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Friedel to miss end of season with groin injury.

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

Cherundolo gesture earns ejection from Hannover loss to Freiburg.

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

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

  • Russell is victim of racial attack during game in Norway.
  • With Mathis back in starting 11, Hannover blanks Frankfurt 3-0.

    Americans Abroad

    With Mathis back in starting 11, Hannover blanks Frankfurt 3-0.

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

    (Monday, May 10, 2004) -- United States striker Clint Mathis was back in the starting lineup for Hannover 96 Saturday for a convincing 3-0 home victory over Eintracht Frankfurt.

    Hannover's coach Ewald Lienen made five changes in the starting lineup after last week's 4-1 debacle against SC Freiburg, and the moves paid off with a return to a more offensive brand of soccer. Mathis also returned to the form he showed when he first arrived in Germany and twice narrowly missed scoring when Frankfurt's goalkeeper was able to make outstanding saves.

    Suspended American defender Steve Cherundolo was replaced in the starting lineup by Silvio Schröter who put in a strong effort both defensively and pushing the ball forward into the attack. The question now is whether Lienen will allow Cherundolo back on the field for the team's final two outings or will Schröter keep the job. Several times this week, Lienen expressed anger at Cherundolo for the red card he received last week for making a gesture the referee thought was aimed at him.

    Hannover (9-14-9, 36 points) is now five points and three clear of 1860 München (8-17-7, 31) which is in 16th place, the highest of three teams in the drop zone. A draw by Hannover in either of its last two games will guarantee another year in the 1Bundesliga. Hannover travels to VfL Wolfsburg next week and will host VfL Bochum in the final game of the season.

    In the 2Bundesliga, U.S. defender Gregg Berhalter scored his fifth goal of the season after just 45 seconds yesterday for Energie Cottbus which had its hopes for promotion damaged by a 1-1 draw at home with lowly VfB Lübeck.

    Berhalter headed home his goal on a corner kick from Laurentiu-Aurelian Reghecampf.

    Cottbus had several opportunities to put the game away in the first half, but a second goal never came. In the second half, Cottbus went from being an attacking side to playing nervously, and Lübeck was able to draw even on Ferrydoon Zandi's goal in the 63rd minute.

    With the top three teams promoted, Cottbus (14-9-9, 51) fell into fourth place with two games remaining, one point below Aachen (15-10-7) which edged host Oberhausen 2-1.

    Last Monday, U.S. defender Tony Sanneh and 1. FC Nürnberg celebrated their inevitable promotion to the 1Bundesliga. On Friday, Nürnberg made it official after defeating relegation-bound VfL Osnabrück 4-3.

    Nürnberg (18-7-7, 63) virtually clinched the league title, as well, leading Bielefeld (16-9-7) by six points with two matches remaining. At worst, Nürnberg could be tied by Bielefeld, but with a plus-27 goal differential to plus-15 for Bielefeld, Nürnberg would certainly win the first tiebreaker.

    The game was as exciting as the score might indicate and was marked by better than expected play from Regionalliga-bound Osnabrück, while Nürnberg lacked concentration at times. In the end, however, Nürnberg's talent prevailed. Sanneh went the distance, as did American midfielder Joe Enochs for Osnabrück

    Karlsruher SC and U.S. striker Conor Casey lost 1-0 at home to Eintracht Trier yesterday and are now only one point above VfB Lübeck for the top relegation spot. Karlsruhe played a courageous game, but could not break through Trier's well-organized defense. Trier's only goal came off of a perfectly-taken free kick by Catalin Racanel.

    Karlsruhe (10-13-9, 39) travels to 1. FC Union Berlin (8-16-8, 32) next weekend. Berlin will only have pride to play for after being relegated to the Regionalliga with its 1-0 loss to LR Ahlen yesterday.

    In the third-division Regionalliga Süd, American striker John van Buskirk scored his 13th goal of the season on a penalty kick and helped Sportfreunde Siegen to an important 2-0 home victory over FC Augsburg. Siegen (9-16-5, 32) is now five points away from the relegation zone with four games to play. Next week, the team travels to TSG Hoffenheim (12-11-7, 43) which is tied for sixth place. American defender Eric Lukin did not see action in the game for Siegen.

    Americans Grover Gibson and Tim Lawson, and former U.S. international Mile Mason were all in the SV Elversberg starting lineup, but could do little to prevent a 2-0 loss on the road to the Stuttgarter Kickers Friday night.

    Gibson received a yellow card and Lawson was replaced in the 67th minute. Elversberg (8-11-11, 35) remains 15th in the table, two points shy of the safety of the non-relegation zone. Next week Elversberg will host the last-place Kaiserslautern Amateurs.

    American striker Jonathan Cummings did not play in Aalen's 1-1 draw with SC Pfullendorf.

    In the Regionalliga Nord, American defender Pellegrino Matarazzo went the distance for visiting Preussen Münster and received a yellow card in a much-needed 2-1 victory to KFC Uerdingen. Matarazzo also received a yellow card in the game. Münster (7-12-11, 32) is two points shy of escaping the relegation zone with four games to play and next week will host eighth-place Chemnitzer FC (12-14-4, 40).

    American defender Ian Joy did not make it into action for the "young talents" of Hamburger SV against FC Schalke 04 Amateurs in weekend play. Hamburg (8-12-10, 34), one spot ahead of Münster, earned an important 3-2 victory on the road and is now tied with for the last non relegation spot with Wattenscheid (9-14-7). If the season were to end today, however, Hamburg would relegated because its minus-18 goal differential is seven worse that Wattenscheid.

    American striker Jacob Thomas sat out the first game of a four-match suspension for Eintracht Braunschweig which drew 2-2 with host VfR Nuemünster. Braunschweig (12-11-7, 43) moved into sixth 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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