BRIAN SCIARETTA - Friday, March 4, 2011
After signing a two and a half year contract extension with Zenit St. Petersburg last month, US forward Eugene Starikov will return to Russian Premier League club Tom Tomsk on a 18 month loan.

Starikov, 22, went on loan to Siberian-based Tom Tomsk for all of last season after playing with Zenit's reserve team. Towards the end of last season he broke into the team's starting lineup where he managed to score his first professional goal.

During the Russian off-season, Starikov was named by US head coach Bob Bradley to the roster for the annual January camp but he did not make the roster for the friendly against Chile.

Starikov returned to Zenit in February where he played with the team during the early part of their preseason. At the Marbella Cup, Starikov even scored the game winner for Zenit in their 2-1 victory over Bulgarian club Lokomotiv Plovdiv.

Now the Soviet-Ukranian born Starikov has returned to Tom Tomsk where he is with the club during their preseason camp in Turkey.

"Eugene is in Turkey with team now," Tom Tomsk press officer Ksenya Stepanova told YA. "His is loan is continuing and it will be valid through the next 1.5 years."

Starikov and Tom Tomsk will open their Russian Premier League season on March 14th when they travel to play newly promoted Volga.