He has yet to even commit to Canada internationally, but Junior Hoillet had a lot in common with many of his compatriots at the club level this past weekend.
Hoilett played 90 minutes for Blackburn Rovers this past Saturday in a 3-0 loss at Manchester City, but the game could have easily been even more lop-sided if not for some good defensive moments from the visitors.
Canadian-born Hoilett, usually an attacker for Blackburn, spend most of his time within Rovers’ half of the field, helping thwart City’s speedy wing play.
A day later, fellow attacking player Simeon Jackson found himself in the starting lineup for Norwich City against Manchester’s other giant club, and while Norwich put up more of a fight, the end result was similar as the Canaries dropped a 2-1 decision to United.
Jackson played the first half before being subbed off, his sixth Premier League start for eighth-place Norwich.
In the second-tier nPower Championship, David Edgar was also on the losing end, as his side Burnley fell 3-1 to visitors Millwall. Edgar went 90 minutes on the back line, his usual shift.
Over the border in Scotland, forward Marcus Haber was a 76th-minute entrant for St. Johnstone, who grabbed a 3-1 victory to remain in fourth on the SPL table.
Meanwhile in the Netherlands, Atiba Hutchinson remained on the bench for PSV Eindhoven in a 3-2 win over Feyenoord. The win allowed PSV to climb two points clear at the top of the Eredivisie standings.
Down a rung in the Eerste Divisie, midfielder Alex Marello played the final 21 minutes for SC Veendam in their 1-0 win over Volendam on Monday. Three days previous, Marello was an unused substitute as Veendam lost 3-2 to AGOVV.
In nearby Germany, Canada captain Kevin McKenna went the distance for FC Köln, who were on the losing end of a 2-0 result vs. Bayer Leverkusen. Köln have dropped four of their last five matches and currently sit 14th in the Bundesliga.
While McKenna’s team tries to halt its big slide, Olivier Occean’s SpVgg Greuther Fürth continue to fly high in the 2.Bundesliga, most recently posting a massive 6-2 victory over VfL Bochum. Occean once again played 90 minutes at striker in the win, which allowed Fürth to leap back into first place in the German second tier.
Also seeing 2.Bundesliga action this past weekend was big striker Rob Friend, who subbed in at the 65 minute mark for Eintracht Frankfurt in a 4-2 win at SC Paderborn. Friend’s entrance into the match took place after all the scoring had taken place.
The third Canuck striker in the German second division, 21-year-old Randy Edwini-Bonsu, did not see any time on the pitch, instead watching from the substitutes bench as his team Eintracht Braunschweig fight to a scoreless draw with FC St. Pauli.
A player who is seeing regular playing time is Mike Klukowski, whose club Manisaspor is in a free fall in the Turkish Süper Lig. Klukowski started and played the full 90 minutes in Saturday’s 2-0 loss to Gaziantepspor, Manisaspor’s third consecutive defeat. The club is now firmly in relegation territory with just six games remaining.
Klukowski’s former club teammate Josh Simpson is faring better with new team BSC Young Boys in Switzerland, although he shared the same fate over the weekend while participating in a 2-0 loss to Luzern. Simpson has yet to fully integrate himself into his new side, and only played the second half of the match.