Bradley, Mönchengladbach again face relegation worries after 5-0 loss.
By Robert Wagman (in Washington, D.C.)
(Wednesday, May 20, 2009) -- United States midfielder Michael Bradley and Borussia Mönchengladbach suffered a devastating 5-0 loss Saturday at Bayer Leverkusen in the German Bundesliga.
Mönchengladbach had been flying high after a 1-0 win the previous Wednesay over relegation rival Energie Cottbus, thanks to a stoppage-time goal by Brazilian defender Bonfim Costa (Dante). Bradley went the 90 minutes in both matches.
The setback to Leverkusen means Gladbach will sweat through the final day of the season over whether it will be demoted; the triumph over Cottbus left Gladbach needing one point over its last two matches to avoid relegation. Now, Gladbach hosts fifth-place Borussia Dortmund (15-5-13, 58 points) Saturday needing a tie.
Gladbach, which is in 15th place at 8-19-6 with 30 points, has three more points than Arminia Bielefeld (4-14-15, 27) and Cottbus (7-20-6), which hold the top two of three relegation spots. Before conceding five goals to Leverkusen, Gladbach seemed to be safe on goal differential, but now Gladbach is minus-23, Bielefeld is minus-27 and Cottbus minus-30 in the first tiebreaker..
Red-hot Dortmund routed Cottbus 6-0 Saturday.
U.S. defender Steve Cherundolo, whose season at Hannover 96 ended prematurely with hip surgery, thinks he will be fit enough to resume playing in time for the U.S. participation in the CONCACAF Gold Cup this summer. It was a lost weekend for Hannover, which was thumped 5-0 by league-leading VfL Wolfsburg. Sal Zizzo did not dress for Hannover.
In the 2.Bundesliga, American Luis Robles was in goal for 1. FC Kaiserslautern's 5-3 loss to MSV Duisburg.
American striker Matt Taylor went the distance for TuS Koblenz in a 2-1 victory over FC St. Pauli.
Davies' goal beats Mlamo 1-0
In Sweden's Allsvenskan, American forward Charlie Davies scored in the 57th minute to lift Hammarby past Mlamo 1-0.
He later learned he will have to serve a five-match suspension for an incident in May 11's 2-0 loss to Orebro SK. In the second half, Davies was jogging backwards down the field waiting for a goal kick with Orebro defender Michael Almebäck hanging on his shoulder. Davis swung his elbow and caught Almebäck full on the side of the head, knocking him out momentarily.
The play was so far away from the ball and happened so quickly, it was not seen by any of the officials so no card was issued, but league officials reviewing the play deemed it serious enough to warrant a major ban.
Bocanegra returns to form for Rennes
In France's Ligue 1, U.S. defender Carlos Bocanegra helped Stade Rennes bounced back strongly from its unexpected defeat to second-division Guingamp in the Coupe de France final. On May 13, Rennes defeated Caen 1-0 at home and then on Sunday earned a hard-fought 1-1 draw at Nantes, using Moussa Sow's late equalizer to draw even.
With two matches left in the French season, Rennes (14-6-16, 58) is tied for sixth place with Lille (15-8-13), which owns the second tiebreaker having scored eight more goals, Toulouse (15-6-15) is two points ahead in fifth place. Paris Saint-Germain (19-11-16) is five points ahead of Rennes in fourth place, the last spot to qualify for European play next season. While it is doubtful it will catch PSG, Rennes has exceeded expectations this season.
U.S. midfielder Freddy Adu was an unused substitute for Monaco, which drew 1-1 with Valenciennes. It was announced last week that the little-used Adu will be returned at the end of the season to Portugal's Benfica in Portugal, which loaned him to Monaco this season.
Standard survives Onyewu foul, edges Gent 1-0
In Belgium's Pro League, U.S. defender Oguchi Onyewu committed an untimely late foul, but Standard de Liège managed to keep pace with arch-rival Anderlecht with a hard-fought a 1-0 road victory at Gent.
Axel Witsel's penalty kick in the final seconds of the first half was the only goal. Onyewu courted disaster by fouling Kenny Thompson in the box, but a spectacular save by Standard keeper Sinan Bolat preserved the win.
With Anderlecht defeating Racing Genk 2-0, Standard and Anderlecht both finished tied for first place with identical 24-5-5 records for 77 points records. They will now meet in a two-match series tomorrow and Sunday to determine a champion. Liege will host Sunday.
Standard is the defending champions after Anderlecht captured the crown the two previous seasons.
In Denmark's Superligaen Sunday, American defender Michael Parkhurst went the distance for Nordsjaelland, which broke out of its slump with a convincing 4-1 decision over last-place Vejle, strengthening its case to avoid relegation.
The prior Monday night, Parkhurst played 90 minutes in a 3-1 loss to FC Copenhagen.
U.S. defender Danny Califf had a terrific match on Midtjylland's back-line holding, but absent an attack, Midtjylland fell 1-0 Sunday at Esbjerg fB.
American striker Jeremiah White was back in the starting lineup for Aarhus in a 1-1 draw at Randers. White, who has dealt with some nagging injuries, went 67 minutes.
U.S. midfielder Benny Feilhaber replaced him when he tired.
American forward Marcus Tracy is still coming back from a hamstring strain and was not dressed for Aalborg's 2-2 draw with AC Horsens. He almost certainly will not be fit for tomorrow's Danish Cup final against FC Copenhagen.
In Norway's Tippeligaen, American Troy Perkins was in goal for Valerenga IF Oslo's 2-1 win over Fredrikstad.FK
Both Clarence Goodson and Hunter Freeman went 90 minutes for IK Start Kristiansands in a 1-1 tie at SK Brann Bergen.
In Italy's Serie B, American midfielder Danny Szetela dressed, but didn't play for Brescia in a 2-1 loss at Grosseto.
Brescia (16-11-13, 61) is in fourth place, one slot below promotion, but has only two matches left to make up four points.
In Scotland, American goalkeeper Dominic Cervi will join Glasgow Celtic next season, largely because he was able to get a work permit with his newly-issued Italian passport, received because he has Italian grandparents.
Cervi has been turned down for a United Kingdom work permit in Scotland, so he moved to Italy more than a year ago to begin the arduous process of obtaining Italian dual citizenship.
Robert Wagman is SoccerTimes senior correspondent.
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