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Americans On The Continent: European Push

Carlos Bocanegra and Rennes battled to a 3-1 victory away to Le Mans, taking their point total to 49 after 30 games, just five points away from 4th place and the Europa League. 

Bocanegra played the full 90 in his newly re-secured left back role for Rennes who were forced to re-jig their attacking line after lone striker Asamoah Gyan was ruled out in the warm-up with pains in his knee.  Ismael Bangoura, replaced him in the line-up, slotting into the right wing, with Jimmy Briand pushed forward to lead the line for Rennes. 

After a drab first half in which both sides failed to take the few chances they had, Rennes were able to break the deadlock in the 51st minute.  Ismael Bangoura stroked home the penalty to make it 1-0 after Sylvain Marveaux was hauled down in the box.  Carlos Bocanegra had to leave the field for treatment following a strong challenge from midfielder Roland Lamah, and just as he returned to the field, Le Mans equalized through Mathieu Dossevi.

After a tense quarter hour, Jimmy Briand headed Rennes in front to break the deadlock again.  Just four minutes from time, he assured the victory for Rennes, chipping past Ovono from close range after a long ball from Carlos Bocanegra was poorly dealt with by the Le Mans back line.

Carlos Bocanegra, Rennes (France)

Away to Le Mans, 3-1, 90 minutes

See above.

Next up: Vs. Olympique Lyonnais, Saturday, April 3

Eddie Johnson, Aris Thessaloniki (Greece)

Vs. Levadiakos, 1-0, 63 minutes

Eddie Johnson and Freddy Adu got the start for Aris as they defeated Levadiakos 1-0 over the weekend.  The Americans nearly teamed up for a goal in the opening minutes of the match, but Eddie Johnson’s header from Adu’s corner couldn’t find its way past the inside of the near post.  With six corners to Levadiakos’ none, Aris’ first-half dominance was evident, but they could not find a way past the visitors’ goal line. 

Johnson was replaced by Sergio Koke in the 63rd minute, immediately followed by an Aris free kick after Freddy Adu was bundled over 10 yards outside the box.  Darcy Dolce Neto curled the free kick home for Aris and they held onto the narrow lead to win the match 1-0. 

Next Up: Away to Asteras Tripoli, Sunday, April 11

Freddy Adu, Aris Thessaloniki (Greece)

Vs. Levadiakos, 1-0, 90 minutes

See above.

Next Up: Away to Asteras Tripoli, Sunday, April 11

Michael Bradley, Borussia Monchengladbach (Germany)

Vs. Hamburg, 1-0, Did Not Play

Michael Bradley was in the stands serving a 1-game yellow card suspension as M’Gladbach defeated Hamburg 1-0. 

Next up: Away to VfB Stuttgart, Saturday, April 3

Steve Cherundolo, Hannover 96 (Germany)

Vs. Cologne, 1-4, 90 minutes, Goal

Steve Cherundolo played the full 90 for Hannover in their 1-4 dismantling at the hands of Cologne, but managed to get on the scoresheet, netting a fine curling free kick nine minutes from time as consolation for the home side.

Next up: Away to Hamburg, Sunday, April 4

Square Passes

Ricardo Clark sat the bench yet again for Eintracht Frankfurt as they beat VfL Bochum 2-1.

Daniel Williams did not suit up for Freiburg’s 1-1 draw with Hoffeinheim, but played for the second team in the fourth-division Regionalliga Sud over the weekend.

Jared Jeffrey did not dress for Mainz as they fell 0-2 to Wolfsburg, instead playing for the second team in the Regionalliga Sud.

Goalkeeper David Yelldell and TuS Koblenz were on the wrong side of a 4-1 shellacking against MSV Duisburg.

Jermaine Jones continues to recover, and was not in the squad as Schalke beat Leverkusen 2-0 on the road to jump back to the top of the league standings. 

Matt Taylor was not in the matchday squad for Frankfurt as they beat Union Berlin 2-1.

Luis Robles continues on the bench for Kaiserslautern, sitting out the 0-0 draw with Fortuna Dusseldorf, and most likely starting on the bench in tonight’s fixture against 1860 Munich. 

Michael Parkhurst has found the going tough at FC Nordsjaelland this season and has not played in the last four matches for the Danish club.

Alejandro Bedoya is expected to start tonight as Orebro faces Mjallby at home.

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