Monday, October 15, 2007

Friendly competition

We're in a bit of a slow period right now for Canadian soccer, with the Men's National Team idle during the current international break, and only the South Africa friendly remaining on the 2007 schedule, while Toronto FC's season is winding mercifully to a close.

But things are happening with some of those MNT players and their club performances. Namely, a couple of players are scoring in bunches. Not since the days of Carlo Corazzin tearing it up for Northampton Town, somewhere in the nether regions of the English pyramid, has a striker been as hot as Rob Friend, playing for Borussia Mönchengladbach.

Have a look at his output from the last five games:
51-/--1-----2,5Erzgebirge AueA3:2 (2:0)Analyse
61-/--1-----2,5FC AugsburgH4:2 (1:0)Analyse
71-/--1--1-463FC St. PauliA3:0 (1:0)Analyse
81-/--1-----2,5Alemannia AachenH2:1 (2:0)Analyse
92-/--2-----2TuS KoblenzA5:0 (2:0)Analyse

The bolded numbers are goals in his side's most recent games, all victories. In short, he's hot right now.

He also leaves his mark on the top scorers table in the 2. Bundesliga after 9 matches (and keep in mind Rob only appeared as a late substitute in the first 2 matches):
1Novakovic1. FC Köln7
di Salvo1860 München7
3Gunkel1. FSV Mainz 056
FriendBorussia M'gladbach6
5NicuSV Wehen Wiesbaden5
6KolevAlemannia Aachen4
HdiouadFC Augsburg4
LanigSpVgg Greuther Fürth4
ReisingerSpVgg Greuther Fürth4
Copado1899 Hoffenheim4
Borja1. FSV Mainz 054
Feulner1. FSV Mainz 054
NeuvilleBorussia M'gladbach4
RöslerBorussia M'gladbach4
Göktan1860 München4
Marvin BraunFC St. Pauli4
KönigSV Wehen Wiesbaden4
18GeißlerErzgebirge Aue3
F. HellerErzgebirge Aue3
KaufmanErzgebirge Aue3
DiabangFC Augsburg3
Edu1899 Hoffenheim3
OmodiagbeFC Carl Zeiss Jena3
DzakaTuS Koblenz3
SukaloTuS Koblenz3

Not to be outdone, Olivier Occean is also doing his part to represent Canada in the scoring tables of Northern Europe.

The Norwegian Tippeligaen's top scorers:

18mål:Thorstein Helstad, Brann
14mål:Peter Ijeh, Viking
Daniel Nannskog, Stabæk
13mål:Steffen Iversen, Rosenborg
12mål:Veigar Pall Gunnarsson, Stabæk
Olivier Occean, Lillestrøm
10mål:Arild Sundgot, Lillestrøm
9mål:Morten Berre, Vålerenga
8mål:Morten Moldskred, Tromsø
Ole Martin Årst, Start
7mål:John Anders Bjørkøy, Fredrikstad
Tarik Elyounoussi, Fredrikstad
Sigurd Rushfeldt, Tromsø
Espen Ruud, Odd Grenland

They're nearly done the season in Norway, so 1st place looks to be out of reach, but 2nd is certainly not out of the question.

Rather disappointlingly, the third member of the MNT striking triumvirate, Ali Gerba, has yet to feature for his team this season as he is languishing somewhere along the fringes of the IFK Goteborg squad. If he gets going, and Friend and Occean can transfer their production to the international game, then it will finally be looking bright up front for Canada.

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