DAVID SMITH - Thursday, July 15, 2010
Nordsjælland defender Michael Parkhurst will the the lone American in action as the Danish Superliga season kicks off this weekend with a full slate of games.
FC Nordsjælland - Silkeborg IF
Michael Parkhurst should get the start in Nordsjælland's central defense on Sunday afternoon as they open the 2010-11 season at home against Silkeborg.
The Wild Tigers will have their sights set high after a strong finish last season saw them win their first-ever piece of hardware in the Danish Cup, and will be boosted by having kept their winning squad in-tact during the short Danish summer break.
They opted not to extend the contract veteran South African attacking midfielder Sibusiso Zuma as they look to develop their stable of young players, but were pleased to sign an extension with forward Nicki Bille Nielsen after the promising Danish youth international had drawn interest from several teams across Europe.
They also have the addition another project for the future in the form of 19 year-old forward and Danish youth star Christian Gytkjær, who officially joined the team at the beginning of the month on a free transfer from Lyngby.
The beginning of the season stands to be a busy time for Nordsjælland due to their participation in the Europa League, which they will enter in late-July when the third qualifying round commences.
Silkeborg had a tough closing to the previous season which saw them lose eight of their final nine games, and will likely be struggling to find the net in the early weeks of the season due to the sale of top scorer Rajko Lekic to Turkish team Konyaspor earlier in the week.
Nordsjælland won two of the three league meetings between these teams last season - both times by three-goal margins - and also came out ahead when these two teams met in the Danish Cup quarterfinal, meaning that coach Morten Wieghorst will look to continue his team's dominance and get the season off on the right foot.
Both teams will have full squads available for the match.
Both Marcus Tracy and Chris Rolfe are injured and will miss Aalborg's opening game on Monday night at newly-promoted Lyngby BK.