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Americans Abroad

Friedel makes 3d start in a row for Liverpool in Southampton draw.

(Monday, October 25, 1999) -- For the third match in a row, American Brad Friedel was in the nets for Liverpool which drew 1-1 yesterday at Southampton. Liverpool's starting keeper, Dutchman Sander Westerveld, continues to serve a suspension.

Friedel did not have a busy day. He permitted a goal in the 39th minute when a deep cross from Francis Benali found the head of Matt Le Tissier at the far post. Le Tissier put the ball back across the middle where Norwegian Trond Egil Soltvedt easily beat Friedel.

Liverpool clearly missed Michael Owen who went out with a hamstring injury. But it managed enough enthusiasm to get the draw on a late goal by Camara.

There is good news indeed from Holland where American John O'Brien has regained fitness and has become a regular in the Ajax lineup. He is playing an attacking midfield position and has started the last three matches for Ajax, scoring his first full team goal in the process.

A week ago, O'Brien got his first start in Ajax's 3-1 victory at NEC. O'Brien scored in the 33rd minute to get Ajax off on the right foot. On Thursday he started again in Ajax's starting side in a convincing 3-0 win over Hapoel Haifa of Israel in a first round UEFA Cup elimination.

Sunday, he went 90 minutes again, and got two assists, as Ajax ran away from FC Den Bosch 6-1.

In Spain, Rayo Vallecano and Kasey Keller ran out of miracles as Rayo could not overcome two red cards and one penalty kick as it fell to Real Betis 3-1.

As has been the case all season, Rayo came out gunning and threatened in the early going. Keller came up big in the 29th minute saving a powerfully struck 25 yard drive by Romero.

But things turned against Rayo in the 35th when French defender Jean Francois Hernandez was dismissed for body checking Brazilian star Denilson who ran wild for Betis all afternoon.

Despite being a man down, Rayo went ahead in the 58th minute on a goal by Luis Cembranos. But everything came apart in the 65th when Rayo's French defender Imanol Alcazar handled the ball in the Rayo area, and was sent off.

Alfonso equalized from the spot on the ensuing penalty kick. Three minutes later Denilson scored his first Primera Division goal of the season and then Alfonso scored again on a fluke goal five minutes later to put the match out of reach.

In Germany, United States midfielder Frankie Hejduk did not play in Bayer Leverkusen's yellow card filled 0-0 draw with SC Freiburg. Likewise, U.S. midfielder Tony Sanneh did not play in Hertha Berlin's 1-1 draw with VfB Stuttgart.

In France, defender David Regis did not play in Metz's 3-0 victory over Le Havre.

In other news of interest regarding Americans playing in Europe, word comes from Germany that American David Wagner is leaving Bundesliga 2 (Second Division) club Waldhof Mannheim for Regionalliga Sued (Third Division) club Darmstadt 98.

Wagner reportedly has signed a three-year contract with Darmstadt.

Also, from Germany, American Joe Enochs, playing for VfL Osnabrueck in the Third Division Regionalliga Nord, signed a contract renewal that will extend through the 2002 season.

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