How many players can say they’ve scored in each of the top five levels of the English soccer pyramid?
On Tuesday, Simeon Jackson etched his name on the rarefied list, notching his first Premier League goal as a substitute for Norwich City. Jackson entered Norwich’s match at Wolves in the 75th minute, and less than 60 seconds later, he found himself six yards from the Wolverhampton goal and on the end of a cross from teammate Steve Morison.
The 24-year-old Canadian international redirected the ball into a gaping Wolves net and put his side up by a goal. Unfortunately for Norwich, the hosts levelled the game minutes later, but the point keeps the upstart EPL side in the league’s top 10 for at least a few days longer.
For Jackson, his first EPL score punctuates a career in which the striker has tallied in each tier: Conference, League Two, League One, Championship and, now, the Premiership.
Another young Canadian making waves in the Premier League is David “Junior” Hoilett. The 21-year-old attacker has been sidelined with a hamstring injury in recent weeks, but he made his return to the Blackburn Rovers lineup in Tuesday night’s Lancashire Derby vs. Bolton Wanderers.
Hoilett was inserted into the Blackburn starting lineup, and -- much like his team -- was invisible for much of the first half as visiting Bolton charged to a 2-0 lead. After the halftime break, Hoilett and Blackburn played with renewed vigor, and in the 67th minute, the young Canuck delivered a perfectly weighted through ball to teammate Yakubu Aiyegbeni, who chipped it past an onrushing Bolton ‘keeper and into the goal.
That bit of brilliance was all the offense Blackburn could muster, as Bolton held on for a 2-1 win. More importantly, the visitors leapfrogged the Rovers out of the bottom of the Premier League standings.
Meanwhile, in the English Championship, David Edgar went the distance for Burnley in a 1-0 victory over Brighton & Hove Albion. Surging Burnley have won four of their past five in the league, and are firmly mid-table after a horrendous first couple of months.
In League One action, Iain Hume started and played 66 minutes for Preston North End as they edged Milton Keynes 1-0 on Saturday.
Just across the northern border in Scotland, 22-year-old Marcus Haber saw 90 minutes of action for St. Johnstone as the Saints welcomed SPL giants Celtic to McDiarmid Park on Sunday.
St. Johnstone held firm against their illustrious visitors in the opening 45 minutes, but Celtic struck twice in the second frame to seal a 2-0 victory for the Glasgow side. Haber had a few looks at goal, but nothing that troubled the opposing goalkeeper.
On the continent, big defender Kevin McKenna lined up for FC Köln for their Friday night meeting with German Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich. It was a rough ride for Köln, who fell 3-0 at a jam-packed Allianz Arena, with McKenna going the distance and picking up a late caution.
Also in action in the Bundesliga on Saturday was Marcel de Jong, who put in 90 minutes at left back for struggling FC Augsburg in a 1-1 draw at Hamburger SV. Augsburg sit second from the bottom in the German top flight.
De Jong again went the distance three days later, this time in German Cup action, as Augsburg dropped a 2-1 decision to fellow Bundesliga side Hoffenheim and fell out of the tournament.
Down a rung in the 2.Bundesliga, Olivier Occean’s SpVgg Greuther Fürth rolled over Union Berlin by a 5-0 scoreline on Friday. Occean played the entire game and assisted on the opening goal.
On Tuesday, Occean logged another 90 minutes as Fürth grabbed a huge away victory in the German Cup, posting a 1-0 win against top tier side FC Nürnberg to qualify for the quarterfinal stage.
Another Canuck striker, Rob Friend, saw limited time in the 2.Bundesliga over the weekend. Friend was an 82nd-minute entrant for Eintracht Frankfurt in a 2-0 loss at FC St. Pauli.
To the southeast in Turkey, Mike Klukowski and Josh Simpson lineup up from the start as Manisaspor lost 1-0 to Gençlerbirligi. Klukowski played 90 minutes while Simpson went an hour for struggling Manisaspor, who are winless in four and have dropped to eighth place on the Süper Lig table.
Another struggling club is the Brisbane Roar of Australia’s A-League, with whom Issey Nakajima-Farran is employed. The Roar dropped a 2-1 decision to Central Coast Mariners over the weekend, with Nakajima-Farran going 90 minutes in the match.
The loss is Brisbane’s fourth in a row following an unprecedented 36-match unbeaten streak. The result allowed Central Coast to take over the league’s top spot from Brisbane, an unthinkable situation just a month ago.