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Keller is one better than Friedel in head-to-head meeting, Tottenham Hotspur edges Blackburn Rovers 1-0.

Keller is outstanding in Hotspur’s 1-1 draw with Aston Villa; Berhalter, Kirovski key Crystal Palace 2-1 victory over Bradford City.

Reyna pressure helps Sunderland dismiss Rovers, Friedel, in 3-0 triumph; Thorrington returns with pair to lead Huddersfield Town over Peterborough.

Reyna lifts Sunderland to 1-0 win over Everton, capturing his historic meeting with Moore.

Moore scores again off bench, but this time Everton loses; O'Brien finds net in Ajax rout.

Americans Abroad

Reyna’s ankle injury is not as serious as feared; with bone bruise and stretched ligaments, he’s out 3-6 weeks.

Claudio Reyna
Claudio Reyna (in blue) later went down with an ankle injury in the 21st minute that will keep him sidelined from three-to-six weeks.
By Gary Davidson

(Wednesday, January 2, 2002) -- Claudio Reyna, United States men’s coach Bruce Arena and American soccer fans can breathe a sigh of relief.

Though Reyna, the U.S. men’s midfielder and captain, will experience considerable discomfort in his left ankle for awhile and be sidelined for as long as six weeks, the injury is far less serious than it first appeared when he was carried off the Stadium of Light pitch by stretcher in the 21st minute of Sunderland’s 1-1 home draw with Aston Villa.

After going down from defender Lee Hendrie’s tackle -- a fair challenge by all accounts -- torn ligaments were feared, but today’s MRI revealed stretched ligaments and a bone bruise.

"I just had the scan and should be playing again in three-to-six weeks," Reyna told Associated Press. "It was pretty painful and I thought it was worse. It's not as bad as it could have been."

Reyna, who had quickly become a key member of the Sunderland attack since being obtained last month from Glasgow Rangers for $6.5 million, was not expected to join the U.S. in California for the Gold Cup which begins January 19 against South Korea and January 21 against Cuba. The injury also could cause him to miss a February 13 friendly in Italy, but, barring complications, he should be ready for a March 27 road match against Germany.

What’s most important is he will be fully fit for the World Cup which begins May 31 in South Korea and Japan.

"Injuries are part of the game," Reyna told AP. "I had played five games for Sunderland and was enjoying it, so it will be disappointing to watch from the sidelines, but I hope to be back sooner rather than later."

For Sunderland, Reyna could miss as many as five English Premier League matches.

"I've had an initial chat with the medical people and they don't think that it's a long-term one," Reid told the Sunderland Echo newspaper. "He's had the best possible medical treatment and his leg was put straight in a sling with an ice pack so hopefully it won't be too much of a problem."

Gary Davidson is SoccerTimes managing editor and can be e-mailed at editor@soccertimes.com.

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