Canadian Exports: Hirschfeld gets SO, Trafford near top
It's been nearly two months since Lars Hirschfeld conceded more than one goal in a game, yet his efforts between the posts for Vålerenga have all too often gone unrewarded.
It was the same old story on Monday, as he picked up a clean sheet, only to get no support on the other end as his side could only muster a 0-0 draw with Aalesund in Norway.
Vålerenga are winless in five straight Eliteserien games and have fallen to 10th in the table with 15 points through 12 games this season.
To the east, the Finnish Veikkausliiga is nearing its halfway point, and one Canadian export is helping his team make some noise near the top of the table.
Defender and Vancouver Whitecaps residency product Mason Trafford has been a member of IFK Mariehamn since 2010 and hasn’t missed a minute of action this season as his club close in on the top spot and a potential UEFA Champions League berth.
This past week, Mariehamn missed a golden opportunity to vault ahead of HJK into first place. Last Thursday, they picked up a 1-0 win over Haka, but with top spot within reach, they could only score a late equalizer to salvage a late 2-2 draw with Honka on Tuesday.
With the single point gained, Mariehamn sit just two points back of HJK but do hold a game in hand.
Still in Finland, forward Frank Jonke is now four games into his spell with Jaro as they try to get out of the relegation zone.
On Thursday, Jonke opened the scoring with his second goal in four games since joining Jaro as they picked up a point against table-toppers HJK.
The third member of the Canadian trio playing in Finland’s top-flight also had a good week. On Thursday, forward Ryan O’Neill scored his second goal of the season for his club MyPa as they thumped Inter Turku 4-0. MyPa sit in fifth in the standings with 24 points.
Moving on to Sweden, defender Jamaal Smith continues the fight with his teammates to get Syrianska IF out of the relegation zone in the Division 1 Norra, Sweden's third division.
Smith played the full 90 minutes as Syrianska came back from a goal down to beat IFK Luleå 3-2. It was an important win as Syrianska are now out of the relegation zone, level on points with Lulea for 11th place.
Back in Finland, midfielder Kenney Owusu-Ansah got some action on Saturday for SalPa in the third division Kakkonen. Owusu-Ansah played the full 90 minutes in SalPa’s 2-1 loss to FC Espoo, leaving SalPa in fourth place in the Kakkonen table.
Heading over to Singapore, forward Jordan Webb continued his fine season with Hougang United.
On Tuesday, Webb scored his team’s first goal as they beat Gombak United 2-1 in the quarterfinal of the Singapore Cup. Webb now has eight goals in all competitions for Hougang this season.