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MNT European Update [March 16, 2004]


ENGLAND

Carlos Bocanegra
Fulham FC, English Premier League
Record: 11-11-6 (39 points)
Last match:  [March 13] DNP in 2-0 win v. Leeds United
Next Match: [March 20] @ Chelsea
League Position: 9 (last week: 6)

STATBOX
League                          FA Cup                      League Cup                TOTALS
GP:GS  Gls    C/E         GP:GS  Gls    C/E       GP:GS  Gls    C/E      GP:GS  Gls    C/E          
  5/5       0      0/1             4/4       0     1/0            -        -        -           9/9       0      1/1        

QUICK HITS

    * Bocanegra looks forward to a return to league duty after serving a three-match ban, having started in central defense in the USA's 1-1 draw against Haiti on March 13
    * He learned at the team lunch that day that his Fulham side had secured full points against cellar-dweller's Leeds United
    * Bocanegra hopes to be thrown back into the fire as Fulham head across London to face title-chasers Chelsea, hoping to put an end to a 13-match winless run against the Blues that dates back to 1979

Brad Friedel
Blackburn Rovers FC, English Premier League
Record: 7-14-7 (28 points)
Last match:  [March 13] played 90 minutes in 0-2 loss v. Arsenal
Next Match: [March 20] @ Aston Villa
League Position: 16 (15)

STATBOX
League                                UEFA Cup                  F.A .Cup                                League Cup                            TOTALS
GP:GS   GAA   SO            GP:GS   GAA   SO      GP:GS   GAA    SO               GP:GS   GAA   SO                GP:GS   GAA   SO
 28/28    1.64     4                 2/2       2.00     0          1/1       4.00      0                   1/1       4.00     0                   32/32    1.81     4

QUICK HITS

    * Friedel's Rovers put forth a dogged effort against the league leaders, but once again the effort didn't add up to points as Blackburn were held scoreless against Arsenal for the second time this season
    * With Blackburn having collected a paltry one win in nine matches, the warning bells are sounding furiously as only two points separate them from the relegation zone with 10 matches remaining
    * Rovers look to rebound against an Aston Villa side that pounded their pride in the last meeting, a 2-0 loss on Dec. 23 at Ewood Park

Tim Howard
Manchester United FC, English Premier League
Record: 18-5-4 (58 points)
Last match:  [March 9] played 90 minutes in 1-1 draw v. FC Porto, UEFA Champions League, Second Round, Second Leg; [March 14] played 90 minutes in 1-4 loss @ Manchester City
Next Match: [March 20] v. Tottenham
League Position: 3 (3)

STATBOX
League                                Champions League        F.A .Cup                                League Cup                            TOTALS
GP:GS   GAA   SO            GP:GS   GAA   SO      GP:GS   GAA    SO               GP:GS   GAA   SO                GP:GS   GAA   SO
 27/27    1.04    10                7/7       0.71     4          3/3       1.33      0                   0/0          -         -                  37/37    1.00    14

QUICK HITS

    * Howard's dream ride through his debut season in England felt the cold splash of reality last week, his side suffering a pair of disastrous results
    * An FC Porto free kick equalizer just one minute from full time sent United crashing out of the Champions League, as the Red Devils could only manage a 1-1 draw in their first must-win match of the year
    * Then, with their backs against the wall and hopes of championship repeat fading, United were handed their worst defeat of the campaign, and at the hands of their arch-enemies to boot
    * Conditions are ripe for a shot at ending their four-match winless run in league play, Man-U having taken all 15 available points from Spurs in their last five meetings

Kasey Keller
Tottenham Hotspur FC, English Premier League
Record: 11-12-4 (37 points)
Last match:  [March 13] played 90 minutes in 1-0 win v. Newcastle United
Next Match: [March 20] @ Manchester United
League Position: 10 (10)

STATBOX
League                               FA Cup                        League Cup                  TOTALS
GP:GS   GAA   SO           GP:GS   GAA   SO       GP:GS   GAA   SO      GP:GS   GAA   SO
 28/28    1.54      6              3/3       1.67      1           4/4       0.50     2         35/35    1.43     9

QUICK HITS

    * Keller's side snatched their ninth clean sheet of the campaign, holding off fifth-place Newcastle by virtue of an 86th minute own goal.  The victory avenged a 4-0 drubbing earlier this season
    * Spurs are unbeaten in four of their last five, continuing to occupy the median in the EPL table
    * American veteran meets international apprentice when Keller and Tim Howard square off for the second time in their professional careers

Eddie Lewis

Preston North End, Division One
Record: 14-12-10 (52 points)
Last match:  [March 10] played 90 minutes in 3-3 draw @ Sunderland; [March 13] DNP in 0-0 draw v. Gillingham
Next Match: [March 17] @ Coventry City; [March 20] v. Walsall
League Position: 11 (11)
STATBOX
League                          FA Cup                      League Cup                TOTALS
GP:GS  Gls    C/E         GP:GS  Gls    C/E       GP:GS  Gls    C/E      GP:GS  Gls    C/E          
 30/25    5      5/0             2/2       0      0/0         0/0       0      0/0       32/27     5      5/0        

QUICK HITS

    * Lewis pulled a last gasp miracle for Preston midweek, his 25-yard free kick in the waning moments of stoppage timing delivering an important road draw as PNE sit only four points away from joining the promotion playoff pool
    * He went from hero to horrified the next day, after doctors decided a nagging hernia required surgery.  Lewis is expected to be sidelined for 6-8 weeks
    * Facing a ban through point accumulation anyway, Lewis watched as PNE battled to the third scoreless draw of the season
    * The Lilywhites face another week of double duty, a crucial meeting against ninth-place Coventry City on the midweek schedule before a weekend welcome to Walsall

Brian McBride
Fulham FC, English Premier League
Record: 11-11-6 (39 points)
Last match:  [March 13] played final four minutes in 2-0 win v. Leeds United
Next Match: [March 20] @ Chelsea
League Position: 9 (6)

STATBOX
League                          FA Cup                      League Cup                TOTALS
GP:GS  Gls    C/E         GP:GS  Gls    C/E       GP:GS  Gls    C/E      GP:GS  Gls    C/E          
  6/4       1      0/0             3/3       1     0/0            -        -        -           9/7       2      0/0        

QUICK HITS

    * McBride did not make the first XI for only the second time in his tenure at Fulham, entering in the 86th minute of Fulham's ninth shutout win of the season
    * Fulham hold an even 11-11-6 record going into the final ten games, only a point behind the pack of teams looking to book a place in European competition next year

Claudio Reyna
Manchester City, English Premier League
Record: 7-12-9 (30 points)
Last match:  [March 13] started and played 45 minutes in 4-1 win v. Manchester United
Next Match: [March 22] @ Leeds United
League Position: 15 (16)

STATBOX
League                          UEFA Cup                  FA Cup                          League Cup                   TOTALS
GP:GS  Gls    C/E         GP:GS  Gls    C/E       GP:GS  Gls    C/E           GP:GS  Gls    C/E           GP:GS  Gls    C/E
 17/15    1      0/0            4/2       0      0/0          3/3       0      1/0              1/1       0      0/0            25/21    1      0/0        

QUICK HITS

    * Reyna turned in another sparkling performance that was cut short by injury at the interval, Man. City dominating a top three side for the second week running, but this time coming away with the prize
    * The Light Blues 4-1 drubbing of out-of-form United ended a 12-match winless run at Blue Camp, and gave the side vital points in their battle to avoid a drop to the first division
    * Manchester City can strike while the iron's hot, a fortuitous trip to last-place Leeds United on the weekend's dance card

GERMANY

Gregg Berhalter
Energie Cottbus, German Second Bundesliga
Record: 12-6-5 (41 points)
Last match:  [March 12] played 90 minutes in 0-0 draw @ LR Ahlen
Next Match: [March 19] v. Karlsruher
League Position: 2 (1)

STATBOX
League                          League Cup                TOTALS
GP:GS  Gls    C/E         GP:GS  Gls    C/E       GP:GS  Gls    C/E       
 22/22    5      6/0            1/1       0      0/0        23/23    5      6/0        

QUICK HITS

    * Berhalter and a 10-man Cottbus side held on for a 1-1 draw away to LR Ahlen
    * Their seventh shutout of the year wasn't enough to keep Cottbus in the league pole position, the side now one point behind the league leaders
    * Cottbus put their 8-2-1 home record to the test against Karlsruher, the team against which Berhalter recorded his first goal of the season back on Oct. 5, 2003

Conor Casey
Karlsruher SC, German Second Bundesliga
Record: 9-8-7 (34 points)
Last match:  [March 15] DNP in 1-1 draw v. FSV Mainz
Next Match: [March 19] @ Karlsruher
League Position: 7 (7)

STATBOX
League                          League Cup                TOTALS
GP:GS  Gls    C/E         GP:GS  Gls    C/E       GP:GS  Gls    C/E       
21/21     9      6/0            2/1        0      0/0       23/22     9      6/0        

QUICK HITS

    * Casey served his one-match ban as Karlsruher ended on level terms home to FSV Mainz
    * Karlsruher remain within sight of the promotion zone, still five points below third-place Oberhausen
    * Casey could well line up against fellow U.S. international Gregg Berhalter when Karlsruher attempt an uphill climb against on-form Cottbus

Steve Cherundolo
Hannover 96, German Bundesliga
Record: 6-12-6 (24 points)
Last match:  [March 13] played 90 minutes in 0-1 loss v. Kaiserslautern
Next Match: [March 20] @ FC Schalke
League Position: 16 (15)

STATBOX
League                          League Cup                TOTALS
GP:GS  Gls    C/E         GP:GS  Gls    C/E       GP:GS  Gls    C/E       
 21/20    0      5/0            2/2       0      1/0        23/22     0      6/0        

QUICK HITS

    * Hannover's misery got the company of another defeat, stretching their winless run to six matches and dipping the side into the relegation zone on goal differential
    * Hannover will hope to catch the shell-shocked Schalke side off guard, the hosts having taken a 3-0 pounding from Eintracht Frankfurt last weekend

Clint Mathis
Hannover 96, German Bundesliga
Record: 6-12-6 (24 points)
Last match:  [March 13] played 90 minutes in 0-1 loss v. Kaiserslautern
Next Match: [March 20] @ FC Schalke
League Position: 16 (15)


STATBOX
League                          League Cup                TOTALS
GP:GS  Gls    C/E         GP:GS  Gls    C/E       GP:GS  Gls    C/E       
  7/7       4      2/0             -/-        -       -            7/7       4      2/0

QUICK HITS

    * Mathis picked up his second booking in as many matches as Hannover were handed their second straight 1-0 defeat
    * Newly appointed boss Ewald Lienen will be desperate to stop the bleeding in his second match at the helm, facing a Schalke side who carried the day in the teams' first meeting on Oct. 4, a 2-1 win

Tony Sanneh
FC Nurnberg, German Second Bundesliga
Record: 12-5-7 (43 points)
Last match: [March 14] DNP in 2-0 win v. Duisberg
Next Match: [March 22] @ VfB Lubeck
League Position: 1 (2)

STATBOX
League                          TOTALS
GP:GS  Gls    C/E         GP:GS  Gls    C/E    
     -         -       -                -        -         -

QUICK HITS

    * Sanneh entered the U.S. lineup for the first time since the 2002 World Cup, playing 45 minutes as he returned from a back injury sidelining the defender from competitive action since Dec. 7, 2002
    * Meantime, Nurnberg extended their unbeaten run to eight matches dating back to Dec. 12, 2003, the 2-0 blanking of Duisberg elevating the side back to the summit of the Second Bundesliga
    * Nurnberg can keep the train rollling against relegation threatened Lubeck, hoping to increase their league leading goal tally (44) and goal differential (+16)

HOLLAND

John O'Brien
Ajax Amsterdam, Dutch Eredivisie
Record: 19-4-1 (58 points)
Last match:  [March 14] DNP in 4-2 win v. Roda
Next Match: [March 21] v. Vitesse
League Position: 1 (1)

STATBOX
League                          Champions League        TOTALS
GP:GS  Gls    C/E         GP:GS  Gls    C/E         GP:GS  Gls    C/E        
   4/4      0      0/0              -         -       -               4/4      0      0/0

QUICK HITS

    * O'Brien's injury plague seems endless, the latest installment a hamstring injury which has kept him idle since Feb. 13
    * A Yannis Anastasiou double paced Ajax to their sixth four-goal output of 2003-04, increasing the gap at the top of the table to nine points
    * The Amsterdammers put their unbeaten 13-0-0 record at the ArenA to the test against visiting Vitesse, looking to duplicate their 2-1 victory from the first encounter in week one of the season

FRANCE

Greg Vanney
SC Bastia, Le Championnat Ligue 1
Record: 8-11-8 (32 points)
Last match:  [March 13] played 90 minutes in 0-0 draw @ Lens
Next Match: [March 20] v. Le Mans
League Position: 13 (13)

STATBOX
League                           TOTALS
GP:GS  Gls    C/E          GP:GS  Gls    C/E        
15/14     0      1/0           15/14      0     1/0         

QUICK HITS

    * Vanney joined the first XI after being sidelined for three matches with a hernia injury
    * Bastia took four points from the season series against Lens, taking a welcome point on the road in their fifth scoreless draw of the season
    * The Corsican side can push safer into the middle of the table with a win against rock-bottom Le Mans, the visitors claiming only road victory in 14 tries

DENMARK

Wade Barrett
AGF Aarhus, Danish Super Ligaen
Record: 8-11-2 (26 points)
Last match:  [March 14] played 90 minutes in 0-1 loss v. AaB
Next Match: [March 21] @ Esbjerg
League Position: 7 (7)

STATBOX
League                          TOTALS
GP:GS  Gls    C/E         GP:GS  Gls    C/E    
12/11      0      2/0         12/11     0      2/0

QUICK HITS

    * The Danish league's winter hibernation finally came to an end, although Aarhus might have wanted another week in the cave after opening with a 1-0 loss to AaB
    * Barrett resumed his starting role for AGF, having been selected to the starting list for their last seven matches
    * Aarhus will need to quickly shake off the sleepies, facing a trip to first-place Esjberg having suffered a 2-0 opening day defeat at their hands

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