Canadian Exports: Kevin McKenna completes comeback, Olivier Occean sees late action
It was only a few minutes of play, but for Kevin McKenna, it was a very special few minutes.
His 89th-minute appearance for FC Köln on Monday capped a 10-month journey that began last May when he found out he’d need potentially career-ending knee surgery. The 34-year-old defender – who has captained Canada for many of his 63 national-team appearances – decided he wasn’t going to go out like that, with his substitution on Monday being the culmination of those efforts.
It’s unknown how much time McKenna has left. But it looks like, he’s hoping, he’ll be able to go out on his own terms.
Olivier Occean also got into that 2.Bundesliga game late – on the other side of the ball, for Kaiserslautern, in what ended up a 0-0 draw.
Michael Petrasso played what was likely his last game on loan at Coventry City, going 58 minutes in Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Port Vale. But the 18-year-old, who has already scored for three different teams in England this season, could be sticking around, as Coventry is hoping to extend his loan until season’s end.
Goalkeeper Julian Latendresse-Levesque, making his second start for Lokomotive Leipzig, notched his second straight clean sheet in a 0-0 draw with Bak ’07 on Sunday, while fellow 'keeper Roberto Stillo was forced into action for Perugia in the 72nd minute on Sunday after starter Jan Koprivec was sent off. Stillo, like JLL, held the opposition off the score sheet in a 0-0 draw against L'Aquila in Italy’s third tier.
Dejan Jakovic continued settling in at Shimizu S-Pulse in Japan, going the full 90 for the second straight week in a 4-1 loss to Cerezo Osaka on Saturday.
Fellow defender Andre Hainault went 69 minutes in VfR Aalen’s 2-0 loss to Bochum II on Friday, while youngster Daniel Stanese went the distance for FC Augsburg II in a 1-0 loss to 1860 München II in 2.Bundesliga action.
Canada’s midfield stalwarts did their normal full-game work for their respective clubs – Pedro Pacheco (CD Santa Clara), Atiba Hutchinson (Besiktas) and Julian de Guzman (Skoda Xanthi) – while veterans Nik Ledgerwood (MSV Duisburg) and Tam Nsaliwa (Bucaspor) all put in full-90 appearances this past week.
When it comes to strikers, Simeon Jackson started and played most of Millwall’s 0-0 draw with Charlton in The Championship on Saturday, while Caleb Clarke (FC Augsburg II) and Randy Edwini-Bonsu (Stuttgarter Kickers) both came on as second-half substitutes in Germany's lower divisions.