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Americans Abroad

Moore, Olsen outstanding in Everton, Forest victories; Sanneh starts third straight.

By Robert Wagman (in Washington, D.C.)
Willy Calderon (in Bristol, England)
Christopher Courtney (in Wuerzburg, Germany)
and Mark Flannery (in Montpellier, France)

(Tuesday, November 14, 2000) -- United States striker Joe-Max Moore produced one of his strongest matches yet for Everton, coming off the bench to help spark a 1-0 win over Bradford City.

Moore added life to a tired Everton offense after he was inserted to start the second half. The match went back and forth until late when City seemed to get the upper hand. Then in the 86th minute, Moore intercepted an errant pass and broke in on goal. He passed off and had the ball returned, getting got off a wicked, curving shot that was barely parried away by goalkeeper Matt Clarke. The loose ball fell to midfielder Gary Naysmith, trailing the play, and he stabbed the ball home with his right foot from 10 yards for the winner.

Midfielder Ben Olsen turned in another good performance for Nottingham Forest, coming off the bench in the 27th minute to help Forest to a 3-1 away win at Gillingham.

For the second match in a row, Forest manager David Platt turned to Olsen early, bringing the American in for defender Alan Rogers who went down with a knee injury. Olsen responded immediately, playing wide on both the left and right sides. In the 45th minute, Olsen carried into the area and fed to striker Jack Lester who scored his second of three goals on the afternoon.

In the 64th minute, Olsen hit a rocket of his own that was only narrowly saved on an excellent effort by Gillingham keeper Vince Bartram.

At Blackburn, manager Graeme Souness again kept newly-signed American goalkeeper Brad Friedel on the bench as Blackburn drew with the red hot Australian John Filan again in goal.

American Tony Sanneh is currently in good form after starting and playing for 90 minutes in three straight Hertha Berlin matches over the past six days.

On Saturday at Borussia Dortmund, his team was trying to break a 28-year jinx of being unable to win at Dortmund in league play. Starting at right back, Sanneh looked effective and virtually owned his corner of the field for most of the game. Dortmundís strong attack moved quickly through a sleepwalking Hertha midfield leaving the back line stranded and outnumbered often during the match. Lars Ricken scored on a rebounded ball to give Dortmund the lead in the third minute.

With Sanneh closing down Giuseppe Reina and the Brazilian Dede all night in the left corner, he clearly began to tire in the late going. In the 72nd minute, Reina collected a ball at the top of the penalty area in a one-on-one with Sanneh. Reina tried to turn Sanneh, then made a dash for the end line. With Sanneh missing his move by a half step, he barely missed blocking a classy shot from Reina into the top left corner that finalized Dortmundís 2-0 victory.

Earlier in the week, Sanneh played right midfield in a UEFA Cup match against Polish side Amica Wronki.

Coach Jurgen Roeber is pleased with Sannehís play of late and has been starting him ahead of German national team player Marko Rehmer. Sanneh is still considering an extension offer from Hertha Berlin and is rumored to be linked to at least one club in England and a possible return to Major League Soccer.

His performances in the coming weeks could further increase his opportunities. Herthaís schedule in the coming weeks is a challenging one with a UEFA Cup match at Inter Milan followed by league schedule including Bayern Munich, FC Schalke, and Bayer Leverkusen. Despite losing this weekend, Hertha Berlin held onto first place in the Bundesliga after second-place Bayern Munich fell to Schalke 3-2.

At Bayer Leverkusen, U.S. midfielder Frankie Hejduk, who started Bayerís last two matches, dressed but did not play in the teamís 1-0 win over SC Freiburg. This was the last game for interim coach and Leverkusen sports director Rudi Voeller with former German national team coach Berti Vogts taking over.

Vogts is reported to be interested in bringing new talent into the team which may complicate the situation of both Hejduk and American striker Landon Donovan. Leverkusenís chief scout Norbert Ziegler is in Buenos Aires looking at several players including 20-year-old defender Gabriel Milito. While neither Donovan or Hejduk are primarily defensive players, adding another non-European Union player to the mix will make it more difficult to earn playing time.

In the 2 Bundeliga, Germanyís second division, American Joe Enochs, the most consistent American starter in German soccer, is in action with Osnabruck tonight in a nationally-televised match against league leader 1FC Nurnburg. Enochs is currently rated among the top five defensive midfielders in the Second Bundesliga. Fellow American Jeff Yu is listed as a substitute for Osnabruck.

Hannover 96ís American Steve Cherundolo played one more reserve team game this weekend to improve his match fitness after recovering from knee surgery. "I started to run out of gas after 60 minutes in the last match so we decided I needed another reserve match before returning to the team," he said. "My knee did take a few hard knocks in the game last week but it feels fine."

Cherundolo returns to the first team next Monday in a nationally televised match against Arminia Bielefeld.

In the third division, Greg Kileís Luneberger SK team climbed out of the D3 North cellar for the first time this season with a 3-1 win over Rot Weiss Essen. The American turned in a strong performance and earned a yellow card in a very hard fought physical match.

The American trio at Elversberg continues to contribute heavily to the teamís great run this year. Dubbed a village team by the German press for playing in a town of only 6,000, the Elversberg side is confounding the experts under English Coach Neal Marmon.

Up front, the teamís offense runs through the American pair of Brent Goulet and Grover Gibson. Goulet returned from a three-week absence this week to contribute to a 2-2 draw at VFR Ahlen. Tim Lawson, who started most of the last season after being challenged by the various European national team players who joined the club, played a strong half last week in a crushing 6-0 defeat at FC Schweinfurt.

Gibson is a top performer each week and is sparking much interest from upper-division clubs in Germany. With Elversberg spending several weeks atop the table and currently in third place, the club is becoming even more aggressive in its quest for promotion to the Second Bundesliga. Club officials have drawn up plans to build a 10,000-seat stadium and are looking for ways to sign new talent at the winter break.

After a roller-coaster ride of an early season, John Van Buskirk is back in the picture at Sportfreunde Siegen. Van Buskirk started the season as team captain, but was soon in the coachís doghouse for unknown reasons and did not dress for three weeks. After playing in a substitute role the past two weeks, he started in this weekís 1-0 win over SC Pfullendorf and was named "Man of the Match" by Kicker.

Despite his strong offensive performances this season, U.S. striker Taylor Twellman was relegated to the bench and saw only second-half substitute minutes in a 4-0 rout of Carl Zeiss Jena. Fellow American Michael Mason started, but did not contribute to the scoring.

Riding the Pine

Goalkeeper Kasey Keller (Rayo Vallecano, Spain) - Was on the bench when Rayo gave up a 90th-minute goal in a 2-2 draw with Valencia. At one point Rayo led 2-0.

Midfielder Claudio Reyna (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland) - Still is not match fit and did not dress for Rangers who narrowly averted further upset by edging Aberdeen 2-1, on the road, in a Scottish League match.

Goalkeeper Brad Friedel (Blackburn, England) - Still has not made his Rovers debut, watching Blackburnís 2-2 draw with Portsmouth from the bench.

Defender Gregg Berhalter (Everton, England) - Has joined the U.S. national team in Florida.

Midfielder John O'Brien (Ajax, Amsterdam) -- Remains sidelined with an Achilles heel problem. Ajax easily defeated de Graafschap 4-1 at home.

Midfielder Earnie Stewart (NAC Breda, Netherlands) - Was released for national team duty after NAC turned in its worst performance of the season losing 4-0 to Twente.

Defender David Regis (Metz, France) - Again was dressed and on the substitutes bench, but did not play in a 1-1 draw with Guingamp.

Midfielder Jovan Kirovski (Sporting Lisbon, Portugal) - Was dressed, but did not play in 2-1 decision over Amadora that kept Sporting atop the standings.

Goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann (Fulham, England) - Was on Fulham's bench as keeper Maik Taylor earned his second shutout in a row 3-0 over Wimbledon.

Midfielder Eddie Lewis (Fulham, England) - Released to join the U.S. national team.

Goalkeeper Ian Feuer (Wimbledon, England) - Did not dress in 3-0 loss to Fulham.

Forward Landon Donovan (Leverkusen, Germany) - Left to join U.S. national team.

Midfielder John Thorrington (Bayer Leverkusen, Germany) - Still recovering from a hamstring injury.

Midfielder David Wagner (Darmstadt 98, Germany) - Team had the week off.

Forward Melchior Arnold (FC Lucerne, Switzerland) - Returned to training after oral surgery and is expected to play again within the next two weeks.

Senior correspondent Robert Wagman can be e-mailed at bobwagman@soccertimes.com. Christopher Courtney is an American living in Wuerzburg, Germany where he follows the fortunes of American players in Europe. He can be contacted at yanksgermany@yahoo.com. Willy Calderon, an American living in Bristol, England, writes about soccer for various publications and netzines and can be contacted at willy@netcity.co.uk. Mark Flannery is an American teaching English in France and follows French football closely.

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