U.S. men's schedule, results
Casey scores key goal that keeps Karlsruhe in 2Bundesliga.
and Harris King (in Bamberg, Germany)
(Tuesday, May 25, 2004) -- United States striker Conor Casey scored Karlsruher SC's most important goal of the season Sunday.
Karlsruhe defeated Aachen 1-0 at home and lived to see another season in Germany's 2Bundesliga. By avoiding relegation, Karlsruhe dodged insolvency as well. The loss of television revenues that would have accompanied demotion more than likely would have caused Karlsruhe to lose its license, which would have resulted in placement in the fourth division, not the third-division Regionalliga.
A jubilant Casey termed the goal the most important he's ever scored. It came in the 42nd minute when he expertly controlled a cross played behind him before hammering it into the lower right corner past a diving goalkeeper. It was Casey's 14th of the season and left him tied for fourth in the league in a very productive season that saw him emerge from a oft-injured benchwarmer at Hannover 96 last season to Karlsruhe's most valuable player, as well an up-and-coming U.S. national-teamer.
Casey's contract is owned by the 1Bundesliga power Borussia Dortmund, which signed him out of University of Portland in 2000, and is on loan to Karlsruhe. Speculation has him returning to Dortmund in a cost-cutting maneuver, but Karlsruhe would like to keep him for another season.
Berhalter was inactive, recovering from surgery to repair a broken nose and cheekbone after being the recipient of an elbow the previous weekend.
Cottbus has only itself to blame, managing only one tie and two losses in its last three games before Sunday, and going 1-4-1 in the six matches prior to the Regensburg finale.
U.S. defender Tony Sanneh was once again in the starting lineup for 1. FC Nürnberg which, with the 2Bundesliga championship and promotion in hand, lost 2-0 to LR Ahlen.
Nürnberg's play was lackluster at best and Ahlen scored both of its goals in the first 13 minutes.
American midfielder Joe Enochs and VfL Osnabrück's one-year stay in the 2Bundesliga ended with a 3-2 loss to Rot-Weiss Oberhausen. Despite its hopeless last-place situation, Osnabrück (7-20-7, 28) put in a surprisingly spirited performance and looked to be headed to victory after Wolfgang Schüttle scored for a 2-1 lead in the 33rd minute. But, as has been the case so many times this season, Osnabrück was unable to hold the lead. Enochs went the distance for Osnabrück.
Hannover 96 allowed U.S. men's defender Steve Cherundolo and attacker Clint Mathis of Hannover 96 to leave a week early for a much-needed vacation after the club secured its spot in next year's 1Bundesliga a week earlier. The extra week off was given to both players so they could get a little bit of rest before heading to U.S. training camp in advance of the June 2 friendly against Honduras and then the World Cup qualifying series against Grenada.
Hannover (9-15-10, 37) lost 3-1 on the road to Bochum and finished 14th among 18 teams in the top flight.
In the third-division Regionalliga Nord, American defender Pellegrino Matarazzo of Preussen Münster put in 90 minutes in a 3-1 decision over host Eintracht Braunschweig 3-1, its third victory in a row.
Münster (9-12-11, 38) is tied for 13th with Holsten Kiel and the Hamburger SV Amateurs. Were the season to end today, Hamburg would be relegated with the worst goal difference of the three. Teams in 15th through 18th place are relegated.
Münster travels to SC Paderborn next week and finishes the season at home against Wattenscheid in two weeks. American striker Jacob Thomas sat out the third game of a four-match suspension for Braunschweig.
American defender Ian Joy is still recovering from an injury and did not make the trip for Hamburg's 1-0 victory over Sachsen Leipzig. Hamburg (9-12-11, 38) has a minus-17 goal differential and will lose the tiebreaker to Münster (minus-6) and Holsten Kiel (minus-6) should they wind up even in the standings. Holsten has scored 11 more goals than Münster and therefore would prevail in the second tiebreaker.
In the Regionalliga Süd, former U.S. international Michael Mason scored the game-winning goal for visiting SV Elversberg in a 3-2 victory over the Offenbach Kickers Friday night. His tally guaranteed Elversberg (10-11-11, 41) another year in the Regionalliga.
Mason's eighth strike of the season came in the 67th minute and capped off a two-goal comeback. A second consecutive win for Elversberg (10-11-9, 41) moved the club into a tie for 12th in the table with two games remaining. Americans Grover Gibson and Tim Lawson also started for Elversberg with Gibson's night ending early after he was ejected following his second yellow card, coming in the 72nd minute.
American striker John van Buskirk and Sportfreunde Siegen managed a scoreless draw at visiting SC Pfullendorf and was officially relegated to Germany's fourth division. With two games remaining, Siegen (9-17-6, 33) is seven points behind Offenbach and safety. American defender Eric Lukin did not see action for Siegen.
American forward Jonathan Cummings did not play in host VfR Aalen's come-from-behind 3-2 defeat of FSC Mainz Amateurs. Aalen (12-11-9, 45) is in eighth place.
In Denmark, American defender Wade Barrett, who has been fighting injuries, somewhat surprisingly played the whole game for AGF Aarhus which was defeated by AB Kĝbenhavn, 3-1. He received a yellow card in the 80th minute in this, the next to last final match of the SAS Ligaen season.
Manchester United's youth team won FIFA's Blue Stars Youth Cup, held in Switzerland, for the 17th time in its 50-year history 4-3 in a penalty-kicks tiebreaker over FC Zurich after a 1-1 draw in regulation. American central defender Jonathan Spector and striker Kenny Cooper played almost all of all five matches in the tournament with the club compiling a 4-0-1 mark en route to its first title since 1983.
In Sweden's second-division Superettan, Bodens BK (0-3-3, 3) tried for its first win of the season, but had to settle for a 1-1 draw at host Brommapojkarna. Defender Brian Dunseth went the distance and midfielder Leighton O'Brien started and played 80 minutes, but their fellow American, defender Steve Shak was on the bench.
Robert Wagman is a SoccerTimes senior correspondent. E-mail Robert Wagman. 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.