Wednesday, July 25, 2007
The short offseason has come and gone in Denmark, taking with it four Americans who no longer play in the country. Heath Pearce has moved on to greener pastures in Germany, while Matt Dallman, Jamil Fearrington and Joe Zewe actively search for another chance.

Those remaining though, include veteran Danny Califf and up-and-comer Jeremiah White who will face each other thrice over the next ten months.

Though a week tardy, we've previewed the upcoming season with a few comments from the players thrown in for good measure.

Aalborg BK Califf[endlink]

Last season: 3rd place, Superligaen

In: Andreas Johansson (Wigan Athletic), Martin Jensen (Randers FC), Karim Zaza (Rott Weis Essen)

Out: Mahmoud el Hajj (Hjørring FC), Thomas Kortegaard (Horsens FC), Jimmy Nielsen (Leicester City), Fredrik Winsnes (Strømsgodset), Rasmus Würtz (FC Copenhagen)

2007/08 Outlook:
Having just been named team captain for the upcoming season, Danny Califf will get a chance to put his leadership skills to the test in 2007/08 as the club enters European play via the Intertoto route.

The loss of midfielders Fredrik Winsnes and Rasmus Würtz are significant blows to Aalborg, and Rade Prica will need some assistance shouldering some of the goal-scoring load if Aalborg is to make a stab at the throne. His 19 goals led the Superliga last year.

Califf says...
"We lost three or four key guys, but we also picked up some good players. If we can stick together, as I see us, like a blue collar team, I think we'll do well."

"I stepped up to take the captaincy this year as well and I want our defense to be strong and solid this season. Also, as a captain, the results reflect on you more personally and I would like to see us have a good season."

Yanks Abroad's Prediction
With the personnel losses during the offseason, an improvement upon their third place finish from a year ago seems unlikely. Andreas Johansson will help offset some of the loss of Winsnes and Würtz, but unless Prica gets some help scoring, even a Royal League spot could be a chore.

AGF Arhus White[endlink]

Last season: 2nd place 1. Division

In: Ulrik Lindkvist (FC Midtjylland), Jerry Lucena (Esbjerg), Kin Nadsen (Hansa Rostock), Alex Valencia (Start Kristianssand),

Out: Navid Dayyani (injury), Jacob Rasmussen (retired)

2007/08 Outlook:
With the addition of four new players to the starting lineup, White will be surrounded with a healthy dose of talent in 2007/08 as each transfer is a proven player and should, in theory, help White and Aarhus stay in the top flight.

Peter Graulund remains the impetus of the squad, though White's strong finish at the end of last season might symbolize a transfer of playmaking duties. How quickly the new talent assimilate into the AGF system and whether the defense can hold in the top division will likely determine the fate of Arhus in 2007/08.

White says...
"We only had a few weeks to get the new guys acclimated, but once we do that we'll be fine."

"We just need to show our quality. I think it takes time and we need to be patient."

"I'm very excited to show what I can do in the Superliga. As far as my career is concerned, I just continue to make steps forwards."

Yanks Abroad's Prediction
White and AGF will get off slowly after only a single month offseason. After an initial struggle, Aarhus should get their act together and will finish in the lower third to midtable.

Viborg FF Russell[endlink]

Last season: 9th place, Superligaen

In: Asbjørn Sennels (Brøndby), Simon Nagel (Silkeborg), Petter Furuseth Olsen (Stabæk), Rúrik Gíslason (Charlton Athletic), Robert Åhman-Persson (AIK Stockholm)

Out: Christian Flindt Bjerg (Jetsmark), Paul Obiefule (released), Christopher Poulsen (FC Midtjylland), Thomas Poulsen (retired), David Rasmussen (retired), Régis Amarante Lima de Quadros (released), Sammy Youssouf (Vejle BK), Joe Zewe (released)

2007/08 Outlook:
It's clear that Viborg has quite a few holes to plug in 2007/08. The departure of eight players, including several impact players, leaves Viborg one of the biggest question marks this year.

Three coaching changes in the past year have made for a sense of instability, and Russell's role within the team is still in the design stages. Russell was rumored to be on his way to MLS this summer, with published reports in Denmark having gone as far as saying he was signed by Los Angeles and having been released by VFF.

Russell says...
"With any good club there's always an atmosphere of winning and confidence, and that's something that the new coach has to focus on instead of our recent failures; just trying to get the players and confident is what we need to do.

"We've brought in a lot of talented young players so hopefully the new players can add a dimension that we've been missing."

Yanks Abroad's Prediction
Expect the cloud of relegation to hang over this squad's collective head throughout the season and for Russell to be looking for a new team sooner rather than later.

Esbjerg fB Hall[endlink]

Last season: 7th place, Superligaen

In: Sebastian Clausen (B 93), Rajko Lekic (OB Odense), Jeppe Mehl (Thisted FC), Jesper Mikkelsen (FC Midtjylland)

Out: Jesper Grønborg (Haarlem), Morten Friis Jensen (BVO Emmen), Brian Johansen (released), Jerry Lucena (AGF Aarhus), Simon Pedersen (Silkeborg)

2007/08 Outlook:
Hall will likely spend another season under the tutelage of accomplished Lars Winde as Esbjerg fights for its Superliga life in 2007/08. Lucena's flight leaves Esbjerg without a proven center midfielder, and there's little to suggest that any of the newbies can offer the club any relief.

Yanks Abroad's Prediction
Esbjerg will endure another mediocre season, and while Hall could get in to some early-round cup matches, don't expect the American to get much time this season.