DAVID SMITH - Friday, March 5, 2010
The Danish Superliga returns to action over the weekend, with Nordsjælland and Michael Parkhurst visiting an Aalborg team that could see both of its Americans out with injury.
Aalborg BK - FC Nordsjælland
Both Aalborg and Nordsjælland look to start the second half of their season out on a winning note on Monday evening as Michael Parkhurst and the Wild Tigers make the long trip up to Aalborg with hopes of stealing some points on the road.
Each team returns from their long three-month winter break with training spells in Spain fresh on their mind but a challenging road ahead for the final 15-game home stretch.
The Nordsjælland players and staff are hoping to put a tumultuous and inconsistent fall term behind them and carry any momentum left from their relatively strong finish to 2009 and their recent second-place finish in the pre-season La Manga Cup in Spain into the new year.
Parkhurst seems to have settled into his new role as the team's starting right back and will be integral to a back line which proved a tough nut to crack in 2009's final weeks, allowing only a trio of goals over their final six games.
Coach Morten Wieghorst could see midfielder Søren Christensen out of the lineup as the former Danish youth international was forced to miss the last week with a knock picked up in Spain, and his recovery in time for Monday is not certain.
Nordsjælland's Northern Jutland neighbors had rather the opposite of fortunes to close 2009, only registering one win over their final ten games in league and cup, dropping from their lofty position atop the league in mid-September to their current seventh-place position.
Aalborg's pair of yanks could both be forced to miss the tilt due to their recent pre-season injury struggles; Marcus Tracy has missed most of the team's preparations due to complications from a knee problem which he irritated in January's US national team training camp, while new addition Chris Rolfe pulled up with a slight knee injury during the February training camp in Spain, and has yet to take the field since.
Additionally, coach Magnus Pehrsson will also likely be without defender Jakob Ahlmann Nielsen who has also struggled with injury over the last two weeks.
Benny Feilhaber is still recovering from an ankle injury and will miss Sunday's trip to Copenhagen as Aarhus try to improve on their sixth-place standing.