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Americans Abroad

Moore injures knee as Everton ties Leicester City 1-1.

By Robert Wagman (in Washington, D.C.)
Willy Calderon (in Bristol, England)
Arne van Kalsbeek (in Amsterdam) and
Matthias Schneider (in Leverkusen, Germany)

(Sunday, April 9, 2000) -- United States striker Joe-Max Moore suffered a potentially serious injury late in the first half of Evertonís 1-1 draw with Leicester City yesterday in Englandís Premier League.

In the 43rd minute Moore limped off the Cityís Filbert Street field with a knee ligament injury. Pending an MRI, team physicians are calling it a "strain" and are saying it might be possible Moore could return to action in as short a time as a week with intensive treatment. But they are also saying the injury "must be further evaluated," and could be more serious, perhaps even a tear.

If Moore is unable to play next weekend, Everton manager Walter Smith has already said his place will be taken by Lewis Francis Jeffers, who himself is returning from an injury.

Also in England, U.S.. midfielder Eddie Lewis started the tying sequence, playing the entire 90 minutes as Fulham barely kept alive its hopes of getting into the promotion playoffs by salvaging a 1-1 draw with Tranmere Rovers. It looked like Fulham was going down to defeat when Andy Melville struck in the 88th minutes on a play started by Lewis.

Even though Fulham made three offensive substitutions, Lewis stayed on for the entire match.

In Scotland Glasgow Rangers cruised to their third consecutive Tennents Scottish Cup final with an easy 7-0 mauling of first division (second tier) Ayr United in yesterday's semifinal.

American midfielder Claudio Reyna, who had started the last several matches at back because of Rangers injuries, played the entire 90 minutes in his familiar midfield role, and assisted on several of the Ranger goals.

In Spain, Rayo Vallecano continues to win with American goalkeeper Kasey Keller on the bench. When he broke his collar bone a month ago, Rayo was in the middle of a losing streak and in danger of falling out of the middle of the table and into relegation danger. But since former Spanish international Julen Lopetegui has been in the nets. Rayo has won two and tied two and appears out of any relegation danger.

Today Rayo notched a big win, 2-1 over Atletico Bilbao, the team directly above it in the standings. The three points leapfrogged Rayo three places to 11th in the tightly bunched standings.

Spanish media reports indicated that Keller feels he is ready to return to action, but with Lopetegui turning in one solid performance after another, the American appears to have lost his starting job.

In Germany, U.S. midfielder Frankie Hedjuk, who has been ill, did not dress as Bayer Leverkusen defeated Dortmund 3-1. Hedjuk says he hopes to resume training this week, and to be able to play for the U.S. against Russia September 26 in Moscow.

In Berlin, American midfielder Tony Sanneh did not play for Hertha Berlin defeated Frankfurt 1-0. Hertha manager Jurgen Rober only made one substitution as his club held on for the much-needed three points. Sanneh has been in Rober's doghouse ever since he returned to the U.S. for the match against Iran in January and then was injured.

In the Netherlands, injured U.S. midfielder John O'Brien did not play for Ajax which notched a desperately needed 3-2 victory over Sparta Rotterdam. O'Brien was on his way to Florida to join the U.S. Olympic training camp.

Senior correspondent Robert Wagman can be e-mailed at SoccerWag1@aol.com. Willy Calderon, an American living in Bristol, England, can be e-mailed at willy@netcity.co.uk. Arne van Kalsbeek lives in Amsterdam and writes for the English language web site Ajax Mania. Matthias Schneider lives in Leverkusen, Germany and is employed by Bayer Leverkusen as an English-language translator.

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