DAVID SMITH - Tuesday, May 3, 2011
The second round of the 2011 Norwegian Cup was drawn on Monday, setting up another series of contests against lower league teams which could see a number of backups get the chance to test the waters.
For the second straight round, no Americans will see their teams facing any others above even the third tier of the Norwegian soccer pyramid, likely sending all through to the final 32 winners which will reach the third round.
Mikkel Diskerud and Stabaek had perhaps the toughest time of all teams involving Americans to reach the second round, barely squeaking out a 1-0 win at minnows Holmlia.
For their second round game, they have been handed yet another over-matched team, and will make the short drive to Oslo to pay a visit to third-tier Hasle-Løren IL.
Hasle are on a roll after easily beating fellow Second-Division team Moss by a 4-2 score, but will likely have no chance against the Tippeligaen heavyweights.
Molde's trip to Third Division team SK Træff stands to be another blowout similar to their 11-0 first-round win over Eidsvåg IL, a game in which both Josh Gatt and Sean Cunningham were featured in the starting lineup.
While playing a team nested three divisions blow them on the totem will hardly be the top level of competition such players thrive, they should be a safe bet to reach the third round where they could face stiffer competition.
Jonathan Borrajo was left out of Ham-Kam's starting lineup for their 3-0 first-round win over Moelven after reportedly undergoing minor surgery on his hand earlier in the week, and watched as his team had to ride a strong second half to reach their second round home game against Byåsen IL.
Rounding out the matchups for the second round of games, Colin Burns and Sandefjord visit third-tier Kvik Halden FK, Hønefoss keeper Steve Clark could be given the game off again when his team pay a visit to KFUM Oslo, Kyle Helton and Rhett Bernstein will hope to at least make their team's bench when Mjøndalen visit FK Tønsberg, and Sogndal backup keeper Joseph Bendik could be called into duty when his team visits Fyllingen IL.
Games are set to already commence on May 11 and 12, with the third round coming two weeks following.
Norwegian Cup second round draw
Wednesday, May 11
Kvik Halden FK - Sandefjord
KFUM Oslo - Hønefoss BK
Hasle-Løren IL - Stabæk IF
FK Tønsberg - Mjøndalen IF
SK Træff - Molde FK
Thursday, May 12
Ham-Kam - Byåsen IL
Fyllingen IL - Sogndal IL