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Fulham acquires Dempsey, applies for work permit; Bocanegra, McBride help Cottagers draw Chelsea 2-2.

Hahnemann, Friedel record shutout victories in EPL.

West Ham, Fulham draw 0-0 in duel of U.S. players.

Friedel, Rovers win meeting of American goalkeepers.

Eyeing move to Spain or England, Onyewu rallies Standard to draw.

With Convey hurt, Reading reverses slide by winning pair.

Friedel is solid in net for Rovers, but Blackburn is sinking.

Friedel, Rovers have tough week, falling in Cup, league.

Nightmare grows for Lewis, Leeds United.

Friedel makes seven saves, but Rovers fall to Bolton 1-0.

Reading gains respect despite recent Premier League slide.

McBride recovers from blood disorder to lead Fulham.

Keller, Mönchengladbach go down 3-0 to Werder Bremen.

With Lewis starting, Leeds defeats Birmingham under interim manager.

Happy Howard helps Everton rise near top of English Premier League.

Blues fans see red over Beasley's (brief) choice of boots.

Number of Americans in top European leagues increases.

Convey assists winner, Reading drops Manchester City 1-0 in EPL.

With Johnson on the attack, Wolves win again, 1-0 over Leeds.

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Americans Abroad

Onyewu trains with Standard while he awaits his fate.

Oguchi Onyewu
Oguchi Onyewu is back training with Standard de Liège in Portugal while his future is decided.
-- Standard de Liège web site photo --
By Chris Courtney (in Brussels)
and Gary Davidson (in Washington, D.C.),

BRUSSELS (Friday, January 5 2007) -- United States defender Oguchi Onyewu has returned to train with Standard de Liège in Portugal, but the chances he will remain with the Belgian club appear to be zero.

After a summer transfer to Middlesbrough failed to materialize, Standard added a clause to the chiseled 6-foot-4, 210-pound central back's contract, allowing him to leave if he was able to negotiate a deal during te January transfer window.

"I know the agreement we made with (Onyewu) in August when I was technical director," manager Michel Preud'homme told Sky Sports. "For me, it is certain that he played his last game for Standard against Moeskroen back in December."

Onyewu, who was named the 2006 U.S. Soccer Federation "Male Athlete of the Year" this week, was in London Wednesday and a move to Fulham was rumored, but Standard rejected the English Premier League team's reported transfer fee of around $1.93 million. Since, Onyewu has been linked to several European clubs.

Onyewu was at the U.S. Embassy in Belgium later Wednesday attending to consular affairs.

The Belgian newspaper La Derniere Heure said Onyewu, 24, then left for Italy, where he was to meet with AC Milan officials to discuss a possible transfer. Milan is looking to add youth and speed to its aging back-line, possibly now a step slow and with Paolo Maldini at 38.

Milan has been looking for two defenders and recently signed 21-year-old Argentine defender Leandro Grimi, but its efforts to land a another top back have been unsuccessful. It would appear the Italian Serie A power would like to pry Massimo Oddo loose from Lazio, but acquiring Onyewu would seem to be a backup plan if that goal can't be accomplished.

Now French radio and newspapers are reporting that Olympique Marseilles is interested in obtaining Onyewu. Marseilles is in need of depth in back, Onyewu is fluent in French and the country's Ligue 1 has been known to cherry-pick top players from Belgium.

During the U.S. participation in this summer's World Cup in Germany, Onyewu was granted a day off to travel to England and meet with officials of Middlesbrough of the Premier League. However, a deal could not be reached, partially because Boro being in the process of finding a coach concerned Onyewu.

At that time, Real Madrid made an effort to get Onyewu, but Standard turned down the transfer offer, saying there was not enough time to find a replacement. While Real's interest in Onyewu seems to have cooled, the club recently failed to obtain Romanian international defender Cristian Chivu and presumably is back in the market.

That Onyewu is training with Standard is surprising. "I know nothing about his whereabouts, but I don't think he'll be joining us in training camp," Preud'homme told the Le Soir newspaper Wednesday.

MLS players look overseas

Several Major League Soccer players are flirting with European teams. Colorado Rapids midfielder and World Cup veteran Pablo Mastroeni has been talking to Brescia and the Italian Serie B club has been reported to offer MLS a $750,000 transer fee.

Kicker of Germany reported that Columbus Crew defender Frankie Hejduk might be headed to 1. FC Koln of the 2. Bundesliga on a free transfer. Cologne coach Christoph Daum was coach of Bayer Leverkusen when Hejduk began a four-year stint with the team in 1998.

Hejduk was headed to the World Cup with the U.S. last summer before he tore up his right knee, which has been surgically repaired. He would have to pass a fitness test before a deal could be consummated with Koln, which is tied for ninth place at 5-7-5 with 20 points.

Chris Courtney, SoccerTimes European correspondent, is an expatriate American living in Brussels. Gary Davidson is SoccerTimes publisher and managing editor.

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