-one for a 1-0 lead.

Malbranque made it 2-0 in the 66th minute and sent a marvelous through ball for Junichi Inamoto who wrapped up the victory 11 minutes from the end. In between, Howard made impressive saves against Louis Saha, Luis Boa Morte and Malbranque.

"When you gamble, you leave the gate open." Ferguson said. "These performances don't happen a lot, and we're very seldom as bad as that."

U.S. attacker Jovan Kirovski was not dressed for Birmingham City's 1-0 defeat of Bolton. Midweek, he went 90 minutes in midfield for City's reserves who drew 1-1 with Everton. In other reserve action, American Frank Simek played well for 90 minutes in the middle of the back four for Arsenal which drew 1-1 with Fulham.

In England's First Division, Preston North End earned a point with a 1-1 draw with Ipswich. Trying to get more offense following back-to-back losses to Reading and Crewe, Preston manager Craig Brown made several lineup changes, including sending U.S. midfielder Eddie Lewis to the bench in an attempt to get more attack from the central midfield. Lewis entered in the 77th minute with the match level, but Preston could not force a winning goal.

Reading recorded a big victory, defeating surging Sheffield United 2-1. American keeper Marcus Hahnemann had probably his best match of the season, making several sensational saves. The first was on a sharp header from Phil Jagielka. Before the half, he denied Ashley Ward and then Robert Kozluk with an acrobatic dive.

Hahnemann hopes the strong effort ended a bad stretch for him. Earlier in the week, he let in a bad goal which cost Reading in a 1-0 setback to Walsall Tuesday. Hahnemann allowed Vinnie Samways' free kick to fly inside his near post and seal Walsall's first road win of the season.

"I screwed up big time," Hahnemann told the BBC. "That free kick should never go in and I'm absolutely gutted. It was a well-struck free-kick, but I still should have saved it and I have cost the team points. It hasn't been the best of times for me, but that's the way it goes. The life of a goalkeeper is that when you make a mistake, it can lead to a goal. It's disappointing because I don't usually make mistakes and now I have made three in three games."

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

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