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U.S. men's schedule, results

U.S. men's roster

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.

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

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

By Robert Wagman (in Washington, D.C.)
and Harris King (in Bamberg, Germany)
SoccerTimes

(Sunday, January 25, 2004) -- A FA Cup fourth-round match is always a big event in England, but this one had a sub-plot with a meeting of Americans. In this one, midfielder Claudio Reyna and Manchester City hosted goalkeeper Kasey Keller and Tottenham Hotspur.

Unfortunately, a decision was not reached. After a 1-1 draw before 57,000 at City of Manchester Stadium, the two teams will move to Spurs' White Hart Lane for a replay February 4 between the Premier League clubs.

Keller started out well, denying Antoine Sibierski in the opening minute. In the 10th minute, Keller denied Robbie Fowler, but a minute later he surrendered a goal in a chaotic sequence.

Michael Tarnat's corner kick was headed away, but right to City's Sylvain Distin. He chipped the ball back in and Fowler headed in sharply off the post. The ball caromed directly to Nicolas Anelka who put the rebound past Keller into the far corner for a 1-0 lead.

Reyna, who put in a strong effort after coming back from a minor leg injury, nearly made it 2-0 before the half. He was sent through by Sun Jihai, beat Keller, but his shot went inches wide. Reyna picked up a first half yellow card.

Gary Doherty scored in the 57th minute to give Spurs the draw.

In other FA Cup matches, U.S. defender Carlos Bocanegra made his second straight start since signing with Fulham and went the distance for the Cottagers in a 1-1 draw with host Everton before 27,862 at Goodison Park. The match will be replayed at Fulham's Loftus Road in two weeks.

On the strength of Sean Davis' strike in the 49th minute, Fulham looked to have the match wrapped up before a Everton corner kick in injury time dropped into the box. Fulham keeper Edwin Van der Saar could not hold the ball and Francis Jeffers poked it in for the 1-1 tie.

The paperwork on U.S. striker Brian McBride's transfer to Fulham from Major League Soccer's Columbus Crew is not yet complete, but the Cottagers manager Chris Coleman can't wait to get him into uniform. After the draw, he expressed displeasure with his team's attack and said that he intends to sign another forward in addition to McBride before the transfer window closes at the end of the month.

Returning from a trip to California because of his father's death, U.S. midfielder Eddie Lewis was back in action for Preston North End, but the First Division club was humbled 2-1 on the road to Swansea of the Third Division.

Preston attacked from the start and almost took an early lead when Lewis triggered a strong shot which was denied by Swansea goalkeeper Roger Freestone. Preston did take a 1-0 lead when Dickson Etuhu found net in the 58th minute, but Swansea prevailed with Andy Robinson's free kick in the 80th minute and with Lee Trundle scoring from a goal-mouth scrum two minutes later.

With Lewis gone last week, North End qualified for the fourth round with a 2-1 defeat of the First Division's Reading in a replay following a third-round draw. American keeper Marcus Hahnemann had a solid match for Reading, but Preston was simply a better squad on the day.

Early, Hahnemann came up big on a hard shot from Richard Cresswell and he later stopped shots from Graham Alexander and Michael Keane. But he could not stop Cresswell's drive in the 28th minute or George Koumantarakis's wonderful curling putback of a rebound two minutes after intermission.

A goal by Shaun Goater in the 84th minute could not keep the Royals from being eliminated at home.

On Saturday, U.S. striker Jovan Kirovski watched from the bench when Birmingham City defeated Wimbledon 1-0 in the fourth round.

U.S. keeper Tim Howard was also on the bench when Manchester United used a mostly reserve side to easily defeat the Third Division's Northampton 3-0.


In the Netherlands, U.S. defender John O'Brien quickly reclaimed his starting role at left back for Ajax of Amsterdam which has numerous players missing either from injury or international duties.

Ajax recorded two key victories the past week in the Dutch Eredivisie. On Wednesday, O'Brien played his first league match of the season in a 2-1 defeat of Roda JC Kerkrade. Today, Ajax (14-2-1, 43 points) scored a big win, 1-0 over NEC Nijmegen, a victory that allowed the team to remain three points ahead of defending champion PSV Eindhoven (12-1-4).

O'Brien turned in 90 solid minutes at left back, moving freely and attacking often, particularly in the first half. Ajax came close on numerous occasions, but finally took a 1-0 lead on Wesley Sonck's goal in the 61st minute. When Rafael van der Vaart was replaced in the 81st minute, O'Brien assumed the captain's armband, the first time an American had been accorded such an honor in a league match for Ajax. O'Brien had served as the captain in an exhibition match two weeks earlier.


In Germany, U.S. striker Clint Mathis went right to work for his new club, playing 90 minutes for Hannover 96 which was soundly defeated 5-1 by Bundesliga rival VfL Wolfsburg in its last training match of the winter break. The final score was not of much concern to Hannover which had played a scrimmage match the previous day and used liberal substitution against Wolfsburg.

Mathis started the game up front, but spent most of the game playing behind the two forwards as a playmaker. He did well, but did not appear to fully fit and was still trying to mesh with his new teammates. On one occasion in the first half, he had an opportunity to score but his lob went a couple of yards wide of an open goal. He also took all of Hannover's corner kicks.

U.S. defender Steve Cherundolo played the first half for Hannover and was responsible for Wolfburg's first goal by letting Martin Petrov get behind him. Otherwise, he displayed good form. The same, however, can be said of a now healthy Silvio Schröter who replaced Cherundolo in the second half and is expected to battle the American to be the starting right back. According to reports in the German media, U.S. defender Cory Gibbs' transfer from third-division Saint Pauli to Regensburg of the second division was cancelled because he refused a physical from the team doctors, preferring to bring in a physician he "trusted."

Some speculation is that he sought an out from the new contract because Eintracht Frankfurt of the Bundesliga is now interested. Other stories say Gibbs was completely unimpressed with the city of Regensburg, a small conservative city of 125,000 located in Bavaria in southern Germany. St. Pauli, which was hoping to improve its financial picture with the transfer, has not been publicly upset with Gibbs' actions, possibly lending credence to reports that another deal may be in the offing.

U.S. defender Tony Sanneh did not accompany FC Nürnberg when the team flew to Turkey for winter-break training and it will probably be a while before he can play, sending his club into the transfer market for a defender.

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

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