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Hahnemann's play for Reading stands up to any keeper in Europe.

Keller records easy shutout, G'ladbach ends slide 2-0 over FC Köln.

Reading loses for first time in over six months, falls 3-2 to Luton Town.

Hahnemann shines, Convey assists, Reading draws with Sheffield United 1-1.

Beasley gets relief from Nguyen in PSV 1-0 win over Heracles.

Keller is sharp, but G'ladbach can only draw 0-0 with Schalke.

Keller is sharp, but G'ladbach can only draw 0-0 with Schalke.

Caugherty to sign with Bodens BK in Sweden.

Keller is besieged in G'ladbach's 2-0 loss to Wolfsburg.

Simek's first pro goal gives Wednesday 1-0 win over Millwall.

McBride scores goal for Fulham, But Man. U. is a 4-2 winner.

Gibbs joins ADO Den Haag on loan from Feyenoord.

Friedel concedes three, but Rovers sweep Manchester United 4-3.

Convey scores to ice Reading's 4-0 rout of Norwich.

Bocanegra scores first, sends Fulham to 1-0 decision over Hotspur.

Cooper is released by Manchester United; Nguyen makes debut.

Friedel is sensational once, Rovers drop a pair of Cup matches.

Feyenoord gives Gibbs his release after return from injury.

Fulham fans soundly select McBride as December's best player.

Friedel's shutout drops Newcastle 1-0, might seal Souness sacking.

Beasley comes off bench to score in PSV 2-0 win over Waalwijk.

Reyna signs extension of one year at Manchester City.

  • Lewis nets decisive tally for Leeds in 2-1 decision over Luton.
  • Oneywu scores in draw, but Standard drops from Jupiler lead.

    Americans Abroad

    Friedel records another shutout as rising Rovers slip past Arsenal 1-0.

    By Robert Wagman (in Washington, D.C.)
    and Gary Davidson (in Washington, D.C.)

    (Tuesday, February 28, 2006) -- United States goalkeeper Brad Friedel posted his second consecutive shutout, helping the ascendant Blackburn Rovers edge visiting Arsenal 1-0 in the English Premier League before 22,504 at Ewood Park

    Friedel posted his 11th clean sheet of the league season to go with two in the Carling Cup and one in the FA Cup as Rovers climbed past Arsenal into fifth place in the EPL, the highest place in the standings for the club in nearly seven years.

    Rovers, with a 10-day interval since their previous match, returned from a training camp in the sun of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates to strengthen their prospects for playing in the UEFA Cup, Europe's second-tier tournament, next season. Blackburn (13-10-4, 43 points), trails fourth-place Tottenham Hotspur (12-5-1) by three points with 11 games remaining.

    Arsenal, which won the EPL without suffering a loss (26-0-12) in 2003-04, was also passed by Bolton Wanderers (11-5-9, 42), falling into seventh place at 12-10-5 with 41 points. Bolton has two games in hand on both Blackburn and Arsenal.

    Finishing fourth earns the second of two automatic UEFA Cup bids. Coming in fifth means a two-match play-in series against a club from elsewhere in Europe. Still, with only three points separating fifth place and ninth, Rovers have plenty of work yet to do if they hope to compete on the European stage in 2006-07.

    Friedel did not have a great deal to do for the first hour other than in the 25th minute when he made an alert save on striker Thierry Henry's quickly-taken, drilled free kick from the side of the penalty area.

    Rovers went ahead 1-0 on a Morten Gamst Pedersen point-blank shot off an accurate low cross from Craig Bellamy in the 18th minute.

    Led by New Zealander Ryan Nelsen, previously of Major League Soccer's D.C. United, the Blackburn defense muzzled the Gunners until about the 60th minute when they suddenly found their legs. In the 60th minute. Friedel held a shot from Francesc Fabregas. Seven minutes later, he did well to save a shot from Mathieu Flamini.

    In the 71st minute, a Henry pass sent Emmanuel Adebayor through for a rocket from 12 yards, but Friedel made a dazzling reaction save to preserve the lead.

    Arsenal was given little after that by the Rovers "D."

    U.S. striker Brian McBride and defender Carlos Bocanegra turned in respectable efforts, but Fulham remained the only team in England's top four divisions without a victory on the road following a 2-1 defeat to Bolton Wanderers before 23,104 at Reebok Stadium.

    In the 32nd minute, McBride missed by inches from getting his head on a Luis Boa Morte cross when a conversion would have put Fulham ahead 2-0.

    Instead, the Cottagers allowed Bolton to pull even at 1-1 in the 45th minute when Fulham's Icelandic striker Heidar Helguson put the ball into his own net from point-blank range while trying to clear Bruno N'Gotty's header on goal.

    Helguson had put away a good cross from Simon Elliott, the midfielder formerly with MLS's Columbus Crew, to put Fulham ahead 1-0 in the 22nd minute

    The Cottagers defense settled down in the second half with Bocanegra playing solidly in the middle, but the American was undone by Bolton captain Kevin Nolan in the 68th minute. Nolan first beat Fulham defender Zat Knight. When Bocanegra came up to challenge, Nolan slipped past him with some fancy footwork and found net with a shot from the left side to make it 2-1.

    The Fulham offense could not get on track, so McBride was replaced by Collins John in the 75th minute.

    Fulham manager Chris Coleman continues to rave about McBride. "What he's given us is phenomenal," Coleman told the club's web site. "He scored on his debut against Tottenham and, since then, he's never looked back. I know it sounds funny, but he's probably the best substitute I've ever seen because he's got such an impact on the game. But he's done so well that he's been starting games.

    "His attitude is first class, He's one of the best team players I've ever witnessed."

    Fulham, which is 0-11-3 away from Craven Cottage this season, is actually tied for the third best home record in the EPL at 9-2-2. Overall, the Cottagers are in 14th place, 9-13-5 with 32 points.

    American defender Jonathan Spector looked good in two Charlton Athletic games last week, but both games ended in 0-0 ties.

    On Saturday, Charlton striker Darren Bent failed to convert on three good chances in a scoreless draw at home with Aston Villa before 26, 594 in The Valley. Wednesday, Charlton and host Newcastle United failed to dent the net before 50,451 at St James' Park.

    Charlton (10-12-5, 35) is in 13th place. Like Fulham, Charlton seems to be safe from relegation worries, but doesn't appear to be upwardly mobile either.

    U.S midfielder Claudio Reyna remains a couple of weeks away from returning to the Manchester City lineup after ankle surgery. Visiting City could have used him Sunday when, reduced to 10 men after Joey Barton's ejection with his second yellow card in the 52nd minute, it fell 1-0 to Liverpool at Anfield.

    City is in 10th place at 11-12-4 with 37 points.

    U.S. keeper Tim Howard had a good seat -- on the bench -- to watch Manchester United capture the Carling Cup with a 4-0 romp over Wigan before 66,866 who witnessed the final at Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

    Robert Wagman is SoccerTimes senior correspondent. E-mail Robert Wagman. Gary Davidson is SoccerTimes managing editor. E-mail Gary Davidson.

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