Canadian Exports: Julian de Guzman in Europa League qualifying battle with Skoda Xanthi
The Greek season isn’t yet underway, but Julian de Guzman made his debut for new club Skoda Xanthi in Europa League qualifying last week. The former Toronto FC and FC Dallas midfielder came on in the 56th minute in a third qualifying-round first leg-game against Standard Liege, but his Greek side fell 2-1. The second leg is in Belgium on Thursday.
Meanwhile, It was a memorable opening week to the new season for Iain Hume, who is back with Preston North End after his one-year loan deal with Doncaster Rovers. The forward came on with just a few minutes remaining this past Saturday after PNE got a point to start their new League One campaign with a scoreless draw against Wolves.
But just two days later, Hume was in the starting lineup and played 81 minutes as Preston pulled off a shock upset in the first round of the Capital One Cup with a 1-0 win over Championship side Blackpool.
Despite issuing a transfer request a few weeks back, Marcus Haber is still a member of Stevenage and he came off the bench on Saturday in their League One opener. Haber came on in the 59th minute as Stevenage lost 4-3 to Oldham Athletic. On Tuesday, Stevenage pulled off a Capital One Cup shock off their own. Haber was on in the 72nd minute as "The Boro" pulled off a 2-0 win over Championship side Ipswich Town.
Up in the Championship, Junior Hoilett is still with Queens Park Rangers after their relegation last season. He started and lasted 88 minutes on Saturday as QPR started their season with a 2-1 win over Sheffield Wednesday. He lasted the full 90 minutes on Tuesday in the Capital One Cup as QPR knocked off League Two side Exeter City 2-0.
David Edgar also saw league and League Cup action off the bench this week. The defender saw an 89th-minute cameo on Saturday for Burnley FC in their 1-1 draw with Bolton and followed that up on Tuesday coming on in the 70th minute in Burnley’s 4-0 win over York City out of League Two.
In Germany, Olivier Occean scored his first two goals since joining FC Kaiserslautern as they had an easy entry into the DfB Pokal Cup. Occean scored twice as Kaiserslautern beat Neckarsulmer Sport Union 7-0 on Saturday.
Rob Friend’s 1860 Munich are also through in the Cup as they needed penalties to beat Heidenheim. Friend came on in the 75th minute as the game went to extra time tied 1-1, but 1860 went onto win 4-3 on penalties.
Also involved in DfB-Pokal action was defender Andre Hainault. Like his compatriots, he and his club are also through to the next round. The former Houston Dynamo defender came in the 78th minute on Saturday as Aalen were 2-0 victors over 1860 Rosenheim.
In Sweden, there is possibly no hotter team than AIK with goalkeeper Kenny Stamatopoulos. It’s now four wins in a row for as they were 2-1 winners over Elfsborg on Saturday. AIK are now tied for second place in the Allsvenskan with 35 points and are just two points back of leaders Helsingborg.
Down in the Superettan, Nik Ledgerwood’s Hammarby were 1-0 losers to Ljungskile as their lack of scoring resurfaced. Ledgerwood started and played 58 minutes as Hammarby are in seventh place.
In Finland, Frank Jonke’s Jaro remain in fourth place in the Veikkausliiga after they played RoPS to a scoreless draw on Saturday. Jonke played the full 90 minutes and Jaro have 32 points in 22 games and are just a single point out of third.
Two spots below lies Roger Thompson and Mariehamn, who played third-place VPS to a 2-2 draw on Sunday. Thompson played the whole game.
Down a league in the Ykkonen, goalkeeper David Monsalve saw action in a pair of games for Oulu. Last Thursday, Oulu were on the losing end of a 6-1 thumping at the hands of Ilves but they rebounded on Sunday with a 1-0 win over PK-35 Vantaa. Oulu are in fifth place.
Off the field, there was just one Canadian player on the move. Defender Adam Straith is headed back to Germany after he signed a one-year deal with Wehen Wiesbaden in Germany’s 3.Liga. He spent last season at FC Saarbrucken.