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Cherundolo could be leaving Germany for EPL's Bolton.

Casey scores first goal of season, FSV Mainz draws Hertha 2-2.

Friedel, Blackburn edge Sunderland 1-0, continue to rise in Premier League.

Convey, Hahnemann help Reading draw with Leicester, secure promotion.

Reyna is out 3-4 weeks with shoulder injury; Beasley is hurt.

DeMerit aids Watford climb to third in English League Championship.

Convey goal allows Reading to draw 1-1 with Wolverhampton.

With ailing McBride going 90 minutes, Fulham snaps losing streak, stuns Arsenal 1-0.

Cherundolo's chip helps Hannover 96 to 1-0 win over Colgne.

Friedel makes six saves, Blackburn blanks Aston Villa 2-0.

Lewis goal in 90th minute gives Leeds 2-2 draw with Norwich.

Onyewu must sit out key game for Standard against Anderlecht.

Reyna returns from layoff for Man. City's 2-1 decision over Sunderland.

Convey scores early, Reading rolls to 3-0 win over Burnley.

Reyna returns to action, playing in Manchester City reserves' win.

Lewis nets decisive tally for Leeds in 2-1 decision over Luton.

  • Keller's strong game helps G'ladbach post 2-1 win over Dortmund.
  • McBride can't help Fulham from falling 3-1 to Portsmouth; Bocanegra ails.

    Americans Abroad

    Watford, Leeds lose ground in their pursuit of promotion.

    By Robert Wagman (in Washington, D.C.)

    (Tuesday, April 4, 2006) -- With the season nearing an end, Leeds United and Watford, both employers of Americans, lost ground in the battle for second place in the second-tier English League Championship and automatic promotion into the Premier League following losses over the weekend.

    Watford fell 3-1 at Crystal Palace Friday night while Leeds dropped a 1-0 road decision to Hull City Saturday, wasting what turned out to be an opportunity to gain ground on Sheffield United. Sheffield was drawn 1-1 by host Stoke City Saturday when Danny Webber scored in the 83rd minute.

    For Watford, the setback was especially galling because, after taking a 1-0 lead, it was tied on a rebound of a saved penalty kick and then lost on a pair of own goals.

    It was a result American defender Jay DeMerit will not likely soon forget. He was responsible for the penalty and then committed the second own goal, dooming Watford. DeMerit was extremely busy in back all afternoon. In the first half he made a pair of brilliant defensive stops, but referee Mike Thorpe awarded a penalty for his foul on Jobi McAnuff in the 54th minute.

    Watford goalkeeper Ben Foster stopped Dougie Freedman's PK, but the carom returned directly to him and he scored to tie matters at 1-1

    Palace went ahead 2-1 when Jordan Stewart put a ball into his own net in the 59th minute. Watford's efforts to come back were dashed when DeMerit steered Tom Soares' cross from the right into his own goal from six yards in the 86th minute.

    Hull keeper Boaz Myhill, who has dual English-American citizenship, frustrated Leeds throughout the Saturday match. Leeds pressed early and U.S. midfielder Eddie Lewis thought he had the opening goal in the third minute, but his well-placed free kick was clawed away by Myhill.

    The game remained scoreless until the 76th minute when the Leeds back-line gave up a soft goal to striker Jon Parkin. Lewis was replaced by David Healy a minute later.

    With five matches remaining, Sheffield United is 23-8-10 with 79 points, with Leeds and Watford both at 20-9-12 with 72 points. While Watford and Leeds are running out of time in their efforts to reach second place with its attendant automatic promotion berth to the Premiership, they are certain to be a part of the four-team playoff for a third promotion spot. Meanwhile, Reading, which had already secured promotion, clinched the League Championship title by defeating Derby 5-0 with five second-half tallies.

    Reading could not break through until midfielder James Harper found net in the 59th minute. Some strong goalkeeping by American Marcus Hahnemann kept the match scoreless before the Royals eruption.

    Twice, U.S. midfielder Bobby Convey had good chances, but was denied by Derby keeper Lee Camp. Convey was taken out for Stephen Hunt in the 68th minute.

    Reading's remarkable season rolled on with the Royals now 28-2-11 with 95 points, needing four victories in the last five outings to exceed -- or three wins and a draw to equal -- the English second-division record of 105 points.

    Sheffield Wednesday took another step toward avoiding relegation with a strong performance by American defender Frank Simek leading a stout effort by the back-line in a 0-0 draw with Burnley at home.

    Wednesday, at 10-19-12 with 42 points, is in 21st place, six points and one position clear of Millwall (7-19-15, 36 points) in the relegation zone. Millwall dropped a 2-0 decision to Brighton Saturday.

    Robert Wagman is SoccerTimes senior correspondent. E-mail Robert Wagman.

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