By Daniel Rubens
Once again, there weren’t many Americans in action around the globe this week as the USMNT rests up for the Gold Cup and the offseason continues. However, a few yanks playing in the Nordic leagues were instrumental in helping their sides secure points and advance in cup competitions.
We’ll start this trip in Finland, where one American defender made a huge impression for his side in attack this weekend. Span played 90 minutes twice this week for IFK Mariehamn and came up with the game-tying goal in the final 10 minutes of a 1-1 draw with HIFK on Sunday. Previously, on Thursday, the central defender had helped his side to another 1-1 tie against Seinaejoen JK. After the results, Span’s Mariehamn side sit in fifth place in the Veikkausliiga, two points back of third.
Elsewhere in Finland, defender Jordan Seabrook worked a short shift as a substitute, coming on in the 78th minute of VPS’s 2-0 loss to HIFK on Thursday. Additionally, Stephen McCarthy sat on
In Norway, Bob Bradley’s Stabaek side continued its shining form with a pair of victories, first a 5-1 decision over Strommen in the NM Cupen, then a 3-2 win over Stromsgodset in the league. Cole Grossman went 90 minutes in the midfield in both, notching an assist in the cup win. With one game to play until the halfway mark, Stabaek sit in second place, just three points back of Tippeligaen leaders Rosenborg.
A number of other yanks were also in action in both the Norwegian Cup and Tippeligaen last week. Two American goalkeepers — Sarpsborg’s Quentin Westberg and Brann’s Alex Horwath — put on a show as Sarpsborg advanced to the round of eight with a penalty-kick win following a 0-0 draw. Defender Rhett Bernstein came off the bench in the first half for Mjoendalen, but then left after just 14 minutes with an injury in a 4-0 win over Hoedd.
In the Tippeligaen, Alex De John was a halftime substitute for Start in a 3-1 win over Aalesund. A week after picking up a knock which kept him out of cup play, A.J. Soares played 90 minutes for Viking as they defeated Sarpsborg 3-1, with Westberg watching from the away bench. Lastly, Zarek Valentin patrolled the right back position and helped Bodo/Glimt to a comeback 2-1 win away to Valerenga with a goal-line clearance and a key pass in the build up to his side’s equalizer.
Sweden’s Allsvenskan returns from its summer break this weekend, which means Heath Pearce of Goteborg and Matt Pyzdrowski of Helsingborg will be back in action for their clubs.