List of Americans Abroad
Convey assists winner, Reading drops Manchester City 1-0 in EPL.
With Johnson on the attack, Wolves win again, 1-0 over Leeds.
Friedel is heroic in Rovers triumph; McBride, Bocanegra goals rally Fulham to victory.
Rossi ready to report to Newcastle as Italian U-21 service ends.
Beasley hopes move to England will revive career prospects.
Onyewu sits, sparking transfer runors; Keller leads way in G'ladbach victory.
Johnson strikes again in Wolves win; Beasley stock sinks.
DeMerit is solid, Watford gains first Premier League point; Johnson scores in Wolves debut.
Convey helps spark Reading comeback win over Middlesbrough.
Johnson joins Wolves with 2-year contract; Onyewu might dress for Standard..
Keller records shutout, Mönchengladbach opens by defeating Cottbus 2-0.
Turned ankle is not expected to delay DeMerit's Premier League debut.
White explodes for hat trick, Gueugnon drops Montpellier 3-0.
Number of Americans in top European leagues increases.
(First of two parts)
By Robert Wagman (in Washington, D.C.)
(Tuesday, September 12, 2006) -- The 2006-2007 season is underway in Europe and there have never been more Americans playing abroad. Players from the United States can be found in the top leagues of England, the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, France, Norway and Denmark. Currently, there are no Americans playing in the upper reaches of either Italy or Spain.
Former U.S. men's manager Bruce Arena said that the U.S. will not improve its position in international soccer until it has more Americans playing in highly competitive situations around the world. And this year, there are a number of young players who are just starting careers in Europe.
Here is a list of Americans playing in the top leagues in Europe, with each player's name followed by his age, position and club:
DaMarcus Beasley, 24, midfielder, Manchester City (England)
Beasley got his wish to play in England's Premier League when his Dutch team, PSV Eindhoven, loaned him to Manchester City for the season in a move that could become permanent. He had lost his starter' role at PSV after a preseason injury slowed his training while playing for new coach Ronald Koeman, who is on record for not liking non-Dutch players on teams in the Netherlands. He must now take advantage of the move and show City he belongs. Beasley is expected to test his strained hamstring Thursday in a reserve match against Manchester United.
Gregg Berhalter, 33, defender, 1860 Munich, Germany
Led Energie Cottbus to promotion to the Bundesliga last season and was expected to move with the team to the top German division. But he was not happy with the contract offered to him, so he moved to one of the glamour teams of the 2Bundesliga and will try to help it earn promotion.
Carlos Bocanegra, 27, defender, Fulham, England
So far he has not been able to earn a starting job at right back or his more natural center-back position. Fulham was not happy with its finish last season and has added players making getting into the starting side more competitive. Bocanegra did not play in Fulham's first three matches before making a late relief appearancce Saturday in the Cottagers' 2-1 road win over Newscastle United
Nat Borchers, 25, defender, Odd Grenland (Norway)
A veteran of three seasons (2003-05) with Major League Soccer's Colorado Rapids, he turned down a new contract to make the move to Odd Grenland of Norway's first-division Tippeligaen in early 2006. He has now become a regular.
Michael Bradley, 19, midfielder, Heerenveen (Netherlands)
The son of Chivas USA coach Bob Bradley left MLS after his father was let go by the former MetroStars. Has taken some time settling into his new Dutch team. He was tested during the preseason in the defensive midfield and has dressed for the first three matches this season, but only made one late appearance off the bench. Still, he is considered to have a considerable upside.
Danny Califf, 26, defender, Aalborg (Denmark)
After leaving the University of Maryland early, he spent six seasons in MLS with the Los Angeles Galaxy and San Jose Earthquakes, A league All-Star in 2003 and named to the Best XI in 2005, he left for Europe. After trials with several clubs, ended up at Aalborg BK of Denmark's Superligaen.
Conor Casey, 25, forward, 1, FC Mainz 05 (Germany)
Casey is coming back from a knee reconstruction that kept him out of action for most of last season. He played some in the final matches of last season, but was left off the U.S. World Cup squad. Casey started preseason training, but then had to have further surgery on scar tissue from last year's major operation. When he is fit again, he should reclaim his place as a starter and hopefully will quickly regain his goal-scoring touch.
Steve Cherundolo, 27, defender, Hannover 96 (Germany)
Cherundolo is now a veteran of the German soccer wars, entering his ninth season with Hannover. He is the starting left back and co-captain on a team that has hopes of finishing high enough to qualify for European play in 2007, but which is off to a dreadful start, in last place at 0-3 while being outscored 11-2..
Bobby Convey, 23, midfielder, Reading (England)
Convey was a key part of the second-tier League Championship's best misfiled last season when Reading won promotion to the Premiership with a record-setting season. He is off to a good start after being allowed to miss early training for additional time to recover from playing in World Cup. Reading is off to a good start at 2-2 and Convey seems ready to play an important role.
Jay DeMerit, 26, defender, Watford (England)
DeMerit is a classic late bloomer who came into his own as a physical defender last season as Watford won promotion back into the Premier League after a five-season absence. He has been slowed by a pre-season ankle injury, but is now back to fulltime duty. He will be heavily counted on if Watford is to shake off a slow start and avoid relegation concerns.
Benny Feilhaber, 21, midfielder, Hamburg (Germany)
The central midfielder left college (UCLA) after an impressive showing at the under-20 world championships last year. He played with Hamburg's reserves last season, but has looked good in some pre-season minutes and should compete for a first-team spot, though he has been slowed by injury.
Brad Friedel, 35, goalkeeper, Blackburn Rovers (England)
Some say Friedel is showing some signs of slowing, but he remains Rovers' starting keeper and is still one of the best keepers in the Premiership. After a sharp preseason, Friedel has been sensational in the Blackburn net in the early season. Rovers hopes to finish high in the league and will compete in the UEFA Cup this season because of its winning streak late last year.
Cory Gibbs, 26, defender, Charlton Athletic (England)
Gibbs was looking forward to a good World Cup after transferring from the Netherlands to Charlton when he tore a knee ligament and was dropped from the U.S. roster. He hopes to be back in training by next month Charlton says his first appearance for them is being eagerly anticipated.
Marcus Hahnemann, 34, goalkeeper, Reading (England)
Hahnemann was the League Championship's best keeper, by far, last season, earning 22 clean sheets in 45 appearances behind Reading's excellent defense. Both he and that defense will be tested in the OPremier Oeague, but the Royals have been respectable in posting a 2-2 record to commence 2006-07.
Tim Howard, 27, goalkeeper, Everton (England)
On loan from Manchester United, where he once was the starter, Howard gets another chance with Everton to show he is good enough to play in one of the world's toughest leagues. Whether he will ever return to Man. U. is questionable, but he has to seize his chance with Everton to have a future in England.
Jemal Johnson, 21, forward, Wolverhampton (England)
The young New Jersey native has lived most of his life in England and learned his soccer in Blackburn Rovers' youth academy. Lightning fast, he was loaned by Rovers last to Preston North End where he scored four goals. He scored his initial first-team goal with Rovers in a preseason match a few weeks ago before Wolverhampton manager Mick McCarthy negotiated a transfer and signed Johnson to a two-year contract. He responded by scoring two goals in becoming Wolves' best threat up top.
Charles Kazlauskas, 23, defender-forward, Top OSS, Netherlands
The right back and Top OSS are off to a slow start in the Dutch Eredivisie.
Kasey Keller, 36, goalkeeper, Borussia Mönchengladbach (Germany)
Keller was named captain by his G'ladbach teammates and he hopes to have a repeat of last season where he was the Bundesliga's best keeper in the first half and continued his fine play in helping his team to 10th place.
Robert Wagman is SoccerTimes senior correspondent.
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