By Aaron West
Far from being an even contest, Rennes scored two goals within the first eight minutes of the match, putting it beyond the reach of the floundering visitors without even giving them a chance.
Following Asamoah Gyan’s strike after just 21 seconds, last week’s game-winner Sylvain Marveaux struck in the 7th minute to further crush the home side’s hopes. On 20 minutes, Rennes’ American left back Carlos Bocanegra saw his headed attempt blocked by Grenoble goalkeeper Jodi Viviani following a free kick, only for Abdou Kader Mangane to ruthlessly ram it home for a 3-0 lead.
The rest of the match passed without incident until the 61st minute when Milivoje Vitakic’s handball placed Asamoah Gyan on the spot for the fourth and final goal. With Grenoble only registering one shot on target, the visiting Brittany side cruised to victory and fourth place in the league. Grenoble now sits dead last with zero points out of six games. Following this rampant victory, Rennes will welcome fellow American Charlie Davies and Sochaux on Wednesday.
Carlos Bocanegra, Rennes (France)
Away to Grenoble, 4-0, 90 minutes
Next up: vs. Sochaux, Wednesday, September 23 & Away to Bordeaux, Sunday, September 27
Charlie Davies, Sochaux (France)
Vs. Valenciennes, 2-5, 90 minutes
Unlike his compatriot, Charlie Davies was on the wrong side of a 5-2 shellacking by visitors Valenciennes. Despite playing the full 90, Davies was unable to get on the scoresheet for Sochaux as Valenciennes rode a second-half tidal wave. The hosts were up 2-1 at halftime thanks to Jeremie Brechet and youngster Ryad Boudebouz’s third and 41st minute strikes, respectively.
The second half was an all-Valenciennes affair, with Gregory Pujol scoring the first of his two on the night just four minutes after the break. Johan Audel put the visitors in the lead on 63 minutes and they never looked back as Fahid Ben Khalfallah and Pujols wrapped the match up with goals in the 78th and 85th minutes.
Next up: Away to Rennes, Wednesday, September 23 & Away to AS Nancy Lorraine, Saturday, September 26
Steve Cherundolo, Hannover 96 (Germany)
Vs. Borussia Dortmund, 1-1, 90 minutes, Yellow Card
For the match against Borussia Dortmund, Steve Cherundolo was handed the captain’s armband for Hannover in the absence of goalkeeper Robert Enke due to a stomach bacterial infection.
Cherundolo went the full 90 for Hannover as they fought back from 1-0 down after German-born Turkish international starlet Nuri Sahin put the away side up right before the break. Ivorian striker Dider Ya Konan equalize the match just three minutes after halftime, and the game ended in a 1-1 stalemate. Putting in a solid performance in his customary right-back position, Cherundolo was awarded a yellow card in the 77th minute. Sal Zizzo was an unused substitute in the match.
Next up: vs. Away to VfL Wolfsburg, Saturday, September 26
Michael Bradley, Borussia Monchengladbach (Germany)
Vs. TSG Hoffenheim, 2-4, Did Not Play
Michael Bradley saw his extended period on the bench continue against TSG Hoffenheim as Mongengladbach fell 4-2 at home.
Next up: vs. MSV Duisburg, Tuesday, September 22 & Away to SC Freiburg, Sunday, September 27
Kenny Cooper, 1860 Munich (Germany)
Away to Alemannia Aachen, 0-2, 81 minutes, Yellow Card
Kenny Cooper and 1860 Munich endured a rough outing on the road as they were shut out 2-0 against hosts Alemannia Aachen. Two goals from Benjamin Auer, one before halftime, and one at the death, assured the victory for the Potato Beetles of Aachen. As a team, Munich was only able to manage six shots, none of which were on target. Cooper saw his first yellow card of the season on 60 minutes, and was substituted with nine minutes remaining in the match.
Next up: vs. Hertha Berlin, Wednesday, September 23 & vs. SC Paderborn 07, Sunday, September 27
Oguchi Onyewu was on the substitute’s bench for AC Milan in their 1-0 win over Bologna.
Freddy Adu was not in the squad of 18 for Belenenses, but had this to say via his Twitter page: “Not in the 18 against Academica BUT dont worry spoke with the coach and all is good.Wants to take it slow for first couple games.StepBYstep”
Schalke’s Jermaine Jones is in the last few weeks’ recovery as he works to return from a broken leg.
David Yelldell played the full 90 in goal as TuS Koblenz drew 1-1 with FC Union Berlin.
Matt Taylor played the final 18 minutes of FSV Frankfurt’s 2-0 loss to Karlsruher SC.
Benny Feilhaber is expected to start, as Jeremiah White and Danny Califf will hope for playing time today when AGF Aarhus takes on FC Midtjylland.
Michael Parkhurst played the full 90 as Nordsjaelland was trounced 4-0 by Esbjerg.
Marcus Tracy made a cameo appearance for Aalborg in the final six minutes, but was unable to rescue a point for his side as they fell 1-0 at home to Silkeborg IF.
Troy Perkins went the full 90 in goal as his Valerenga side manhandled Lyn Oslo 4-1.
Alejandro Bedoya played the full 90 for Orebro SK as they beat Kalmar FF 3-1.
Aaron West's feature "Americans On The Continent" appears every Monday on Goal.com.
If you like to keep an eye on all the Americans who play abroad, visit Goal.com's Americans Abroad section for more