As far as debuts go, it doesn’t get much better than Michael Petrasso’s performance this past weekend.
On Friday, the 18-year-old winger (above) joined Oldham Athletic on a one-month loan from Queens Park Rangers' U-21 side; then, on Saturday, he got the start against Gillingham and his first league goal (which would stand up as the game-winner).
The former Toronto FC Academy member becomes the third Canadian to score in League One this season, joining veterans Iain Hume and Marcus Haber on that list.
Speaking of those two – Hume was called up for Canada’s friendlies last week against the Czech Republic and Slovenia, but left training camp before the games took place. This week, he stayed on the bench for Preston North End on both Saturday and Tuesday.
Haber, on the other hand, went 83 minutes for Notts County on Saturday, then nearly went the full 90 on Tuesday but was shown the red card in the 89th minute after the referee adjudged him to have elbowed Bradford’s Gary Jones. (Notts County’s assistant coach was also sent off in the melee that ensued.)
Despite Petrasso nabbing the headlines, he wasn’t the only Canadian to pot a winner this weekend – Olivier Occean scored the opener for FC Kaiserslautern in a 3-0 victory on Saturday. The goal was the Brossard, Quebec, native’s second of the 2.Bundesliga season.
Pedro Pacheco – who played a key role in the Canadian midfield against the Czech Republic and Slovenia – was back at it for CD Santa Clara, playing the full 90 on Saturday. But his presence couldn’t prevent a 1-0 loss for his side, their seventh defeat in eight games.
Pacheco played heavily in Canada’s friendlies thanks in large part to the absence of Atiba Hutchinson, Julian de Guzman and David Edgar. Interestingly, though, all three went the full 90 for their clubs over the weekend – Hutch and JDG helped their sides (Besiktas and Skoda Xanthi, respectively) to 3-1 wins, while Edgar’s Burnley settled for a 1-1 draw.
Simeon Jackson was called up for Canada’s games but, like Hume, returned to his club earlier than expected, after leaving the game against the Czechs with an injury. Thankfully, he was back on the field for Eintracht Braunschweig on Saturday, coming in as a second-half substitute.
Yet another striker who left the Canadian team early was Caleb Clarke (illness), though he didn’t make the matchday roster for his club, FC Augsburg II, on Saturday. His compatriot Daniel Stanese did, however, and put in a full-90 effort in a 3-1 win.
Daniel Haber, for the fourth straight matchweek, entered in second-half stoppage time for Apollon Limassol.