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Donovan scores, Hejduk is strong in back, but Leverkusen loses 2-1 to German U-21s.

By Christopher Courtney
Special to SoccerTimes

LEVERKUSEN, Germany (Tuesday, February 13, 2001) -- American striker Landon Donovan scored his teamís one goal, but it wasnít enough for Bayer Leverkusen which dropped a 2-1 decision to Germanyís under-21 men.

Donovan and United States midfielder Frankie Hejduk started for Leverkusen which employed a mix of first-team reserves and youth players.

The highly-regarded national youth side received goals from Manuel Endres and Anel Dzaka.

Donovan logged a strong performance with his goal coming in the second half at BayArena here. Hejduk did well on the right side of a three-man back line at right back with Nigerian Pascal Ojigwe and Joerg Reeb.

"Frankie played well and he is always ready when we need him," Leverkusen official Ilya Kaenzig said. "He is a super team player and works very hard in practice. We don't envision him as a regular starter, but see him as a reliable player who should get 20-25 appearances per season."

Kaeniz, who is essentially Leverkusenís director of player personnel, elaborated on rumors his club is willing to loan Donovan to Major League Soccer for the next two seasons.

"We still have not heard from MLS, but I think we'll see what Landon wants to do after his upcoming U.S. national team game," Kaenzig said, "Of course, we would like to keep him at Leverkusen, but we aren't so sure he wants to stay here."

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.

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