U.S. men's schedule, results
McBride scores two goals to lead Fulham past Bolton 2-0.
and Gary Davidson (in Washington, D.C.)
(Monday, May 17, 2004) -- The English Premier League concluded play Saturday with several Americans ending their seasons on a high note.
United States striker Brian McBride provided the most notable performance, scoring twice for Fulham which dispatched host Bolton Wanderers 2-0.
In the 45th minute, American defender Carlos Bocanegra sent a perfect cross to the far left post and McBride clinically buried a six-yard header for a 1-0 lead.
In the 78th minute, midfielder Sean Davis sent a low cross to the far right post where McBride was positioned to easily block home a three-yard shot to make it 2-0.
McBride might have had more, but he was twice denied on good saves by goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen.
Bocanegra also excelled. In addition to his assist, he made three difficult defensive stops, including clearing a ball off the foot of Bolton defender Nicky Hunt who seemed ready to score.
Fulham finished in ninth place at 14-14-10 with 52 points.
U.S. goalkeeper Kasey Keller was solid for visiting Tottenham Hotspur, his second clean sheet in a row with providing a 2-0 decision over Wolverhampton. Keller was credited with eight saves, his best coming in the opening seconds when he did well to tip Paul Ince's drive over the crossbar. Keller stopped Ince again on a sharply struck header off Colin Cameron's right-wing cross just before halftime.
It's possible that Keller has played his final match for Spurs. This week, the team signed Leeds United's promising 24-year-old keeper Paul Robinson as relegated Leeds started to shed payroll. Robinson made 119 appearances for Leeds since his debut in 1998 and had been the starter for the past two seasons. Robinson also has played in a number of friendlies for England, making his international debut against Australia in February 2003 before also seeing action against South Africa, Croatia and Denmark.
Considering the fanfare that greeted the acquisition, Robinson certainly will be given every chance to earn the starting job while Keller, withy one year left on his contract, could be transferred or must battle to avoid becoming a reserve.
Spurs finished 14th at 13-19-6 with 45 points.
Manchester City's season has been a major disappointment, but it ended well with U.S. midfielder Claudio Reyna assisting one both of Paulo Wanchope's goals in the opening 30 minutes of a 5-1 win over visiting Everton. Reyna came out in the 82nd minute with the match well in hand.
City (9-15-14, 41) is reportedly over $102 million in debt and, given its 16th place finish, management promised big changes over the summer. Reyna played well when he was not injured and, considering the club paid a reported $4 million to acquire him, he is expected to stay. Management, however, has been quiet about who might be on the transfer block.
U.S. keeper Brad Friedel closed his season with Blackburn Rovers on the sidelines with a groin injury. His replacement Peter Enckelman gave up a late goal to former Columbus Crew striker Stern John in the 1-1 draw with Birmingham City. Rovers ended 12-18-8 with 44 points in 15th.
No Americans played in the final weekend of England's First Division.
In the Second Division, the Grimsby Town web site said the club will not renew the contract of American defender John Thorrington, saying he "failed to impress." Acquired this year from Huddersfield Town, Thorrington made only two appearances.
In France, U.S. defender Greg Vanney did not traveling with Bastia for its 2-0 loss Lille. With one game left, Bastia is 9-16-12 with 39 points, in 15th place but just two points and three positions above relegation.
In Portugal, the local sports media speculate that Benfica will release American keeper Zach Thorton at the end of the season. He has not appeared for the first team since his signing in January, and his appearances in reserve matches have been reported as less than impressive.
In Denmark, American defender Wade Barrett suffered a groin injury and did not play Thursday in AGF Aarhus' 5-2 loss to FC Midtjylland. Aarhus (11-17-3, 36) is eighth in the 12-team league with two matches remaining
American defenders Steve Shak and Brian Dunseth each played 90 minutes and recorded an assists for Boden BK in a 3-3 draw with Enköpings SK in the Superettan, Sweden's second division.
Shak received his second yellow card of the young season. American midfielder Leighton O'Brien tired and came out after 82 minutes for Boden (0-3-2, 2) which has yet to win in the 2004 season.
In Belgium, La Louviere, with former U.S. youth national-teams defender Oguchi Onyewu playing the full game, managed a goal in the 90th minute and drew 1-1 with league champion Anderlecht. La Louviere (10-10-14, 44) finished the season in seventh place.
In France, Metz, the team that holds Onyewu's contract, used three second-half goals to defeat Bordeaux 3-1. This means Metz avoided relegation from Ligue 1and likely will recall Onyewu next season and allow him to compete for a starting job.