PREVIEW: WEEKEND NORWEGIAN ACTION
With the first round of the Nowegian Cup complete, Eliteserien play resumes with Hunter Freeman and Clarence Goosdson hosting Kongsvinger and Mikkel Diskerud and company traveling to Strømsgodset.
Start - Kongsvinger
Clarence Goodson and Hunter Freeman of IK Start will host Kongsvinger on Sunday in the 12th round of Eliteserien play this season.
Start will return home after a 3-0 victory over 3. Division club Jerv in their Norwegian Cup debut, Thursday.
Start fell victim to three straight Eliteserien losses prior to Thursday's win and hope the winning attitude will stick with them through Sunday.
During the three losses, which began on the third of May, Knut Torum's attack led by Christer Kleiven, managed just two goals. It was a significant change of pace for an offense that still boasts a league leading 21 goals.
A victory over Kongsvinger, whom at this point is in threat of relegation at 14th in the Eliteserien, could potentially be what Torum's team needs to return to their winning ways.
The last time Kongsvinger and Start faced off was in the 2008 1. Division where Start managed a home win and a tie.
Start is missing Geir Ludvig Fevang and Solomon Owello while Kongsvinger is without Roger Risholt. Henry Joseph Shindika, Vidar Riseth and Edier Frejd.
Strømsgodset - Stabaek
Mikkel Diskerud and Stabaek return to Eliteserien action against Strømsgodset, after a 12-1 victory over Høland Thursday in the opening round of the Norwegian Cup.
Midfielder and Norwegian-American Diskerud was responsible for two of the 12 by Stabaek in, what they hope to be, a morale boost for the 11th seeded squad.
Although Jan Jonsson's team was a heavy favorite in the match up against 3. Divison Høland, Stabaek heads into the game against Strømsgodset with two wins in a row. The first and more significant, a 2-1 home victory over Brann last Sunday.
It was a much needed and desired win for Stabaek who were creeping closer to the relegation zone with every passing week and loss.
In addition to unmet expectations and the threat of relegation, Jonsson has battled significant injuries that have just about depleted his starting line up, making the first third of the 2010 season an arduous journey.
Sunday they will face off against an eighth placed Strømsgodset at Marianlyst Stadion, whom have lost two straight, but boast 17 goals and an win over Valerenga back on May 1st.
When the teams faced off in the 2009 season it was a split decision as both teams took home victories.
Almost fully recovered from a quad injury sustained three weeks ago, Hønefoss keeper Steve Clark played a second 45 minutes against Jevnaker in the opening round of the Norwegian Cup, however he is still unable to play in the Eliteserien match versus a second ranked Rosenborg. Kenneth Di Vita Jensen made his first start in the Jevnaker match in midfield and hopes to see some minutes on Sunday.
Fellow American and goalkeeper, Colin Burns started Thursday in the first round of Norwegian Cup and the Sarpsborg victory over Drøbak/Frogn but it is still uncertain whether he will keep the starting position in 1. Division action as they face Tromsdalen Sunday.
The Norwegian Cup opening round provided yet another American goalkeeper with their first start of the season as Joe Bendik started in net for Sogndal in the 4-0 victory over Ardal and hopes it will prove him worthy as they face Strømmen in a nationally televised, 1. Division match on Sunday.
Goalkeeper Tyrel Lacey continues to rehab from knee surgery and will cheer on FC Lyn from the sidelines when the face 1. Divison leaders Ranheim at home.