English in Action: Weekend 21-22 March

As he so often is, Bradley Wright-Phillips was the stand-out performer in a busy weekend for Englishmen abroad. The forward has carried his form over from last season as he bagged a goal and an assist to guide the New York Red Bulls to a 2-0 victory over DC United on Sunday. The 30-year-old showed a ice-cold composure to control and long ball and slot home before setting up his compatriot Lloyd Sam to wrap up the victory for the Red Bulls.

The New York duo were among eight Englishmen who featured in the MLS the past weekend. Featuring for the other team in the Big Apple, Manchester City loanee Shay Facey did not have the full debut he was dreaming of. The young defender picked up two yellow cards during the second half of New York City’s goalless draw with Colorado Rapids to earn career-first red card.

Elsewhere in the US, Sporting KC’s Dom Dwyer and Portland Timbers’ Liam Ridgewell faced each other as their sides battled to a 0-0 draw, which was the same scoreline over in the match in New England where Nigel Reo-Coker featured for Montreal Impact. Seb Hines‘s Orlando City suffered their first MLS loss as they went down 1-0 to Vancouver Whitecaps and Giles Barnes and co. at Houston Dynamo secured an impressive draw away to last year’s champions LA Galaxy.

There were two other English players on the score-sheet across the globe. Adam Burnaby-Atkins‘ second goal of the season was enough to secure a 2-2 draw for Dender in the Belgian Third Division. The 19-year-old midfielder is in his first season in Belgium, having previously featured for DC United’s academy in America.

The other goalscorer was Saul Hapin of Hawke’s Bay United in New Zealand but his first half penalty was not enough to prevent a 2-1 loss at home to Team Wellington. English ‘keeper Josh Hill also featured for Hawke’s Bay.

Another appearance of note was Khurram Shazad, who debuted for Austrian third-tier side WSG Wattens. The young forward entered the game as 55th minute substitute and saw his side won 1-0 over bottom club Bizau. Shazad is a former US college student, having attended Young Harris College in Georgia.

In Slovakia, Trenčín went top of the Super Liga table after a 3-0 win over DAC. 22-year-old midfielder James Lawrence played the entire match, his 15th appearance of the season.

In the Singapore S. League, Craig Fagan is still looking for his first goal for Brunei-based side DPMM FC, as he made it three starts without registering a strike. However, Steve Kean’s DPMM did still manage a 2-2 draw with Home United.

Finally, Medy Elito played the last 16 minutes as VVV Venlo secured a late draw away to Fortuna Sittard. The result means Venlo remain just one point outside the play-off spots in Holland’s second tier.


English in action: 7th December

Belgium: Club Brugge 2-1 Zulte-Waregem (Pro League)
Zulte-Waregem suffered a narrow defeat against top of the league Club Brugge yesterday.

English midfielder Chuks Aneke started for the away side, fresh from his goal midweek in the cup.

However, despite playing the full 90 minutes, the former Arsenal player was not able to secure a win for his side as he picked up a booking the 2-1 loss. His side remain in 14th place in the league.

Belgium: Visé 1-6 Tienen (Third Division)
Tienen thrashed Visé to move up to 12th in the Belgian Third Division.

English defender Amardeep Singh played the entire match for Tienen, as they fired four second half goals to record a comfortable victory.

Germany: Meuselwitz 2-0 Auerbach (Regionalliga)
Two Englishmen started for Auerbach as they took on Meuselwitz in a battle between two of the Regionalliga Nordost’s bottom three.

Defender Korede Aiyegbusi and midfielder Moses Makinde lined up for Auerbach as they looked for the three points which would take them out of the bottom three.

However, they would have left the match very disappointed as they fell to a 2-0 defeat.

Aiyegbusi played the whole game but Makinde was substituted after 55 minutes, with his side already one goal down.

Greece: Asteras Tripolis 1-1 Panathinaikos (Super League)
Englishman Luke Steele started in goal for Panathinaikos as fourth hosted third.

The game started badly for Steele and his team-mates as they found themselves a goal down after 30 minutes.

However, six minutes later, his side equalised to secure a 1-1 draw. The result means Panathinaikos remain in 3rd place in the Greek Super League.

Greece: Acharnaikos 0-0 AOT Alimos (Football League)
English midfielder Jamie Moore was on the bench for AOT Alimos as they headed to Acharnaikos for a Greek Football League match, the country’s second tier.

The slight attacking midfielder joined Cypriot side Ethnikos Achna in July this summer but just two months later, joined AOT Alimos, where he has since made six appearances in all competitions.

With the game still goalless after 64 minutes, Moore was introduced as AOT looked for the win.

However, 25 minutes later, the English substitute was substituted as they game ended goalless.

Netherlands: Vitesse 2-2 Twente (Eredivisie)
Chelsea loanee Josh McEachran was on the bench again for Vitesse as they hosted Twente.

The English midfielder has not seen as much first team football as he would have liked so far this season out on loan, having started just one game all season in the cup.

The match was tied at 2-2 when McEachran was brought on in the 56th minute for his first appearance since early October.

The change failed to alter the match, as they game ended all square.

Netherlands: VVV Venlo 1-1 Roda JC (Eerste Divisie)
When English winger Medy Elito was brought on in the 73rd minute for VVV Venlo, the game was goalless.

Just five minutes later though, his side took the lead and thought they had secured the victory until Roda JC hit back with an equaliser in the 89th minute.

New Zealand: Hawke’s Bay United 2-5 Wellington Phoenix Reserves (ASB Premiership)
English midfielder Ryan Tinsley started as his side Hawke’s Bay United hosted Wellington Phoenix Reserves in New Zealand’s top division.

The former Nottingham Forest man made it two goals in two games when he fired home a penalty kick in the 31st minute.

However, Wellington, already two goals up at the moment, would go on to fire a further three goals in the second half to win 5-2.

Portugal: Beira-Mer 1-2 Feirense (Segunda Liga)
English defender Peter Gregory started for Beira-Mer as they hosted Feirense in a mid-table battle in Portugal’s second tier.

Gregory’s side had a great start, taking the lead after just four minutes but Feirense hit back with two first half goals of their own to win 2-1.

The former Portsmouth defender played the whole match.



English in action: 1st December

The start of advent sees no rest for Englishmen abroad, with another two involved yesterday.

India: Goa 3-0 NorthEast United (Indian Super League)

James Keene in action earlier in the season

NorthEast United suffered a heavy defeat as they fell to a 3-0 loss away to Goa in the Indian Super League.

English forward James Keene came on for NorthEast in the 35th minute, after an injury to a team-mate. By this time, his side were already one goal down.

His introduction could do nothing to stop the flow of Goa goals though, as they grabbed another two before the end of the match to win 3-0. Keene has now made nine appearances without a goal in the Indian Super League.

Medy Elito

Netherlands: Ajax II 4-0 VVV Venlo (Eerste Divisie)
VVV Venlo were on the wrong end of a 4-0 drubbing as they were thrashed by Ajax’s second team in the Eerste Divisie, the Netherlands’ second tier.

English winger Medy Elito started the game for VVV but was substituted at half time with his side 1-0 down.

The change seemed to have an adverse effect though, with his side conceding a further three goals in the second half with the Englishman off the pitch.


English in action: 28th November

Friday night football action saw Englishmen feature in five different countries across two continents.

Austria: St. Polten 2-2 Kapfenberger (1. Liga)
English forward Gary Noel has been in and out of St. Polten’s first team this season. However, having scored five goals in four starts for the club’s second team, he had earned a place on the bench as St. Polten took on Kapfenberger in Austria’s second tier.

Noel watched an action packed first 80 minutes from the bench as the visitors twice cancelled out St. Polten goals. The English forward was then introduced for the final ten minutes of the match but could not score a winner for his side as the game ended 2-2.

Belgium: Zulte-Waregem 2-1 Gent (Pro League)
To Belgium’s top tier now where 14th place Zulte-Wargem hosted a Gent side which could go top with a victory.

English midfielder Chuks Aneke was one of seven foreigners to start for Waregem as they looked to upset their higher-ranked visitors.

After just 17 minutes though, it looked like the favourites were going to win as Gent took the lead.

However, the hosts hit back, and after dominating the second half, they scored two goals to turn the game around a secure a surprise 2-1 win.

Aneke played the full ninety minutes, having missed just one match all season.

Colombia: Unión Magdalena 1-1 Deportivo Pereira (Primera B)
To Colombia for the first time on this blog now, as English midfielder George Saunders was on the bench for Unión Magdalena as they hosted Deportivo Pereira.

25-year-old Saunders is now in his second year in Colombia, having already played for América de Cali and Fortaleza as well as current side Unión Magdalena in the South American country. Earlier in the year, he made seven appearances for Fortaleza in the country’s top tier, but a mid-season switch now sees him play for Unión in the second tier.

Yesterday’s match was part of the ‘Torneo Finalización’ semi-finals. An unusual league format is used in Colombia’s second tier, which means Unión, who finished fifth in the ‘Torneo Finalización’, are playing in the semi-finals, in which the top eight teams were split into the two groups of four, with the winner of each going into the final.

Saunders entered the match after 73 minutes with his side one-nil down. His appearance seemed to make an instant impact though, as just two minutes after coming on, his side equalised through a penalty to secure a 1-1 draw.

Germany: Alemannia Aachen 2-1 Sportfreunde Sigen (Regionalliga)

Thackray in action earlier in the season

English centre-back Kris Thackray started for table-toppers Alemannia Aachen as they hosted Sportfreunde Sigen in Germany’s fourth tier.

The match turned out to be a brilliant game for the defender, who has had spells in Italy and Malta. In the 41st minute, he gave his side the lead with his first league goal since April 2013.

The visitors later equalised but Alemannia scored an 85th minute winner, to keep them at the top of the league.

Netherlands: VVV Venlo 1-0 Telstar (Eerste Divisie)
English winger Medy Elito was in the starting line-up for VVV Venlo as they looked to make it back-to-back wins with a game against Telstar.

VVV would have been expecting a win against a side several places below them in the table but the visitors frustrated their hosts for large periods of the game.

The breakthrough eventually came though, as an 80th minute goal from Moroccan substitute Abdelaziz Khalouta gave VVV the three points.

Elito played the full ninety minutes.


English in action: 21st November

It has been a while since the last English in action update. Although there have been a couple of overseas Englishmen in action recently, most have been for Auckland City in the OFC President’s Cup. A separate update on that tournament will be on the blog following its completion.

Meanwhile, seven expatriates were involved in games yesterday.

France: Strasbourg 0-0 Dunkerque (Championnat National)

Seventh played sixth as Strasbourg hosted Dunkerque in France’s third tier. A bumper crowd of 9,461 packed into the Stade de la Meinau saw English defender Edwin Pindi come on as an 81st minute substitute for Dunkerque.

Pindi, now in his fourth season with the French side, made sure his side kept a clean sheet as the game ended goalless. The match was the defender’s sixth appearance of the season.

Germany: Auerbach 0-2 Plauen (Regionalliga Nordost)
From France’s third tier to Germany’s, Auerbach hosted Plauen in the Regionalliga Nordost. Starting for the home side was English defender Olukorede ‘Korede’ Aiyegbusi. The 26-year-old is in his first season in Germany, having previously had spells in America, Finland and Switzerland.

Aiyegbusi has been a regular for Auerbach this season, missing just two games but he was unable to prevent his side losing 2-0 as they conceded a goal in both halves to Plauen, who now move above them in the table.

Fellow Englishman Moses Makinde was an unused sub for Auerbach.

India: Kerala Blasters 2-1 Atlético de Kolkata (Indian Super League)
Kerala Blasters’ player/manager David James was in action again as his side hosted top of the table Atlético de Kolkata. The 44-year-old goalkeeper is currently leading the Golden Glove standings in the Indian Super League, having kept four clean sheets in a row.

Although in this match the former England international conceded, he managed to guide the Blasters to a 2-1 win, to put them just a point off the top of the table.

Former Cardiff City striker Michael Chopra was also involved, coming on as a 75th minute substitute for the Blasters. Both Englishmen were booked in the match.

Netherlands: VVV Venlo 4-2 FC Volendam (Eerste Divisie)

English winger Medy Elito was one of only two non-Dutch players to start as VVV Venlo hosted FC Voldendam in the Netherlands’ second tier.

Elito joined VVV in the summer, making the move overseas after six consecutive in England’s Football League.

The Englishman’s side got off to a brilliant start, with forward Randy Wolters scoring a hat-trick in the first 18 minutes to race Venlo into an early 3-0 lead.

In the end, the home side secured a 4-2 victory, with Elito playing 76 minutes before being substituted. VVV are now eighth in the Eerste Divisie.

Poland: Ruch Chorzów 1-0  Śląsk Wrocław (Ekstraklasa)
Second in the league Śląsk Wrocław travelled to second bottom Ruch Chorzów in what looked like would be a routine win for the away side.

Defender Tom Hateley, son of former England international Mark, started the match on the bench for Śląsk as they looked to put pressure on top of the table Legia Warsaw.

However, after a tense 90 minutes, Ruch Chorzów shocked their supposedly superior visitors with a goal in stoppage time to secure a 1-0 win. Hateley was an unused substitute.