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DeMerit goal sparks Watford past Leeds 3-0 to join Premier League.

DeMerit, Lewis meet with life in Premier League at stake.

McBride voted Fulham's best player; Convey, Hahnemann rated best at their positions.

Stewart returns to NAC Breda to become technical director.

Berhalter, Cottbus clinch promotion with 3-1 win over München.

Everton gains Howard, making loan deal with Manchester United.

DeMerit stands out; Watford advances to promotion final.

Gibbs signs with Charlton; Lewis, Leeds United advance in promotion quest.

Lewis free kick gives Leeds 1-1 draw with North End in playoff opener.

Friedel, Rovers are heading to Europe after 1-0 decision over Chelsea.

Hahnemann, Convey help Reading close season with record.

Berhalter penalty kick moves Cottbus to brink of promotion.

Hahnemann, Convey are back in action as Reading nears record.

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

Americans Abroad

Promotion accomplished, Berhalter surprises with move to 1860 München.

Gregg Berhalter
Gregg Berhalter has served as captain of Energie Cottbus the last two seasons but, despite the club's promtion to the Bundesliga, transferred to 1860 München.
Energie Cottbus web site photo --
By Robert Wagman

EAST HARTFORD, Conn. (Friday, May 28, 2006) -- United States defender Gregg Berhalter played a key role in Energie Cottbus' successful 2005-06 season which culminated with promotion to Germany's Bundesliga. Berhalter, however, won't play in the first division as he is heading back to the 2.Bundesliga, having completed a free transfer and signed a two-year deal with 1860 München.

Berhalter, 32, is a member of the U.S. World Cup team, but did not play in tonight's 1-0 victory over Latvia at Rentschler Field. He has represented his nation 44 times and started both knockout-round matches for the Americans during their run to the quarterfinals in the 2002 World Cup in South Korea.

Berhalter's contract with Cottbus had expired and the club's captain for the past two seasons could not negotiate a new deal, so he's moving to Munich to a team that barely escaped demotion to the third-division Regionalliga.

"I fulfilled my goal with Cottbus. I helped get them promoted," Berhalter told SoccerTimes. "They offered me a new contract, but I wasn't happy with it, not some of the things they were doing, so I've moved on and next year we'll try to help another team go up. If you look at the teams that will be in the 2.Bundesliga next season, there are a number of very good, very big clubs and it should be a very good season."

Berhalter played in 31 games and averaged 89 minutes per game, scoring three goals and being issued six yellow cards during the past season for Cottbus. He was tied for second in appearances and was second in minutes played.

On the final day of the season May 14, Berhalter converted an equalizing penalty kick in an eventual 3-1 decision over München that secured promotion. Cottbus finished in third place at 16-8-10 with 58 points, two better than SC Freiburg (16-10-8). München placed 13th at 11-14-9 with 42 points, just one point above the relegation zone.

"We are convinced that (Berhalter) represents a significant reinforcement for our defense," 1860 manager Stefan Reuter told Associated Press.

American defender Danny Califf and AaB Aalborg advanced to the semifinals of Denmark's Visat Cup despite losing 3-2 at AGF Aarhus. Aalborg won the series 5-3 on aggregate after taking the home leg 3-0 three days earlier.

U.S. defender Heath Pearce and FC Nordsjælland start their quarterfinal series Monday.

American midfielder Benny Feilhaber went the distance for the Hamburger SV second team which used a late goal to draw 1-1 with crosstown rival St. Pauli to close the Regionalliga Nord season.

American Ian Joy also played 90 minutes for St. Pauli at left back and was awarded a yellow card.

St. Pauli finished in sixth place at 17-9-10 with 61 points, while Hamburg (12-17-7, 43 points) placed 13th, barely escaping relegation by one point.

American midfielder Grover Gibson and Preußen Münster were not as fortunate. Gibson played 90 minutes, earning a yellow card, in Münster's 3-1 decision over Bayern Leverkusen's second team.

At 12-18-6 with 42 points, Münster tied for 14th place with Erfurt (11-16-9). However, because Erfurt had a minus-8 goal differential to minus-12 for Münster, Erfurt remained in the Regionalliga while Münster was sent down to the Oberliga.

Gibson, 27, who moved to Münster from Jahn Regensburg after last season, will likely look for a new club. In a decade in Germany, he has also played for Augsberg, Elversburg and FC Mainz.

SoccerTimes publisher and managing editor Gary Davidson contributed to this story from Washington, D.C.

Robert Wagman is SoccerTimes senior correspondent.

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