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Berhalter penalty kick moves Cottbus to brink of promotion.

Beasley fined $1,852 by Dutch judge for driving under the influence of alcohol.

Beasley fined $1,852 by Dutch judge for driving under the influence of alcohol.

Spector will have surgery to repair dislocated shoulder.

Spector dislocates shoulder in Charlton victory over Portsmouth.

Controversial goal diverts Rovers' run to European play.

Keller, G'ladbach see UEFA Cup hopes fade away.

Convey assists one goal, sets up another as Reading rolls with 5-2 decision over Cardiff.

Convey assists one goal, sets up another as Reading rolls with 5-2 decision over Cardiff.

Convey assists one goal, sets up another as Reading rolls with 5-2 decision over Cardiff.

Cherundolo, Casey meet; Hannover draws 0-0 with FC Mainz.

McBride goal and possible Fulham road win wash away.

McBride goal and possible Fulham road win wash away.

Rossi's 29th goal leads Man. U. reserves' 6-0 rout of City, title hopes..

Watford, Leeds lose ground in their pursuit of promotion.

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

Hahnemann, Convey help Reading close season with record.

Bobby Convey
Bobby Convey (17) shares celebration of Reading's record season with fans and mascot.
-- Reading FC web site photos --
By Robert Wagman (in Washington, D.C.)
SoccerTimes

(Monday, May 1, 2006) -- American goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann and midfielder Bobby Convey grabbed their piece of history in Reading's hard-fought 2-1 victory yesterday over the visiting Queens Park Rangers to finish a record-breaking season in the English League Championship.

In a year when Reading established the longest unbeaten streak in English second-division history with 33 (25-0-8), Reading also established a second-tier record with 106 points by rolling to a 32-2-13 mark. The Royals eclipsed the old best of 105 by Sunderland in the 1998-99 campaign.

On a day set aside to celebrate its League Championship title and promotion to the Premier League next season, Graeme Murty's penalty kick in the 84th minute provided the margin of victory over Rangers before a capacity crowd of 23,156 at Madejski Stadium.

Hahnemann played well, making critical saves on Paul Furlong and Stefan Bailey, but there was little he could do when the 37-year-old Furlong headed an equalizer past him from short range in the 72nd minute.

Hahnemann, Convey and their teammates had just returned from five days of light training at a Spanish resort, a reward for their unprecedented success. Dave Kitson put the Royals ahead 1-0 in the 40th minute, but QPR evened the score on Furlong's tally.

Bobby Convey
Bobby Convey (right) and Dave Kitson enjoy English League Championship title trophy.
In the 87th minute, three minutes from a draw that would have had Reading falling short of the points record, QPR midfielder Richard Langley was adjudged to have handled the ball in his penalty area and Murty converted the PK. Only moments earlier, QPR defender Dan Shittu had a goal disallowed.

Convey came out in the 85th minute in favor of Brynjar Gunnarsson, returning from injury.

United States midfielder Eddie Lewis was one of eight usual starters who sat out for Leeds United which predictably fell 2-0 to Preston North End, the team it will meet in the semifinals of the four-team playoff, the winner of which will join Reading and second-place Sheffield United in the Premier League.

Thus, Preston finished fourth at 20-6-20 with 80 points, two more than fifth-place Leeds (21-10-5).

American defender Jay DeMerit went the distance for host Watford which concluded the season with a 0-0 draw with lowly Hull City, good enough to finish in third place with a 22-9-15 and 81 points.

DeMerit did his part in a strong performance by the Watford back line that limited Hull to few chances.

Watford will face sixth-place Crystal Palace (22-13-12, 78 points) in the first round of the playoffs.

In a match featuring two relegated teams, American defender Zak Whitbread might have played his last match for Millwall in a 4-2 decision over Crewe (9-22-15, 42). American defender Zak Whitbread went the distance for Millwall (8-22-16, 40).

Millwall finished 23rd and would have been last had it dropped the game to Crewe. Whitbread's plans for next season are not clear.

Sheffield Wednesday (13-20-13, 52), which limped along most of the season as a candidate for relegation, continued its late-season surge by defeating Derby County 2-0 to finish in 19th place, 10 points clear of relegation.

Wednesday concluded its season without nine injured starters, including American defender-midfielder Frank Simek, who underwent knee surgery Tuesday.


U.S. goalkeeper Brad Friedel made one of his best, and probably the most important saves of the season in Blackburn Rovers's 2-0 triumph over Charlton Athletic in the Premier League.

Charlton's Darren Ambrose turned in the middle of the box and let fly a blast which Friedel caught in a brilliant reaction save. That turned the momentum Rovers way and allowed them their first win in their past five outings likely saved their hopes for place in next season's UEFA Cup competition.

With two matches remaining, Blackburn (17-13-6, 57) clings to sixth place and the final UEFA Cup berth, two points ahead of Newcastle United (16-15-7), which has only one game left. Rovers' remaining matches are both at home, against league champion Chelsea tomorrow and Manchester City Saturday.

Against Charlton, Rovers were playing for three extra weeks of offseason vacation time. Manager Mark Hughes told the team if it does not qualify for the UEFA Cup, he will take it into the InterToto Cup, which would require it to resume training in late June. If Rovers qualify for the UEFA Cup, they wouldn't have to report until the third week in July.

Two expected U.S. World Cup starters, Brian McBride and Claudio Reyna faced off against one another Saturday when Fulham used two goals in the final six minutes, including Steed Malbranque's stoppage-time strike, to defeat Manchester City 2-1.

With McBride going the distance, Fulham (13-17-6, 45) escaped the indignity of going winless on the road for the season, finishing 1-13-4 away from Craven Cottage.

City (13-19-4, 43) fell for the seventh time in its last eight matches in a once promising season that went bad. Reyna, who played 90 minutes, had a golden opportunity denied by Fulham keeper Antti Niemi.

Richard Dunne put City ahead 1-0, but Collins John drew Fulham level at 1-1 in the 84th minute.

U.S. defender, Carlos Bocanegra who has been nursing a thigh injury, is back in training at Fulham, but did not travel to Manchester.


In Belgium, Standard de Liège.played to a 0-0 draw with Roulers. U.S. defender Oguchi Onyewu, who played 90 minutes, was back in action after sitting out the previous weekend's 2-0 loss to Anderlecht because of a red-card suspension,

Anderlecht (19-4-10, 67) also played to a 0-0 draw with La Gantoise, leaving it in first place, two points ahead of Standard (19-6-8).

Robert Wagman is SoccerTimes senior correspondent.

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