Fans of the Canadian national team are always desperately clamoring for a sign – any sign – that there’s some sliver of hope for the program’s future.
This week, they got two.
Samuel Piette, a 19-year-old midfielder who’s a key piece of Fortuna Dusseldorf’s reserve squad – and already has seven caps for Canada’s senior side – made his inaugural appearance for the German club’s first team, coming on as a substitute in a 2-1 win over Paderborn on Friday.
Fellow teenager Michael Petrasso didn’t see the field for Queens Park Rangers this week, but he did sign a new three-year deal with the club.
Rumors had circulated last month that Stoke City manager Mark Hughes, who first brought Petrasso to England, was looking to lure him to Stoke in the summer. While that move won’t happen, the 18-year-old may yet find himself in the Premiership, as QPR are fighting for promotion.
On the other end of the Canadian experience spectrum, erstwhile national team captain Kevin McKenna made his first start for FC Köln in nearly a year, after recovering from what was feared to be career-ending knee surgery. The 34-year-old center back went the full 90 on Saturday in a 2-0 win over Arminia Bielefeld.
David Edgar also made his first start in a while – though not as long a while as McKenna’s absence – for Burnley, as he went the full 90 in a 1-1 draw with Watford on the weekend.
Fellow defenders Dejan Jakovic (Shimizu S-Pulse) and Daniel Stanese (FC Augsburg II) also went the distance for their respective clubs.
Tosaint Ricketts notched his sixth goal of the season for Bucaspor in a 4-1 loss to Sanliufaspor last Wednesday, then played the majority of Saturday’s game against Adanaspor. Fellow Edmontonian Tam Nsaliwa also featured in both games for the Turkish club.
Goalkeeper Kenny Stamatopoulos picked up his first win of the season (in his club’s second game), posting a 2-1 win for AIK Stockholm over Gelfe. But youngster Julien Latendresse-Levesque saw his momentum for Lokomotive Leipzig come to a screeching halt – after four games without conceding from open play, JLL saw four goals go past him in a lopsided 4-0 loss to Carl Zeiss Jena on Sunday.
While the Undertaker losing at WrestleMania this past weekend has reminded us that nothing is ever truly guaranteed in this world, thankfully there was still some semblance of predictability when it came to Canada’s veterans – Julian de Guzman (Skoda Xanthi), Atiba Hutchinson (Besiktas), Nik Ledgerwood (MSV Duisburg) and Pedro Pacheco (CD Santa Clara) all went the full 90 for their respective clubs.
Caleb Clarke (FC Augsburg II) and Randy Edwini-Bonsu (Stuttgarter Kickers) both featured for their teams this week, while Lucas Cavallini played the balance of Centro Atlético Fénix’s game against Juventud, which was suspended the previous week but completed on Sunday. It finished a 1-1 draw.