Canadian Exports: Hutchinson looks to rack up silverware
If this does turn out to be Atiba Hutchinson’s final year with PSV Eindhoven, it’s shaping up to be a memorable swansong.
Hutchinson (above), whose contract with the Dutch powerhouse ends at the end of the season, is on course for multiple trophies at club level, with PSV very much in the running for league and cup success.
The 29-year-old made his 100th appearance for PSV last week and went the full 90 minutes in a 2-1 win over Feyenoord in the KNVB Cup. They’ll take on PEC Zwolle in the semifinals.
PSV then followed up the cup win with a 7-0 thumping of ADO Den Haag last Saturday. Hutchinson was involved in two of the goals and PSV now have open up space at the top of the Eredivisie – they sit in first place on 46 points and have a three-point gap over Ajax.
Hutchinson isn't the only Canadian abroad eyeing a trophy haul, as goalkeeper Milan Borjan and his club Sivasspor are making a cup at the Turkish Cup.
Borjan kept a clean sheet on Wednesday as Sivasspor played powerhouse Fenerbahçe to a 0-0 draw, allowing to move on to the semifinals, where they will face a yet-to-be-revealed oppopnent in a two-legged series.
Sivasspor and Fenerbahçe then met again on Sunday, this time in the league, and Borjan was between the sticks again as Sivasspor won 2-1 to move up to 11th place in the 18-team Süper Lig.
In Germany, midfielder Julian de Guzman may be wondering what he’s gotten himself into after recently signing for Jahn Regensburg in the second division. The former Toronto FC and FC Dallas man played the full 90 minutes and picked up a yellow card as Regensburg were soundly beaten 5-1 by Hertha Berlin.
Regensburg are in 18th and last place in the 2. Bundesliga with just 13 points from 20 games this season and sit a worrying eight points from guaranteed safety.
To say Rob Friend has had a hard go of things lately would be something of an understatement, but things may just be looking up for the man recently linked to the Vancouver Whitecaps.
After joining Eintracht Frankfurt in 2011, Friend saw playing time diminish to the point where he did not see any league action in the first half of the 2012-13 season. However, he recently sealed a move on loan to 1860 Munich in the 2.Bundesliga and made his debut on Monday in the team’s 1-0 loss to Kaiserslautern that saw them drop to ninth in the standings.
Olivier Occéan, on the other hand, is stilly very much a part of the Frankfurt team, though he was forced to make do watching from the bench as the Bundesliga surprise package topped Hamburg 2-0 to maintain a tight grip on fourth place.
Back in the 2.Bundesliga, Kevin McKenna and FC Köln climbed to eighth place thanks to a stoppage-time winner over Erzgebirge Aue that extended their unbeaten run to seven games.
In England, David Edgar and Burnley missed an opportunity to close the gap on the promotion playoff places in the English Championship. With Middlesborough struggling and holding onto the last playoff spot in sixth place, Burnley could only manage to stay in seventh with a 2-2 draw against Peterborough United on Saturday, with Edgar coming off the bench in the 53rd minute.
Down in League One, Marcus Haber scored his fifth goal of the season for Stevenage on Tuesday in their 2-0 win over Notts County.
The Vancouver native came off the bench in the 69th minute and scored with a header in the 89th in a win that moved Stevenage into a tie for 10th place with four other clubs, though they also hold at least a game in hand on all but one of the clubs above them.
In Cyprus, Issey Nakajima-Farran’s Alki are building some breathing space from the relegation zone thanks to a three-game unbeaten run. Nakajima-Farran played 58 minutes on Saturday in Alki’s 4-1 win over Paphos, the team's first league win since Dec. 9.
Further up the table, Mike Klukowski played the full 90 minutes on Saturday as APOEL picked up their second win in a row, a 2-0 result against Nea Salamis, to keep their title push alive. APOEL remain in second place, six points back of first-placed Anorthosis.
In Portugal, Pedro Pacheco and Santa Clara haven’t won in five games in the Liga de Honra and have fallen to ninth in the table. Pacheco played the entire game on Sunday as Santa Clara tied Desportivo Aves 2-2.