Bradley helps Gladbach mount effort to escape relegation.
By Robert Wagman (in Washington, D.C.)
(Sunday, March 15, 2009) -- Borussia Mönchengladbach is making a move to escape relegation from the Bundesliga and American Michael Bradley is doing his part.
Bradley, the starting central midfielder for the United Staes men, scored twice Saturday to help Mönchengladbach defeat visiting FC Cologne 4-2 in the Rhine Derby and lift one leg out of the relegation zone.
The bottom two teams from the 18-team Bundesliga are demoted, and the third worst finisher has to play off with second division clubs or be relegated, and Gladbach (6-14-4) is now tied with VfL Bochum (4-10-10) for 15th place with 22 points, though trailing by two in goal differential with 10 matches remaining. Gladbach, which has won two straight and is 3-1-2 in its last six outings, is three points behind 12th place.
Against Cologne, Bradley opened the scoring in the 25th minute when he took Marko Marin's left-side cross and finished from three yards out. Mönchengladbach never trailed and Bradley iced the victory with a penalty kick in the 87th minute after Gal Aberman was taken down in the box. Bradley tucked his kick into the corner off goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon's fingertips.
For the second straight game, Gladbach found net four times after defeating Hamburg SV 4-1, a match in which Bradley went the distance.
Bradley has five goals in 18 appearances this season.
Also in the Bundesliga, U.S. defender Steve Cherundolo was a late scratch from Hannover 96's 4-4 draw Saturday with Borussia Dortmund with what was described as a minor training injury. On March 7, Cherundolo played 90 minutes for Hannover, which was crushed by Bayern Munich 5-1.
U.S. striker Landon Donovan, on loan from Major League Soccer's Los Angeles Galaxy, saw his final action for Bayern coming on for the final 10 minutes of the rout. He nearly added a sixth goal when his hard shot narrowly missed in his brief stint.
American midfielder Sal Zizzo saw action in a Hannover reserve-team match this week.
In the 2.Bundesliga, American Luis Robles has been in goal for FC Kasiserlautern's last two matches, Friday's 2-1 win over Koblenz and a May 6 1-0 loss at FSV Frankfurt.
Kaiserslautern is in fifth place at 11-8-5 with 38 points, only three points behind third place. The top three finishers are promoted.
U.S. defender Heath Pearce went 56 minutes in Hansa Rostock's 1-1 draw Sunday with FC Ingolstadt 04 . On March 6, he did not play in Rostock's 3-2 loss at St. Pauli.
American defender Gregg Berhalter was not dressed for TSV 1860 Munich's 1-1 home draw with FSV Frankfurt Friday or the previous Sunday's 3-2 triumph at Ingolstadt.
American forward Matt Taylor came on in the 82nd minute for TuS Koblenz's in a 2-1 loss to FC Kaiserslautern Friday. The previous Friday, he was on the bench, but did not play in a 3-0 decision over VfL Osnabruck.
Bocanegra scores in Rennes triumph
In France, U.S. defender Carlos Bocanegra played 67 minutes Saturday for Stade Rennes in a 2-2 draw with Le Mans. Down by a pair of goals, Bocanegra was replaced in favor of another attacker and his replacement Jires Ekoko scored one of the two late goals that allowed Rennes to salvage a point in the standings.
On the previous Sunday, Bocanegra scored in Rennes' 2-0 victory over Auxerre. Eight minutes into the match, he got his head on a cross from Mickael Pagis' and powered his shot home past Olivier Sorin.
On Saturday, U.S. midfielder Freddy Adu dressed, but did not play in AS Monaco's 3-2 win over Toulouse. On March 7, Adu watched Monaco's 0-0 draw at Nice from the bench.
In Belgium, Standard de Liège (18-4-4, 58 points) keeps winning, but only narrowly and is in first place of the Jupiler League by one point over Anderlecht (18-5-3).
Today, U.S. defender Oguchi Onyewu went the distance as Standard defeated visiting RC Genk 2-0.
Genk was not helped when its keeper Davrino Verhulst was sent off in the 74th minute of the defensive struggle. Standard went ahead 1-0 at the end of the first half and Igor De Camargo added an insurance marker in the 88th.
On March 6, Onyewu played 90 minutes as Standard edged RAEC Bergen Mons 1-0 in a road match.
In Spain, U.S. striker Jozy Altidore was not dressed for Xerez's 2-0 win over Alicante C.F. or the previous week's 2-2 tie at Levante.
In Italy, American midfielder Danny Szetela came on in the 27th minute for Brescia in a 2-1 decision over Triestina. A week earlier, he played the last half hour in Brescia's 1-0 loss to Rimini.
In the Danish SAS-Ligaen, American defender Michael Parkhurst went 90 minutes in Nordsjaelland's 1-1 tie at Aalborg.
American attacker Marcus Tracy didn't play for Aalborg. Tracy dressed, but did not play in Aalborg's 2-0 UEFA Cup loss at Manchester City.
U.S. defender Danny Califf strained a leg muscle and did not play in FC Midtjylland's 2-1 loss to Odense BK this weekend or in Midtjylland's 1-1 tie with Brondby a week earlier. He was injured two weeks ago in Midtjylland's 1-1 draw with Sonderjyske.
American striker Jeremiah White went 81 minutes for AGE Aarhus in a 2-1 victory over Brøndby, a week after he went the distance in AGE's 1-1 draw with Vejle BK.
American midfielder Benny Feilhaber played the last five minutes in Aarhus's win over Brøndby, but did not dress for the previous match.
Robert Wagman is SoccerTimes senior correspondent.
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