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Americans On The Continent: Ironclad Carlos

By Aaron West

Carlos Bocanegra and the Rennes defense held strong yet again in the French Ligue 1, recording yet another shutout for a league-best 19 goals conceded.  The match itself was a chippy affair with both sides being reduced to 10 men before the hour mark. 

Bocanegra was beaten for the first chance of the match as Rudy Mater skipped past him and delivered a cross for Jean-Claude Darcheville in the 12th minute.  However, Rennes ‘keeper Nicolas Douchez was on hand to palm away the powerful header, saving Bocanegra some blushes.  Rennes midfielder Kader Mangane saw red for scything down Jonathan Lacourt from behind recklessly in the 25th minute.  Lacourt left the pitch on a stretcher, and Mangane left the pitch by the referee’s orders. 

Despite being down a man, Rennes rallied to create a decent chance in the 34th minute.  Douchez’s long ball was flicked on by Olivier Thomert, but Jimmy Briand’s left-footed volley was well saved by Nicolas Penneteau.  Rennes had yet another chance just seven minutes after the half, but Fabien Lemoine’s drive from 20 yards out just tickled the wrong side of the left-hand post. 

Carlos Sanchez joined the red card party on 58 minutes after launching himself into a violent tackle on Stephane Mbia.  While Rennes continued to push for a winner, they were unable to break through the Valenciennes defense and snatch the three points.

Carlos Bocanegra, Rennes (France)
vs. Valenciennes, 0-0, 90 minutes
See above.

Next up: Away to Sochaux, Saturday, April 4

Michael Bradley, Borussia Monchengladbach (Germany)
vs. VfL Bochum, 0-1, 90 minutes, yellow card

Borussia M’Gladbach fell 1-0 to Bochum on Friday, leaving them nestled securely in the relegation zone, two points away from Arminia Bielefeld.  Bochum grabbed a deserved goal in the first half through Dennis Grote’s 25-yard strike in the 29th minute.  However, M’Gladbach stormed back, piling the pressure on late in the first half, throwing men forward and bombarding the Bochum backline.  The second half was a different story as chances were few and far between, with Michael Bradley taking the occasional potshot at goal. 

The U.S. international saw yellow in the 76th minute for a tough challenge, but was unable to get his name on the scoresheet yet again.  The final minutes of the match were harrowing for Bochum as Borussia came to life yet again, peppering the visitors’ goal.  However, M’Gladbach was unable to capitalize and were left ruing their missed chances and points.    
Next up: vs. VfL Bochum, Sunday, April 5

Oguchi Onyewu, Standard Liege (Belgium)
vs. Royal Charleroi SC, 0-1, 90 minutes

Onyewu and Standard were shockingly beaten away to Royal Charleroi SC on Saturday.  The visitors started brightly, and could have gone ahead through Dieumerci Mbokani, but the Congolese international striker could not find the back of the net.  Moroccan midfielder Abdelmajid Oulmer’s fired the home side ahead just four minutes before the half, and Standard would not recover from the blow.  Following the loss, Standard drops to 2nd in the league due to Anderlecht’s win over Germinal Beerschot the night before.
Next up: vs. Germinal Beerschot, Saturday, April 4

Michael Parkhurst, Nordsjælland (Denmark)
Away to Sonderjyske, 3-1, 90 minutes

Michael Parkhurst and Nordsjælland were on the right side of a 3-1 win against relegation strugglers Sonderjyske.  After going down in the ninth minute from Ken Larsen’s strike, Nordsjælland struck back immediately through Jose Junior’s 11th minute goal.  Goals from Benjamin Kibebe and H Kildentoft before halftime assured the win and smooth sailing for the side from Farum, Denmark.
Next up: vs. FC Copenhagen, Sunday, April 4

Square Passes

Former Hermann Trophy winner and Wake Forest standout Marcus Tracy was inserted into Aalborg’s UEFA Cup match in the 77th minute, playing the rest of regular time and all of extra time as the match went into penalties due to Aalborg’s 2-0 knotting the tie at 2-2 on aggregate.  Manchester City notched all of their spot-kicks, but Shay Given saved from Thomas Augustinussen and Luton Shelton to send City through to the next round. 

Steve Cherundolo was left out of Hannover’s 2-2 draw with Hoffenheim due to a hip injury.  Sal Zizzo did not make the bench.
Luis Robles was not included in the squad for Kaiserslautern’s 1-0 win over Ahlen as Tobias Sippel returned to the line-up in goal.

David Yelldell played the entire match for TuS Koblenz in their 1-1 draw with Hansa Rostock.  Heath Pearce was also on the pitch for Rostock, playing the whole match.  Matt Taylor was not included in the squad. 

Jeremiah White went 86 minutes for Aarhus against Esbjerg fB, but was unable to spur them to victory as Aarhus fell 1-0. 

Freddy Adu made the bench for again for Monaco’s 1-0 win against AS Nancy, but saw no action. 

Jozy Altidore was left in the stands yet again for Xerez as rumors continue to swirl around a move to Levante for the starlet.