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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.

  • Cherundolo gesture earns ejection from Hannover loss to Freiburg.

    Americans Abroad

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

    Jacob Thomas
    Jacob Thomas was sent off 10 minutes after entering for Eintracht Braunschweig in the second half.
    -- Eintracht Braunschweig web site photo --
    By Harris King (in Bamberg, Germany)
    Special to SoccerTimes

    (Wednesday, May 5, 2004) -- United States defender Tony Sanneh set up an insurance goal, part of a 90-minute effort for FC Nürnberg which neared the 2Bundesliga title and clinched promotion back to Germany's 1Bundelsiga after soundly defeating second-place Arminia Bielefeld 3-1 on the road.

    Sanneh showed he is near his pre-injury form and has become a key contributor to Nürnberg.

    Nürnberg started off aggressively and didn't let up for the entire game. Only toward the end of the first half, when Bielefeld was able to reduce the deficit to 2-1, did it appear as if the game might be a close one. But after a long pass from Sanneh in the 50th minute led to Jacek Krzynowek's decisive goal, restoring the lead to 3-1, was Nürnberg once again able to control the play and ultimately celebrate its sixth promotion to the top flight

    With three games to go, Nürnberg (17-7-7, 58 points) leads Bielefeld (15-9-7) by six points for the championship. Nürnberg has a nine-point cushion over fourth-place Alemannia Aachen (14-10-7, 49) -- the top three 2Bundesliga teams are promoted -- one point less than what is needed to completely assure promotion. Given its plus-26 goal differential, however, Nürnberg knows it will win any tiebreaker, allowing management and players to open bottles of champagne after the game in the lockerroom.

    Energie Cottbus and U. S. defender Gregg Berhalter were unable to add daylight between themselves and three other teams vying for promotion. On a weekend that saw Alemannia Aachen and FSV Mainz notch victories and RW Oberhausen earn a draw, Cottbus traveled to MSV Duisburg and suffered a devastating 4-2 defeat.

    Cottbus came out of the lockerroom in an offensive mode at the beginning of both halves, but was punished both times by quick Duisburg goals. Goals by Laurentiu-Aurelian Reghecampf and Robert Vagner for Cottbus in the second half were too little, too late. Trainer Eduard Geyer stuck to the 3-4-3 formation that was so successful last week against Fürth, but was left questioning his team's heart after this week's play.

    Cottbus (14-9-8, 50 points) remains in third place, but only one point clear of Aachen (14-10-7, 49) in fourth and three points ahead of Mainz 05 (11-6-14, 47) and Oberhausen (13-10-8, 47) who are tied for fifth. On a more positive note, Cottbus is only two points shy of second-place Bielefeld (15-9-7, 52). Cottbus is nonetheless in a strong position with two of its last three games being at home, starting Saturday with 15th-place VfB Lübeck (9-12-10, 37).

    Karlsruher SC and its U.S. striker Conor Casey jumped out on top with a Milorad Popovic goal in 41st minute, but had to settle for a 1-1 draw in their road game at o Jahn Regensburg.

    Casey, who turned in an impressive effort during a 84-minute effort in the U.S.'s 1-0 victory over Mexico last Wednesday, started for Karlsruhe and played 86 minutes, but was not much of a factor. German commentators speculated that he was still potentially tired from his midweek trek to Dallas.

    Karlsruhe (10-12-9, 39) is tied with SpVgg Unterhaching (10-12-9, 39) for 11th in the league and is two points clear of Lübeck in 15th place, the highest of four spots in the drop zone. Karlsruhe will be at home Sunday against Eintracht Trier (11-12-8, 41) which is tied for ninth with Greuther Fürth (10-10-11).

    What has been expected for the last several weeks befell American midfielder Joe Enochs and VfL Osnabrück this past weekend. With the 2-1 loss on the road to Aachen, Osnabrück's return to the third division Regionalliga was made official with three games remaining on the slate. The effort by Osnabrück's players was nonetheless commended by interim trainer Thorsten Haas who remarked after the game, "It made me proud that they played with heart and passion."

    Osnabrück has been preparing for several weeks for life in the Regionalliga. This week, striker Thomas Reichenberger was signed. He will join present teammate Markus Feldhoff and present coach Claus-Dieter Wollitz from KFC Uerdingen for the coming season. Also, Osnabrück announced a new jersey sponsor for next season with Osnabrück brewery Felsenkeller Herford signing on for the next two years.

    In the third-division Regionalliga Süd, four Americans took the field when SV Elversberg hosted Sportfreunde Siegen. Striker John van Buskirk played 90 minutes for Sportfreunde Siegen, while Michael Mason, Grover Gibson and Tim Lawson did the same for Elversberg.

    Both teams entered the game in dire need of a victory, but a 0-0 draw was the result. Siegen (8-16-5, 29) is now seven points away from the non-relegation zone with five games to play, while Elversberg (8-10-11, 35) is only one point shy. The good news for Elversburg is it is within two points of the four teams above it and six points of the next higher eight clubs.

    Gibson received a yellow card in the game. American defender Eric Lukin did not see action in the game for Siegen.

    American striker Jonathan Cummings of Aalen did not play in his team's 1-0 defeat away to TSG Hoffenheim.

    In the Regionalliga Nord, American defender Pellegrino Matarazzo of Preussen Münster was back in the starting lineup, but could do little to avert the 3-1 home defeat to first-place and promotion-bound Rot-Weiss Essen.

    Matarazzo was very active for the home side and even hit the crossbar with a header off of a corner kick in the first half. He also received a yellow card in the game. Münster (6-12-11, 29) is now two positions and five points shy of the non-relegation zone with five games to play.

    American defender Ian Joy did not make it into action for "young talents" of Hamburger SV against SC Paderborn 07 Saturday. Hamburg (7-12-10, 31), one spot ahead of Münster, had to settle for a 1-1 draw at home after scoring first and is buried three points into the relegation zone.

    American striker Jacob Thomas of Eintracht Braunschweig was once again used as a second-half substitute, but his team was able to defeat the Werder Bremen Amateurs 2-1 at home. Thomas' appearance was brief, entering the game in the 77th minute and being sent off with a red card 10 minutes later.

    After having made a tackle on a Bremen player, Thomas apparently finished the scene with a kick after the play had ended. The referee didn't hesitate sending Thomas to the showers and today he was issued a four-game suspension.

    Braunschweig (12-11-6, 42) moved into seventh place.

    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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