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Monday, December 27, 2010
EUROPE: Maurice Edu return on hold -- for Celtic?

By Scott French

Rangers FC finally got a game in, after four postponements because of horrid winter weather, but something was missing from the Scottish champions' 4-1 Boxing Day romp at Motherwell.

Maurice Edu.

The central midfielder from Fontana, out since sustaining a knee injury Nov. 10, had been pegged by manager Walter Smith to make his return in the traditional post-Christmas match. He wasn't deemed fit enough to make the bench.

Rangers assistant coach Ally McCoist, the former Blues striker, told The Herald Scotland that Edu ought to be ready for the Jan. 2 showdown with Old Firm rival Celtic.

Rangers (13-1-2), which leads Celtic (12-2-3) by two points atop the Scottish Premier League standings, first has a date Wednesday at St. Johnstone.

ETC: Carlos Bocanegra's Saint-Etienne ran its unbeaten streak to seven games with a 1-1 draw with first-place Lille and head into a brief winter break in sixth place, three points off the pace. … One game left for Sacha Kljestan's RSC Anderlecht before winter break, but Les Mauves (14-2-5) are assured the top spot heading into next year. They routed Lierse SK, 6-0, on Sunday. … Michael Bradley's Borussia Moenchengladbach's hopes for a trophy died with a 2-0 loss at Hoffenheim in the German Cup round of 16. … Brad Friedel's Aston Villa lost for the fifth time in six games, falling to 10-man Tottenham, 2-1, as Rafael van der Vaart scored twice.

D CARLOS BOCANEGRA (Alta Loma/UCLA)
Club:
Saint-Etienne (France, Ligue 1)
Last week: 90 minutes as Les Verts (7-4-8) rallied for a 1-1 draw Wednesday with first-place Lille
Season: 15 league games (15 starts) with 1 goal, 16 games (16 starts) with 1 goal in all competitions
Next: Jan. 8 vs. Ligue 2 side Clermont in the ninth round of the Coupe de France

M MICHAEL BRADLEY (Manhattan Beach)
Club:
Borussia Moenchengladbach (Germany, Bundesliga)
Last week: 90 minutes as Die Fohlen was eliminated from the German Cup with a 2-0 round-of-16 loss Tuesday at Hoffenheim
Season: 3 German Cup games (3 starts) with 1 goal; 20 games (20 starts) with 4 goals in all competitions
Next: Jan. 15 at 11th-place Nurembeg (6-7-4)

D JAY DENNY (Santa Monica)
Club:
Hednesford Town (England, Southern League Premier Division)
Last week: Tuesday's Birmingham Senior Cup at Boldmere St. Michaels was postponed (for the fourth time) because of poor weather; Monday's game vs. Halesowen Town was postponed because the field was frozen
Season: 19 league games (17 starts), 23 games (20 starts) with 1 goal in all competitions
Next: Monday at fifth-place Leamington (9-4-4)

M MAURICE EDU (Fontana)
Club:
Rangers FC (Scotland, Premier Division)
Last week: Tuesday's game at Dundee United was postponed because of sub-freezing weather; did not suit up for as first-place Blues (13-1-2) won, 4-1, Sunday at Motherwell
Season: 12 league games (10 starts) with 1 goal, 17 games (15 starts) with 2 goals in all competitions
Next: Wednesday at eighth-place St. Johnstone (5-9-3), Sunday vs. second-place Celtic (12-2-3)

M BENNY FEILHABER (Irvine/UCLA)
Club:
AGF Aarhus (Denmark, 1.Division)
Last week: League is on winter break
Season: 14 league games (14 starts) with 4 goals, 17 games (16 starts) overall with 7 goals
Next: March 20 vs. Hobro (5-7-3)

G BRAD FRIEDEL (Bay Village, Ohio/UCLA)
Club:
Aston Villa (England, Premier Division)
Last week: 90 minutes, with two saves, as the Villans (5-8-5) dropped to 15th with a 2-1 loss Sunday to visiting Tottenham
Season: 18 league games (18 starts), 30 goals allowed, 58 saves, 4 shutouts; 20 games (20 starts), 33 goals allowed, 65 saves, 4 shutouts in all competitions
Next: Tuesday at second-place Manchester City (10-4-5), Sunday at fourth-place Chelsea (9-4-4)

M SACHA KLJESTAN (Huntington Beach)
Club:
RSC Anderlecht (Belgium, Jupiler League)
Last week: Started, played 78 minutes Sunday as first place Mauves et Blancs (14-2-5) routed Lierse SK, 6-0
Season: 13 league games (10 starts) with 2 goals, 21 games (18 starts) with 3 goals in all competitions
Next: Wednesday at seventh-place KV Kortrijk (9-7-3)

D DALLAS MOORE (Santa Monica)
Club:
Halesowen Town FC (England, Southern League Premier Division)
Last week: Monday's game at Hednesford Town was postponed because the field was frozen
Season: 13 league games (13 starts) with 1 goal
Next: Monday vs. seventh-place Stourbridge (8-5-6)

F YURA MOVSISYAN (Pasadena/Pasadena City College)
Club:
Randers (Denmark, SAS-Ligaen/Superliga)
Last week: League is on winter break
Season: 17 league games (15 starts) with 5 goals, 25 games (20 starts) with 14 goals in all competitions
Next: March 6 vs. ninth-place Nordsjaelland (6-9-4)

F MATT TAYLOR (Irvine/UCLA)
Club:
Rot Weiss Ahlen (Germany, 3. Bundesliga)
Last week: League is on winter break
Season: 11 league games (11 starts) with 7 goals, 1 cup game (1 start), 12 games (12 starts) with 7 goals in all competitions
Next: Jan. 22 at last-place Werder Bremen II (3-9-7)