With Bocanegra absent, Glasgow Rangers are stunned by Kilmarnock.
By Robert Wagman (in Washington, D.C.)
(Wednesday, November 30, 2011) -- The scoreboard shock of the weekend was Glasgow Rangers dropping a 1-0 Scottish Premier League decision to Kilmarnock, a team they normally handle easily.
It appears that Rangers were off balance on Sunday and the reason might have been the absence of United States defender Carlos Bocanegra, who had previously played every minute of every league match this season.
Bocanegra suffered a hamstring strain in training and is expected to be absent for at least two more weeks.
Maurice Edu played the first 70 minutes for Rangers and was replaced by fellow U.S. midfielder Alejandro Bedoya, but Rangers could not get their offense into gear and suffered the embarrassing loss.
There were two performances of note by Americans this week. Timmy Chandler showed he is probably best suited playing on the right side of midfield, scoring the match's only goal for 1. FC Nürnberg, which snapped an eight-match winless streak with a 1-0 decision Saturday over visiting Kaiserslautern in the German Bundesliga.
In the 14th minute, Chandler stripped the ball from Kaiserslautern defender Alexander Bugera and was off on a slashing run, cutting from right to left. He outpaced a pair of defenders and blasted a left-footed shot past goalkeeper Kevin Trapp from the edge of the penalty area.
Nürnberg should have had a second goal in the 33rd minute when Chandler's pass perfectly set up Tomas Pekhart, but his shot went into the side-netting.
Another American who helped his team avoid defeat was defender Jonathan Spector, whose perfect cross rescued Birmingham City from another defeat. In the 87th minute, he passed from the left side and it was converted by Nikola Zigic for a 2-2 draw with Blackpool in the English Premier League.
Spector also received a yellow card in the game.
Also in the Premier League, American goalkeeper Brad Friedel continues to have a terrific season in net for Tottenham Hotspur. He had five saves in a 3-1 victory Saturday over West Bromwich Albion
Friedel's best save of the day came when he smothered a shot from Youssuf Mulumbu and he was also involved in the most controversial play. It seemed he had carried a shot from defender Gareth McAuley over his own goal line in a scramble off a corner kick, but it was ruled he had been pushed into the net and fouled by McAuley.
Spurs (9-2-1, 28 points) continue in third place and are in contention for a European Champions League berth next season.
U.S. keeper Tim Howard, with Everton's solid defense again having a strong match in front of him, needed to make only three saves in a 2-0 triumph Saturday over Bolton Wanderers.
U.S. midfielder Stuart Holden is recovering from knee surgery for Bolton, while American Marcus Hahnemann is Everton's third-string keeper and did not dress.
U.S. midfielder Clint Dempsey went 90 minutes and played a lot of defense for Fulham Saturday in a 1-1 draw with Arsenal. Fulham (2-5-6, 12) moved into 15th place, five points clear of the relegation zone.
American Brad Guzan was the backup keeper, while U.S. defender Eric Lichaj was sidelined with a bad hip for Aston Villa, which tied host Swansea City 0-0 on Sunday.
American defender Zak Whitbread has a bad hamstring as is out for Norwich City.
In the second-division English League Championship, U.S. striker Robbie Findley played 78 minutes Saturday for Nottingham Forest in its 1-0 loss to Cardiff City.
Irish-American forward Conor Doyle played the final 13 minutes for Derby County in a 3-1 loss Saturday to West Ham United. American defender Daniel Potts did not dress for West Ham
In the third tier League One, American striker Mike Grella played the final 20 minutes for Brentford in a 2-1 win Saturday over Rochdale.
American midfielder Anton Peterlin remained on the Wallsall bench in a 0-0 draw with Stevenage on Saturday.
American defender Frank Simek has an injured hip and was not available to Carlisle United, a 1-0 winner Saturday over Colchester United.
In the German Bundesliga, U.S. men's captain Steve Cherundolo was back in his place in Hannover 96's back-line and went the distance in a 1-1 draw with Hamburg SV on Saturday.
This was Cherundolo first league appearance for Hannover in over a month, which saw him miss one match from a suspension and then saw him out of favor and worn down from two appearances in U.S. friendlies.
American defender-midfielders Fabian Johnson and Danny Williams went 90 minutes for TSG 1899 Hoffenheim in a 1-1 draw with SC Freiburg on Saturday.
Johnson assisted on Hoffenheim's goal, while Williams received a yellow card.
German-American midfielder Jermaine Jones started his fourth match in a row and received a yellow card for a fourth straight outing for Schalke 04 in a 2-0 loss Saturday to Borussia Dortmund.
German-American forward Terrence Boyd did not dress for Borussia Dortmund.
American David Yelldell is not reported injured, but appears out as Bayer Leverkusen's backup keeper. He did not dress in a 3-3 draw with Hertha Berlin on Saturday.
American midfielder Alfredo Morales did not dress for Hertha.
In the 2. Bundesliga, U.S. striker Edson Buddle played 74 minutes and was issued a yellow card Sunday for FC Ingolstadt 04 in its 0-0 draw with Energie Cottbus.
American Luis Robles was back in goal for Karlsruher SC, but suffered a 2-0 loss at the hands of Alemannia Aachen on Saturday.
American forward Matt Taylor played the first 65 minutes for SC Paderborn 07 in a 2-2 draw Friday with FSV Frankfurt.
U.S. midfielder Ricardo Clark did not dress for Eintracht Frankfurt in its 2-1 loss Saturday to 1860 Munich. American striker Bobby Wood is sidelined with an injured knee for 1860.
In Portugal, U.S. defender Oguchi Onyewu played 90 minutes for Sporting Lisbon Saturday in a 1-0 loss to Benfica. Sporting's defense was admirable, but it could not generate much attack against its arch-rival.
In Italy, U.S. midfielder Michael Bradley went the distance for Chievo Verona, which was thrashed 4-0 Sunday by AC Milan.
In the Netherlands, U.S. striker Jozy Altidore went the first 80 minutes for AZ Alkmaar's 2-0 decision Friday over FC Utrecht.
In Belgium, U.S. midfielder Sacha Kljestan went 90 minutes for RSC Anderlecht in a 3-2 victory Saturday over Zulte-Waregem.
The Norwegian Tippeligaen season came to a close on Sunday with American midfielder Mikkel Diskerud going the distance for Stabæk IF in a 2-0 loss to Valerenga.
American defenders Josh Gatt was out with an injured hamstring, while Sean Cunningham dressed, but did not play for Molde FK, which ended its season with a 2-1 loss to Sogndal.
In Denmark, American defender Michael Parkhurst delivered a last-minute assist, his cross in the 89th minute making the difference for FC Nordsjælland in a 2-1 triumph over Silkeborg on Sunday. The three points allowed Nordsjaelland to hold onto second place in the Superliga standings.
Americam defender Clarence Goodson played a strong defensive match for Brøndby IF, but it dropped a 1-0 decision to AC Horsens on Monday night. The only goal appeared to be clearly offside, but it was allowed to stand.
U.S. striker Chris Rolfe played 90 minutes for Aalborg BK in its 2-0 loss Sunday to AGF Aarhus.
American defender Brad Rusin played the final nine minutes, plus stoppage for HB Køge in a 2-1 loss Sunday to FC Copenhagen.
American midfielder Conor O'Brien was on the bench for SønderjyskE Sunday in a 3-1 win over Lyngby.
In Mexico, none of the three Americans on teams in the second leg of the Apertura Liguilla quarterfinals played on Sunday. Midfielder José Torres is out with a foot injury for Pachuca, Jonathan Bornstein is out with an ankle injury for UANL, while striker Adrian Ruelas did not dress for Jaguares de Chiapas
Former U.S. men's manager Bob Bradley, now at the helm of recently underperforming Egypt, was in charge of his first match and saw his new team, after just two training sessions, lose 2-0 to Brazil on a pair of goals from Valencia's Jonas.
Brazil brought a combination of B squad players, potential Olympians along with a couple of veterans. Egypt was well organized, while Bradley attempted to look at as much of his roster as he could with six allowed substitutions.
Thomas Rongen, most recently the U.S. under-20 men's coach and a television analyst, fell agonizingly short of his initial goal in at the helm of American Samoa, a berth in Oceania World Cup qualifying after losing to Samoa, 1-0, in the second round of a four-nation tournament.
Rongen's team made huge headlines when it defeated Tonga in its opening match at home, notching its first-ever international victory and scoring its first-ever goal in World Cup qualifying.
The loss to Samoa was heartbreaking as it came on a counter-attack in stoppage time. The American Samoa defense, led by center-back Johnny Saelua, thought to be the world's first transgender international, had remained strong over two matches.
American defender Tim Ream, most recently of Major League Soccer's New York Red Bulls, will join England's West Bromwich Albion "on trial" next month. The stay likely will be more than training, according to English media reports, with West Brom and the Red Bulls having agreed in principle to a loan deal with a transfer option, should Ream impress.
Robert Wagman is SoccerTimes senior correspondent.
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