- The Washington Times - Saturday, November 30, 2002

As if the United States national team needed another top goalie, what with Brad Friedel and Kasey Keller starting in the English Premier League, Seattle native Marcus Hahnemann is having his best season in professional soccer for Reading in the English First Division and hoping that U.S. team coach Bruce Arena still remembers him. High-flying Reading is fourth in the First Division and aiming for promotion to the Premier League.
Can you imagine three American goalies starting in the Premier League? That surely would be a statement. And it could happen. Hahnemann, 30, has recorded an impressive nine shutouts in 15 games this season and has been a key factor in Reading's success. The club has the best defense in the First Division, conceding just 14 goals in league play. Reading, formed in 1871, has never played top-flight soccer.
Hahnemann (9-2-4) has not given up a goal since Oct.26 and recorded his fourth consecutive shutout Wednesday when Reading downed Crystal Palace 1-0. Last week he pulled off a spectacular save as he stopped a penalty kick in Reading's 1-0 win over Watford. His current form won him his club's player of the month honors.
The 6-foot 3 goalie moved to Reading, a town 60 miles west of London, on a free transfer in August after sitting on the bench at Fulham for three years. Hahnemann arrived in England in 1999 after playing 66 games for the Colorado Rapids in Major League Soccer. He has played for the U.S. team only three times, in 1994.
"I'd love more, but there are class acts like Brad Friedel and Kasey Keller ahead of me," Hahnemann told Britain's Sun newspaper.
"Marcus has got the lot," Reading midfielder Kevin Watson said. "His distribution is incredible. I've never seen a keeper who can send the ball 80 yards so accurately."
Now if only the United States could produce forwards to match all the talented goalies it has.
As for America's other two top goalies, Friedel could be back in the nets for Blackburn today against Charlton after surgery on his knee two weeks ago. Friedel conceded this week that he had been playing with pain in his knee for two years. Keller, who recorded his fifth shutout of the season for Tottenham on Sunday in a 2-0 victory over Leeds, faces Birmingham today
Moreno looks good Jamie Moreno, 28, has struggled on the field this season, but to some folks he still looks good. The D.C. United striker, who lives in Ashburn, Va., is listed as one of the 25 most beautiful people in Washington in the December issue of Washingtonian magazine.
McBride moving? American World Cup star Brian McBride wants to play in England or Scotland. There were reports this week that Premier League clubs Manchester City and Everton and Scotland's Rangers are interested in signing the Columbus Crew striker once the transfer window reopens in January.
McBride, 30, was loaned to Preston North End two years ago, but his time in England was cut short by a blood clot.
American striker Eddie Lewis, who plays for Preston, spoke about McBride's desire to the British media this week
"Brian is desperately keen to return to play soccer in Britain," Lewis said. "After the World Cup, he was disappointed not to work out a move. MLS was asking quite a bit of money for Brian, but he deserves better. Hopefully they'll work something out so he'll be able to come over in January."
Meanwhile, Lewis is in good form at Preston. The World Cup winger set up the two goals with corner kicks in Preston's 2-2 tie with Brighton last weekend.
Who brought the pig? World player of the year Luis Figo got everything except the kitchen sink thrown at him when he went up to take corner kicks for Real Madrid against his old Barcelona club last Saturday before 93,000 hostile fans. Among the items thrown at the Portuguese star were a bread knife, gold balls, a bottle of J&B; scotch and get this a pig's head.
The game, one of the world's most famous soccer matchups, was scoreless, but Barcelona is expecting a hefty fine due to the crowd trouble. Coincidentally, Ronaldo, another turncoat from Barcelona, came down with the flu the day before the game.
College notes Top ranked Maryland (18-4) plays host to 10-time national champion St. Louis in the round of 16 of the NCAA tournament at Ludwig Field tomorrow at 1 p.m. The Terps defeated American University (13-8-1) 1-0 Wednesday on Domenic Mediate's goal.
Women's notes The U.S. women's team will open its 2003 schedule with a game against Japan on Jan.12 at Torero Stadium in San Diego. The match will be the USA's first in its run to the 2003 Women's World Cup in China.


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