With Friedel in net, Aston Villa couples UEFA Cup advancement with EPL success.
Adu gets first start for Monaco in Cup loss to PSG.
By Robert Wagman (in Washington, D.C.)
and Gary Davidson (in Washington, D.C.)
(Thursday, October 2, 2008) -- Americans are generally seeing less action in Europe's top leagues, but United States attacker Freddy Adu received his first start for Monaco, which dropped a 1-0 decision September 24 to defending champion Paris St. Germain in the Coupe de France.
In a reserve-heavy lineup, Adu was teamed with 21-year-old Colombian Juan Pablo Pino on the Monaco front line.
Adu gave an account of his first start on his "100% Freddy" blog, appearing on Monaco's web site
"Because there were a lot of new guys playing, it took a little while for the team to settle in on the field," Adu wrote. "We started the game in a traditional 4-4-2 with Pablo Pino and I upfront. During the game, I think that I had some good touches and put in a good performance. I was able to show flashes of my speed and skill on a number of occasions.
"On one play in the first half, I was isolated on the left touch-line, just outside the box. I beat two defenders to the end-line and swung a dangerous ball into the penalty area. It was a great opportunity and the crowd roared. In the second half, I should have been in on goal twice but was whistled for offside. I was so close to my first goal, but it was not to be.
"We went down 1-0 and as the game went on, (Monaco coach) Ricardo (Gomes) made some changes to bolster our attack. I was substituted with just over 20 minutes to play to make way for Park Chu-Young. I would have loved to finish off the game and see if I could have brought the sides level, but I think the expression in France is, 'C'est la vie.' "
On Sunday, it was back to the bench for Adu, who came on in the 79th minute in Monaco's 2-0 setback to visiting Lille.
Ten minutes before Adi entered, Lille went ahead 1-0 on a goal by Yohan Cabaye, an advantage expanded by a tally by Ludovic Obraniak in the 87th minute.
Also in the Coupe de France, American goalkeeper Quentin Westberg got a rare start, but his second-division side Troyes fell 3-1 to FC Metz.
U.S. defender Carlos Bocanegra sat out reserve-heavy Rennes' advancement in the Cup, needing to win in a penalty-kicks tiebreaker after a 2-2 draw with Le Mans.
In France's Ligue 1, Bocanegra continued to lead the Rennes defense, most recently in the club's fourth clean sheet of the season, 1-0 over Nice.
In Belgium, U.S. central defender Oguchi Onyewu and Standard de Liège are riding high, taking over sole possession of first place in the Jupiler League and tonight advancing to the second round of the UEFA Cup.
Onyewu played 90 minutes for Standard, which defeated visiting Everton 2-1 for a 4-3 aggregate triumph in the UEFA Cup first-round series.
Standard won the game and series on Milan Jovanovic's penalty kick in the 79th minute. Alex Witsel put Standard ahead in the 22nd minute, but Phil Jagielka equalized for the Toffees in the 67th minute.
Onyewu's teammate with the U.S. men, keeper Tim Howard made five saves.
Standard took over sole possession of first place in the Jupiler League by downing second-place Anderlecht, 2-1. With Onyewu hoing the distance, Standard raised its mark to 5-0-1 with 16 points, three points ahead of Anderlecht (4-1-1).
Bradley mostly sits for Mönchengladbach
In the German Bundesliga, it was back to the bench for U.S. midfielder Michael Bradley, who debuted for last-place Borussia Mönchengladbach September 20, playing 65 minutes in a 1-0 loss to Hertha Berlin.
Since then, Bradley did not play in two subsequent matches. In the DFB Pokal (German Cup) second round, Mönchengladbach went to Energie Cottbus and lost 3-0 with Cottbus oddly scoring all three matches on penalty kicks. On Saturday, 'Gladbach fell 1-0 at Hamburg SV.
Things went better for U.S. defender Steve Cherundolo. After missing a full month with a leg injury, he returned to his right-back spot and helped a fine defensive effort in Hannover 96's 1-0 upset of Bayern Munich.
U.S. defender Heath Pearce came on in the 82nd minute and helped kill off the match for Hansa Rostock, which defeated St. Pauli 3-0.
Young American-eligible defender Neven Subotic helped Borussia Dortmund defeat VfB Stuttgart 3-0.
Altidore sits for Villarreal
Despite scoring three goals for Villarreal in an exhibition match three weeks ago, U.S. striker Jozy Altidore did not appear for the club in its last three league matches in a busy stretch for the Spanish Primera Division.
Altidore was on the bench when Villarreal defeated Numancia 2-1, but he did not dress for a 2-0 home victory over Racing Santander or Saturday's 1-0 triumph at Sporting Gijon.
In Scotland, U.S. midfielders DaMarcus Beasley and Maurice Edu did not suit up for Glasgow Rangers' 3-0 decision over host Hibernian.
In Norway's Tippeligaen, American keeper Troy Perkins had an exceptional night in goal, but it was for naught as Vålerenga fell 1-0 to visiting Viking.
Bernardo signs pro contract with Napoli
Striker Vincenzo Bernardo, a member of the United States under-20 men's pool, has signed a three-year professional deal with Napoli of Italy's Serie A.
Currently with the Napoli reserve team, the 18-year-old New Jersey native saw his fortunes rise this fall after a strong performance in an exhibition against the club's first team a few weeks ago.
"Its a dream come true, I'm very thankful" Bernardo told SoccerTimes correspondent Chris Courtney, author of the blog Letters From Vagabondia.
Elsewhere in Italy, American midfielder Danny Szetela has become a stalwart for Brescia, which is 1-1-4 with seven points, tied for 12th in Serie B.
Robert Wagman is SoccerTimes senior correspondent. Gary Davidson is SoccerTimes publisher and managing editor.
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