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Cherundolo helps Hannover 96 to defeat 1860 München 2-0 and gain safety.

Howard's days as Manchester United starter might be over.

Casey scores twice in Karlsruhe loss, then debuts in style for U.S.

Meeting between trio of U.S. field players produces drab 0-0 draw between Man. City, Fulham.

Mathis assists goal, but Hannover squanders two leads in 2-2 draw with Schalke.

Friedel is sharp in Rovers' 2-0 win over Aston Villa; Howard sits for Man. U.

Reyna, Manchester City romp over defenseless Manchester United 4-1.

Mathis, Cherundolo can't change Hannover fortunes under new coach.

After scoring thrilling tying goal, Lewis could be finished for North End season by hernia surgery.

Howard is beaten in last minute, Manchester United falls from Champions League.

Cherundolo, Mathis will get new coach at Hannover 96.

Manchester United, Howard prevail over Fulham, McBride in FA Cup.

Q&A: Mathis is enjoying Germany, looking to World Cup.

Casey scores twice as Karlsruhe ties Bielefeld 2-2.

McBride, Bocanegra lead Fulham past West Ham in FA Cup.

Sanneh expected to miss rest of German season; Mathis scores again.

Friedel scores tying goal for Blackburn, but is soon beaten by Charlton winner.

Lewis' recovery from hernia surgery suffers a setback.

Americans Abroad

White returns to U.S. following mob incident in Belgrade.

Jeremiah White
Jeremiah White's experience with OFK Beograd in Serbia and Montenegro left something to be desired, but the former Wake Forest star hopes to return to play in Europe next season.
-- Wake Forest University web site photo --
By Gary Davidson
SoccerTimes

(Thursday, April 8, 2004) -- Jeremiah White, a star striker and midfielder for Wake Forest University, who signed in January with OFK Beograd in Serbia and Montenegro, returned to the United States Tuesday, less than a month after he was threatened by a racist mob in the streets of Belgrade.

White, who turned 22 on Friday, insists the incident was not the reason he asked to be released for from his contract; rather, he did not like what OFK had planned for him.

"An incident did happen, but when the incident happened and when I asked to be released were about a month apart," said White, the 2003 Atlantic Coast Conference "Player of the Year." "That's not the reason why I asked to be released.

"I came to the conclusion to stay at that club, it really wasn't the place for me to be. It's a good club, but . . . they sell players to Russia and Ukraine. That's not where I wanted to be. They were like, 'We want to sell you in the summer.' and they sell players for a lot of money, but they sell them mostly to Russia and Ukraine. Where they wanted to sell me, I potentially could have made a lot of money, but I didn't want to play in that region of the world. I want to play in western Europe."

Still, it appears White, whose friends call him Jerry, was fortunate not to be injured when a mob targeted him and couple of friends in the nation's capital. White was attacked by "a group of rowdy teenagers who objected to the black skin of the OFK Beograd soccer player," said a report by Sportski Zurnal, picked up by the Serbian news agency Beta and later translated and run by the British Broadcasting Company. "White was saved by his hard fist and quick legs and he emerged from the situation unscathed."

White, whose speed is a major asset as a player, confirmed taking a punch at the ringleader and then taking off.

Jeremiah White
Jeremiah White
"I was walking with some friends of mine and we did encounter one pocket of people who had a problem because we were black," he said. "Two of my friends were from Brazil -- black Brazilians -- and that was the only incident. And that wasn't the reason why I actually decided to leave.

"The guys, they came and they were drunk and they had a problem and we had to kind of defuse it and get out. The one guy, we kind of handled him. And then, like 25 guys started to come at us. . . I took off down towards, there's a café where a lot of my friends were."

White, a native of Lansdowne, Pa., had eight goals and five assists for the Deamon Deacons as a senior last fall. Over four years, he totaled 37 goals and 19 assists for 93 points, second on the school's career list.

After completing his collegiate career, White said he was working with Belgrade-based Sergan O'Bradovich who arranged trials in Spain, Belgium and Denmark, but a knee injury sidelined him and ended his chances of signing in those countries. OFK was familiar with the American and offered him a contract when he recovered.

"They saw me play before my injury so they asked me to stay," White said. "I signed a contract there. At that point, it was my best option."

White said he saw considerable action in the OFK preseason, but missed the first four Prva Liga games before his paperwork was completed. Then, he saw considerable action both in league and Cup competitions.

OFK is currently in sixth place in the Prva Liga at 9-6-8 with 35 points, 22 points behind first-place Red Star.

"They had me playing right midfield, but then, as they realized they needed more speed in the attacking midfield, I got some time in the withdrawn striker position which is my best position," White said. "I think (playing in Serbia) was good overall. They play very physical. You have a few teams like Partisan and Sartid and Red Star who really like to play (an attractive style) and other teams that are very, very physical. If you try to dribble by a guy, he's looking to take you out. It took adjusting to that and it toughens you up a lot."

White plans to train for the next two months in Philadelphia with Kelvin Sebwe, the former Liberian international and veteran European professional, looking to return to Europe, preferably Belgium or France for next season. A third-round draft pick by the New England Revolution, White said he would like to hear what Major League Soccer has to offer.

White would likely have gone much higher in the draft, but MLS was aware of his intent to play overseas. Because of this, there were no negotiations to sign him, an MLS official said.

Gary Davidson is SoccerTimes' managing editor. E-mail Gary Davidson.

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