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Major League Soccer Online

MLS: Latest News

403 - Forbidden

403 - Forbidden

Americans Abroad - First Half Analysis - Defenders (Part 1)
Carlos Bocanegra #3 (Fulham) – Boca is the starting left back for the Cottagers. He appeared in all but two league games for Fulham making 13 appearances and 12 starts. He missed those games due to injury. He also started all three Carling Cup matches and has also found time for 4 appearances with the National side. The former Chicago Fire center back has scored once this season in a wild 4-3 loss to Portsmouth on August 30th. He has picked up one yellow card this season. Fulham hasn’t been very good at keeping teams from scoring goals as only two clean sheets so far Carlos this season. In Carling Cup play, Boca played in three matches, Fulham beat Birmingham and Nottingham Forest in the first 2 but was eliminated this Tuesday at home to Chelsea. He also played in 4 of the 6 US WC qualifiers including the clincher in RFK against Panama (6-0). Boca contributed to two clean sheets for the national team which had two wins and two draws.

Fulham has gotten off to quite a shaky start. They have 14 point from 15 games and are tied for 14th with Birmingham just two points above the relegation zone. The boys from Craven Cottage have allowed 27 goals this season. That is the 3rd highest total amongst teams in the Premiership. Boca’s position in the defense is pretty much solidified as he is the first choice at the left back spot. His play has generally been solid. The two Fulham center backs Zat Knight & Zeshan Rehman are quite young and are still trying to figure things out between them. The right back German Moritz Volz, is pretty solid as well. My guess is that Chris Coleman will allow these guys some more time to gel. I’m wondering if this team wouldn’t be better served by having a better defensive midfielder or at least getting better play from the existing setup.

Fulham lost to Chelsea in a tight affair (2-1). By all accounts, this was a thriller of a match as Fulham kept Chelsea in check throughout the first half by maintaining possession. All the scoring was in the second half as Chelsea’s Damien Duff scored on a shot that was deflected into the net to break the deadlock in the 55th minute. In the 74th minute, Brian McBride scored to bring things level. Chelsea scored in the 88th minute to seal the deal courtesy of a late Frank Lampard goal.

Notes of Interest: Carlos has scored 5 goals for the US National Team.

Steve Cherundolo #6 (Hannover 96) – Steve has played 14 of the teams 15 matches in the Bundesliga starting all 14. He scored once on the road against Borrusia Monchengladbach in a 2-0 win. He also picked up an assist in round 11 against Bochum in a 3-0 win. Steve has played well helping Hannover keep 5 clean sheets. He has also picked up three yellow cards. In German Cup play, Steve scored against Vfr Neumünster in a 3-0 victory. Cherundolo has played in two of the team’s three cup games including the recent victory against fellow Bundesliga side Borrusia Dortmund (1-0). He has made one appearance for the national team in Foxboro against El Salvador where he assisted on Landon Donovan’s goal.

Hannover is currently 5th in the table with 25 points which is 7 points behind leaders Bayern Munich. They have allowed just 15 goals this season which is tied for the best defensive record with 3rd place Stuttgart. Ewald Lienen is a stickler for a tight defense from his entire team as they have allowed one goal or less in 11 of their 15 games. Steve is the first choice at right back for Hannover. This team has a chance to finish in at least a UEFA cup spot if they keep this level of play.

Hannover played to a scoreless draw against Stuttgart this past weekend. Steve played all 90 minutes in this match helping keep the high powered Stuttgart attack of Kevin Kuranyi and Brazilian Cacau off the scoreboard.

Notes of Interest: Steve joined Hannover 96 in 1999 after his sophomore season at the University of Portland.

Greg Vanney #28 (Bastia) – Greg has played in 13 of the team’s 16 games in Ligue 1. This includes 12 starts as well as 6 in row. The former Los Angeles Galaxy defender has contributed to two clean sheets and has picked up three yellow cards.

Bastia currently have 17 points which puts them in a tie for 16th place with Nantes just 2 points above relegation. The Corsicans have had issues scoring this season as they only have 13 goals. That ties them for next to last in scoring in Ligue 1. The defense could better as they given up 20 goals. Only three teams have allowed more. It’s been a very defensive season in France’s top division with no team scoring more than 21 goals.

Bastia is not a rich club so I suspect they won’t be solving their goal scoring problems with any high-priced signings in the transfer window. They’re probably going to have to get it done with what they already have. As for the defense, the same holds. However, I would imagine that there will be more emphasis placed on defending as a team in training.

Bastia defeated Caen at the weekend 2-0. Greg went the distance at left back in getting the clean sheet for keeper Nicolas Penneteau. Bastia had gone 10 games without a win. It was the first time since the opener (2-1 vs. Strasbourg) that the Corsicans had scored more than once in a game. Their last victory was on 9/11 against Auxerre (1-0).

Notes of Interest: Greg scored 21 goals for the Los Angeles Galaxy (1996-2001).

Oguchi Onyewu #5 (Standard Liege) – Gooch has had a breakthrough season for the Belgian club thus far. He came to Liege on loan from FC Metz (Loaned out for the second year in a row). The Belgian club purchased his contract this past October to reward him for his outstanding play. Onyewu has started in 13 of the club’s 14 league matches. The only one he missed was due to yellow card points. He scored two goals against RAEC Mons (11/6) in a 3-2 win. He has had 3 clean sheets in league play including a big victory against Anderlecht (1-0, on 11/10). As one of four Americans currently involved in European competition in either the UEFA Champions League (Howard, Beasley, Russell) or the UEFA Cup, he has done quite well. Gooch has started all 5 UEFA Cup matches. Liege defeated Bochum (1-1, on the away goals rule) and also defeated Italian club Parma on 11/25 (2-1) in a major upset. In Belgian Cup play, Liege defeated Masmechelen 4-1 to get to the round of 16. That’s quite a feat from a guy that FC Metz thought was surplus to requirements.

Standard Liege currently sit 7th in the table (23 points) but are already 15 points behind leaders Club Brugge. This club has the potential to make a bit of noise and at least get back to a UEFA Cup spot. They need to score more goals as they only have 19 in 14 games. As for their progress in the UEFA Cup, they currently sit 4th in Group B with 4 points from three games. Liege must defeat Athletic Bilbao (12/16) to advance.

In their last match, Liege got out of Istanbul with a tie against Besiktas (1-1). Gooch went the distance for the Belgians picking up a yellow in the process. Standard Liege got an 81st minute equalizer from Guinian forward Bangoura Sambegou which sealed the result.

Notes of Interest: Oguchi made his US National Team debut against Panama (6-0 on 10/13 at RFK) coming on as a sub in the 86th minute.

Robbie Russell #8 (Rosenborg) – Another American having a great season abroad is Robbie Russell. He started the season playing for bottom club Sogndal and then transferring to perennial Norwegian champions Rosenborg. It was a busy season for Robbie as he played in 21 league games for both Sogndal & Rosenborg. He scored two goals for Sogndal before his transfer to the fabled Trondheim club. He played 7 games at right back for his new club. Russell helped Rosenborg hold off the charge of second place Vålerenga winning the title on the last day of the season. Robbie also got a chance to taste Champions League football this season appearing in 4 games. Rosenborg was placed in a very difficult group with the likes of Arsenal, PSV Eindhoven, & Panathinaikos. Robbie also got a chance for a rare occurrence in playing against another American in PSV’s DaMarcus Beasley whose goal defeated the Norwegians on 11/10. In yet another competition for the Norwegian champions, Robbie got his first taste of the Royal League (A competition which includes teams from Denmark, Norway, & Sweden).

Rosenborg is now in their “off-season” winning yet another League title and qualifying for next season’s Champions League. They are still involved in Champions League play with one game remaining in Group E against Arsenal at Highbury (London). They have been eliminated from the competition and did not qualify for the UEFA Cup 3rd place sport either. However, if they can play spoiler and manage a result against Arsenal, Panathinakos can pip Arsenal to the second place spot ensuring passage to the next round. As consolation, Rosenborg is still involved in the Royal League. They currently sit second in group 1 after 3 games with four points. That’s 5 points behind leaders and fellow Nowegians Vålerenga .

In their last match, Rosenborg defeated Danish club Esjberg 2-1. Robbie started and went the distance for Rosenborg. The Norwegians got a late 89th minute goal from Frode Johnsen to seal the victory.

Notes of Interest: Robbie was called up by Bruce Arena for the WCQ against Jamaica (11/17) but was unable to joins the Nats due to a knee
December 03, 2004 Asif Ali



Email: sean@mlsfan.net

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Scores
Sat., Apr. 14th
6:00PM ET
Salt Lake 0
Columbus 0

Sat., Apr. 14th
7:30PM ET
New England 0
Toronto 0

Sat., Apr. 14th
7:30PM ET
DC United 0
Kansas City Wizards 0

Sat., Apr. 14th
8:30PM ET
Houston 0
Chivas USA 0

Sat., Apr. 15th
3:00PM ET
New York 0
Dallas 0

Sun., Apr. 15th
8:00PM ET
Colorado 0
Chicago 0

Standings
East
Team Name Pts
Chicago 3
Columbus 1
New York 1
DC United 0
Kansas City 0
New England 0
Toronto 0

West
Team Name Pts
Dallas 4
Chivas USA 3
Colorado 3
Houston 1
Los Angeles 1
Salt Lake 1

Top Ten Scorers
Top 10 Scorers
Player Name Gls
Ruiz 2
Cooper 2
Cunningham 2
Kljestan 1
Brown 1
Emilio 1
H. Gomez 1
Findley 1
Razov 1
Pause 1