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Americans Abroad

Freidel could be headed to Blackburn with reported issuance of work permit.

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

(Monday, September 11, 2000) -- United States goalkeeper Brad Friedel's situation in England appears close to being resolved.

Friedel’s application for renewal of his United Kingdom was originally rejected by the Department of Employment and Education, but his Premier League club Liverpool’s appeal reportedly has been upheld and a new work permit will be issued, clearing Friedel to rejoin former coach Graham Souness at Blackburn Rovers in the England’s First Division.

Souness and Friedel were together at Galatasaray in Turkey in 1995 before Friedel signed to return to the U.S. at the start of Major League Soccer. Souness has been after Friedel for almost a year since Blackburn's current keeper, Irish international Alan Kelly, has fallen out of favor and is reportedly on the transfer market.

It is believed that Friedel will join Blackburn when he returns from the 2000 Sydney Olympics. What is not clear is whether Liverpool will loan him out for the remainder of the year he has on his current contract, or whether Blackburn will pay a transfer fee, and if so, how much.

Again, it was not a busy week for Americans playing abroad. Both midfielder Eddie Lewis and defender Tony Sanneh made short appearances as second half subs, a minor injury kept forward Earnie Stewart sidelined and midfielder Claudio Reyna was banged up and could not finish the Glasgow Rangers’ drew on the road.

In Scotland, Rangers appeared to be guilty of looking ahead to their Champions League home test against Austrian side Sturm Graz, dominating play, but giving up a late goal at Dundee for a disappointing 1-1 draw.

Reyna came out in the 88th minute after taking a knock and tiring badly, but is expected to be ready for Sturm Graz tomorrow.

In England, Lewis came on in the 79th minute, playing well on the left flank and assisted on the final goal for Fulham which demolished Barnsley 5-1 in the First Division. With a 4-0 lead, Fulham manager Jean Tigana decided to empty his bench.

Somewhat surprisingly, forward Joe-Max Moore did not play for Everton in the Premier League in a defeat of Middlesbrough on the road at The Riverside on two second half Francis Jeffers’ goals. The injured Kevin Campbell came on as a second half sub instead of Moore, surprising many observers who thought his injuries would keep him out weeks longer.

American goalkeeper Ian Feuer was on the bench when Wimbledon crushed Sheffield Wednesday 5-0.

Defender Gregg Berhalter finally saw some action and scored in the first minute with a blistering free kick for Norwich which crushed Bristol City, 4-1. He almost scored a second goal on another free kick that grazed the top of the frame.

In Germany, Sanneh came in as a 79th minute sub as Hertha Berlin which lost to Wolfsburg 2-1. With Hertha down 2-0, Sanneh was inserted for defender René Tretschok, but was pushed forward into an attacking role as Hertha tried to get back in the match. Sanneh started the play that saw Hertha's Ali Diaei score in the 88th minute in the losing effort.

In the Netherlands, it was a tough week for Stewart at NAC Breda. On Wednesday, he left a 2-1 victory over Roda JC in the 29th minute with a leg pull. The injury is not considered serious, but it did keep him out of Saturday's 2-1 setback to Heerenveen.

In France, David Regis seems to be slowing working himself back into the picture at Metz. This weekend, he came on as a sub at left back in the 65th minute in a 1-0 victory on the road in Rennes.

In Portugal, midfielder Jovan Kirovski did not play for Sporting Lisbon this weekend, but he has been named to Sporting's 19-player roster for its opening Champions League home match at defending champion Real Madrid.

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.

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