Tuesday, August 2, 2011
EUROPE: Edu, Rangers at risk in CL
By Scott French
Ally McCoist finally notched his first victory as Rangers FC's manager, but it arrived four days late.
The reigning Scottish champions, with Fontana's Maurice Edu in midfield, bounced back from a startling draw in their Premier League opener to swat St. Johnstone, 2-0, on Saturday, the first triumph for the club's former star striker in three competitive games since taking over for retired Walter Smith.
He needed a win last Tuesday in the Blues' home leg of their qualifying series with Sweden's Malmö FC in the UEFA Champions League, the biggest of all club competitions -- bigger, yes, than even the Club World Cup that the victor qualifies for.
A 1-0 defeat, on Daniel Larsson's 18th-minute goal, has the Glasgow giant on the verge of elimination just as its campaign is starting. They'll require a victory -- by two goals or with two or more goals -- Wednesday in Sweden to move on to the playoff round, the final phase before group play.
WORTH NOTING: Irvine's Matt Taylor enjoyed a most fruitful return to Rot Weiss Ahlen, the third-division German club for which he starred last season. The former Chivas USA striker netted a hat trick -- goals in the 30th, 71st and 83rd minutes -- as second-tier SC Paderborn 07 destroyed the Red-Whites, 10-0, in a German Cup opener. ... Pasadena's Yura Movsisyan missed a first-half penalty kick, and Krasnodar settled for a 1-1 draw with Russian Premier League leader CSKA Moscow.
AREA PLAYERS IN EUROPE
M MAURICE EDU (Fontana)
Club: Rangers FC (Scotland, Premier League)
Last week: 90 minutes in a 1-0 loss Tuesday vs. Malmö FC (Sweden) in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League's third qualifying round; started, played 82 minutes as the Blues (1-0-1) posted a 2-0 victory Saturday at St. Johnstone
Season: 2 league games (2 starts); 1 UEFA game (1 start); 3 games (3 starts) in all competitions
Next: Wednesday at Malmö FC (Sweden) in the second leg of the UEFA Champions League's third qualifying round; Saturday, Aug. 13, at last-place Inverness Caledonian Thistle (0-2-0)
F YURA MOVSISYAN (Pasadena/Pasadena City College)
Club: FC Krasnodar (Russia, Russian Premier League)
Last week: 90 minutes, missing a 32nd-minute penalty kick, as the ninth-place Bulls (5-5-8) tied, 1-1, Sunday vs. first-place CSKA Moscow
Season: 13 league games (8 starts) with 4 goals, 14 games (8 starts) with 4 goals in all competitions
Next: Sunday at 11th-place FK Ambar Perm'.
F MATT TAYLOR (Irvine/UCLA)
Club: SC Paderborn 07 (Germany, 2.Bundesliga)
Last week: 90 minutes, scored three goals in 10-0 victory Saturday at Rot Weiss Ahlen in the first round of the German Cup
Season: 1 cup game (1 start) with 3 goals; 3 games (1 start) with 4 goals in all competitions
Next: Friday at 15th-place Union Berlin (0-1-1)
F BOBBY WOOD (Irvine)
Club: TSV 1860 Munich (Germany, 2.Bundesliga)
Last week: Was on the 18-man roster but did not play in a 3-2 overtime victory Friday at Osnabrück in the first round of the German Cup
Season: 0 games
Next: Saturday at second-place Energie Cottbus (2-0-0)