Atiba Hutchinson with Besiktas
Courtesy of Besiktas JK

Canadian Exports: Atiba Hutchinson, Besiktas draw Arsenal in Champions League qualifying

Even if all the focus for Canada’s national team is on the future, veteran midfielder Atiba Hutchinson is continuing to prove why he’s a crucial piece of the puzzle for both club and country.

The 31-year-old was once again an engine for Besiktas as they overcame Feyenoord 3-1 last Wednesday to advance 5-2 on aggregate in the third qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League. But if Hutch (above) and his teammates hope to reach the group stage, they’ll need to go through Arsenal, with the first leg of their playoff showdown coming on Aug. 19.

With the season just kicking back into gear for most European leagues, Hutchinson isn’t the only one enjoying some early success. Randy Edwini-Bonsu notched his first goal of the year for Stuttgarter Kickers, a second-half insurance goal in a 2-0 win over Mainz 05 II on Saturday. 

David Edgar started and played the full 90 in the season opener for his new club, Birmingham City, though they went down to a 2-0 defeat against Middlesbrough on the weekend. And elsewhere in England, Marcus Haber came on as a sub in the season opener for his new club, Crewe Alexandra, though they fell 2-1 to Fleetwood Town.

Nik Ledgerwood continued establishing himself with Energie Cottbus, once again going the full 90 in a 0-0 draw with Rot-Weiss Erfurt. One step up the German pyramid, in the 2.Bundesliga, Andre Hainault went the full 90 for VfR Aalen in a 2-0 win over St. Pauli on Friday.

Up in Finland, David Monsalve and Dominic Oppong both went the full 90 for AC Oulu in last Thursday’s 1-1 draw with Jazz Juniorit, while Charlie Trafford went the distance and picked up a yellow card for KuPS in Sunday’s 1-0 win over RoPS.

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