By Aaron West
Carlos Bocanegra and Stade Rennais FC continued their run of excellent defensive form this week. Their victory against away to St. Ettiene took their number of shutouts this season to 11 in all competitions and pushed Les Rouges et Noir to fourth place in the Ligue 1 Orange. Bocanegra played the full 90 minutes, working in perfect harmony with his teammates to secure the clean sheet.
The evergreen Mickael Pagis was the hero on the night, scoring two goals and creating another with his darting runs and opportunistic finishing. Pagis found himself on the scoresheet only 13 minutes into the match when Jimmy Briand’s searching ball from a woefully poor Yohan Benalouane clearance sent him through on goal to finish coolly past St. Ettien goalkeeper Jody Viviani.
Eight minutes into the second half, Pagis threatened again, forcing Viviani to a reaction save, parrying it directly into the path of Rod Fanni who rejoiced at his early Christmas gift. Two minutes later, Pagis grabbed his brace, rounding out the scoring and condemning Les Verts to their fifth consecutive loss.
Carlos Bocanegra, Rennes (France)
Away to St. Etienne , 3-0, 90 minutes
Next up: Away to Le Havre, Wednesday, November 12
Michael Bradley, Borussia Monchengladbach (Germany)
Away to Arminia Bielefeld, 2-0, 90 minutes
Michael Bradley played the entire match as M’Gladbach secured a vital three points away to Arminia Bielefeld. Young Bosnian-born Germany international Marko Marin took Borussia’s fate upon his shoulders, scoring in the 6th and 80th minutes to secure the away win. The victory moved Die Fohlen to 14th in the league, and they will attempt to improve their standing even further as they take on Bavarian giants Bayern Munich next.
Next up: vs. Bayern Munich, Saturday, November 15
Neven Subotic, Borussia Dortmund (Germany)
Away to Hamburg SV, 1-2, 90 minutes, 1 yellow card
Subotic and Dortmund plummeted to 9th place in the Germany Bundesliga with their 2-1 defeat against Hamburg SV. Former Dortmund striker Mladen Petric opened the scoring for Hamburg in the 9th minute, heading home a Piotr Trochowski corner. Subotic had a powerful drive tipped onto the crossbar by Frank Rost in the 23rd minute, and Trochowski also saw his freekick hit the woodwork for Hamburg a few minutes later. Croatian international Ivica Olic extended the home side’s lead in the 33rd minute, slotting home a one-on-one with Roman Weidenfeller. However, the visitors hit back right after halftime through Tamas Hajnal but were unable to level the match despite constant pressure. To make matters even worse for Dortmund, Robert Kovac was sent off after the final whistle for persistently complaining to the referee.
Next up: vs. Eintracht Frankfurt, Saturday, November 15
Steve Cherundolo, Hannover 96 (Germany)
Away to FC Koln, 1-2, 90 minutes, yellow card
Steve Cherundolo played the entire match and picked up a yellow card as Hannover extended their winless streak to six matches. Goals from Pedro Geromel and Wilfred Sanou canceled out Jan Schlaudraff’s 15th minute strike, leaving Hannover at 13th place in the table.
Next up: vs. VFL Bochum, Friday, November 14
Oguchi Onyewu, Standard Liege (Belgium)
vs. Sevilla FC (UEFA Cup), 1-0, 90 minutes; vs. Germinal Beerschot, 3-1, 90 minutes
Oguchi Onyewu and Standard Liege defeated a less than full-strength Sevilla FC to go level with Sampdoria, Stuttgart and Sevilla at the top of Group C in the UEFA Cup. Stalwart defense and a battling midfield assured the victory over the visiting Spanish side as Liege was able to pull out a 1-0 win. Onyewu put in a solid performance, lasting all 90 minutes. In their weekend Jupiler League match against Germinal Beerschot, Standard came back from conceding an 11th minute goal to win 3-1, propelling themselves back up to 2nd position in the league table.
Next up: Away to KSC Lokeren, Sunday, November 16
Jozy Altidore and Villarreal are considering a loan move in the January transfer window. Despite his impressive performances in the Villarreal shirt (becoming the first American international to net in La Liga in the process), first-team appearances have been limited and the young striker may be farmed out to a smaller club to get more regular playing time.
Aaron West's "Americans on the Continent" appears every Monday on Goal.com