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Americans On The Continent: Oguchi On Top

By Aaron West

After an up-and-down pair of fixtures over the international break, Onyewu returned to Belgium to help Standard push for the Jupiler League championship.  Playing in front of their home stand, the Belgian giants were stunned in just the 15th minute when Kevin Vanderbergh struck from inside the box to put the visitors ahead. 

Far from shell-shocked, however, Liege fought back through youngster Axel Witsel’s penalty just six minutes later, following Ivan Leko’s handball.  Standard continued to press, and finally went into the lead in the 33rd minute as Milan Jovanovic pounced on Dieumerci Mbokani’s parried shot and struck home past the helpless Silvio Proto. 

Onyewu stood firm in the back to hold on to Standard’s lead, but it was heart-in-mouth for the Liege fans as he looked to have handled the ball late in the match.  However, the referee waved play on, and eventually Mbokani was able to seal the match with seven minutes left to ease the home side’s nerves.  Once the result was assured, Oguchi was substituted for Rodrigo Digao.

Oguchi Onyewu, Standard Liege (Belgium)
vs. Germinal Beerschot, 3-1, 88 minutes

See above.
Next up: vs. KSC Lokeren, Saturday, April 11

Carlos Bocanegra, Rennes (France)
vs. Sochaux, 0-3, 62 minutes

Carlos Bocanegra and his Rennes teammates endured a torrid time upon their return from the international break.  Up against relegation-threatened Sochaux, the Brittany side was trounced summarily away from home.  The home side took the lead on 36 minutes when Stephane M’Bia dragged down Jacques Faty in the box for a penalty. 

Their worries were compounded when, after just two minutes, Mevlud Erding skipped past Rod Fanni and Petter Hansson to slot through Nicolas Douchez’s splayed legs.  Rennes was a much brighter side after the break, but was unable to capitalize on any of their chances.  Bocanegra was withdrawn after 62 minutes for the more attacking Julian Esteban, but a goal was not in the framework for the visitors. 

Substitute Vaclav Sverkos cemented the result in the 86th minute, getting the tip of his boot to penalty scorer Ryad Boudebouz’s cross.  
Next up: vs. St. Etienne, Saturday, April 11

Michael Bradley, Borussia Monchengladbach (Germany)
Away to Karlsruhe FC, 0-0, 90 minutes

Michael Bradley and Borussia M’Gladbach settled for a 0-0 bore draw at Karlsruhe over the weekend.  Happy to take the point against a Karlsruhe side that had not scored in six straight matches prior to this, the visitors rarely pushed the issue offensively.  In the 37th minute, Roberto Calautti’s header struck the bar for M’Gladbach, and Sebastian Freis rattled the bar for Karlsruhe five minutes later, but a goal was not to be in this match, as both sides were happy to take the draw.
Next up: vs. VfL Wolfsburg, Saturday, April 11

Square Passes

Prior to the international break, Marcus Tracy went the full 90 and scored the match-winner against FC Midtjylland on March 23rd.  The former Wake Forest standout was left out of the squad for their 2-1 win against Jeremiah White’s AGF Aarhus.

Jeremiah White went the full 90 for Aarhus against Aalborg.  

Michael Parkhurst and FC Nordsjælland were soundly trounced 3-0 at home by FC Copenhagen.  The defender went the full 90, but was unable to help his side to victory against the league leaders.

Preston Zimmerman notched his third goal of the season for SV Kapfenberg coming off the bench in the 30th minute, but the away side wasted a two goal lead to draw 2-2 with LASK Linz.

After being abroad since 1994, Gregg Berhalter returned home to the US, signing a contract with the LA Galaxy.  Berhalter ends a three-year stint with 1860 Munich where he made 73 appearances and scored eight goals.

Steve Cherundolo and Sal Zizzo were left out of the side for Hannover’s 4-1 demolishing at the hands of Werder Bremen.

David Yelldell did well to only concede two goals in the face of 21 shots as TuS Koblenz lost 2-0 to FC Nurnberg.  Matt Taylor also played the entire second half, but was unable to create a goal for his side.

Freddy Adu was left off the bench for Monaco’s 1-0 loss to last-placed Le Havre.

Despite netting a wonderful hat-trick for the US against Trinidad & Tobago, Jozy Altidore was again left in the stands for Segunda División championship hopefuls Xerez’s 2-1 win over Murcia. 

Aaron West's feature "Americans On The Continent" appears every Monday on Goal.com