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U.S. Abroad (Aug. 28): Reyna defends his coach
August 29th, 2002 12:52PM

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After helping Sunderland defend a precarious 1-0 victory at Leeds, U.S. midfielder Claudio Reyna voiced his support for his embattled coach, Peter Reid. In Chile, meanwhile, goalkeeper Jonny Walker's team was eliminated from one tournament and faces a possible work stoppage in league play.

England

* Brad Friedel (Blackburn, PL) vs. Liverpool, 2-2.

Started: 90 minutes. An 83rd minute goal by substitute Corrado Grabbi salvaged the point at home for Blackburn. Damien Duff, one of Rovers' top players, quashed rumors that he was to be signed by Liverpool, saying that he planned to extend his contract that night. ''It'll be a long night but I am staying at Blackburn,'' Duff said. ''I love it at Blackburn and I will stay here. I just want to improve as a player.''
The draw kept Blackburn undefeated in the earlygoing and ensured that after three games, no EPL team has a perfect record. Rovers travel to Middlesbrough Saturday.

* Kasey Keller (Tottenham, PL) at Charlton, 1-0. (Tuesday game)

Started: 90 minutes. Keller earned his second shutout of the season. Spurs host Southampton Saturday.

* Joe-Max Moore (Everton, PL) vs. Birmingham, 1-1.

DNP - not on bench. David Unsworth's injury-time blast saved Everton from a home loss when it caromed off a post, then off the back of Birmingham's Irish defender Kenny Cunningham and into the goal. Everton plays at Manchester City Saturday.

* Jovan Kirovski (Birmingham, PL) at Everton, 1-1.

DNP - not on bench.

* Eddie Lewis (Fulham, PL) vs. West Brom, PPD due to Intertoto Cup

* Claudio Reyna (Sunderland, PL) at Leeds, 1-0.

Started: 90 minutes. Sunderland ended a 41-year winless streak at Elland Road by defeating host Leeds on Jason McAteer's goal 28 seconds into the second half. Leeds, which had won its first two Premier League games by a combined score of 6-1, was frustrated all evening by Sunderland's defensive shell.
The win eased pressure on Sunderland coach Peter Reid, at least temporarily. Reyna defended Reid in the press afterward. ''I don't think any manager deserves the amount of pressure he is under,'' Reyna said. ''But that's the way it is with the expectation of the club and the fans who want to see us move up the table and to do better than we did last season. That side of it we understand, and we do feel for him a bit. But he has been good and had a positive attitude with the team, and he has stuck behind us. To be fair, a lot of the time he takes the blame when I think the players should be getting more of it, but he always deflects it towards himself. For that reason alone the team is always going to go out and try to get a result for him.''
Reid's club must again be stingy on Saturday when it faces Manchester United.

* Gregg Berhalter (Crystal Palace, D1)

* Marcus Hahnemann (Reading, D1) vs. Burnley, 3-0. (Tuesday game)

Chile

* Jonny Walker (Universidad Catolica, D1) vs. Cobreola, 2-3.

Started: 90 minutes. The loss eliminated Catolica from the Copa Sudamericana. Cobreola and Santiago Wanderers (which defeated Coquimbo) will represent Chile in the 16-team tournament.
The Chilean players union declared a strike on Tuesday, so this weekend's games, including Catolica's against Rangers, are up in the air. The players are upset that the governing body of Chilean soccer, ANFP, has ruled out promotion and relegation for the next two seasons, thereby allowing first division teams to cut costs and sign younger, less expensive players without risk. Furthermore, some clubs have been unable to pay their players in several months.
Walker told Soccer America that he expects to steer clear of any fire sale at Catolica, saying he has gotten reassurance from club officials that they intend to retain him.



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