PREVIEW: MIDWEEK NORWEGIAN ACTION
The first round of the Norwegian Cup kicks off this week with Hunter Freeman and Clay Goodson making the short trip to Grimstad to take on Jerv while Mikkel Diskerud and Stabaek travel to Høland.
Jerv - Start
Hunter Freeman and Clay Goodson's Start begin their 2010 Norwegian Cup campaign with a visit to Levermyr Stadion to take on 3. Division club Jerv.
It is uncertain if head coach Knut Torum will elect to rest the American duo against the Grimstad club from Norway's fourth level of professional soccer, but should one or both of the yanks play, they will line up in their customary defensive position.
Grimstad will at least be familiar turf for Freeman whose wife plays for Jerv's sister club, Amazon Grimstad.
Start's 2009 Cup run ended prematurely in the third round when they lost in unforgettable fashion to 1. Division club Lov-Ham, succumbing 14-13 in penalty kicks.
Jerv had to emerge from the qualifying rounds in order to earn a date with the Eliteserien club which they did with a win over Giv Akt.
Jerv head coach Tore André Dahlum had two separate stints as a player for Start and will be aiming to achieve a massive upset over his hometown club.
Geir Tungesvik, Tommy Cardoso, Jarle Nilsen, Joachim Kallestad and Magnus Langerud are all out for Jerv due to injuries while Start's Solomon Owello is also doubtful.
Høland - Stabaek
Mikkel Diskerud and the rest of Stabaek's squad travel north to meet a strong 3. Division team in Høland on Thursday for the first round of the Norwegian Cup.
Although Jan Jonsson's team sits at an unexpected 11th in the Eliteserien rankings, they are a heavy favorite against a Høland squad three leagues below.
The visitors hope to repeat a run they made in the 2009 Norwegian Cup when they advanced to the August quarter finals before losing to Aalesunds Fk 3-1 at Color Line Stadion. Aalesunds went on to win the national title.
Høland earned their chance to square off against the 2008 Eliteserien champs by defeating 3. Division teams Lommedalen and Jutul on April 11th and 21st respectively in the first and second qualifying rounds.
They are now one of 128 teams that will compete in the tournament lasting until November 14th when a champion is crowned at Ullevaal Stadion.
Honefoss' Steve Clark is still out with a quad injury and will not tend net versus Jevnaker while striker Kenneth Di Vita Jensen will hope to see some significant minutes in Thursday's match.
Goalkeeper Colin Burns may get a start in Sarpsborg's visit to lower division Drobak/Frogn.
Tyrel Lacey is still out with an injured knee and will miss Lyn's clash with Sagene.
Goalkeeper Joseph Bednik got the start in Sogndal's 4-0 victory over Ardal on Wednesday.