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Americans Abroad - First Half Analysis (Stats and Notes) - Forwards
Brian McBride #8 (Fulham) – The former Columbus Crew man has had a tough time breaking into the starting ranks for the Cottagers this season. He currently sits behind first choice strikers Andy Cole & Canadian Tomas Radzinski and also has to compete with the up and coming 19-year old Dutch youngster Collins John . Brian has appeared in 12 league games including 3 starts. He did record an assist in the October 16th match against Liverpool . McBride did make 2 starts during Andy Cole’s suspension. He is always in the matchday squad as he has been available off the bench for the 10 games in which he did not appear in the starting lineup. Brian has shown remarkable form in 3 Carling Cup games starting one and scoring 2 goals (1 vs Nottingham Forest, 1 vs Boston Utd.) though against decidedly lower level competition. Against Nottingham Forest, he scored the eventual game winner in the extra period. As usual Brian continues to be an integral part of the USMNT setup. During this period, he made 6 appearances for the US including 4 starts and scored a goal in a 2-0 win against El Salvador.

Brian has continued to make the matchday squad for each and every Fulham match so we know that he is doing very well in training. It seems that he’ll have to work his way into the starting lineup by contributing on some scores in his short spells off the bench as most managers like to play the hot hand. With the opening of the transfer window in January, It’ll be interesting to see what Fulham sees as its needs. It seems rather obvious that the Cottagers may have to spend a little to shore up their defense which has given up 25 goals in 14 matches. That is the second highest tally in the Premiership. Also, keeper Edwin Van Der Saar is out of contract at the end of the season so expect some movement there during the transfer window. Fulham currently sit 14th in the table just two points above the relegation zone. Fulham will next play at fellow Premiership strugglers Norich on December 4th.

Brian did make a substitute appearance in the 2-0 loss to Blackburn. He came on in the 66th minute replacing midfielder Sylvain Legwinski to give Fulham three forwards in their attack. McBride played his usual game getting to every 50-50 ball and fighting for every loose ball. He was able to get a couple of shots on fellow national teamer Brad Friedel who equal to the task on both occasions .

Notes of Interest: Brian has scored 2 goals in his career against fellow Yank Kasey Keller.

Conor Casey #21 (Fsv Mainz) – The young American has appeared in 14 of the 15 league games played by Mainz. He has made 8 starts including his current streak of 5 in a row. Casey has been paired up front with another youngster in 23-year old Benjamin Auer. Conor scored his only Bundesliga goal on October 30th in a wild 4-3 loss to Vfl Wolfsburg. He also has picked up 2 yellow cards in his 13 appearances. Conor has also appeared in 2 German Cup matches (both starts) including a memorable win at Vfr Ahlen where Conor scored twice in a 5-2 victory. Mainz was eliminated from the tournament in the second round by Conor’s former club Karlsruhe. Casey has made 2 appearances for the national side with starts against El Salvador and in Panama. He has collected one yellow card in international play.

Conor has made a solid contribution to the recently promoted side as they sit 7th in the Bundesliga with 22 points from 15 games. The are 10 points behind leaders Bayern Munich in a four-way tie for 7th place. Of those teams they have the worst goal differential at zero. Mainz will play two more games with away to Kaiserslautern on December 5th and at home against Tony Sanneh’s former club FC Nurnberg on the 11th before the Bundesliga goes on it’s winter break.

Conor started in the debacle at Bayern Munich (A 4-2 loss). He was substituted out in the 77th minute for Ranislav Jovanovic with Mainz down 3-0.

Notes of Interest: Conor got his 5th & 6th caps for the national side this past September in starts against El Salvador (9/4) and at Panama (9/8).

Kenny Cooper #37 (Academica) – Kenny continues on loan at Academica. Kenny has played in 9 of Academica’s 12 matches including 3 starts. He has picked up one yellow card so far this season. He has however not played in either of the previous 3 games despite being on the bench.

Academica sit 13th in the table with 11 points from 12 games. They are now 12 points behind leaders Boavista. Their 11 goals scored are the 3rd lowest in the Superliga. With the club is currently languishing at the bottom half of the table and having trouble scoring goals, I'd expect Kenny to get another shot in the lineup. He has made the matchday squad for each of their games so that's a good sign. I can't believe that the folks at ManU (Carlos Queiroz) can be happy that Academica is not using Kenny. However, training with the first team should allow Kenny to improve his game.

Notes of Interest: Kenny scored in his final reserve league appearance for Manchester United against Nottingham Forest (8/12).
November 28, 2004 Asif Ali


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