U.S. men's schedule, results
O'Brien appearance for U.S. in doubt because of hamstring injury.By Robert Wagman (in Washington, D.C.)
After missing the first half of the Eredivisie season for Ajax Amsterdam with a Achilles tendon injury, O'Brien first appeared for the reserves and then started the first four matches of the second half. Today, he did not dress for a 2-0 triumph over FC Volendam.
Ajax (17-2-1, 52 points), which still has a game in hand, restored its three-point lead over PSV Eindhoven (15-2-4) which won 1-0 over visiting Twente Enschede yesterday.
O'Brien was on the 22-player roster U.S. coach Bruce Arena named Wednesday and he was looking forward to playing against some of his Ajax teammates Wednesday at their home Amsterdam ArenA.
U.S. defender Charles Kazlauskas, 21, has been on the roster of NEC Nijmegen in the Eredivisie this season, but so far has been unable to break onto the first team. Now, he has accepted a loan to Fortuna Sittard of the second divison for the remainder of the season.
Fortuna (3-10-8, 17), which stands 16 among 19 teams, has problems, especially on defense, and coach Fred van Barneveld told a local newspaper, "Because of (Kazlauskas') heading power, he can also be used as a pinch-hitter. But in the first instance, we want to get him to strengthen our defense."
American goalkeeper Zach Thornton has yet to suit up for Benfica in Portugal after signing two weekends ago.
He did not dress in Benfica's 2-1 midweek Portugese Cup quarterfinal win over Nacional da Madeira, nor was he in evidence in today's hugely important 1-1 home draw with Porto.
Twenty-two year old Moreira continues to be the starting keeper while Argentine Carlos Gustavo Bossio, 31, who was supposed to be injured, remains the backup. Thornton presumably was brought in to replace Bossio.
Porto leads the Portugese Superliga at 17-0-5 with 56 points while Benfica sits third at 14-3-5 with 47 points, four points behind Sporting (16-3-3).
In France, U.S. defender Greg Vanney, went the distance for Bastia which played well, but fell 1-0 to Guingamp. Bastia (7-10-7, 28), which has managed five points in its last eight outings, is in 14th place, six points above the relegation zone after falling to Guingamp (7-14-3, 24) which sits 17th.
Midweek, in Belgium, American defender Oguchi Oneywu went 90 minutes for La Louviere in a 4-0 loss to Club Brugge. Oneywu played despite the fact he received a red card for a hard tackle in the 70th minute in La Louviere's 2-2 draw with Charleroi last week.
Robert Wagman is a SoccerTimes senior correspondent. E-mail Robert Wagman.