Kevin McKenna is back – almost.
The 33-year-old center back (above) needed surgery earlier this year for what some feared could be a career-ending knee injury. But six months later, the Calgary native finally found himself back on the matchday roster for FC Koln, making the bench for their league match last Friday.
McKenna, who has worn the captain’s armband in many of his 63 appearances for Canada, didn’t see the field. But after playing several reserve-squad matches in the past few weeks, McKenna seems set for a return to 2. Bundesliga play. Now the question becomes, is a return to Les Rouges also in the cards?
Another veteran whose national-team status is in limbo is Olivier Occean, even if his club performance suggests he could help the goal-starved Canadian side. Occean scored his third goal of the season for FC Kaiserslautern on Saturday, in a 3-2 loss to Dynamo Dresden.
Tosaint Ricketts also got on the scoresheet this week, notching the winner for Bucaspor (his fourth of the season) in a 3-2 victory at Adanaspor on Sunday.
After a resounding introduction to Oldham Athletic last week, 18-year-old midfielder Michael Petrasso came back to Earth this weekend, coming on as a second-half substitute in a 1-1 vs. Bradford City on Sunday.
Petrasso was just one of a number of Canadians who came on as second-half subs for their clubs this weekend, a group that includes Andre Hainault (VfR Aalen), Marcel de Jong (FC Augsburg), Iain Hume (Preston North End) and Caleb Clarke, who returned to the pitch for FC Augsburg II after a one-week absence due to illness.
Samuel Piette also returned to his club after a brief absence (a one-game suspension for a red card), playing the full 90 for Fortuna Dusseldorf II in a 4-2 win over Schalke 04 II Saturday. Piette’s old teammate from the 2011 U-17 World Cup, Daniel Stanese, also went the distance for FC Augsburg II in a scoreless draw vs. Heimstetten.
Simeon Jackson appears to be rebounding after a difficult start to the season with Eintracht Braunschweig. He started and played 59 minutes on Saturday in a 2-0 loss to Bayern Munich. Julian de Guzman had a similar weekend for Skoda Xanthi, playing 57 minutes on Sunday and picking up a yellow card along the way in a 0-0 draw at Panionios.
Atiba Hutchinson also picked up a yellow on the weekend, during his full-90 performance for Besiktas in Saturday's showdown against archrivals Fenerbahçe, which ended in a 3-3 draw. Pedro Pacheco, meanwhile, put in his customary full-game shift for CD Santa Clara, though a 1-0 loss to Tondela was the club’s sixth straight and leaves them sitting second from the bottom in the 22-team Segunda Liga.
David Edgar played the first half for Burnley in their 2-1 loss at Huddersfield Town on Saturday, while Daniel Haber came on in the 71st minute for Apollon Limassol in a 2-0 win Monday at AEK Larnaca that saw them regain the top spot in Cyprus.