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U.S. MNT European Update -- Dec. 21, 2004


ENGLAND

Carlos Bocanegra
Fulham FC, English Premier League
Record: 5-10-3 (18 points)
Last match: [Dec. 20] played 90 minutes in 1-2 loss @ Charlton Athletic
Next Match: [Dec. 26] @ Arsenal
League Position: 15 (last week's position: 14)

STATBOX

League                          League Cup                TOTALS
GP:GS  Gls    C/E         GP:GS  Gls    C/E       GP:GS  Gls    C/E   
 16/15    1      2/0            3/3       0      0/0        19/18     1      2/0         

QUICK HITS

  • Bocanegra and the Fulham backline gave up multiple goals for the ninth time this season, their 30 goals against putting them in the dubious position of the bottom five in the league
  • One of those games came against this weekend's opponents, as Fulham surrendered three goals while posting none in their last meeting Sept. 11 at Craven Cottage

Bobby Convey
Reading FC, English League Championship
Record: 13-6-5 (44 points)
Last match:  [Dec. 18] DNP in 2-0 win  v. Queens Park Rangers
Next Match: [Dec. 26] v. Watford
League Position: 4 (4)

STATBOX

League                          League Cup                TOTALS
GP:GS  Gls    C/E         GP:GS  Gls    C/E       GP:GS  Gls    C/E  
 15/3      0      0/0             2/1      0     0/0         17/4       0      0/0

QUICK HITS

  • Convey sat the reserves bench again as Reading posted 2-0 victories in consecutive weeks
  • Maintining their unbeaten 9-0-3 mark at Madjeski Stadium, Reading kept pace with the league leaders while holding on to the fourth spot in the table
  • Reading hopes to let the good times roll at home once again as they welcome Watford on Boxing Day.  It's been hot and cold between the clubs, with five of the last six games ending with one side coming up empty on the scoresheet


Brad Friedel
Blackburn Rovers FC, English Premier League
Record: 2-7-9 (15 points)
Last match:  [Dec. 18] played 90 minutes in 0-0 draw v. Everton
Next Match: [Dec. 26] v. Newcastle United
League Position: 16 (18)

STATBOX
League                                League Cup                 TOTALS
GP:GS   GAA   SO            GP:GS   GAA   SO      GP:GS   GAA    SO
 18/18    1.67     3                 0/0         -        -         18/18     1.67      3

QUICK HITS

  • While Friedel will be pleased to have kept the scoresheet clean, the attack force isn't holding their end of the bargain as Rovers have now gone three straight without scoring a goal
  • Nonetheless, a point against third place Everton is an achievement for a struggling side, but the points will need to begin to pile up as the crowded holiday schedule kicks into gear
  • The drive starts against a Newcastle side with only one win in their last eight matches; however, one of their five league victories came in a 3-0 shutout of Blackburn on Sept. 11


Tim Howard 
Manchester United FC, English Premier League
Record: 9-2-7 (34 points)
Last match: [Dec. 18] DNP in 5-2 win v. Crystal Palace
Next Match: [Dec. 26] v. Bolton
League Position: 4 (4)

STATBOX
League                                Champions League       League Cup                            TOTALS
GP:GS   GAA   SO            GP:GS   GAA   SO      GP:GS   GAA    SO               GP:GS   GAA   SO               
  5/5       1.00    1                  4/4       1.50     1          3/3       0.00      3                  12/12    1.07      5

QUICK HITS

  • Howard held the clipboard as United upped their unbeaten record at Old Trafford to 6-0-3
  • United pumped in five for the first time in the EPL campaign, holding steady at nine points off the pace of the league leaders
  • A 2-2 draw wouldn't seem a typically happy stroll down memory lane, but fans at the clubs' meeting at Bolton on Sept. 11 witnessed the last EPL start for Howard

Kasey Keller 
Tottenham Hotspur, English Premier League
Record: 7-7-4 (25 points)
Last match:  [Dec. 18] DNP in 5-1 win v. Southampton
Next Match: [Dec. 26] @ Norwich
League Position: 7 (11)

STATBOX
Spurs
League                                League Cup                 TOTALS
GP:GS   GAA   SO            GP:GS   GAA   SO      GP:GS   GAA    SO   
  0/0          -       -                  2/2       1.50     1          2/2       1.50       1

Southampton (loan 11/12/04-12/12/04)
League                               TOTALS
GP:GS   GAA   SO            GP:GS   GAA    SO   
  4/4       2.00      0                4/4       2.00      0

QUICK HITS

  • For the first time in his Spurs career, Keller did not dress for a league match for which he was available to play
  • Spurs ended one four-game streak while extending another, finally getting the better of Southampton after two years of futility while simultaneously continuing their winning ways
  • Tottenham look to continue their climb in the league table against Norwich, the teams having produced a fruitless 0-0 draw in their first encounter

Eddie Lewis
Preston North End, English League Championship
Record: 9-10-5 (32 points)
Last match:  [Dec. 18] played 90 minutes in 2-1 win v. West Ham United
Next Match: [Dec. 26] @ Stoke City
League Position: 14 (16)

STATBOX
League                                League Cup                 TOTALS
GP:GS   Gls      C/E           GP:GS   Gls      C/E      GP:GS   Gls      C/E   
 23/20     3        5/0              1/1        0        1/1       24/21      3       6/1

QUICK HITS

  • Lewis bagged the opening goal nine minutes in, lasering home a strike from 25 yards to help quash a two-game losing skid for Preston
  • It was deja vu for Lewis, having tallied his and Preston's first goal of the season on opening day last year against West Ham
  • PNE will seek to replicate their convincing 3-0 against Stoke City from earlier in the season, but the hosts are on a roll of their own as they have earned three consecutive shutout wins


Brian McBride
Fulham FC, English Premier League
Record: 5-10-3 (18 points)
Last match: [Dec. 20] played 90 minutes in 1-2 loss @ Charlton Athletic
Next Match: [Dec. 26] @ Arsenal
League Position: 15 (14)

STATBOX
League                          League Cup                TOTALS
GP:GS  Gls    C/E         GP:GS  Gls    C/E       GP:GS  Gls    C/E   
14/6       0      0/0            4/2       3      0/0         18/9      3      0/0         

QUICK HITS

  • McBride partnered with Andy Cole on Fulham's frontline, helping to produce the lone goal in what would become their fourth league losses in the last six matches
  • McBride's well-angled header off a corner kick in the 82nd minute was saved off the line, the rebound falling at the feet of Tomas Radzinski who pulled Fulham within one goal
  • Two of Fulham's losses have come against England's two best (Chelsea, Everton), and Fulham run up against number three when they travel crosstown to Highbury for a meeting with Arsenal on Boxing Day, a team they haven't defeated on the road in 18 matches dating back to 1903


Claudio Reyna
Manchester City, English Premier League
Record: 6-7-5 (23 points)
Last match:   [Dec. 18] DNP in 1-0 @ Bolton
Next Match: [Dec. 26] @ Everton
League Position: 10 (13)

STATBOX

League                          League Cup                TOTALS
GP:GS  Gls    C/E         GP:GS  Gls    C/E       GP:GS  Gls    C/E   
  7/6       0      0/0            0/0       -        -            7/6      0      0/0         

QUICK HITS

  • Reyna looks to the new year for a return from the quad tear suffered over a month ago
  • Man-City made it six out of the last seven against Bolton, edging past the hosts into the top half of the table
  • With a victory away to Chelsea already under their belt, Manchester City seek to slay another dragon at third-place Everton, having lost the first meeting 1-0 Sept. 11 in Manchester


GERMANY

*The German Bundesligas have begun their winter break.  League play will resume Jan. 22, 2005

Gregg Berhalter
Energie Cottbus, German Second Bundesliga
Record: 5-8-4 (19 points)
Last match:  [Dec. 12] DNP in 4-1 win v. Karlsruher
Next Match: [Jan. 23] v. FC Koln
League Position: 13 (18)

STATBOX

League                          DFB Cup                TOTALS
GP:GS  Gls    C/E         GP:GS  Gls    C/E       GP:GS  Gls    C/E   
12/12     0      5/0            1/1       0      0/0        13/13     0      5/0         

QUICK HITS

  • Berhalter served his one-match ban on the last day of action in 2004, blissfully enjoying his side's resurgent performance against Karlsruher
  • The win closed out a four-match losing spell while vaulting Cottbus on the right side of the relegation zone heading into the winter break
  • After beginning the season sidelined while recovering from facial injuries suffered in the spring, team captain Gregg Berhalter started every game for which he was eligible


Conor Casey
FSV Mainz, German Bundesliga
Record: 6-7-4 (22 points)
Last match:  [Dec. 11] DNP in 0-1 loss v. FC Nurnberg
Next Match: [Jan. 22] v. VfB Stuttgart
League Position: 11 (11)

STATBOX

League                          DFB Cup                   TOTALS
GP:GS  Gls    C/E         GP:GS  Gls    C/E       GP:GS  Gls    C/E   
 14/7      1      2/0            2/2       2      0/0         16/9      3      2/0         

QUICK HITS

  • Casey went without action for only the second time this year, forced to bear witness to Mainz' third straight defeat and their first at the Stadion am Bruchweg this season
  • Casey earned more consistent playing time as the campaign wore on, and as his adjustment to the German top flight continues he hopes to duplicate the goalscoring prowess he enjoyed in the second half of last season at Karlsruher
  • It's been a tale of two seasons for Mainz:  the home season and the away season.  While going 5-1-2 at home, the first-year Bundesliga boys have earned just one win in nine tries on the road

Steve Cherundolo
Hannover 96, German Bundesliga
Record: 8-4-4 (28 points)
Last match:  [Dec. 11] played 90 minutes in 0-1 loss  v. Hertha Berlin
Next Match: [Jan. 22] v. Bayer Leverkusen
League Position: 7 (4)

STATBOX

League                          DFB Cup                TOTALS
GP:GS  Gls    C/E         GP:GS  Gls    C/E       GP:GS  Gls    C/E   
 16/16    2      1/0            2/2       1      0/0        18/18     3     1/0         

QUICK HITS

  • Cherundolo and company slumped to only their second home loss of the campaign, falling prey to Hertha Berlin, who improved their exceptional road record to 5-2-2
  • Instead of third place and a three-point margin from Bayern Munich, Hannover head into the holidays in seventh place and six points from the top
  • Nonetheless, it's been a remarkable start for the Hannover outfit, a 7-1-2 stretch through the fall months elevating them to as high as fourth in the table
  • Cherundolo has been a consistent leader on the backline, the vice captain missing only one match while helping marshall a stingy defense that has allowed only 16 goals, good for second fewest in the Bundesliga


Clint Mathis
Hannover 96, German Bundesliga
Record: 8-4-4 (28 points)
Last match:  [Dec. 11] played 90 minutes in 0-1 loss  v. Hertha Berlin
Next Match: [Jan. 22] v. Bayer Leverkusen
League Position: 7 (4)


STATBOX

League                          DFB Cup                TOTALS
GP:GS  Gls    C/E         GP:GS  Gls    C/E       GP:GS  Gls    C/E   
  4/3       1      0/0            1/1       0      0/0          5/4      1     0/0         

QUICK HITS

  • After a promising start to his Bundesliga career last term, Mathis has suffered through a season of disappointment marred by sparse playing time
  • His finest moment of the season simultaneously became his most controversial.  His 83rd minute strike - after entering just two minutes prior - against Schalke on Sept. 25 handed Hannover their first win of the campaign, but his resulting goal celebration left the fans and media put off.
  • Dressing for only one game since, Mathis has been left to await the January transfer window to learn the next stop on his career path


HOLLAND

*The Dutch Eredivisie has begun their winter break.  League play will resume Jan. 22, 2005

DaMarcus Beasley
PSV Eindhoven, Dutch Eredivisie
Record: 13-1-3 (42 points)
Last match:  [Dec. 18] started and played 79 minutes in 0-2 loss v. Roda
Next Match: [Jan. 22] v. NAC Breda
League Position: 2 (1)

STATBOX

League                          Champions League      TOTALS
GP:GS  Gls    C/E         GP:GS  Gls    C/E       GP:GS  Gls    C/E   
 15/9       4     0/0            7/5       3      1/0        22/14     7      1/0         

QUICK HITS

  • Beasley reprised his starting role, only to be a part of the first losing PSV side of the campaign
  • The slip against Roda knocked PSV off the Dutch league summit for the first time this season, as AZ Alkmaar move ahead in the standings based on goals scored
  • The loss puts a blemish on an otherwise spectacular campaign for the Eindhoven outfit, heading into the holidays with only loss in league play and a place in the knockout of the Champions League for the first time in team history
  • Beasley has been similarly impressive in his transition to European soccer, resurrecting his scoring touch while adapting to the tactically demanding play in Holland



John O'Brien
Ajax Amsterdam, Dutch Eredivisie
Record: 11-2-4 (37 points)
Last match: [Dec. 19] DNP in 4-0 win @ FC Groningen
Next Match: [Jan. 23] @ FC Utrecht
League Position: 3 (3)

STATBOX

League                          Champions League      TOTALS
GP:GS  Gls    C/E         GP:GS  Gls    C/E       GP:GS  Gls    C/E   
  1/1       0      0/0            0/0       -        -            1/1       0     0/0         

QUICK HITS

  • O'Brien continues to rehab the hamstring injury he suffered in his debut match Nov. 7 against Willem II
  • Ajax racked up their fifth four-goal game of the year, increasing their unbeaten run in league play to eight games
  • After getting off to a slow start by their usual standards, Ajax have steadily improved their consistently and kept the leaderboard in sight, now only five points back at the mid-term.


FRANCE

Greg Vanney
SC Bastia, Le Championnat Ligue 1
Record: 4-10-5 (17 points)
Last match:  [Dec. 18] played 90 minutes in 1-2 loss @ Lens
Next Match: [Dec. 22] v. Lens, La Coupe de la Ligue, Round of 16
League Position: 18 (17)

STATBOX

League                          TOTALS
GP:GS  Gls    C/E         GP:GS  Gls    C/E        
 16/15    0      4/0           16/15    0      4/0     

QUICK HITS

  • Bastia's precipitous drop has no end in sight, the latest casualty a 2-1 loss to Lens that left the Coriscan club in the relegation zone for the first time this year
  • With a rematch against Lens on the slate prior to the winter break, Bastia will need to solve a scoring crisis in which they have totaled only 14 goals scored, the second worst count in the league



BELGIUM

*The Belgian First Division has begun their winter break.  League play will resume Jan. 15, 2005

Oguchi Onyewu
Royal Standard de Ligue, Belgium First Division
Record: 9-5-3 (30 points)
Last match:  [Dec. 16] played 90 minutes in 1-7 loss v. Athletic Bilbao, UEFA Cup, Group B; [Dec. 18] played 90 minutes in 5-0 win v. KV Ostende
Next Match:  [Jan. 15] v. v. KSK Lierse
League Position: 4 (5)

STATBOX
League                         UEFA Cup                  Belgium Cup                TOTALS
GP:GS  Gls    C/E         GP:GS  Gls    C/E       GP:GS  Gls    C/E        GP:GS  Gls    C/E  
14/14     2      4/0            6/6       1      1/0          1/1      0       0/0         21/21    3      5/0

QUICK HITS

  • Onyewu's return to the lineup from injury is one he'd like to forget as Standard were trounced 7-1 at home to Athletic Bilbao, ending their UEFA Cup ambitions for this year's competition
  • Gooch had given Standard a glimmer of hope when he pulled the side within one after 15 minutes; hopes that were quickly dashed as five Bilbao goals went unanswered
  • They took their frustrations out on Ostende, hammering home five goals for the first time this year as they climbed one place in the table
  • Gooch has proven a consistent performer in Standard's rearguard, starting 14 of 17 league matches and all of their UEFA Cup dates

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