DaMarcus Beasley returned to the field on Wednesday as part of Rangers' 3-0 win over St. Mirren. After a lengthy layoff from injury, Beasley came on as a second half sub while Rangers made a push for late goals at St. Mirren Park. As it stands in the Scottish Premier League, Rangers and Celtic are tied on points with one game left. Celtic, however, have a +4 goal differential over their rivals. In order to take the title, Rangers will need Celtic to slip up and Walter Smith's side could do itself no harm by thrashing Aberdeen by five or so goals on Thursday...
Hannover 96 and Hansa Rostock finished their respective Bundesliga seasons with wins on Saturday.
Hannover dismantled Energie Cottbus, 4-0, behind three assists from Steve Cherundolo. Sal Zizzo also played 45 minutes in his second Bundesliga appearance of the season for Hannover, who finished the domestic season in eighth place in the table.
Rostock will be heading down to the 2nd Bundesliga next year, but Heath Pearce's team said goodbye to the German top flight with a win. Rostock came form behind to defeat VfL Bochum 2-1. Pearce played the full 90 minutes in the victory.
Watford's hopes of bouncing back to the Premier League next season have evaporated. Jay DeMerit's team was defeated soundly by Hull, 6-2 on aggregate, in the playoff semifinals. For Watford its surely a disappointing end to a season in which they looked to be viable contenders for automatic promotion most of the way through the season. A loss of form in the last few months caused Watford to slip down the table, and their promotion charge petered out this past week against Hull.
Jay DeMerit and Watford will have to overturn a 2-0 deficit in today's match against Hull if the Hornets want to have any shot at promotion to the Premier League. Watford was defeated at Vicarage Road in Sunday's Semifinal first leg so they'll have to get the crucial result away from home tonight.
The game can be seen live on Setanta Sports in the United States, with coverage starting at 2:30 p.m. ET.
You may have heard that Fulham avoided relegation this weekend. Its kind of a big deal (note massive understatement). Here at ussoccer.com, we caught up with the legend himself, Kasey Keller, and asked his thoughts on Fulham's successful bid against the drop. Listen to Keller as he describes the satisfaction of their remarkable achievement and where this ranks in his career accomplishments in this exclusive podcast by clicking here.
Heerenveen clinched a spot in next season's UEFA Cup courtesy of a 2-2 draw with NAC Breda. The draw gave Michael Bradley's team a 4-2 aggregate victory after last week's 2-0 victory for Heerenveen in the first leg. Bradley was suspended for that game, but he returned to the lineup today, and even tallied an assist on Gerald Sibon's second goal. The win means that Heerenveen will get another shot at the UEFA Cup, a competition that they played in this year as well. Back in October of 2007, Heerenveen was eliminated by Helsingborg 8-6 on aggregate over 2 legs in the first round.
DaMarcus Beasley was back in a Rangers uniform for the first time in 2008, as the U.S. midfielder was an unused substitute in his side's 3-1 victory over Dundee United. The win takes Rangers closer to rivals Celtic at the top of the table and Walter Smith's side are now within two points of the leaders with a game in hand.
The Scottish Premier League will take a backseat this week, however, as Rangers' most important game comes on Wednesday in the UEFA Cup Final. The Scottish club takes on Zenit St. Petersburg at the City of Manchester Stadium, coincidentally one of Beas' old stomping grounds with Manchester City. That game can be seen live on Wednesday starting at 2:30 pm ET on FSC.
Fulham confirmed its Premier League status for next season by defeating Portsmouth 1-0 on Sunday. Danny Murphy's second half header was the only goal in a scrappy game and the win saved Fulham from relegation at the expense of Reading and Birmingham. News of the latter two sides winning their respective games comfortably was trickling to the field at Fratton Park, and Fulham knew that only a victory would save them from the drop. Roy Hodgson's side feverishly pressed the Portsmouth goal, and they were rewarded in the 76th minute when Jimmy Bullard's inswinging freekick was met by Murphy. Brian McBride and Kasey Keller played the full 90 minutes for Fulham, while Clint Dempsey started the game before coming off in the 72nd minute.
The news was not so good for Marcus Hahnemann and Reading, who were relegated as a result of Fulham's win. A fantastic effort from Reading in a 4-0 victory over Derby was not enough to make up the gap between the Royals and Fulham, and Hahnemnn's team was relegated to the Championship due to goal differential. Hahnemann made four saves in the loss, while Eddie Lewis and Benny Feilhaber both took part for Derby.
Elsewhere in the Premier League, Everton and Tim Howard clinched fifth place with a 3-1 victory over Newcastle.
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As the governing body of soccer in all its forms in the United States, U.S. Soccer has helped chart the course for the sport in the USA for more than 90 years. In this time, the Federation’s mission statement has been very simple and very clear: to make soccer, in all its forms, a preeminent sport in the United States and to continue the development of soccer at all recreational and competitive levels.