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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.

Mathis has goal, assist for Hannover in 2-2 draw with Leverkusen.

O'Brien appearance for U.S. in doubt because of hamstring injury.

Howard leads Man. U. past Reyna, Man. City 4-2 in FA Cup.

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

Americans Abroad

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

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

(Tuesday, March 23, 2004) -- Striker Clint Mathis set up one goal and went the distance with his United States teammate and defender Steve Cherundolo, helping Hannover 96 earn a 2-2 draw with Schalke in front of 61,000 fans at the 1Bundesliga match in the Schalke Arena Saturday.

Thomas Bdaric scored both goals for Hannover, the first on an assist from Mathis in the 14th minute, putting his team on top in both instances. Schalke's tied the match at 2-2 on a goal by Edde Sand in the 84th minute.

Hannover wasted its first lead on defender Per Mertesacker's own goal in the 63rd minute. Eight minutes later, Hannover went ahead again, but could not hold on to a victory that would have given it a respite from the relegation zone. Despite responding to new coach Ewald Lienen's philosophy of playing with more grit and less flair, Hannover (6-12-7, 25 points) gained one point instead of three and is in 16th place, just one point from safety. Hannover hosts Borussia Dortmund Saturday.

In Germany's 2Bundesliga, Energie Cottbus and its U.S. defender Gregg Berhalter were able to move back into first place after a come-from-behind 2-1 home victory over American striker Conor Casey and Karlsruher SC.

After 59 minutes of Cottbus trying to break through Karlsruhe's defense, Casey put Karlsruhe on top 1-0 when it was least expected. The goal, his 10th of the season, came off of a counter when Casey scored from close range on a cross by Marco Englehardt.

After the surprising goal, the game continued in similar fashion until Cottbus was finally able to tie matters at 1-1 in the 80th minute off of a header by Vragel da Silva. Seven minutes later, Timo Rost secured the Cottbus victory.

Both Berhalter and Casey played the full 90 minutes for their respective teams. Cottbus (13-6-6, 45) moved two points ahead of FC Nürnberg (12-7-6), which lost 2-1 to Lübeck. Karlsruhe (9-9-7, 34) is in eighth place.

In other Nürnberg news, U.S. defender Tony Sanneh, expected to miss the rest of the 2Bundesliga season in Germany, returned to Nürnberg's bench, but did not play in the setback to Lübeck Sunday.

Sanneh last played for Nürnberg on December 7, 2002, before a serious nerve injury in his back sidelined him. While he was pretty much written off for the remainder of the German club season, U.S. coach Bruce Arena called the 2002 World Cup star in for a training camp that preceded a friendly against Haiti in Miami, Fla.

Arena then used Sanneh for the first half March 13 in the 1-1 draw with Haiti with the Minnesotan returning to Germany with the intention of playing.

Before the Lübeck game, Nürnberg coach Wolfgang Wolf praised Sanneh for his hard work for getting back to playing shape after such a serious injury and talked of putting him into the game for a half. Lübeck, however, jumped on top 2-0, thus making it necessary for Wolf to make offensive, instead of defensive, substitutions.

Kicker reported Sanneh is "happy" to be back and he points to playing in the 2006 World Cup as his number one goal.

American midfielder Joe Enochs and his VfL Osnabrück teammates continued their freefall back into the Regionalliga after a 3-1 loss on the road to MSV Duisburg in the 2Bundesliga.

Osnabrück scored after being blanked in four straight games, but lost for a fourth straight outing. Coach Frank Pagelsdorf and Enochs, his captain, attempted to put a positive spin on the team's chances after the game, but history is not on Osnabrück's side. Osnabrück (5-15-5, 20), 0-4-1 in its last five, remains in last place, 10 points adrift of the safety of 14th place. No team has ever been able to recover from a deficit this large this late in the season.

In the third-division Regionalliga Nord, American defender Pellegrino Matarazzo of Preussen Münster was back in action after a nagging knee injury sidelined him for most the winter. In a 1-1 draw at home to first-place Wuppertaler SV, Matarazzo entered the game in the 83rd minute to help preserve the needed point. Münster (4-9-9, 21) is in 17th place, five points from a non-relegation position in the table but, after three straight draws, is undefeated at 3-0-4 in its last seven games.

Matarazzo, who was a math major at Columbia University before moving to Germany in 2000, was featured on the Münster web site last week. Before moving to Münster this season, his playing stops in Germany have been with Eintracht Bad Kreuznach and SV Wehen, which currently leads the table in the Regionalliga Süd. When asked about this, Matarazzo replied, "I haven't ever regretted my transfer to Münster. I am very comfortable here."

Concerning the team's chances of not being relegated, "Rino" continued, "The team has found new stability under (new) coach Hans-Werner Moors in all facets. I am convinced that we will make it."

American defender Ian Joy started for the Hamburger SV Amateurs in a 1-1 road draw to promotion-bound Dynamo Dresden. For the second week in a row, Joy received a yellow card in the game. Hamburg (7-8-8, 28) is in ninth place.

American striker Jacob Thomas and Eintracht Braunschweig earned a 1-0 victory at home against Chemnitzer FC in weekend play. Thomas, as has been the case of late, did not see action until the 67th minute. Braunschweig (9-10-4, 31) is in eighth place.

In the Regionalliga Süd, Americans Grover Gibson and Tim Lawson, and former U.S. international Michael Mason once again all started and went the distance for SV Elversberg which fell 1-0 to visiting Wehen.

After three straight losses, Elversberg (8-8-6, 30) is in 10th place, having dropped seven spots in the standings since play resumed after the winter break. Gibson received a yellow card in the game.

American striker John van Buskirk scored his eighth goal of the season for Sportfreunde Siegen which drew 2-2 with the FC Bayern München Amateurs. Van Buskirk's goal came when he knocked home the rebound after his penalty kick was volleyed back to him by Bayern goalkeeper Markus Grünberger.

American defender Eric Lukin did not see action for Siegen (6-12-4, 22) which remains in 17th place.

American striker Jonathan Cummings did not see action for VfR Aalen in a 2-0 road loss to the Kickers of Stuttgart. Cummings has been used as a substitute three times this season, but hasn't played since October.

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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