Johnson strikes again in Wolves win; Beasley stock sinks.
Onyewu sits, sparking transfer runors; Keller leads way in G'ladbach victory.
By Robert Wagman (in Washington, D.C.)
and Gary Davidson (in Washington, D.C.)
(Sunday, August 27, 2006) -- United States defender Oguchi Onyewu traveled with his team, but was held out of Standard de Liège's 1-1 draw at Zulte-Waregem yesterday, leading to speculation a transfer might be imminent before the European transfer window closes Thursday.
Keller shutout sparks Mönchengladbach
In the German Bundesliga, Borussia Mönchengladbach (2-1, 6 points) is tied for fourth place after three games following another strong effort in goal by American Kasey Keller helped produce a 1-0 victory yesterday over visiting Arminia Bielefeld at home at Borussia-Park.
Brazilian Carlos Eduardo de Souza headed home the only goal of the game in the 60th minute.
Keller patrolled his area well, stifling several Bielefeld chances while only being called on to make a handful of saves.
G'ladbach is even with Werder Bremen (2-1, 6), one point behind FC Nürnberg, Schalke and Bayern Munich, all 2-0-1.
At the other end of the standings is Hannover 96, off to a woeful 0-3 start after dropping a 3-0 decision to Alemania Aachen.
U.S. defender Steve Cherundolo played the first 64 minutes, replaced by striker Silvio Schröter in manager Peter Neururer's desperate attempt to jump-start a non-existent offense. Hannover has been outscored 11-2 thus far this season.
Reading drops to 1-2
Reading continues to be competitive in its English Premier League debut, but lost for a second time in three outings 1-0 to host Wigan before a disappointing crowd of 14,636 at JJB Stadium (cacapcity 25,000).
U.S. keeper Marcus Hahnemann made two good first-half saves for Reading, including a stunner on a blast from Ecuador international Luis Valencia. But the Reading defense had all sorts of trouble with 10-year veteran striker Emile Heskey, who came close twice in the first 35 minutes before beating Hahnemann in the 38th minute for the 124th goal of his Premier League career.
Heskey, who Wigan acquired in the offseason on a $10.5-million transfer, lifted the ball over the shoulder of the advancing Hahnemann after being sent through on a short flick.
Hahnemann then came up big twice to keep the match close, forcing Heskey to chip high on a breakaway and stopping Graham Kavanagh one-on-one.
Reading did not generate much offense, especially in the first 45 minutes. It had several chances in the first 10 minutes, but few opportunities for the rest of the half.
U.S. midfielder Bobby Convey, who played for the first 64 minutes before coming out in favor of John Oster, had some success moving the ball down the left side, dishing off to overlapping defender Nicky Shorey for several dangerous crosses. Much of the time, however, Convey watched as Reading attacked down the other side of the field.
Watford (0-2-1, 1), which was promoted to the EPL along with Reading and Sheffield United, has also learned the Premiership is a lot less forgiving of errors that the second-division League Championship. While giving the legendary Manchester United a battle, host Watford was undone by an errant back-pass that led to United winning 2-1 at Vicarage Road Stadium.
American defender Jay DeMerit, going the distance, was central to a valiant effort by the Watford back-line. After Mikael Silvestre put United ahead in the 12th minute, Damien Francis tied matters at 1-1 for the Hornets in the 34th minute.
But, 17 minutes later, United's Ryan Giggs intercepted Matthew Spring's weak back-pass and easily evaded goalkeeper Richard Lee before depositing the ball into the empty net. Man. U. is the only team with a perfect 3-0 record in the EPL.
DeMerit is a favorite with the home fans, who chanted "U-S-A" following his strong tackles on Louis Saha and Giggs.
U.S. keeper Tim Howard needed only one save to earn his first shutout for Everton, his new team, which overcame Kevin Kilbane's ejection in the 33rd minute to defeat Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 in a match that might be described as dreadful.
Everton won at Spurs' White Hart Lane for the first time in 21 years.
Kilbane was sent off after being booked twice for hard fouls on Lee Young-Pyo in the 15th and 33rd minutes.
Neither side was able to create much attack with Everton going ahead 1-0 on an own goal from Calum Davenport in the 53rd minute. Andrew Johnson added a well-taken strike to make it 2-0 in the 66th minute.
American Carlos Bocanegra has lost his starting job, but Fulham's defense seems recovered from its embarrassing 5-1 opening day loss to Manchester United after blanking Sheffield United 1-0 yesterday.
Jimmy Bullard's well-executed free kick in the 40th minute provided the margin of victory for the Cottagers. U.S. striker Brian McBride came close to scoring on several occasions in his 90-minute effort, including flashing a late header just wide.
American keeper Brad Friedel did well, but it was not enough for Blackburn Rovers who fell 2-0 to visiting Chelsea, the two-time defending Premiership champion.
Chelsea wore Rovers down and then used its superior bench to seal the victory. Friedel did well in goal, but could not come up with a solution to Frank Lampard's well-taken penalty kick or substitute striker Didier Drogba's point-blank blast.
Early, Friedel stopped a hard shot from Andriy Shevchenko and then covered the rebound. However, Lampard powered his PK under him in the 50th minute and Drogba beat him one-on-one in the 81st.
Newly-arrived Dutch defender Andre Ooijer was the goat of the match for Rovers (0-2-1, 1). He committed the foul that led to Lampard's penalty and could not keep up with Drogba as he ran onto a through ball for his breakaway.
U.S. midfielder Claudio Reyna was a healthy scratch and, in his absence, Manchester City ended an 18-match winless streak against Arsenal with a 1-0 decision.
City had not beaten Arsenal since December 1991, but did so 1-0 on Joey Barton's 41st-minute penalty kick resulting after City counter-attacked completely against the run of play.
City manager Stuart Pearce decided to shake up his lineup and replaced Claudio Reyna with Frenchman Ousmane Dabo in a three-man midfield in an attempt to get more pace into the match. It worked to the extent that Dabo worked tirelessly.
American defender Johann Smith dressed for Bolton Wanderers, but did not play in a 2-0 loss to Charlton Athletic.
Robert Wagman is SoccerTimes senior correspondent. Gary Davidson is SoccerTimes publisher and managing editor.
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