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Reserve McBride gives Fulham 1-1 draw with Portsmouth, but misses winner.

Sanneh scores for Nürnberg in wild 5-3 triumph over Union Berlin.

Howard named best keeper in England.

Lewis returns in style, scoring in Preston's 2-2 draw with Cardiff.

Lewis returns to training, hopes to play for North End Saturday.

Howard returns to goal, has quiet night as Man. United blanks Charlton 2-0.

Sanneh scores for Nürnberg in wild 5-3 triumph over Union Berlin.

Friedel records easy shutout in important Blackburn victory.

O'Brien re-signs with Ajax Amsterdam for 2004-05 season.

Sanneh reserve effort helps Nürnberg retake first place; Cherundolo excels for Hannover 96.

Howard will be given chance to play before EPL season ends.

Friedel concedes three, but Blackburn picks up needed win 4-3 over Fulham.

Howard will serve as backup to Carroll for rest of Man. U. season.

White returns to U.S. following mob incident in Belgrade.

  • With Sanneh in form, FC Nürnberg secures promotion, nears 2Bundesliga title.

    Americans Abroad

    Cherundolo gesture earns ejection from Hannover loss to Freiburg.

    By Harris King (in Bamberg, Germany)
    and Mark Flannery (in Freiburg, Germany)
    Special to SoccerTimes

    (Tuesday, May 4, 2004) -- United States defender Steve Cherundolo might have an understanding of the German language, but apparently he still has much to learn about German customs. His gesture following a yellow card earned his ejection in the 25th minute of Hannover 96's key 4-1 loss SC Freiburg in the German 1Bundesliga.

    With three games to go, Hannover (8-14-9, 33 points) is struggling to stay in the first division, tied for 12th place with Borussia Mönchgladbach (8-14-9), but only two points above the drop zone, which include the teams in 16th, 17th and 18th place. Cherundolo had gotten off to a good start, handling the ball calmly and providing some accurate passes. However, trailing 1-0 to Freiburg, Cherundolo got careless with the ball and lost it to Benjamin Kruppke.

    In trying to retrieve it, Cherundolo and Kruppke both went down. After helping Kruppke to his feet, Cherundolo had referee Edgar Steinborn run up to him and show a yellow card for his bad tackle. As the American walked away, he pointed his left index finger at his temple.

    While in American culture, Cherundolo was indicating, "What was I thinking?" or "What was the referee thinking?", in Germany, such a motion is seen as a obscene gesture, equivalent of giving someone the finger. Possibly, Cherundolo knew exactly what he was doing, but that would be inconsistent with his conduct throughout his professional and U.S. national-team career.

    Seeing Cherundolo's gesture, upset Freiburg immediately stood up and started yelling. Many Hannover fans felt the first yellow card was not deserved.

    Cherundolo was booked again by referee Edgar Steinborn, the red card sending him off early in a crucial match. Cherundolo, who seemed stunned at being sent off, is expected to be suspended for one game by the league.

    Hannover coach Ewald Lienen, who told reporters after the game that he didn't believe either yellow card was justified, also criticized Cherundolo. "He punished the entire team and that can't be tolerated," he said.

    Cherundolo said he was "surprised" at the referee's reaction, but declined to comment further, possibly at the instruction of Lienen.

    A spokesperson for German referees said both yellow cards were proper and Cherundolo could have been issued a straight red for his gesture.

    Hannover has a favorable remaining schedule with two of its three remaining games at home, both against teams with losing records. Not having Cherundolo, however, will be a blow to the defense as was evidenced by the collapse Saturday against Freiburg (10-14-7, 37), which is in 11th place. A demotion to the 2Bundesliga would cost Hannover millions of dollars in lost television, ticket and merchandise revenue.

    Hannover is home Saturday against Eintracht Frankfurt (8-18-5, 29), a team currently in the relegation zone. On May 15, Hannover hosts ninth-place Wolfburg (13-17-1, 40). Hannover closes its season May 22 at sixth-place Bochum (13-7-11).

    After Cherundolo was sent off, Hannover held to within one goal into the second half before Zlatan Bajramovic made it 2-0. Thomas Brdaric scored a minute later for Hannover, narrowing the deficit to 2-1 in the 62nd minute, but Alexander Iashvili scored in the 68th and 78th minutes to secure the result.

    American Clint Mathis, who was replaced by Vladimir But in the starting lineup, replaced But in the 68th minute, just before Iashvili scored his first.

    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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