Canadian Exports: Pozniak sees more minutes in Norway
Playing time has been hard to come by for former Toronto FC and Chivas USA defender Chris Pozniak. In his third season playing for Haugesund in Norway’s top-flight Eliteserien, Pozniak (above) had a regular spot riding the bench for most of the season but is finally now getting minutes.
Last Wednesday, Pozniak (above) came on as a late substitute as Haugesund beat Odd Grenland 2-0 on the fourth round of the Norwegian Cup competition, the NM Cupen.
Haugesund came up against Grenland again on Sunday, this time in league action, and Pozniak started and played a little more than an hour as Haugesund couldn’t beat Grenland a second time, losing 2-1.
Still in Norway, goalkeeper Lars Hirschfeld finally got some offensive support. Hirshfeld kept his second consecutive clean sheet on Sunday and had his team score twice in a 2-0 victory over Sandnes Ulf. It was Valerenga’s first league win in six games and bumped them up to seventh place on 18 points.
Over in Finland, forward Ryan O’Neill saw Europa League qualifying action with club team Myllykosken Pallo. On Thursday, MyPa picked up a first-leg 0-0 draw with Welsh side Cefn Druids. The second leg is scheduled for Thursday.
O’Neill then scored in MyPa’s 1-1 draw with KuPS in league play on Sunday.
For the second week in a row, defender Mason Trafford’s Mariehamn missed a chance to move into first place in the Finnish Veikkausliiga.
This past Saturday, Trafford played the entire game as Mariehamn could only muster a scoreless draw with VPS. Mariehamn slipped to third on goal difference behind Inter Turku but are just a single point back of first place HJK with a game in hand.
Meanwhile, forward Frank Jonke continues to help FF Jaro in their fight to get out of relegation danger.
Jaro picked up four points in two games this past week with Jonke scoring in both games.
Jaro picked up a point with a 2-2 draw with HJK last Thursday. Jonke opened the scoring in that game and also scored the only goal as Jaro beat Haka 1-0 on Saturday. Jonke has scored three goals in five games since joining Jaro and in that span his club has picked up half of their 16 points this season.
Three Canadians saw action down a league in the Finnish Kakkonen and one in particular had a week to remember.
Midfielder Massimo Mirabelli scored twice as his team EIF registered a staggering 17-0 win over LoPa on Saturday.
Earlier in the week, midfielder Kennedy Owusu-Ansah’s SalPa also played against LoPa and managed a more reasonable 2-0 on Wednesday.
Defender Richard Thompson played twice last week played the entire game as his VIFK side dropped a 4-1 game to Narpes Kraft.
In the Swedish Division one, the third-highest league in the country, defender Jamaal Smith played Monday as his team Syrianska IF moved out of the relegation zone with a 3-2 win over Sirius. Syrianska are in 11th place in the 14-team league.