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For Fulham, Dempsey set to become first U.S. player in European final.

Davies' desire to make World Cup team is dealt a blow.

Cherundolo, Hannover register big win 4-2 over Schalke.

Hahnemann posts another shutout for Wolves in 0-0 draw with Stoke.

Dempsey absent with thigh injury, Fulham makes Europa Cup semifinals.

Back in good graces, Adu makes rare start for victorious Aris.

Friedel, Aston Villa suffer 7-1 rout at hands of Chelsea.

Friedel, Aston Villa fade in English Premier League despite unbeaten streak.

After long layoff, Dempsey scores decisive goal, Fulham edges Juventus in Europa Cup.

Donovan's highly successful Everton tenure ends on quiet note.

Both succeeding in Greece, Johnson gets critical U.S. call, Adu does not.

'Player of Month' Donovan, Howard help Everton stun Chelsea, Man. United.

Friedel streak ends, but Villa draws with Manchester United 1-1.

Altidore goal helps Hull defeat Manchester City 2-1.

Beasley's car is destroyed in Scotland racial incident.

Cherundolo agravates ailing shoulder, will miss at least month for Hannover.

Donovan scores first, sparks Everton past Sunderland in Premier League.

Howard, Donovan go down with Everton, eliminated from FA Cup.

Dempsey avoids surgery, his World Cup hopes remain intact.

Donovan is impressive, helping Everton draw with Arsenal in his debut.

Busy Dempsey continues to make his mark with Fulham.

Adu joins Johnson as loan acquisitions by Aris of Greece.

Friedel posts three more shutouts as Aston Villa climbs in English Premier League.

Beasley finally gets starts and he responds for Rangers in big way.

Howard stops penalty kick, rallies slumping Everton to victory, draw.

Dempsey finds net twice, Fulham blanks Blackburn 3-0 in EPL.

Setback in recovery from shin injury casts doubt on Jones joining U.S. team.

Dempsey runs his EPL scoring streak to three games, helping Fulham tie Wigan 1-1.

Mönchengladbach, Bradley experience improved play in Bundesliga.

Dempsey regains scoring touch, helps Fulham drop Liverpool.

Davies improves, but faces several surgeries, long road back.

Dempsey, injured in England, will miss at least one U.S. qualifier.

Injury problems continue for DeMerit who hurts eye in accident.

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Americans Abroad

Johnson strains hamstring with Aris in Greek playoffs.

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

(Thursday, May 13, 2010) -- One day after he was a mildly surprising addition to the United States preliminary World Cup roster, American striker Eddie Johnson tweaked a hamstring and had to leave late in the first half of Aris Thessaloniki's 1-1 draw yesterday with AEK Athens in the Greek playoffs.

Johnson was removed in the 42nd minute. Fellow American, midfielder Freddy Adu, who was left off the U.S. roster of 30 -- 23 will make the final World Cup team -- also started and played until the 76th minute.

Athens tied the game when Leonardo scored in injury time.

Aris appears headed for next season's Europa League, Europe's second-tier tournament. The round robin playoffs, in which each team plays six times, which also include PAOK and Olympiacos Piraeus. The winner goes to the Champions League and the other three enter the Europa League.

With two rounds remaining, PAOK is first at 3-0-1 with 10 points, followed by AEK is (1-1-2, 6) and Aris (1-2-1, 4) and Olympiacos (1-3, 3 points)..

Before the playoff tournament began, Aris was on the wrong end of a 1-0 score in a tense loss to Panathinaikos in the Greek Cup final. Adu played the final 10 minutes while Johnson stayed on the bench.

But Aris, led by its Americans, bounced back to defeat Olympiacos 2-0 behind two goals by Johnson to open the playoffs.

In a yellow-card filled match, Johnson opened the scoring with a header in the 39th minute. Adu was constantly dangerous coming down the left side and, in the 39th minute, beat a defender on the end-line and sent a left-footed cross to Johnson in the right side of the pealty area. Johnson hit a hard header that found the net.

Johnson had another great chance midway through the second half, but Aris clung to its narrow lead until stoppage time when Johnson took advantage of a major defensive gaffe to score again and put the match away. Johnson jumped on a poor back-pass, went around the goalkeeper and shot into an open net.

Johnson also received a yellow card.

In their second playoff match, both Edu and Johnson got the start, but could not duplicate their opening-match heroics in a 2-0 loss to PAOK. Aris could not generate much offense and Aris coach Hector Cuper lifted Adu in the 66th minute.

In the third playoff match, after a delay in the tournament caused by the violent political unrest in Greece, another Johnson goal was not enough and Aris fell 4-2 loss match at AEK Athens. Adu was dressed, but did not play.

The match was extremely physical with each teams finishing with nine men. By the 39th minute, it was 10-versus-10. It was nine-against-nine by the 72nd minute when Johnson rose over two defenders to head in Darcy Neto's cross from the right flank to give Aris a 2-1 lead.

Three AEK goals in the next 12 minutes virtually ended any Aris hopes of winning the competition.


Robert Wagman is SoccerTimes senior correspondent.

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