As September and two do-or-die World Cup qualifiers lie just on the horizon, Canadian fans should be encouraged to see that some of the big-name internationals who will be relied on for offense have found the net for their respective clubs.
When Norwich City were hammered 5-0 by Fulham to start their second year back in the English Premier League, forward Simeon Jackson wasn’t even on the bench. But in the club’s second game, Jackson (above) didn’t just get the start, he also opened his scoring account for the 2012-13 season.
Jackson opened the scoring 13 minutes in as Norwich drew 1-1 with Queens Park Rangers this past Saturday. Jackson was eventually replaced in the 87th minute, while Junior Hoilett played the full 90 minutes for QPR.
Over in the Netherlands, Atiba Hutchinson also got on the board for the first time this season. Normally a midfielder, Hutchinson played at right back for PSV Eindhoven, but that didn’t stop him from jumping up and getting the game’s first goal on Sunday in a 3-1 victory vs. Groningen. PSV are in sixth place with two wins and a loss early in the Eredivisie campaign.
In Germany, Olivier Occean and new club made a big splash in their first game back in the Bundesliga since being promoted. Occean played the entire match on Saturday as Frankfurt beat last season’s fifth-place side Bayer Leverkusen 2-1.
Veteran defender Kevin McKenna started on the bench but came in 34 minutes into Cologne’s 2-0 defeat to Erzgebirge Aue on Monday. Cologne have just a single point through three games in the 2.Bundesliga.
Fellow defender Adam Straith’s move to German 3.Liga side Saarbrucken has resulted in more playing time. Straith played the whole game Saturday as Saarbrucken knocked off Wacker Burghausen.
Back in England's lower divisions, David Edgar’s Burnley got off to a good start in the Championship, winning their first game, but they dropped a pair of matches in the past week.
Last Tuesday, Burnley had seemingly salvaged a point when they scored with four minutes remaining, but they couldn’t hold on as Middlesbrough scored two minutes later and won 3-2. On Saturday, Burnley dropped a 2-0 result to Huddersfield Town. Edgar played the full 90 minutes in both games.
Meanwhile, forward Marcus Haber hasn’t yet found the back of the net since joining Stevenage of England's third-division League One, but he’s getting plenty of playing time and the side coached by former Colorado Rapids skipper Gary Smith is playing very well. Haber played 90 minutes on Saturday as Stevenage beat Oldham Athletic 1-0 to maintain their unbeaten start to the season. Through three games, Stevenage are on seven points and are one of four teams tied for top spot.
On Sunday, goalkeeper Lars Hirschfeld made his first start for Norwegian club side Vålerenga since returning from national team duty. Hirschfeld conceded twice in the first 12 minutes and Vålerenga couldn’t recover, dropping a 2-0 game to Molde.
In Portugal, midfielder Pedro Pacheco was a second-half substitute for Santa Clara in their 0-0 draw with Tondela on Sunday. Santa Clara are in 14th place after three games in the Liga de Honra, Portugal’s second division.
In his fourth game since joining Swedish side Hammarby, midfielder Nik Ledgerwood scored his first goal on Sunday. Ledgerwood opened the scoring as Greg Berhalter-managed Hammarby beat Falkenberg 3-1. Hammarby are up to fifth place in the Superettan standings but still 10 points back of the promotion places.
In Norway’s 1. Division, one level below the top flight, Chris Pozniak continues to earn playing time while on loan with Bryne. Pozniak played all 90 minutes on Sunday as Bryne played Ranheim to a 0-0 draw.
It was hardly a week to remember for the Canadian trio in Finland’s top league, the Veikkausliiga. Mason Trafford’s Mariehamn are in fourth place after getting thumped by HJK 5-1 on Sunday. Trafford played the full 90 minutes.
It looks more and more like Frank Jonke’s Jaro are destined to be relegated as they dropped their fourth in a row to table-toppers FC Inter Turku, 3-1. Jaro is two points back of the next lowest team but hold a game in hand.
The best Canadian result in the Veikkausliiga came on Sunday when Riley O’Neill’s MyPa picked up a point against TPS with a 1-1 draw. MyPa are in fifth place.
In Singapore, Jordan Webb got back to S-League action as his team Hougang United played their first league game in a month on Friday. Webb played 90 minutes as Hougang tied second-place side Tampines Rovers 1-1. Hougang sit in eighth place in the S-League.