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Americans Abroad

Olsen stock continues to rise after strong reserve performance for Forest.

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

(Tuesday, October 31, 2000) -- Midfielder Ben Olsen, loaned from Major League Soccer's D.C. United, made his mark this week coming off the bench in Nottingham Forest’s 2-1 defeat of Stockport County with a comeback that started when Olsen and Marlon Harewood were inserted in the 58th minute.

Ben Olsen
Ben Olsen:
Making good at Nottingham Forest.
Forest had gone down 1-0 early in the second half and was battling to stay in the match when manager David Platt turned to the double substitution. Olsen replaced defender Tony Vaughan, but moved to right wing midfield.

Olsen made good runs getting behind Stockport defenders and looked at ease at the right wing. Forest won the game on two goals by Jack Lester in the final 15 minutes.

With more performances like this one, Platt may be inclined to try Olsen as a starter.

In Germany, Hertha Berlin for the first time in recent memory moved into first place in the Bundesliga with an emotional 1-0 win over 1860 Munich. Coach Juergen Roeber hoping to offset 1860’s midfield started two defenders and six midfielders, including American Tony Sanneh.

Last week, Sanneh started in place of the injured Sebastian Deisler; this week he played with Deisler. An injury to offensive midfielder Darius Woscz allowed Sanneh to play at right midfield, a position more suited to his strengths.

Hertha spent most of match defending. Sanneh made several excellent defensive stops and almost assisted in the 25th minute when Deisler hammered a shot from 25-yards than barely went over the crossbar. Hertha scored the winning goal in the 89th minute against the run-of-play, when Eyjolfur Sverisson put in a header off a freekick that both he and Sanneh leaped for.

In England, U.S. forward Joe-Max Moore played the final 22 minutes of the most heated rivalry in English soccer, the cross-town Merseyside Derby between his Everton and Liverpool. The 134th meeting of the two teams was won by Liverpool 3-1.

Moore came on in the 67th minute in the midfield, replacing newcomer Idan Tal. He did not make much of an impression. Liverpool took the lead in the 12th minute, but Everton's Kevin Campbell equalized five minutes later.

Liverpool looked nervous early on but as the match progressed, it began to gain more confidence and soon was running things more smoothly. The game's frenetic pace took its toll and by the time Moore entered the match, Liverpool was up 2-1. A late penalty kick sealed the match and bragging rights until the two clubs meet again in four months.

Moore has yet to score with almost a third of the English Premier League season completed.

In England’s first division, American midfielder Stefani Miglioranzi, who played for St. John’s University and is eligible to play for the United States because he carries dual U.S.-Italian citizenship, had a good showing off the bench for Portsmouth which drew with Birmingham 1-1.

Miglioranzi came on in the 65th minute to give the game an offensive boost. In injury time, he almost sent Portsmouth ahead with a fine through ball that Thomas Thogersen knocked home for what appeared to be the game-winner. However, the linesman judged Thogersen to be offside and negated the goal.

Portsmouth continued its unbeaten run since it appointed Steve Claridge as player-manager earlier in the season.

Back in Germany, U.S. forward Landon Donovan returned to Germany Friday and scored twice for Leverkusen’s reserve side in a 5-1 win over SV Straelen.

He still is not dressing for full team matches. Reflecting on his performance for the United States against Mexico last week, Donovan commented, "It was indescribable, the night of my life. I did not expect to get in so early, and it all happened so fast but it was great."

Leverkusen is still looking for a new coach. In addition to filling the coaching gap left by Christoph Daum, Leverkusen is searching for a way to increase goal production. Star strikers Ulf Kirsten and Oliver Neuville are not currently producing as expected and the team is looking for answers to their goal drought. As a result, Donovan's chances of dressing with the first team are looking better.

Darmstadt captain David Wagner, the one-time U.S. national team midfielder, scored his fifth goal of the year in a 1-1 draw with VFB Stuttgart Amateurs. Wagner is now tied for fourth place in the D3 South goal scoring standings.

American striker Taylor Twellman's goal scoring streak at 1860 Munich Amateurs ended this week at three games, but he did start in a 1-0 win over VFR Aalen.

Up north at Luneberger SK, defender Greg Kile appears to have fully recovered from his torn thigh muscle to play in a 2-1 win over Wilhemlshaven.

Carlo Espinosa's Karlsruher SC has, as expected, worked its way to the top of the D3 South table with a 4-1 win over FC Schweinfurt. Espinosa has yet to appear this season with the first team, but played with the reserves this weekend in a 1-0 loss to Heilbronn.

SV Elversberg remains in third place but has a six-point cushion over the fourth-place team. American Brent Goulet remains injured and out of action, but the other two American players Tim Lawson and Grover Gibson played in a 3-1 win over Kickers Offenbach. Gibson scored in the 72d minute to tally his second of the season.

Eintracht Braunschweig’s Jacob Thomas started this week in a 2-1 win over Dusseldorf in front of 9,300 fans.

Kaiserslautern American High School senior Raul Palomares is still playing with the A youth squad at 1FC Kaiserslautern. He started this past weekend in quarterfinals of the German Youth Cup at left midfield, but lasted only until the fourth minute when a rough foul by a TB Berlin defender was serious enough to warrant his substitution.

Kaiserslautern went on to win 1-0 and advanced to the semifinals. There is no word yet on the extent of Palomares' injury.

In Spain, U.S. goalkeeper Kasey Keller made his third start in a row for Rayo Vallecano in UEFA Cup competition, playing a strong match and gaining a 1-0 shutout win over Denmark's Viborg on Thursday. On Sunday, he was again on the bench when Rayo suffered its first loss of the season, dropping a foul-filled home match to Alaves 1-0. Rayo keeper Julen Lopetegui gave up an early goal.

In the Netherlands, American midfielder Earnie Stewart played well as his NAC Breda side defeated Fortuna Sittard 2-1. Stewart had to come out in the 73rd minute after being fouled by Fortuna’s Joost Volmer, who was carded.

Riding the Pine

Midfielder Claudio Reyna (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland) - Continues injured and did not dress as Rangers, missing 10 players with injuries or suspensions, dropped another league contest, this time at home to Kilmarnock 3-0.

Midfielder John O'Brien (Ajax, Amersterdam) - Again did not dress as Ajax, coming off an embarrassing UEFA Cup loss in Switzerland, held favored PSV Eindhoven to a 1-1 draw at PSV. O’Brien also did not dress for the 1-0 loss to Lausanne Sports O'Brien with his Achilles heel problem causing him problems winning back his spot in the starting lineup.

Defender David Regis (Metz, France) - Was again not dressed when Metz defeated Lens 2-1. We learn that last week, in addition to the return of injured midfielder Geoffray Toyes and Metz going to a three-back set, Regis was bothered with a slight groin pull. This week his health problems mounted with a dental infection that kept him from practicing.

Midfielder Eddie Lewis (Fulham, England) - Did not dress for Fulham which played a 3-3 draw with Sheffield Wednesday.

Midfielder Frankie Hejduk (Bayer Leverkusen, Germany) - Did not dress for a 0-0 draw with Schalke 0-0.

Midfielder Jovan Kirovski (Sporting Lisbon, Portugal) - Was on the substitutes bench but did not play in a 1-0 victory over Beira Mar 1-0 on a late goal.

Goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann (Fulham, England) - As usual, was on Fulham's bench as backup keeper for starter Maik Taylor in a 3-3 draw with Sheffield Wednesday.

Goalkeeper Ian Feuer (Wimbledon, England) - Did not dress for a scoreless tie with Sheffield United.

Defender Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96, Germany) - Has returned to training following his off-season knee surgery and may see action in the next week or two.

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

Midfielder Joe Enochs (Osnabruck, Germany) - Sat out 0-0 draw with Aachen for accumulated yellow cards.

Forward Jeff Yu (Osnabruck, Germany) - Did not play.

Midfielder John Van Buskirk (Sportfreunde Siegen, Germany) - Did not play.

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 fan in France.

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