It was a clash of the Canadians in the Turkish Cup this past week – and thanks to a nifty individual effort, Tosaint Ricketts and his team came out on top.
Second-division Bucaspor pulled the upset over first-division Besiktas after Ricketts slalomed through the Besiktas midfield in the 78th minute and unleashed a long-range blast for his fifth goal of the season. The 2-1 win puts Bucaspor in the fifth round of the competition, while Atiba Hutchinson and his Besiktas teammates are eliminated.
It was a decent week for Hutchinson on an individual basis, though, as he played the full 90 in that Cup game, and then in a league game Monday that ended 1-1. Ricketts also played the full 90 for Bucaspor in their league match Monday.
Beyond that action, though, it appears that a period of hibernation has set in for Canadians abroad, with the Scandinavian leagues done for the year and some leagues – such as Germany’s Regionalliga Bayern – embarking on a months-long winter break.
Caleb Clarke and Daniel Stanese left a good impression in FC Augsburg II’s final game before the break, back on Dec. 3. Clarke scored his fifth of the year in a 3-1 victory, while Stanese played a dependable 90 minutes on the back line.
Fortuna Dusseldorf II will also be taking a break shortly, but not before Samuel Piette puts in some more quality time, such as another full-90 performance in Saturday’s 2-2 draw.
Another inevitability this winter is the end of Michael Petrasso’s month-long loan at Oldham Athletic; but for now, he’s making the most of his time with the Latics. He subbed on in the second half of Oldham’s FA Cup game Saturday and nearly potted a winner in stoppage time, though the squad settled for a 1-1 draw.
Another young Canadian-born player did score this weekend, though it’s sure to leave national-team fans with mixed emotions.
Fraser Aird scored his first goal of the season for Rangers as the Scottish giants marched to their 20th straight win in all competitions. Aird, 18, was born in Toronto but has represented Scotland’s youth teams, and turned down a call-up to Canada’s national team earlier this year (though he remains eligible for Canada, if he ever had a change of heart).
While Rangers are on a roll, CD Santa Clara is headed in the opposite direction, having lost six straight games coming into the weekend. But Pedro Pacheco’s side stopped the bleeding somewhat on Sunday, with a 1-1 draw in which Pacheco played the full 90.
Defenders David Edgar (Burnley) and Marcel de Jong (FC Augsburg) made brief cameo appearances for their clubs, while Kevin McKenna’s comeback continues. McKenna was on the bench for FC Koln for the second straight week, as he returns from a six-month absence due to knee surgery.