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SOCCER ROUNDUP

Eskandarian Hurts Ankle, Is Questionable for Match

Thursday, August 26, 2004; Page D02

Alecko Eskandarian, D.C. United's co-leader in goals with seven, injured his left ankle in practice yesterday and is questionable for Saturday's match at New England.

Eskandarian, a second-year forward who is tied with Jaime Moreno in scoring, got hurt when he jumped over a tackle and landed awkwardly. He was taken to see a team doctor. X-rays were negative, but club officials said they will further evaluate the injury today.


Alecko Eskandarian (Jonathan Newton -- The Washington Post)

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"We'll see how he responds," United technical director Dave Kasper said. "We'll check his range of motion and monitor the swelling."

If Eskandarian is unable to play, rookie Freddy Adu could join Moreno on the frontline. Adu (three goals) has started in midfield the previous three matches. Three forwards remain out with long-term injuries.

Last weekend, Eskandarian scored on a 25-yard shot for United's first goal during a 2-2 tie at Columbus.

-- Steven Goff

Arsenal Sets Record

Arsenal extended its league unbeaten streak to 43 games, a record for England's top division, with a 3-0 victory over Blackburn.

Thierry Henry beat American goalkeeper Brad Friedel in the 50th minute off a cross from Dennis Bergkamp, then set up goals by Gilberto Silva in the 58th and Jose Antonio Reyes in the 79th. Henry has scored 34 of the Gunners' 95 goals during the streak. The previous record of 42 games was set by Nottingham Forest in 1977-78 and 1978-79.

Arsenal, which leads the Premier League with a 3-0 record on goal difference over Chelsea, went 26-0-12 last season, the first team in the top division to go unbeaten since Preston North End in 1888-89. . . .

Manchester United is trying to acquire star forward Wayne Rooney from Everton.

Rooney, 18, scored four goals for England at this year's European Championship. The bid is believed to be worth about $35 million, the Press Association reported.

"He's not the finished article yet, but we've got experience of bringing young players to the club and bringing them on," Manchester United Manager Alex Ferguson told the team's television network, MUTV.

United said it had not received a response from Everton. The PA reported the offer was rejected, as was an earlier bid by Newcastle.

Rooney is recovering from a broken right foot, an injury suffered in the Euro quarterfinal loss to Portugal. . . .

Manchester United, Juventus and Real Madrid advanced to the first round of the European Champions League, and American midfielder DaMarcus Beasley scored to help PSV Eindhoven qualify.

Manchester United, starting two Americans for the first time in its history, beat visiting Dinamo Bucharest, 3-0, on two goals by AlanSmith and one by David Bellion to advance from the third qualifying round.

Manchester United, which won the home-and-home, total-goals series 5-1, had Tim Howard in goal and also started Jonathan Spector, an 18-year-old defender from Arlington Heights, Ill. Spector had appeared just once previously, as a substitute Aug. 8 in the Community Shield, a 3-1 loss to Arsenal.

-- From News Services


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