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Berhalter penalty kick moves Cottbus to brink of promotion.

Beasley fined $1,852 by Dutch judge for driving under the influence of alcohol.

Beasley fined $1,852 by Dutch judge for driving under the influence of alcohol.

Spector will have surgery to repair dislocated shoulder.

Spector dislocates shoulder in Charlton victory over Portsmouth.

Controversial goal diverts Rovers' run to European play.

Keller, G'ladbach see UEFA Cup hopes fade away.

Convey assists one goal, sets up another as Reading rolls with 5-2 decision over Cardiff.

Convey assists one goal, sets up another as Reading rolls with 5-2 decision over Cardiff.

Convey assists one goal, sets up another as Reading rolls with 5-2 decision over Cardiff.

Cherundolo, Casey meet; Hannover draws 0-0 with FC Mainz.

McBride goal and possible Fulham road win wash away.

McBride goal and possible Fulham road win wash away.

Rossi's 29th goal leads Man. U. reserves' 6-0 rout of City, title hopes..

Watford, Leeds lose ground in their pursuit of promotion.

Keller's strong game helps G'ladbach post 2-1 win over Dortmund.

McBride can't help Fulham from falling 3-1 to Portsmouth; Bocanegra ails.

Americans Abroad

Friedel, Rovers are heading to Europe after 1-0 decision over Chelsea.

By Robert Wagman (in Washington, D.C.)
SoccerTimes

(Wednesday, May 3, 2006) -- It was a big night Tuesday for American goalkeeper Brad Friedel and Blackburn Rovers.

They upset visiting English Premier League champion Chelsea 1-0 at Ewood Park last night and in doing so, locked up sixth place in the league with its attendant spot in next year's UEFA Cup competition.

Chelsea was still celebrating clinching its second straight EPL championship Saturday and did not appear mentally ready for the physical match Rovers gave it. Additionally, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho made eight changes to the team which beat Manchester United 3-0 Saturday to secure the title.

Rovers prevailed on a rebound goal by Steven Reid in the 43rd minute, a tally that stood up with Chelsea unable to mount much offense. Friedel was only called on to make a single save, but was helped by his left post which kept out a shot by Icelander Eidur Gudjohnsen late in the first half.

After the match Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho was irate, claiming his side should have been awarded at least two, if not three, penalty kicks.

With one match remaining , Blackburn (18-13-6, 60 points increased its unsurpassable margin over seventh-place Newcastle United (16-14-7) to five points. This is a tremendous accomplishment for Rovers who finished 15th in the 20-team EPL the last two seasons and were more worried about avoiding relegation than participating in European competition.


Striker Conor Casey, less than a day after finding out he didn't make the United States World Cup team, played 90 minutes and provided an assist that got 1. FSV Mainz 05 off to a quick start in registering a critical 3-0 victory of host VfL Wolfsburg away at the Volkswagen Arena tonight.

In the fifth minute, Mainz midfielder Marco Rose played a ball through to Casey. While holding off one defender and carrying past another, Casey found Michael Thurk, whose quick shot from 10 yards beat keeper Simon Jentzsch for a 1-0 advantage.

Substitute Benjamin Auer added goals in the 81st and 87th minutes to complete the triumph.

Mainz (8-14-10, 34) moved one point ahead of Wolsburg (7-13-12) into 14th place and four points clear of the relegation zone with two matches left in the season.

Also today, another American not chosen for the World Cup team, defender Gregg Berhalter went the distance for Energie Cottbus which picked up a point in its quest for promotion in a 0-0 draw with Dynamo Dresden.

The top three 2Bundesliga teams are promoted and Cottbus is in third at 15-7-10 with 55 points, four points ahead of fourth-place Greuther Fürth.

Kasey Keller will start in goal for the U.S. at Germany 2006, but would just as soon forget a 5-2 loss to host FC Nürnberg last night in the Bundesliga.

After Mönchengladbach took a 2-1 halftime lead over Nürnberg into the dressing room at the Frankenstadion, Keller stopped a penalty by Jan Polak in the 54th minute. While a keeper coming up big in a crucial situation usually gives his team a lift, G'ladbach instead fell apart, suffering its worst loss of the German Bundesliga season.

Five minutes later, Polak was left unmarked and scored from six yards to knot the score. Then the G'ladback defense collapsed under pressure, conceding goals to Robert Vittek in the 65th and 86th minute and Stefan Kiessling in the 87th.

With U.S. defender Steve Cherundolo going the distance, Hannover wasted a one-goal halftime lead an fell 2-1 to Borussia Dortmund after Christian Worns scored twice after intermission, including the winner in the 80th minute.

Cherundolo appears fit after recovering from a thigh problem. Hannover is 0-4-2 in its last six Bundesliga outings.

Robert Wagman is SoccerTimes senior correspondent.

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