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Americans Abroad

Moore deposits another late goal for Everton; bad news for Friedel, John.

By Robert Wagman (in Washington, D.C.)
Willy Calderon (in London)
and Arne van Kalsbeek (in Amsterdam)
SoccerTimes

(Sunday, January 30, 2000) -- It would seem as if opportunity keeps knocking on the doorstep of American striker Joe-Max Moore, and for the second time in two weeks, he was there to answer.

Coming on as a late substitute, Moore scored another dramatic last-gasp goal to clinch Evertonís 2-0 victory over Preston North End in the F.A. Cup fifth round. The triumph puts Everton through to the Cup quarterfinals.

As with most F.A. Cup matches, this one was filled with tension. Playing at home, the Premier Leagueís Everton squandered many opportunities while second division Preston clearly had the better of play. In the 64th minute, the home fans were treated to a brilliant left-footed free kick by defender David Unsworth that traveled 30 yards before curling past the keeper for a 1-0 lead.

Despite being down a goal, Preston persevered with enthusiasm and continued to create chances. Things were still in doubt when, in the 88th minute, Everton manager Walter Smith inserted Moore to replace striker Francis Jeffers.

Two minutes later, Kevin Campbell picked up a loose ball in the penalty area and sidestepped three defenders to his left before unleashing a shot. Preston keeper Tepi Moilanen made the initial stop, but the ball rebounded across the mouth of the goal into the path of a streaking Moore who stretched his right leg far enough to make contact with the ball to knock it home. The crowd went wild and fans mobbed Moore on the pitch.

Afterward, Moore acknowledged the similarity with the late goal he scored two weeks ago. "You know my goal was similar to the one I scored against Tottenham, just a scrappy goal," Moore said. "Not the best of goals, but they all count."

In Spain, it was another disappointing Sunday for United States goalkeeper Kasey Keller and his Rayo Vallaceno teammates. For the sixth straight time, Rayo went down to defeat on the road, this time losing to Javier Clemente's Real Sociedad 2-1.

The home team broke on top quickly when recent-signing Jankauskas fired the ball right-footed into the back of the net, following a fine assist by Ricardo Sa Pinto. Twice Rayo almost drew even, first when Luis Cembranos almost converted a corner, and then Carlos Llorens hit a left-footed scorcher from 30 yards out.

But Sociedad's Oscar De Paula put a header over Kellerís outstretched fingers to make it 2-0.

Rayo pulled back to within 2-1 in the 66th minute on a goal from Jordi Ferron, but Rayo was then reduced to 10 men when Hernandez was sent off for a dangerous challenge. Rayo almost drew level twice in the final three minutes, but couldnít find the equalizer.

U.S. midfielder Claudio Reyna's stay in Glasgow Rangersí coach Dick Advocaat's doghouse continues. Reyna again found himself on the bench at the start of Rangers' Scottish Cup third-round 2-0 decision over St. Johnstone. Andrei Kanchelskis received the starting call over Reyna.

Both clubs splashed through the muddy pitch in a static match that took place amid heavy rain and strong wind. It wasn't until Arthur Numan blasted home a 25-yard shot in the 42d minute that Rangers began to flex their muscle.

In the second half, the Ibrox club demonstrated its superiority in midfield, stifling the St Johnstone counterattack. Giovanni van Bronckhurst sealed the victory with a 25-yard rocket of his own in the 65th minute. Reyna finally emerged as Rangers third and final substitute in the 83d minute for Kanchelskis when the match was all but over.


More bad news for U.S. keeper Brad Friedel. In Liverpool, it was reported that 20-year old Norwegian keeper Espen Johnsen, one of the most hotly-sought young keepers in Europe, will arrive in Anfield next week, to play two reserve team games and, hopefully, sign for Liverpool. If that happens, he is expected to replace Brad Friedel as Liverpool's first backup to starter Sander Westerveld.

Heinz Weber, out of contract with Austrian side FC Tirol, is also expected to sign with Liverpool to be the third keeper. Dutchman Jorgen Nielsen, now Liverpool's third keeper, is working out with Danish side Brondby.

Friedel will join the U.S. for the February CONCACAF Gold Cup in the States with the full blessings of Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier. Press reports said Houllier hopes Friedel will do well enough to draw interest at Liverpool's transfer asking price of close to a $1.6 million. Houllier has ruled out any kind of loan arrangement for Friedel, and wants to recoup his investment.


It's extremely bad news for former Columbus Crew striker Stern John. The Trinidad & Tobago national will be out of action for at least the next five months after damaging knee ligaments. He strained, but did not tear, his posterior cruciate ligaments in his left knee during last Saturday's 0-0 draw between his Nottingham Forest side and West Bromwich.

After an MRI scan revealed that the ligament had been extensively strained, but not torn, there was some hope John could see action before the end of the season. But several specialists have ruled that out saying that although John does not need surgery, his rehabilitation will take five months, while Forest's fights for survival in the first division.


On Friday evening in the Netherlands, Ajax lost on a last minute goal by Roda JC on the road in the Dutch Cup.

American John O'Brien played well, going the distance in the Ajax midfield. Ajax played better as a whole than it had in the last matches before the winter break. But good combinations and scoring chances were still scarce for the Amsterdam side.


In other news from England in an F.A. Cup fifth-round match, Tranmere Rovers downed Fulham 2-1. American keeper Marcus Hahnemann continued to sit on Fulham's bench because first-choice keeper Mark Taylor is enjoying a good season.

Reports have surfaced that the former French international and Manchester United great, Eric Cantona will be appointed manager for the London club at the end of this season.

Senior correspondent Robert Wagman can be e-mailed at SoccerWag1@aol.com. Willy Calderon, an American living in Brighton, England, can be e-mailed at willy@netcity.co.uk.

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