Friday, August 31, 2007


The News: In tonight’s UEFA Cup first round drawing, Standard Liege have been paired with Russian outfit Zenit St. Petersburg. The two leg tie, to be contested on September 20 and October 4, will determine which team gains entry into the group stage of the competition.

Of Note: Zenit St. Petersburg gained entry into the UEFA Cup via their 4th place finish in the Russia Permier League. An experienced club at this level (they reached the quarterfinals of this tournament last year), the side managed by Dick Advocaat will provide a stern test for Gooch and Standard.

Up Next: This Saturday, Standard Liege puts its 100% start to the season on the line when it faces 3rd place Club Brugge.


The News: Everton to face FC Metalist Kharkiv in the first round of the UEFA Cup. The Toffees were paired with Ukranian Club, Kharky, in tonight’s draw, and will contest a two leg tie on September 20 and October 4th.

Of Note: This is Kharky’s debut appearance in the UEFA Cup, and likewise the first time they have played Everton. While Tim Howard may at this point be unfamiliar with the opposition, he does have experience playing in Europe from his years in the Champions League with Manchester United.

Up Next: Everton look to continue their bright start to the season on Saturday when the travel to the Reebok Stadium to face Bolton Wanderers. Bolton is the home of American U-20 international Johann Smith who is still recovering from his injury sustained before the U20 World Cup.


The News: Heerenveen will face Swedish club Helsingborg in the first round of the UEFA Cup. Tonight’s draw in Monaco paired Michael Bradley’s club side with the fourth placed team from Sweden’s domestic league, with the winner earning entry into the group stage of the cup. The first leg takes place on September 20, with the return leg slated for two weeks later on October 4.

Of Note: Helsingborg have competed in Europe with some regularity in the past decade, though this is their first appearance in the UEFA Cup in three years. By far their most recognizable player is Henrik Larsson who has kept his promise by remaining with his hometown team this year. At 35, the legendary Swede is in the twilight of his career, but still has plenty of quality to offer any squad – just ask Manchester United who wanted to extend his loan deal last year.

Up Next: After Sunday’s 4-1 defeat at the hands of Ajax, Heerenveen look to get back on track this Saturday, at home against Sparta Rotterdamn.

Thursday, August 30, 2007


The News: The UEFA Champions League draw for the 2007/08 campaign took place tonight in Monaco. Rangers have been placed in a tough Group E, which features Spanish powerhouse FC Barcelona, German Champions VfB Stuttgart and six-time French Champion Olympique Lyon.

Of Note: This is not Beasley’s first experience in the Champions League, having appeared in the competition on multiple occasions with PSV. In fact, Beasley became the first American in history to appear in a Champions League semifinal when the 2004/05 team marched all the way to the final four before succumbing to Milan in injury time of the second leg. Dramatic to say the least… (Highlights from both legs here)

Up Next: The competition gets underway later this month and we’ll be sure to keep you posted on how both these teams fare.


The News: Benfica have been drawn in group D with AC Milan, Shakhtar Donetsk and Celtic for the upcoming Champions League season.

Of Note: Adu has yet to see action with Benfica since earning his debut in the first leg of their CL qualifier against Copenhagen. As for the draw, here’s a quick break down of who they’ll be facing in Group D:

AC Milan – Can never really enjoy seeing the defending champs in your group, but Benfica is no stranger to AC Milan in CL play, as the two clubs have met twice before in the final. One thing to keep in mind: Milan have Ronaldo (yep, the Ronaldo) available for European competition this year – last year he was cup tied.

Shakhtar Donetsk – The current leaders of the Ukrainian League, most fans here are probably unfamiliar with this team known as The Miners. However, they’ve been appearing in the CL with some regularity in recent years and are consistently at the top of their domestic league. Oh, and yes, this is the club that Mexican international Nery Castillo moved earlier this year (check out this completely ludicrous orange facemask he’s been donning).

Celtic – If many people are unfamiliar with Shakhtar here in the States, than surely the opposite is true for Benfica’s final group opponent. The two clubs met in the competition last year, with Celtic winning once 3-0, and Benfica returning the favor on their home ground by the exact same scoreline.

Up Next: The group stage starts later this month and consists of two games, home and away, against each opponent. The top two advance to the knockout stage of the CL, while the 3rd place team in the group gains automatic entry to the advanced stages of the UEFA Cup. That competition concludes its qualifying tonight, and with numerous Americans in action tonight, we’ll surely catch you up on some of the action in the near future.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


The News: Rangers hold Red Star Belgrade to a 0-0 draw to qualify for the UEFA Champions League.

Of Note: While a 0-0 draw doesn't always sound impressive, getting a point in Belgrade is no easy task. Beasley entered in the 79th minute as Rangers advanced out of qualifying with a 1-0 aggregate scoreline. The draw for the Group Phase will take place Friday.

Up Next: Rangers return to league action and host newly promoted Gretna FC on Sept. 1 in Glasgow. (To read about this tiny upstart club that is the only team in British history to win promotion in three successive seasons, click here)

Monday, August 27, 2007


The News: Oguchi Onyewu and Standard picked up their first clean sheet of the campaign, trouncing KSV Roeselare, 4-0.

Of Note: Gooch and Co. are en fuego to open the Jupiler League season, amassing a whopping 16 goals in four straight victories.

Up Next: Standard take a 3-0 lead into the second leg of their second round UEFA Cup qualifying series against UN Kaerjeng 97 on Thursday in Liege.

Saturday, August 25, 2007


The News: Tim Howard was a busy man against Blackburn earning seven saves, including a fine save on a free kick in injury time, only allowing one goal to steal a point at Goodison Park.

Of Note: Blackburn had the better of the play and possibly deserved three points, but Howard did his job, along with some help from his defenders with a clearance off the line. Across the pitch, fellow American Brad Friedel also played well in front of the net for Blackburn.

Up Next: Howard and Everton will be away to face Bolton next Saturday, Sept. 1.


The News: Eddie Lewis started his first match for Derby since joining the club earlier this week and assisted on their lone goal in the 51st minute, crossing the ball from the left flank for Matt Oakley who volleyed home to make it 1-1.

Of Note: Benny Feilhaber, who arrived in Derby a couple weeks ago did not dress and has yet to play for his new club. Derby allowed fellow newly promoted side Birmingham score the game-winner in 63rd minute and sits at the bottom of the table with just one point from four games. Will they be there for the rest of the season??

Up Next: It's midweek action for Derby and the hopes of a victory as they take on Blackpool on Tuesday in Carling Cup action.


The News: Just 48 hours after putting pen to paper, Kasey Keller starts in goal for Fulham.

Of Note: Joined by fellow U.S. internationals Carlos Bocanegra and Clint Dempsey, Keller was part of the first match in English Premier League history with three Americans in the starting XI for the same team. Keller had not played a match since facing Paraguay on July 2 in Barinas.

Up Next: Keller will look to improve his match sharpness when Fulham debut in the 2007-08 Carling Cup on Tuesday against Shrewsbury.


The News: Clint Dempsey's first goal of the new campaign wasn't enough to outlast Aston Villa, who spun a second-half stoppage time strike into a 2-1 victory at Villa Park

Of Note: Dempsey marked his first start of the year in style, unleashing a rising left-footed blast in the sixth minute to give the guests a 1-0 lead. The loss continues Fulham's road woes, the London squad winless away from Craven Cottage in league play since September.

Up Next: Fulham keep their bags packed as they take on League Two side Shrewsbury in the second round of the Carling Cup.


The News: Beasley opened the scoring account for Rangers as they continued their unbeaten run to open the SPL campaign by downing Kilmarnock, 2-1, at Rugby Park.

Of Note: Beas has been on fire for the Glasgow outfit, already collecting two goals while starting five of seven competitive matches. He put Rangers on the scoreboard in the 57th minute today, plowing through the box before roofing a right-footer past Alan Combe.

Up Next: Rangers head back into Europe for a tricky away leg fixture against Red Star Belgrade in third round qualifying for the UEFA Champions League. The visitors carry a 1-0 advantage heading into Tuesday's encounter in Belgrade.

Thursday, August 23, 2007


The News: Kasey Keller returns to the English Premier League after signing with Fulham. Listen to Podcast.

Of Note: The 37-year-old goalkeeper becomes the fourth American at the London club, joining Carlos Bocanegra, Clint Dempsey and team captain Brian McBride. Keller previously had EPL stints with Tottenham and Leicester City.

Up Next: Keller could get thrown straight into the fire this weekend when Fulham travel to Aston Villa on Saturday.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


The News: Eddie Lewis has completed his move from Leeds to newly promoted side Derby County in the English Premier League.

Of Note: The 33-year-old signed a two-year deal that sees him join 22-year-old midfielder Benny Feilhaber at Derby. Feilhaber completed a three million pound (six million dollar) transfer from Hamburg on Friday.

Up Next: Lewis will be available for Derby's weekend league match against fellow EPL newcomers Birmingham.

Monday, August 20, 2007


The News: Berhalter netted a pair as 1860 Munich downed former Bundesliga side Kaiserslautern 3-1 at the Allianz Arena

Of Note: The 1860 Munich defender led the team both on the field and on the scoreboard. He powered home a header off a free kick from Danny Schwarz to level the match at 1-1, and then put the finishing touches on the Munich victory with a goal from the penalty spot 13 minutes from time. Fellow U.S. international Josh Wolff added the assist on the game-winner, giving the home side six points after two matches and putting them top of the table on goal differential.

Up Next: Berhalter and 1860 Munich travel to face TSG Hoffenheim on Sunday, Aug. 26 in league play.

Saturday, August 18, 2007


The News: Bobby Convey gets his first EPL minutes since last February as Reading blank Everton, 1-0.

Of Note: Convey entered in the 79th minute, delightfully ending the six-month rehab spell on his knee. Marcus Hahnemann earned the clean sheet as the Royals shut down Everton's unbeaten start to the season. Reading can be pleased to have four points from their first three matches that included showdowns with Manchester United and Chelsea. Up

Next: Reading are off to face a slumping Bolton side that has failed to earn a single point in three matches.


The News: Spector gets his second straight start as West Ham bounce back from a 2-0 opening day loss to Manchester City and get their first points of the season in the 1-0 away win at Birmingham.

Of Note: Spector appears to have grabbed the starting spot at right back after getting the nod in the first XI again; equally important to U.S. fans this week was the absence of winger Fredrik Ljungberg. The Swedish captain did not dress, and his availability for the Wednesday friendly against the USA in Goteborg is in question.

Up Next: West Ham welcome Wigan to Upton Park, the visitors having grabbed at least a temporary hold of the top spot in the EPL with six points from three matches.


The News: McBride scores the opening goal in Fulham's 2-1 loss to Middlesbrough but suffers a dislocated kneecap and could be sidelined for months.

Of Note: The Fulham captain was alone when he got on the end of a cross from Alexey Smirtin in the 16th minute, but he twisted awkwardly and immediately went down. An update on the injury is expected in the next few days. Meantime, Clint Dempsey replaced another injured player in the 35th minute and had a golden chance to put Fulham ahead 1o minutes from time, but that opportunity and an apparent last-minute goal from David Healy that went unacknowledged left the Cottagers with nothing to show from their effort.

Up next: Fulham head to Aston Villa after the midweek international fixture date

Thursday, August 16, 2007


Two days before the opening of the Dutch Eredivisie season, caught up with Michael Bradley to get a state of the union prior to the launch of the 2007-08 campaign. Bradley first reflected on his hectic summer that included a Gold Cup championship with the full team and a quarterinal finish at the FIFA U-20 World Cup, then turned towards his prospects with SC Heerenveen and his predictions on who will challenge for top honors in Holland. Listen to the exclusive podcast here.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


The News: Benny Feilhaber remained in street clothes as Derby lose their first match since being promoted to the Premiership.

Of Note: Falling 2-1 to a revamped Manchester City side led by former England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson, Derby were once again without the services of Benny Feilhaber, who has yet to receive his international clearance since transferring from Hamburg.

Up Next: On Aug. 18, Derby make their first visit to White Hart Lane to take on Tottenham.


The News: Reading dropped their home opener to Chelsea on goals from Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba.

Of Note: Hahnemann was deemed blameless on goals that came three minutes apart in the second half. Not so for his counterpart across the field, Peter Cech gifting a goal to Andre Bikey just one minute after the defender entered the match in the 29th minute. Bobby Convey has yet to appear in the team sheet in Reading's first two matches.

Up Next: Hahnemann duels with fellow U.S. international goalkeeper Tim Howard as Everton head south to Madejski Stadium on Saturday, the visitors having picked up victories in their first two matches against Wigan and Tottenham.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


The News: Fredua made his Benfica debut on Tuesday in their Champions League qualfier against FC Copenhagen, coming on in the 37th minute.

Of note: Adu came on a minute after FC Copenhagen tied the game 1-1, subbing in for Anderson Luisao. Benfica went on to win the match, 2-1, getting the game-winner from Manuel Rui Costa (who also tallied the first Benfica goal). Adu played in a attacking midfield role before alternating between the wings during the second half. Early in the second half, he headed a ball across the box to teammate Oscar Cardozo, but his header was saved by the 'keeper. With 10 minutes to play, Adu tried a bicycle kick, but his attempt went far wide of the goal. With the victory, Benfica takes a 2-1 aggregate lead and will face Kobenhaven in the second leg on Aug. 29.

Up Next: Benfica is away to Leixoes in league play on Saturday, Aug. 18.

Monday, August 13, 2007


The News: Pearce made his Bundesliga debut for Rostock after transferring from FC Nordsjælland in Denmark

Of note: That was the only good news on the day as Rostock got a rude welcome to the Bundesliga from perennial power Bayern Munich, falling 3-0 on a pair of goals from Miroslav Klose and a Luca Toni strike

Up Next: Rostock returns to the friendly confines of the DKB-Arena on Aug. 18 to face FC Nurnberg


The News: Josh Wolff bags two assists as 1860 Munich dismantle Augsburg, 6-2, to open the new campaign

Of note: 1860 Munich recorded their most goals in a league match in this decade. Wolff appears to have returned to form after an injury sidelined him for the final five matches last season.

Up Next: Die Löwen (The Lions) host FC Kaiserslautern, who begin league action today against Kasey Keller's former club Borussia Moenchengladbach, on Aug. 19 at the Allianz Arena in Munich.


The News: Torres became one of the youngest Americans ever to start for a Mexican club when he was in the line-up for Pachuca during a 3-1 victory against Morelia.

Of note: The 5-foot-5 midfielder is originally from Longview, Texas.

Up Next: Pachuca, the Clasura 2007 champions, meets the Houston Dynamo in the semifinals of the SuperLiga on Tuesday, Aug. 14. Fans can watch the match live on Telefutura at 10 p.m. ET.


The News: Hahnemann secures an unlikely point against Manchester United in Reading’s EPL opener with nine saves, including a number of clutch snags as the reigning league champs peppered his goal due to an extra man in the final 20 minutes.

Of note: This was Hahnemann’s first league match since returning from a broken hand he suffered in the final match last year. The surgery included 16 metal bolts and a plate was inserted to help him recover in time for this season. “Marcus has come on a storm,” said Reading manager Steve Coppell. “I must admit that when he reported back for training, I thought there was no way he could get into contention. But he has shown he can play and the injury is not an issue.” Overall, Manchester United took 25 shots, hitting nine on frame, while Reading was only able to muster three total shots (two on goal).

Up Next: Things don’t get any easier of the Royals as they go up against Chelsea at home on Wednesday, Aug. 15.

Monday, August 6, 2007


The News: Zizzo completes his first training session as a professional with Hannover.

Of note: The 19-year-old former UCLA Bruin inked a a three-year deal with Hannover last month after turning in one of the eye-opening performances for the U-20's during their quarterfinal run at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Canada last month.

Up Next: Zizzo will continue to train with the team as he looks to win a spot with the first team. Hannover opens their Bundesliga campaign this Saturday, Aug. 11 against Hamburg.


The News: Brian McBride named captain of Fulham for the 2007-08 season.

Of note: The 33-year-old McBride was handed the captain’s armband by Fulham manager Lawrie Sanchez after Wednesday’s training session. McBride has spent the last four seasons at Fulham, amassing 24 goals in 88 league appearances. The team's leading scorer last year with 10 goals, he was previously honored as the 2005-06 Fulham Player of the Year. "Lawrie asked me to be captain today and I was delighted,” said McBride. “Obviously, the club has quite a few good leaders in the players that were here already and also the players Lawrie has brought into the squad. To be asked to Captain Fulham is a real honor.”

Up Next: McBride will lead Fulham onto the field for the first time this Sunday, Aug. 12 in their Premiership opener against Arsenal at Emirates Stadium.


The News: Hahnemann earns a shutout of QPR in his first match since recovering from a broken bone in his hand.

Of note: The good form showed by Hahnemann secures he'll be ready to go in time for Reading's opener against defending league champions Manchester United.

Up Next: Reading takes on Manchester United on Sunday, Aug. 12 in their EPL opener.


The News: Bobby Convey scored a 25-yard free kick in 1-0 win in friendly against QPR.

Of note: This was Convey's his first full 90 for Reading since last February. The U.S. international had been sidelined with a knee injury for several months, and is nearing full fitness as the start of the EPL season rapidly approaches.

Up Next: Reading takes on Manchester United on Sunday, Aug. 12 in their EPL opener.


The News: Beasley scored the lone goal in a 1-0 away win against FK Zeta.

Of note: The victory provided the Rangers a 3-0 aggregate and ensured advancement to third round qualifying for the UEFA Champions League. Beasley's first goal in a Rangers uniform came in his second straight start for the club, having started in the 3-0 victory against Inverness on opening day of the Scottish Premier League campaign last Saturday. Click here for video of the goal.

Up Next: The Rangers invite St. Mirren to Ibrox Stadium on Saturday, Aug. 11.