KYLE SCHNITZER - Sunday, August 10, 2014
As clubs wrap up the pre-season, several Americans featured in the third qualifying round of the UEFA Europa League this Thursday.
The only team with an American to advanced was Stjarnan, where 24-year-old midfielder Pablo Punyed currently plays. The Icelandic side played Lech Poznan to a scoreless draw, enough to advance them on aggregate 1-0.
Friday's draw for the final play-off round gave them one of the toughest possible opponents, as they will face Serie A's Inter Milan on August 21th in the next stage.
Mikkel Diskerud and Rosenborg were eliminated by Karabukspor after drawing on aggregate 1-1 but losing thanks to away goals. Diskerud, who seemed destined for a transfer to the MLS with the Columbus Crew in recent days, was subbed out in the 75th minute after picking up a yellow card in the 67th minute.
Ethan Horvath and Molde were ousted on an own goal in the 89th minute, falling to Zorya 2-1.
Molde, who have both backup keeper Horvath and currently injured Joshua Gatt, controlled most of the match, including 12 shots on target but could only muster one goal. The final aggregate scorline favored Zorya 3-2.
Finally, FH Hafnarfardar and Sean Reynolds defeated Elfsborg 2-1, but lost on aggregate 5-3 due to the 4-1 first-leg blowout. Reynolds, 24-years-old, did not play in the match but was on the bench.
The final play-off round of qualification commences on Aug. 21, where Brad Friedel's Tottenham Hotspur and Fabian Johnson's new team Borussia Mönchengladbach will join Punyed in the race for the group stage.