It’s going to be a long and difficult road back for Canadian midfielder Josh Simpson.
After the first report that Simpson (above) had broken his leg while playing for club side BSC Young Boys last Wednesday in a 2-1 win over FC Basel and would be out for three months, the Vancouver-area native got some even worse news.
In addition to the fractured tibia and fibula, Simpson also suffered a fracture in his ankle. He needs surgery and the timeline on his return is now pegged in the region of eight months. This means that in addition to missing Canada’s important June fixture list, Simpson will almost surely miss World Cup qualifiers in September and October.
“We all know how important he is for the team,” Canadian teammate Atiba Hutchinson told Canadian media on Monday in a conference call. “He’s always willing to get into the attack, create a lot of chances so it’s a shame what happened to him in the last week.”
In more positive news, goalkeeper Kenny Stamatopoulos left his club on a good note before joining up with his Canadian colleagues in camp in South Florida.
On Thursday, Stamatopoulos was in goal as his Swedish side AIK picked up a 1-0 win over GAIS. With the win, AIK are in third place in the Allsvenskan with 21 points, nine points back of league leaders Elfsborg.
In Norway, Lars Hirschfeld and his team Valerenga snapped a two-game losing streak with a 0-0 draw with Rosenborg. Hirschfeld, also now with the Canadian team in Florida, has played every minute of every game for Valerenga this season. Through 10 games, they are in eighth place with 14 points.
Canada’s strong presence in Scandinavia continues in Finland where Mason Trafford continues to be a fixture on the Mariehamn backline. Trafford, a product of the Vancouver Whitecaps FC residency program, saw action in two games this past week, both victories.
On Thursday, Mariehamn picked up a 2-1 win over TPS before following that up on Sunday with a 3-0 win over Jaro. Mariehamn have won four of their last five games and have moved up to third place in the Veikkausliiga with 20 points through 10 games. They sit just four points back of leaders HJK and have a game in hand.
Still in Finland, forward Ryan O’Neill saw action in two games this past week for MYPA. On Thursday, O’Neill was a second-half substitute as MYPA played to a 0-0 draw with Lahti. On Saturday, O’Neill got the start and played the full 90 minutes as MYPA lost 1-0 to JJK. They sit in fourth place with 19 points.
All the way down in Sweden’s Division 1, the third highest league in the country, defender Jamaal Smith got some rare action for Syrianska IF. Smith moved from SC Toronto of the Canadian Soccer League in March and on Saturday, he played a full 90 minutes as Syrianska were beaten 4-0 by Ostersunds FK. Syrianska have picked up just four points in seven games this season and are in 12th place.
In Switzerland's second flight, Daniel Imhof came on in the final few minutes as his team St. Gallen sealed their return to the Swiss Super League with a 2-1 win over Vaduz. St. Gallen won the league with 64 points, five more points than second-place Aarau.