WINNERS & LOSERS: Convey, Hahnemann reach the top
READING, which had not reached the top tier of English soccer during its 135-year history, clinched promotion to the Premier League after its 1-1 tie with Leicester. The American duo of keeper Marcus Hahnemann and midfielder Bobby Convey are among four players who have started all 40 league games for the Royals, who have six games left in league play. Reading's only loss came in the season opener.
CONOR CASEY scored his first goal of the Bundesliga season, notching Mainz's second goal in a 2-2 tie with Hertha Berlin. Casey, who had injured his knee playing for the USA in last summer's Gold Cup, blasted home a rebound after keeper Christian Fiedler parried his close-range header. The 24-year-old Casey returned to action in early March and Saturday's game marked his fourth appearance, each as a second-half sub. It was the fourth Bundesliga goal of his career.
BRAD FRIEDEL made his 31st start of the season in Blackburn's goal as Rovers downed Sunderland, 1-0, to boost their UEFA Cup qualifying chances. Blackburn is in fifth place, two points ahead of Arsenal. Fifth- and sixth-place finishers at season's end earn UEFA Cup spots.
DaMARCUS BEASLEY made his first start for Dutch league leader PSV Einhoven since Feb. 11 in Saturday's 3-0 win over Willem II, going the full 90 and assisting on the third goal.
CORY GIBBS saw his first Dutch Eredivisie action of the 2005-06 season and helped ADO Den Haag to a 2-0 win over Feyenoord, the club that discarded him while he was recovering from a knee injury suffered last May. The U.S. defender, who played against Germany on Wednesday, had been a starter for Feyernoord after joining it from FC Dallas halfway through the 2004-05 season.
KASEY KELLER had a tough week. After giving up four goals in the USA's 4-1 loss to Germany in Dortmund on Wednesday, the U.S. keeper went down, 3-0, with Borussia Monechgladbach at Kaiserslautern
STEVE CHERUNDOLO, the U.S. scorer against Germany, had an even worse weekend with his club, Hannover 96, which fell, 5-0, to Werder Bremen. Hannover and Gladbach are in 9th and 10th place, respectively.
GREGG BERHALTER, another German-based member of the U.S. defense in Dortmund, fell 1-0, with Energie Cottbus to Saarbrucken, but Cottbus clings to third place in the Second Division from which the top three teams will earn promotion.