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U.S. men's schedule, results

U.S. men's roster

Blackburn Rovers confirm McBride transfer.

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.

Keller is key in Tottenham Carling Cup win, is named Spurs' best player.

Howard, Man. U. get the best of Friedel, Rovers before record crowd at Old Trafford.

Hahnemann's shutout leads Reading to 1-0 victory over Millwall.

Friedel, Rovers get back on winning track, 2-1 over Everton.

Americans Abroad

Manchester United, Howard are stunned by lowly Wolves 1-0, fall from first place.

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

(Monday, January 19, 2004) -- Cellar-dwelling Wolverhampton pulled the upset of the English Premier League season, knocking visiting Manchester United out of first place with a 1-0 decision before 29,396 at Molineux Stadium Saturday.

While United States goalkeeper Tim Howard is not responsible that United has not scored in its last two matches, but he probably wishes he had done better on the Wolves' goal. . In the 47th minute, Wolves midfielder Paul Ince outdueled Mikael Silvestre for a ball and took a quick shot that beat Howard, but clanged against the right post. In the 67th minute, striker Kenny Miller stunned Man. U. with a wonderful goal.

Miller ran past two defenders to get onto Shaun Newton's pass and he slid the ball past Howard who might have hoped to have done better in the situation. Howard gained some redemption in the 73rd minute when he tipped Denis Irwin's very dangerous free kick over the bar.

On an extremely cold afternoon, neither side did much through the first hour before United came close several times.

Early in the year, United manager Alex Ferguson said of the expected battle between his club, Arsenal and Chelsea for the league title, any team with more than five loses would fall out of contention. United (16-4-2, 50 points), which had won six straight since falling to Chelsea, now has drawn Newcastle United 0-0 and fallen to Wolves in its last two outings, but trails Arsenal (15-0-7) by two points. Chelsea (14-4-4, 46) is in third.

A potential matchup between U.S. goalkeeper Brad Friedel and midfielder Claudio Reyna did not materialize when Reyna, nursing a week-old bad thigh contusion, sat out host Manchester City's 1-1 draw with Blackburn Rovers Saturday.

Friedel's did not have one of his busiest days for Rovers with little to do in the first half though he did well to control Richard Dunne's downward header at the far post. There was little Friedel could go do with striker Nicolas Anelka's superb curling free kick in the 50th minute from just outside the penalty area.

But Garry Flitcroft pulled Rovers even five minutes later and neither team was able to generate much offense after that. City (5-9-8, 23) is winless in its last 11 matches (0-6-5) and is tied for 15th place with Rovers (6-11-5), three points above the relegation zone.

Tottenham Hotspur opened 2004 with relegation concerns, but its 3-0 in the new year following a 2-1 victory over Liverpool. U.S. keeper Kasey Keller played well for Spurs as Robbie Keane netted a penalty kick and Helder Postiga increased the margin to 2-0 before Harry Kewell scored for Liverpool in the 75th minute.

Spurs (8-11-3, 27) have climbed into a tie for 11th place.

In England's First Division, American keeper Marcus Hahnemann was sharp and earned his seventh clean sheet of the league season for Reading which defeated Nottingham Forest 1-0. Hahnemann's best two saves came late when he held a drive from Eugen Bopp and then a dangerous free kick from Andy Reid.

Reading got back on the winning track after three straight 3-0 losses followed by a pair of 1-1 draws and is tied for eighth, four points below sixth place which is the lowest berth in the promotion playoffs.

U.S. midfielder Eddie Lewis remained in U.S. following the death of his father. Without Lewis and nine other missing players, Preston North End went down to Wigan 4-2. Preston (12-9-7, 43) had entered the match tied with Wigan (12-6-10, 46) for sixth place.


In France, U.S. defender Greg Vanney came on in the 70th minute to help host Bastia hold league-leading Monaco scoreless and earn a surprise 0-0 draw. Vanney replaced Anthar Yahia who had his problems throughout the match.
American John O'Brien seems to have reclaimed his spot as starting left back for injury-stricken Ajax which resumes league play Wednesday in the Netherlands' Eredivisie.

During training in Portugal and Spain over the winter break, O'Brien played the second half of a 70-minute scrimmage match won by Russian powerhouse CSKA Moscow 1-0. More significantly, O'Brien wore the Ajax captain's armband for the first time.

Then, against Recreativo Huelva of Spain's Second Division, O'Brien moved to the right side and played 90 minutes in a 0-0 draw.

Ajax badly need O'Brien back in form, entering the second half of the season with a long injury list. Three starters, Hatem Trabelsi, Steven Pienaar and Anthony Obodai, were too banged up to make the trip to Portugal, while Zdenek Grygera went, but was too hurt to train. Nigel de Jong and Zlatan Ibrahimovic were hurt in Portugal.

Wesley Sneijder, Sander Boschker and Jari Litmanen are considered day-to-day. Against Recreativo Huelva, Ajax had only three field players on the bench.

Robert Wagman is a SoccerTimes senior correspondent. E-mail Robert Wagman.

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