Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Olivier Occean called up to for Greece friendly

As is typical in the weeks leading up to a friendly, Canadian fans often learn of players being selected from club sites and foreign language news before the official release. The first bit of news to trickle out is that Olivier Occean, of 3.Bundesliga side Kickers Offenbach, will be making the trip to Greece.

While I don't think that there is much significance to the fact that he was named first, it is significant that he has been called to a second consecutive match. Prior to the 74 minutes he put in against Ukraine Occean hadn't pulled on a Canada shirt in 26 months. In fact, before the Ukraine match he had put in a total of only 139 minutes in 5 matches over 5 and a half years.

It's clear that he is now considered a useful piece of the puzzle.

Occean had a torrid start to his season in Offenbach, but ended the fall with injuries and a minor slump. He seems to be returning to form, scoring both goals in a recent 2-1 friendly win over Dutch side De Graafschap.


In other news, the venue for the 9 February friendly against Greece has been confirmed as AEL FC Arena in Larissa, 324 kms northeast of Athens.

3 comments:

Ghost said...

Like!

Anonymous said...

Ukraine performance and regular (when healthy) contributions at club level earn him another look and possibly another start the centre forward/target man spot. Too often the forgotten man in the striker pool, I'd say better late than never.

J said...

Anon:

I fully agree. I was quite surprised when I looked at his playing history over the last 5 years at how little he had actually featured for Canada, considering he has always been a part of the forward discussion.

Rob Friend has had a better club pedigree during that period, and Ali Gerba has him beat for productivity, but there would have been room for another target-type striker in the picture. I'm glad to see him getting his chance.