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Moore is super as sub again, but his goal can't stop Everton from losing to Leeds United 3-2; O'Brien goal highlight of Ajax 5-1 rout of Vitesse.

Robert Wagman (in Washington, D.C.),
Gary Davidson (in Washington, D.C.)
Willy Calderon (in England),
Joel Lange (in England),
and Mark Flannery (in France)

(Thursday, December 20, 2001) -- Apparently the rest has served American striker Joe-Max Moore well.

For the second time in four days, Moore came off the bench to score for Everton, but it was not enough yesterday to prevent Leeds United from preserving a 3-2 English Premier victory.

Everton (6-6-5, 23 points) still is without injured strikers Kevin Campbell and Duncan Ferguson, as well as Alan Stubbs and Thomas Gravesen. With manager Walter Smith continuing to insist that he needs a "large" forward, Moore remained without a start this season while defender Steve Watson moved up into the attack for a second consecutive outing.

On Saturday, Moore played the second half and his diving header in the 76th minute provided the game-winner in a 1-0 home decision over Derby County at Goodison Park.

Yesterday, at Leeds’ Elland Road, Moore entered the match in the midfield in the 50th minute when defender Alessandro Pistone, who Moore replaced Saturday, was carried off after turning his ankle.

Leeds led 2-0 when Moore entered and extended the advantage to 3-0 on Robbie Fowler’s second tally in the 71st minute.

Moore, who was just wide with a blast shortly after coming on, put away a superb cross from Watson, using his first touch to put a shot just beyond the reach Leeds’ keeper Nigel Martyn to make it 3-1 in the 84 the minute.

David Weir scored six minutes later to narrow the deficit to 3-2, but it was not enough to prevent Everton from staying winless at Elland Park since 1951.

Moore has not started a league match this season, making seven relief appearances.

In the Netherlands, United States midfileder John O’Brien provided a highlight with his left-footed striker in the 29th minute which gave Ajax a 3-1 lead en route to a 5-1 rout of Vitesse at the Amsterdam ArenA last night.

Ajax (11-3-3, 36) moved back on top of the Eredviisie, getting a solid 90 minutes from O’Brien who was used in more of an attacking role than he had under former coach Co Adriaanse.

In an important English First Division match tonight, American striker Jovan Kirovski and defender Gregg Berhalter saw action for Crystal Palace which drew 1-1 with Nottingham Forest.

Both Americans started on the bench as neither seems in favor with new manager Trevor Francis. Berhalter replaced Christian Edwards on the backline at the interval and had a fairly solid 45 minutes. In the 54th minute, he received a yellow for a tackle from behind, but he made few errors and helped hold Forest former Major League Soccer striker Stern John in tow.

Kirovski came on in the 70th minute when striker Dougie Freedman was hurt. He had several good touches and a run through run in the 78th minute could have resulted in a goal, but didn’t when his heel pass was not read by teammates.

U.S. left winger Eddie Lewis had a terrific match for the Fulham reserves in a 1-1 draw with a Southampton reserve side bolstered by several first-team regulars.

Lewis’s crosses and pinpoint passes were central to Fulham’s offense Monday night and his cross wound up in the Southhhampton net, ruled an own goal. Lewis also hit the post twice with shots twice and sent teammates through on several occasions.

In the 38th minute, a pass from defender Zat Knight set Lewis free on a long run down the left side. His perfect cross into the center of the box went into the net off defender Mike Williamson and could have been ruled Lewis’ goal. It wasn’t.

Just before the half, a Lewis pass to Abdeslam Ouaddou was forwarded to Kevin Betsy whose shot was just inches wide.

The action was back and forth in the second half. In the 51st minute, another accurate Lewis cross led to confusion in the center of the Southampton area and a last second clearance from the goalkeeper. On the hour, Lewis ran onto a chip from Paul Trollope and his hard shot hit the outside of the post. In the 78th minute, a hard shot by Lewis struck the foot of the post and caromed directly to the keeper with three Fulham players waiting for the tap in.

This was the second strong reserve match for Lewis in two weeks. Against Watford, he assisted on both Fulham’s goals in a 2-0 victory. That shutout was recorded by American keeper Marcus Hahnemann who then left on his new loan to third division Reading where he is filling in for injured keeper Phil Whitehead.

In German midweek Bundesliga action, American defender Cory Gibbs continues to improve in the center of defense for St. Pauli which drew 2-2 with Hertha Berlin. All four goals came in the second half with St. Pauli denied an upset when it allowed Andreas Schmidt to tie for Hertha in the 86th minute.

U.S. midfielder\defender Tony Sanneh remained benched for FC Nürnberg which played a 1-1 draw with Dortmund Tuesday.

In 2 Bundesliga action tonight, American Steve Cherundolo represented himself well at right midfield for Hannover in a 3-2 defeat of Union Berlin. As he sometimes does, Cherundolo played on the right side of midfield with a three back set, but there is little difference when he was the right back with four defenders.

In France, U.S. defender David Régis, who missed the last two matches with a minor injury, was ready to start, but Metz’s match tonight against Troyles was postponed because of poor field conditions.

Senior correspondent Robert Wagman compiled and edited this column. He can be e-mailed at bobwagman@soccertimes.com. SoccerTimes managing editor Gary Davidson also contributed and can be e-mailed at editor@soccertimes.com.

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