Americans On The Continent: Happy Returns

After an extended injury layoff, Steve Cherundolo made his return to the Hannover 96 starting lineup to help his side secure a vital three points and shutout. With the 1-0 win against Bayer Leverkusen, Die Roten clings to its hopes of staying in the German Bundesliga.
By Aaron West

Steve Cherundolo made his first start for Hannover 96 since January 13th, returning from injury to help a resolute Hannover back four avoid conceding for the first time in nearly a month.  Up against one of the Bundesliga’s most potent offenses, Cherundolo and his teammates held strong, and were backed by a match-winning performance from Robert Enke in goal.  In the 33rd minute, some unselfish play from Jan Schlaudraff saw Arnold Bruggink net the game-winning goal and send Hannover to 12th place, four points above the relegation zone.  While Cherundolo played the entire match, Sal Zizzo had to be content to watch from the bench as his side secured victory without his aid.   

Steve Cherundolo, Hannover 96 (Germany)
vs. Bayer Leverkusen, 1-0, 90 minutes
See above. Next up: Away to Bayern Munich, Saturday, March 7

Michael Bradley, Borussia Monchengladbach (Germany)

Away to Hertha Berlin, 1-2, 90 minutes, goal (penalty)
Michael Bradley continued his excellent goalscoring form against Hamburg on Saturday, netting from the penalty spot in the 69th minute.  Despite his efforts in the centre of midfield, M’Gladbach still fell 2-1 to surprise title challengers Hertha Berlin.  Two first half goals from Ukrainian Andriy Voronin and Hungarian Pal Dardai assured the win for Hertha, and Bradley’s penalty could do nothing to spark a comeback for the Foals. Next up: vs. Hamburg, Saturday, March 7

Landon Donovan, Bayern Munich (Germany)
Away to Werder Bremen, 0-0, 13 minutes
Landon Donovan once again failed to make a real impression in his limited substitute appearance against Werder Bremen on Sunday.  Despite the home side playing 75 minutes with 10 men, they held on valiantly, mainly on the strength of Christian Vander’s magnificent performance in goal.  After being brought on for Turkish international Hamit Altintop in the 77th minute, Donovan was fairly anonymous, and did not have any real say in the proceedings. Next up: Away to Bayer Leverkusen, Wednesday, March 4

Carlos Bocanegra, Rennes (France)

Away to Lyon, 1-1, 90 minutes
Carlos Bocanegra and his Rennes teammates put it another excellent display to hold the league leaders Olympique Lyonnais to a 1-1 draw thanks to a 90th minute equalizer by Jimmy Briand.  Bocanegra had another excellent game for Rennes, even scoring a goal in the 12th minute, only to see it called back for a foul.  With the 1-1 draw, Rennes move to 6th place in the league, only four points away from a UEFA Cup spot. Next up: Away to Lorient (Coupe de France), Wednesday, March 4

Oguchi Onyewu, Standard Liege (Belgium)
vs. Braga (UEFA Cup), 1-1, 90 minutes; vs. Cercle Brugge, 4-0, 80 minutes
Oguchi Onyewu went the full 90 in Standard’s 1-1 draw with Braga in the UEFA Cup, but Standard were still knocked out of the competition by a 4-1 aggregate score.  Returning to league play, the Belgian giants pummeled Cercle Brugge 4-0, leaving space for Onyewu to be brought off in the 80th minute for Tomislav Mikulic. Next up: Away to RAEC Bergen Mons, Friday, March 6

Michael Parkhurst, Nordsjælland (Denmark)
Away to Vejle, 1-1, 90 minutes
Michael Parkhurst made his first start for Nordsjælland on Sunday, drawing a red card and putting in an admirable performance for the Danish side.  In the 42nd minute, Vejle midfielder Allen Gaarde clearly kicked out at Parkhurst in retaliation, seeing red for his troubles.  However, even a man up, Nordsjælland still struggled to score, only going in to the lead in the 74th minute.  Their celebrations were short-lived as Vejle midfielder Brian Nielsen railed a fizzing free kick past Nenad Novakovic just a minute later to level the match for good. Next up: Away to Aalborg, Sunday, March 8

Square Passes

Luis Robles was unable to prevent his Kaiserslautern side from falling 2-1 to Greuther Furth on Sunday in the German 2. Bundesliga.

Jeremiah White and his AGF Aarhus team could not hold on to an early lead against Lee Nguyen’s former side Randers, falling 2-1 in the Danish League.  Benny Feilhaber was not included on the bench for Aarhus as he continues to get back to full fitness.

David Yelldell and Matt Taylor were on the winning end as TuS Koblenz beat Augsburg 2-0 in the 2. Bundesliga.  Yelldell started the match and recorded five saves and a shutout on the day, and Matt Taylor played the entire second half, nearly notching a goal in the 90th minute.

Freddy Adu was again a spectator as Monaco drew 2-2 with St. Etienne.  To add insult to injury, the man responsible for his passage to Monaco, American-educated Jerome de Bontin, resigned as club president this week.

Marcus Tracy was an unused substitute for Aalborg as they beat AC Horsens 1-0.

Jozy Altidore’s loan woes continue as he has yet to even see the bench for Xerez, watching from the stands yet again as they drew 1-1 with Rayo Vallecano.

Aaron West's "Americans On The Continent" appears every Monday on