BRIAN SCIARETTA - Wednesday, June 27, 2012
The draw for the first and second rounds of the Europa League qualifying was held today and several Americans now know who they will play.
In the first qualifying round of the Europa League, four teams involving Americans are scheduled to play. The first leg of these games will be played on July 5 and the second round will be played on July 12.
Norwegian club Stabaek which currently has US U-20 defender Sean Cunningham and Ricardo Clark on the roster are scheduled to face JJK Jyväskylä of Finland in the first round of Europa League qualifying.
Ricardo Clark's loan to Stabaek is scheduled to end in July and he may not be on the team at the time of the game. Cunningham is on loan from Molde but through the end of 2012. Mix Diskerud is still owned by Stabaek but he is not expected to be part of the club for very much longer.
Two weeks ago, FC Nurnberg sent youngster Jann George on loan to FK Senica in Slovakia. Today they drew MTK Budapest of Hungary for the opening Europa League qualifying game.
American Etchu Tabe and KuPS Kuopio of Finland will take on Llanelli of Wales in the first round of the Europa League qualifying.
Giuseppe Funicello is not yet an American citizen but he is expected to take his citizenship test in July. His club, Thor Akureyri, will face off against Bohemian FC of Ireland in the opening round of Europa League qualifying.
In the second round of Europa League qualifying, two teams involving Americans were at stake. The first leg of these games will be played on July 19 and the second leg will be played July 26.
Leo Krupnik and Maccabi Netanya finished fourth in the Israeli Premier League and they will open their Europa League campaign in the second round of qualifying. They will take on the winner of Tabe's KuPS Kuopio and Llanelli AFC in the first round.
Finally, Daniel Antunez and FC Inter Turku of Finland will play the winner of Holland's FC Twente and Andorra's UE Santa Coloma in the second round.