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Americans Abroad

Two days after arriving in England, McBride produces results for
Preston North End.

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

(Sunday, September 17, 2000) -- Brian McBride of Major League Soccer’s Columbus Crew arrived in England Thursday, but he was given little time to adjust and was penciled in as a starter for Preston North End.

The move paid off as the American striker made an immediate impact two days later in Preston's 1-1 draw with Stockport County.

Stockport's Ian Moore headed put his team ahead 1-0 in the second minute. However, Preston fought back with some good combination play. In the 14th minute, McBride collected a pass in the penalty area from Lee Cartwright and quickly slammed a shot that hit the crossbar. Preston's Paul McKenna knocked home the rebound, to tie the match.

A workhorse throughout the match, McBride instilled some confidence in the Preston attack and almost it looked as if the club would be able to pull out the victory. He almost scored late, but the Stockport defense and goalkeeper held firm.

In Germany’s Bundesliga, United States defender Tony Sanneh seems suddenly very much back in the picture for Hertha Berlin, having earned his way back into the starting lineup. German media reports indicate part of his trouble at Hertha has had to do with language problems with the coaching staff questioning whether Sanneh's lack of German mike cause him difficulty understanding their instructions during matches. Coach Juergen Roeber has resorted to shouting instructions to Sanneh in English with improved results.

Sanneh started at right back yesterday against VFB Stuttgart and played a solid 90 minutes. He was strong on the dribble, playing his way out of numerous challenges of two or more opponents, and he looked strong in the air.

While heading clear a Stuttgart corner in the 66th minute, Sanneh injured his head colliding with Stuttgart player After being cleaned up by the trainer, he returned and finished the game with a bandage on his head and ventured forward several times, connecting well with young German phenom Sebastian Deisler.

Hertha won the game 2-0 on goals from Ali Daiei and Alex Alves.

Earlier in the week, Sanneh turned in a solid 45 minutes for Hertha in its UEFA Cup 2-1 first-round match victory over Moldovan side FC Chisinu. Entering at the half, Sanneh integrated into the midfield on the right side with good one-touch passing and some dangerous runs forward. Perhaps more importantly, he seems to have overcome his defensive problems by winning balls in the penalty area and looking strong in the air.

With this performances, Sanneh appears to have earned him his way out of Coach Roeber's doghouse.

In Scotland, it was two victories for U.S. midfielder Claudio Reyna and Glasgow Rangers. On Wednesday, they opened their Champions League group play with a convincing 5-0 home decision over Austria's Sturm Graz. Reyna played a strong 90 minutes in his usual defensive midfield role.

On Sunday, Rangers boss Dick Advocaat rested a number of regulars, including Reyna in anticipation of an important away Champions League match against Monaco tomorrow. Rangers won a lackluster affair with Hearts 1-0.

In England, Norwich City confirmed yesterday that, despite what it labeled "good terms," U.S, defender Gregg Berhalter decided not to sign with the club. He is entertaining offers from at least one other English club and is also reportedly talking with a team in the Netherlands.

Back in Germany, VFL Osnabruck has signed a second American this week, Jeff Yu, 22, a former standout at NCAA Division III Averett. He is one of three new offensive players signed to give the team more scoring punch for a side, despite strong defensive play this season, has created few chances and earned only one point in four games this season.

"Its tough to start out like this when our fans are used to seeing us win" said star defensive midfielder Joe Enochs, an American. "We've lost so few games the last few seasons that our fans have high expectations, as they should."

The San Francisco Bay Area native is in his fifth season in Germany and enjoying the challenge of the second Bundesliga. He has not missed a game in five years with the exception of a red card one season, starting every game for his team the past three years and seldom being substituted out.

This season he has played every minute. When asked about his fan nickname "Der Dauerlaufer," roughly translated into The Constant Runner (or workhorse), his reply was, "I just love to play all out for 90 minutes."

Based on his reputation and performance at Osnabruck, it appears he is fit enough to do just that. The challenges of the German Second Bundesliga, however, are just the beginning this year for Enochs, who with his wife Gunilla, is expecting a baby in the next three weeks. "We're hoping for a girl," he said.

American defender Steve Cherundolo started his return from serious injury this past week at Hannover with another four weeks until he is expected to see playing time. Fellow American Nick Abbott continues to see playing time with the reserve side.

In the German Third Division, American striker Taylor Twellman returned to action at 1860 Munich Amateurs, entering the match against Trier in the 80th minute. On his first touch, he turned his man and began a charge toward the goal when he was fouled just outside the penalty area. The resulting free kick was unsuccessful and his team lost 1-0.

The St. Louis area native is expected to start this week against Erfurt.

Ned Grabovoy is on trial this week at Bayern Munich Amateurs with no indication yet from the club whether they intend to sign him.

American Greg Kile's Luneberger SK continues to struggle after falling in several close games. With the smallest bankroll in the D3 North, Luneberg SK is making moves to acquire new talent to fight their way up the table.

While Kile, who starts every game, is performing well, his team's lack of finishing up front leaves them languishing in the cellar with Fortuna Cologne coming up this week.

American striker Mareck Nowacki has transferred from struggling Sportfreunde Siegen to D3 North leader Erzgebirge Aue.

Also in the north, Eintract Braunschweig welcomed back striker Jacob Thomas. The 22-year-old Texan was out for four months with an injured medial collateral ligament, but wasted no time this week by starting and helping his team to a 2-0 win over TeBe Berlin in front of 11,000 home fans.

At Carl Zeiss Jena, former U.S. national team midfielder Michael Mason was set down with an eight-game suspension for a brutal foul on an opponent at Jahn Regensberg.

At Elversberg, U.S. products Brent Goulet and Grover Gibson have helped lead their team to first place with 14 points in seven games with a Friday match against Regensberg approaching.

In France, another St. Louis native Cody Anderson finished his one-week trial at FC Metz, the team that employs U.S. starting defender David Regis. Coach Joel Mueller deemed Anderson a "very good player," but the club did not extend a contract offer.

Already having failed a trial with Lazio, Anderson is reported heading back to Italy.

Riding the Pine

The following Americans did not play this weekend:

Midfielder Earnie Stewart (NAC Breda, the Netherlands) - Continues injured and did not play in NAC's 3-0 win over De Graafschap, a triumph that moved the newly-promoted team into first place.

Goalkeeper Kasey Keller (Rayo Vallecano, Spain) - Still out with a broken finger and did not play in a 0-0 draw with Real Zaragoza

Forward Joe-Max Moore (Everton, England) - Manchester United defeated Everton 3-1 with Moore sitting for a second week in a row.

Midfielder Eddie Lewis (Fulham, England) - Continues to see little or no action with the first team. In the club's 3-0 win over Nottingham Forest, Lewis was one of three subs not used.

Goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann (Fulham, England) - Seldom plays.

Goalkeeper Ian Feuer (Wimbledon, England) - Rode the pines again as Wimbledon drew 1-1 with Wolverhampton,

Midfielder Stefani Miglioranzi (Portsmouth, England) - Did not dress for Portsmouth.

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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