Canadian Exports: Occean regains his scoring touch
After a scorching start to the 2.Bundesliga season, the ease with which Olivier Occean was finding the back of the net fell off considerably.
Although he was no longer on the goal-per-game pace from the first month of the season, the big Quebec native was still active in SpVgg Greuther Fürth’s offense during his mini-drought, drawing the attention of defenders and frequently setting up strike partner Christopher Nöthe.
This past Saturday, Greuther Fürth maintained their position atop the league standing, and – perhaps more importantly – they did so by relying on their prized offseason signing, as Occean scored the first goal and set up the second in a 2-0 win at FC Energie Cottbus.
Occean followed up on his good league performance with a goal in the DFB Pokal on Tuesday, notching a first-half goal as Fürth thrashed SC Paderborn 4-0.
Defender Adam Straith also took part in Saturday’s league match between Greuther Fürth and Cottbus, going 90 minutes for the losing side and picking up a second-half yellow card.
Also seeing league action was striker Rob Friend, who subbed in at the 76th minute for two-goal scorer Erwin Hoffer in Eintracht Frankfurt’s 3-0 victory over MSV Duisburg in the 2.Bundesliga over the weekend.
Up in Germany’s top division, a pair of injured Canuck defenders missed their teams' respective matches.
Kevin McKenna may be thankful to have sat out FC Köln’s weekend fixture, as the side got destroyed 5-0 at Borussia Dortmund.
Fellow backliner Marcel De Jong was the other Canadian to sit out his Bundesliga team’s matches, missing FC Augsburg’s 1-1 league draw with Werder Bremen on Friday as well as Augsburg’s 1-0 midweek win over Red Bull Leipzig in the German Cup.
Over in England, Simeon Jackson still can’t get off the bench for Norwich City, and he watched the Canaries grab a big 1-1 draw at Liverpool on Saturday.
Elsewhere in the Premiership, David “Junior” Hoilett went 90 minutes for Blackburn Rovers in their 2-1 loss to visiting Tottenham Hotspur. Only nine games into the season, Blackburn are in dead last and are a good bet for relegation.
In the Championship, David Edgar continued his run of appearances for Burnley, going the full match and picking up a 72nd-minute caution in a 2-1 win over hosts Coventry City.
Down a division in League One, Jaime Peters was in the starting lineup as his side AFC Bournemouth fell 2-1 to Bury on Saturday. He followed that up with 90 minutes on Tuesday, a 1-1 draw with Colchester United.
Striker Iain Hume also featured in the English third tier over the past week, going 69 minutes in Preston North End’s 3-1 loss to Huddersfield Town on the weekend. Hume did not play in PNE’s 3-2 loss to Oldham Athletic.
Up in Scotland’s Premier League, young attacker Marcus Haber started and played just more than an hour for St. Johnstone in a scoreless draw at Dundee United.
Back on the continent, Mike Klukowski was the lone Canadian to play in Turkey’s Süper Lig this past weekend, going the distance for Manisaspor in their 2-0 win at Eskişehirspor. Teammate Josh Simpson was serving the final match of his suspension stemming from a red card earned earlier this month.
Goalkeeper Milan Borjan watched from the Sivasspor bench as his club were routed 6-2 by Kayserispor. Borjan had lost his starting spot after an early-season suspension followed by a minor knee injury.
To the north in Denmark, Patrice Bernier logged 90 minutes for Lyngby BK and was shown a late yellow card in Lygnby’s 1-1 draw with AGF. The match was Bernier’s seventh straight appearance after returning to fitness from a broken leg.
In nearby Norway, Haugesund defeated Odd Grenland 1-0 in Tippeligaen play, with Chris Pozniak seeing the full 90 minutes for the winning side.
Meanwhile, Lars Hirschfeld was in goal for third-place Vålerenga, who fell 2-1 to Aalesund on Monday night.
Over in Finland’s Veikkausliiga, goalkeeper Tomer Chencinski allowed a 64th-minute goal as his VPS dropped a 1-0 decision to Honka.
Riley O’Neill’s MyPa were easily felled 4-1 by table toppers HJK on Saturday, with O’Neill playing the entire game.
Saturday also saw Mason Trafford and Luca Bellisomo face off against Frank Jonke, as IFK Mariehamn edged visiting Inter Turku 1-0. Bellisomo played 90 for Mariehamn, while Trafford (68 minutes for Mariehamn) and Jonke (45 minutes for Inter Turku) were mid-match substitutions.
On the other side of the world, Issey Nakajima-Farran played the first hour of Brisbane Roar’s 3-0 victory over Gold Coast United in Australia’s A-League. Nakajima-Farran has featured in all three of Brisbane’s matches so far in the young A-League campaign.