Bradley goes distance, Mönchengladbach saves Bundesliga future with draw.
By Robert Wagman (in Washington, D.C.)
(Tuesday, May 26, 2009) -- United States midfielder Michael Bradley went the distance for Borussia Mönchengladbach, which was able to avoid relegation from the German Bundesliga with a 1-1 home draw Saturday with tough Borussia Dortmund.
With the bottom three teams demoted, Mönchengladbach finished in 15th place in the 18-team league at 8-19-7 with 31 points, one point clear Enegie Cottbus (8-20-6) and two ahead of Karlsruhe (8-21-5).
As was the case the previous week, the only Gladbach goal came from defender Bonfim Costa (Dante) in the 57th minute, seven minutes before Jakub Blaszczykowski equalized for sixth-place Dortmund,
In 2007-08, Gladbach won the 2.Bundesliga to earn promotion to the top division.
In the 2 Bundesliga, American striker Matt Taylor dressed, but didn't play in TuS Koblenz's 4-0 loss at Ingolstadt.
Everton, Aston Villa, Fulham earn Europa berths
No teams with American players were relegated from the English Premier League after "Showdown Sunday," the final day of the season.
Three teams with Americans -- Everton, Aston Villa and Fulham -- earned berths in next season's Europa League, the new second-tier European tournament that replaces the UEFA Cup. All three teams had earned their spots before the weekend, lessening the dram for them on Sunday.
U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard earned his club-record 17th clean sheet of the season, blanking host Fulham 2-0 on a pair of goals by Leon Orman at Craven Cottage.
In the 15th minute, Howard made a fine save on a header from Zoltan Gera, but otherwise he had a fairly calm afternoon in a match dominated by his Toffees.
American keeper Brad Friedel also posted a shutout in a 1-0 win over Newcastle United. Newcastle defender Damian Duff's own goal in the 38th minute proved to be the difference, dooming the Magpies to relegation after 16 years in the Premier League.
Everton (17-9-12, 63 points) finished in fifth place, one point ahead of Villa (17-10-11) with Fulham placing seventh at 14-13-11 with 53 points.
U.S. defender Jonathan Spector played 90 minutes for host West Ham United, which defeated relegation-bound Middlesbrough 2-1 Sunday at Upton Park.
Finally healthy, Spector played a strong match for the West Ham defense, which withstood constant pressure from the desperate visitors, which needed to win by several goals to remain in the Premier League.
West Ham (14-15-9, 51) with an identical record to Tottenham, but Spurs were awarded eighth place because its goal differential was two better than United.
In the third-division League One promotion playoff final, American defender Zak Whitbread went 90 minutes for Millwall's, which fell 3-2 to visiting Scunthorpe United.
Onyewu helps Standard to Jupiler title
In Belgium, U.S. defender Oguchi Onyewu and Standard de Liège repeated as Jupiler Pro League champions, winning a two-match playoff with arch-rival RSC Anderlecht 2-1 on aggregate.
After drawing at Anderlecht 1-1 Thursday, Standard prevailed 1-0 Sunday at home at Stade Sclessin on penalty kick by Axel Witsel in the 40th minute in a tough, physical match with nine yellow cards, six issued to Anderlecht.
Standard went more than 20 years without a title before winning in 2007-08 and a new drought may begin next season when the club is expected lose a number of its star players, including Onyewu and midfielder Steven Defour over the summer.
Rangers repeat Scottish Premier League title
In Scotland, Glasgow Rangers clinched a second straight Premier League championship with a game left to play by defeating Dundee United 3-0, while rival Celtic managed only a 0-0 draw with Heart of Midlothian.
As has been the case recently, U.S. midfielder Maurice Edu went the distance for Rangers, while DaMarcus Beasley did not dress. Beasley is rumored too be headed for Germany.
Rangers are 26-4-8 with 86 points, four points ahead of Celtic (24-4-10).
Bocaengra helps Rennes prevail
With one match left in the French Ligue 1 season, U.S. defender Carlos Bocanegra went the distance for Stade Rennes, which recorded an easy 3-1 decision over Lorient.
Rennes is tied for sixth place at 15-6-16 with 61 points and has an outside chance of earning a spot in the Europa League. The fourth-place finisher gets a berth in the tournament. Toulouse (16-6-15) and Paris Saint-Germain (19-12-6) are tied for fourth with 63 points
In Denmark Sunday, American defender Michael Parkhurst played the final 20 minutes for Nordsjaelland, which defeated Horsens 3-2 and moved further clear of relegation.
U.S. defender Danny Califf went 90 minutes for Midtjylland in a 1-1 tie with Odense.
Forward Jeremiah White played 90 minutes and fellow American midfielder Benny Feilhaber went 66 minutes for Aarhus in a 1-0 decision over Brondby.
American attacker Marcus Tracy is back from a hamstring pull and played 79 minutes in Aalborg's 1-1 draw with Sonderjyske.
In Norway, American keeper Troy Perkins was in goal and registered a clean sheet in Valerenga's 1-0 triumph over Strømsgodset.
American defenders Clarence Goodson and Hunter Freeman went 90 minutes in IK Start Kristiansand's 4-0 victory over Bodø-Glimt. Goodson scored a goal.
Robert Wagman is SoccerTimes senior correspondent.
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