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Friedel saves Rovers' badly needed 1-0 victory over Middlesbrough, giving Souness respite.

Keller lives nightmare, Spurs are eliminated by Man. City 4-3 in FA Cup; Bocanegra excels for Fulham.

McBride, Mathis score key goals in European debuts.

Reyna, Keller meeting in FA Cup produces a draw; they'll try again.

Mathis, West sign overseas; Gibbs doesn't.

McBride spurns Rovers, joins Bocanegra at Fulham.

Manchester United, Howard are stunned by lowly Wolves 1-0.

Bocanegra joins Fulham after winning work permit appeal.

Reyna injures leg early as Manchester City draws 1-1 with Charlton.

Howard's saves help Manchester United overcome Aston Villa 2-1 in FA Cup.

Kirovski, Birmingham win duel with Reyna, Manchester City 2-1.

Marcus Hahnemann Q&A

O'Brien returns to Ajax, playing for reserves in Amstel Cup.

Gregg Berhalter Q&A.

Howard works hard for Man. U. in defeat of Manchester City.

Lewis cracks starting lineup, sparks Preston North End twice.

Casey, Berhalter score as their teams draw in Germany.

Americans Abroad

Hannover, with Mathis, Cherundolo, falls to Bayern Munich; Casey, Berhalter score in victories.

By Harris King (in Bamberg, Germany)
Special to SoccerTimes

(Wednesday, February 11, 2004) -- United States striker Clint Mathis, now the playmaker for Hannover 96, knew Sunday night's game against Bayern Munich wouldn't be easy.

On Wednesday, Bayern bowed out of the DFB Pokal (German Cup) to second-division Allemania Aachen in front of a national television audience and soccer experts countrywide expected Bayern to be particularly motivated to make amends in front of its home fans at Munich's Olympic stadium.

The final score was 3-1 in Bayern's favor on a very cold and windy night, but Hannover had its chances. As frustrated coach Ralf Rangnick said in the press conference after the game, "You don't expect to get this many chances in Munich, and when you get them you have to take advantage of them."

Indeed, Hannover played a confident brand of soccer, but was unable to make the last touch after several good crosses into the middle. Mathis put in a solid effort and, though not quite at the level in his first outing for his new team, was able to build on that performance.

"With every minute Mathis plays on the field, he will get better. If we can get him back to where he was two years ago then everybody will be happy," Rangnick said. "Having tired under the pace of the game and harsh weather conditions, Mathis was replaced in the 66th minute for another new arrival, Stanko Svitlica, who scored Hannover's only goal in the 82nd minute in his debut.

U.S. defender Steve Cherundolo put in one of his better efforts at right back against the potent Bayern offense. He rarely lost the ball in one-on-one situations and was able to stop many passes from reaching a potential Bayern attacker in dangerous situations. As a result of his strong play, it was a surprise that he didn't return to start the second half and was instead replaced by recent transfer Jaime.

After the game, Rangnick explained he was worried that Cherundolo would pick up his second yellow card if he had left him in the game.

In 2Bundesliga action, Karlsruher SC, with forward Conor Casey, was easily able to dispatch of VfL Osnabrück and fellow American, midfielder Joe Enochs, 3-0 Friday night. All three of Karlsruhe's goals were scored by the talented strike duo of Casey, who had one goal, and Ivan Saenko, who netted the other two. That the pair shows signs of brilliance, as it did Friday night, but is often ineffective, is frustrating to Karlsruhe management and fans.

This lack of consistency is reflective of the respective ages of the two, with Casey being the elder statesman at 22, compared to Saenko who is 20.

Casey's goal was scored at close range in the 25th minute after he expertly controlled a long, looping cross from Bernhard Trares, a pass that barely sneaked over two Osnabrück defenders who had run into each other. Karlsruhe moved up from ninth to seventh place while Osnabrück remained in last place.

"We aren't playing as one, and I am worried about the team." Enochs, the captain, remarked on Kicker Online.

U.S. defender Gregg Berhalter put two headers into the net in Energie Cotttbus' 2-1 decision over Union Berlin. Unfortunately for Berhalter, he had the dubious distinction of scoring once for each team, but still earned "Man of the Match" honors.

Berhalter put his team ahead 1-0 in the 25th minute, but had his own goal bring Berlin within striking distance with 20 minutes to play.

While Berhalter's delight at scoring was tempered by regret for his late gaffe, his coach Eduard Geyer was more forgiving and wrote it off to bad luck. Jiri Steiner scored Cottbus' second goal in the 66th minute.

1. FC Nürnberg, which is battling for the 2Bundesliga title, had U.S. defender Tony Sanneh resume practicing on a limited basis, Kicker reported, after missing the first half of the season with a back injury. When Sanneh will play, however, is still uncertain.

Harris King, an American from South Carolina, has lived in Germany for five years. He is a Business English lecturer at the University of Bamberg. E-mail Harris King.

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