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Monday, June 6, 2011
EUROPE: Movsisyan, Armenia eye growing gulf

By By Scott French

Pasadena's Yura Movsisyan was back on the field for Armenia's national team Saturday, but he couldn't provide the influence he'd hoped to. The Highlanders' Euro 2012 hopes took a blow in a 3-1 loss to Russia in St. Petersburg.

Roman Pavlyuchenko's hat trick followed Marcos Pizzelli's opener for Armenia (2-2-2), which dropped from striking to five points behind Group B's big three in qualifying for next year's European Championship.

Movsisyan, who played at Pasadena High School and Pasadena City College before heading to Major League Soccer as a first-round draft pick, made his seventh international appearance since committing to Armenia's national team last summer. The striker was one of two Highlanders based in Russia, where he plays for Krasnodar.

Russia, Ireland and Slovakia (all 4-1-1) have a significant advantage with four games to play, and fourth-place Armenia have away games left with the Slovaks (on Sept. 6) and Ireland (in an Oct. 11 group finale).

The group winner qualifies for Euro 2012, which will be played in Poland and Ukraine. One of nine group runners-up qualifies and the others are drawn into home-and-home playoffs for four more berths.

D CARLOS BOCANEGRA (Alta Loma/UCLA)
Club:
Saint-Etienne (France, Ligue 1)
Season: 34 league games (34 starts) with 2 goals, 36 games (36 starts) with 2 goals in all competitions
Club finish: 12-13-13 (10th place)
Snap judgment: U.S. national team captain quietly puts together a solid season, missing only five league matches (through injury) and going the full 90 in all but two others
M MICHAEL BRADLEY (Manhattan Beach)
Clubs:
Aston Villa (England, Premier League) and Borussia Moenchengladbach (Germany, Bundesliga)
Season: 3 league games (0 start), 4 games (1 start) in all competitions for Aston Villa; 19 league games (17 starts) with 3 goals, 22 games (20 starts) with 4 goals in all competitions for Borussia Moenchengladbach (Germany)
Club finishes: Aston Villa -- 12-14-12 (ninth place); Borussia Moenchengladbach -- 10-18-6 (16th place), won promotion/relegation playoff
Snap judgment: One of very few good things at 'Gladbach, Bradley fails to see much time after a late-January loan deal to Villa

M/D JAY DENNY (Santa Monica)
Club:
Hednesford Town (England, Southern League Premier Division)
Season: 42 league games (42 starts) with 1 goal, 54 games (53 starts) with 2 goals in all competitions
Club finish: 26-9-5 (second place, promotion-playoff finalists), Southern League Cup champion
Snap judgment: Diligent midfield contributor enjoys the spoils of a strong season that closes in disappointment

M MAURICE EDU (Fontana)
Club:
Rangers FC (Scotland, Premier League)
Season: 33 league games (27 starts) with 2 goals, 47 games (40 starts) with 5 goals in all competitions
Club finish: 30-5-3 (champion), Scottish League Cup champion Europa League round of 16
Snap judgment: Roller-coaster year of great performances, injury and wavering form ends with trophies

M BENNY FEILHABER (Irvine/UCLA)
Club:
AGF Aarhus (Denmark, 1.Division)
Season: 17 league games (16 starts) with 4 goals, 20 games (18 starts) with 7 goals in all competitions
Club finish: 22-2-6 (champion)
Snap judgment: A chief architect of Aarhus' run to promotion to the top-tier SAS-Ligaen, but he's gone before the celebrations begin, transferring to the New England Revolution in April

G BRAD FRIEDEL (Bay Village, Ohio/UCLA)
Club:
Aston Villa (England, Premier Division)
Season: 38 league games (38 starts), 60 goals allowed, 113 saves, 7 shutouts; 43 games (43 starts), 72 goals allowed, 132 saves, 7 shutouts in all competitions
Club finish: 12-14-12 (ninth place)
Snap judgment: Superb campaign confirms the former U.S. national-teamer among the EPL's best netminders, leads to Tottenham move

M SACHA KLJESTAN (Huntington Beach)
Club:
RSC Anderlecht (Belgium, Jupiler League)
Season: 25 league games (20 starts) with 2 goals, 33 games (28 starts) with 3 goals in all competitions
Club finish: 22-8-10 (third place), Europa League round of 32
Snap judgment: Summer move from Chivas USA produces ups and downs, with a solid finish individually (if a poor one for the club)

D DALLAS MOORE (Santa Monica)
Clubs:
St. Neots Town FC (England, UCL Premier Division) and Halesowen Town (England, Southern League Premier Division)
Season: 16 league games (16 starts) with 2 goals, 20 games (20 starts) with 2 goals in all competitions for St. Neots Town; 13 league games (13 starts) with 1 goal for Halesowen Town (England)
Club finishes: St. Neots Town -- 33-1-6 (champion), Huntingdonshire Senior Cup champion; Halesowen Town -- 5-26-9 (21st place, relegated)
Snap judgment: Injury-marred fall/winter and Halesowen's struggles prompt move to St. Neots, where center back flourishes in championship setting

F YURA MOVSISYAN (Pasadena/Pasadena City College)
Clubs:
Randers (Denmark, SAS-Ligaen) and FC Krasnodar (Russia, Russian Premier League)
Season: 17 league games (15 starts) with five goals, 25 games (20 starts) with 14 goals for Randers; season at Krasnodar ongoing
Club finish: Randers -- 6-11-16 (11th place, relegated); Krasnodar -- on spring-to-fall schedule
Snap judgment: Consistent scoring success paves path for winter-break move to superior Russian league

F MATT TAYLOR (Irvine/UCLA)
Clubs:
Rot Weiss Ahlen (Germany, 3. Bundesliga) and FSV Frankfurt (Germany, 2. Bundesliga)
Season: RWA -- 30 league games (30 starts) with 17 goals, 31 games (31 starts) with 17 goals in all competitions; FSV -- did not play
Club finish: RWA -- 11-18-9 (17th place)
Snap judgment: Stunning campaign, with three- and four-game scoring streaks, four multigoal games and dramatic survival at the finish

F BOBBY WOOD (Irvine)
Club:
TSV 1860 Munich (Germany, 2. Bundesliga)
Season: 5 league games (0 starts), 23 games (14 starts) with 7 goals with all 1860 sides
Club finish: 14-10-10 (10th place)
Snap judgment: Superb showings for 1860's U-19 and U-23 teams (with seven goals in 18 games, is rewarded with promotion to the first team