Sunday, April 4, 2010
The 1. Division kicks off its season with Colin Burns manning the pipes at Sarpsborg while Mikkel Diskerud and Stabaek welcome in northerners Tromso in Eliteserien action.

Stabaek - Tromso

Mikkel Diskerud will look to score his second goal in as many weeks as Stabaek host Tromso on Monday evening at Telenor Arena in Baerum.

Diskerud will line up in his now customary spot as an attacking midfielder on the right side of Jan Jonsson's 4-4-2.

The 20 year old dual citizen picked up his first goal of the season last week when he scored using the outside of his right foot during Stabaek's 2-2 draw at Aalesund.

The club returns home on Monday with a change up front after acquiring striker Bernt Hulsker on loan from IK Start.

Hulsker was brought over to fill the void left by Veigar Pall Gunnarsson who is sidelined for three months with an ankle injury.

Tromso come into the having accrued six points out of their first nine and will feature veteran Sigurd Rushfeldt and 22 year old Vegard Braaten up front.

Braaten had a wildly successful 1. Division season last year scoring 18 goals at Jay Needham's former club of Alta.

The striker was brought back to his parent club for this season and will look tally his first Eliteserien goal against Diskerud and company.

Gunnarsson will be the only absence for Stabaek while Tromso will have a full squad available.

Start - Valerenga

Clay Goodson and Hunter Freeman will once again team up on the Start back line versus Troy Perkins' old club Valerenga on Monday evening at Sor Arena in Kristiansand.

Head coach Knut Torum is sure to pencil in Goodson at center back and Freeman at right back for the contest.

Start will enjoy a second straight home match and will look to do improve on last week's 1-1 draw with Molde.

But it will have to be done without Bernt Hulkser who joined Stabaek on loan earlier this week.

The emergence of attackers Christer Keliven and Mads Stokkelien, 20 and 21 years old respectively, made Hulsker expendable and was a logical move for both clubs.

Lars Hirschfeld is the new man in goal at Valerenga after taking over for Perkins who departed for DC United in the offseason.

But much of the attention on the 2008 Norwegian Cup champions will be centered around playmakers Moa Abdellaoue, Harmeet Sigh and Mohammed Fellah who fueled a late season resurgence helping Valerenga finish seventh in last season's final Eliteserien standings.

Jesper Mathisen and Petter Bruer Hansen continue to be sidelined with injuries and will not be available for Start while Valerenga will have a full squad.

Haugesund - Honefoss

Goalkeeper Steve Clark will make his Eliteserien debut for struggling Honefoss who visit Haugesund on Monday evening at Haugesund Stadion.

Clark sat on the bench as the backup goalkeeper in the club's first three matches but following last week's humiliating 6-0 loss to Lillestrom, Honefoss head coach Ole Bjørn Sundgot has elected to bring on the Michigan native to tend the Honefoss net.

Fellow American Kenneth Di Vita Jensen will also hope to be part of Sundgot's shakeup as Di Vita Jensen has yet to receive his first start this season, but may see some minutes off the bench in the second half.

It has been a very slow start for the visitors who still have yet to register a goal on the campaign, let alone a point.

Haugesund have not fared much better themselves as they sit with just two points heading into the contest.

Both teams earned automatic promotion from the 1. Division to the Eliteserien but the going has been much more difficult this season in Norway's highest level of soccer.

Each coach will have a full squad available.

Bodo-Glimt - Lyn

Tyrel Lacey and FC Lyn's 1. Division campaign kicks off with a trip over to Bodo to take on Bodo/Glimt at Aspmyra Stadion on Monday evening.

Lacey will have the distinction of being the starting netminder for the visitors who will look to come out of the gate with three points in a battle of newly-demoted clubs.

The Oklahoma native started five matches in goal for last season before a torn meniscus prematurely ended his season.

Despite not joining the club until midway through preseason, Lacey was able to reclaim his starting goalkeeping position.

It remains to be seen if the overall health of Lyn remains good as their offseason was marked once again by financial turmoil.

No longer able to play their home matches in Oslo's Ullevaal Stadion, the club will be entertaining the home fans in the more intimate surroundings of the historic Bislett Stadion.

Lyn were dreadful last season in the Eliteserien, winning only two matches, one of which came in Lacey's professional debut in a memorable 4-1 win over Start.

Anders Konradsen and Alo Barengrub are out with injuries for Bodo/Glimt while Lyn will have to do without Endre Fotland Knudsen who is still out with an injury.

Lov-Ham - Sarpsborg

American keeper Colin Burns will make his 1. Division debut in net, when Sarpsborg takes on Løv-Ham, Monday at the new Varden Amfi Stadium.

Burns who is no stranger to Scandanavian ball, playing for Sweden's Ljungskile in 2008 and 2009, hopes to kick off the season and his Norwegian career with a win for Roar Johansen's squad.

The young Sarpsborg squad, averaging just 22.5 years, will face off against an injured Løv-Ham.

Three of Løv-Ham's starters, including right and central defenders, Marius Solberg and Kevin Dure, as well as left midfielder, Nicolai Misje, are injured and will watch the game from the bench.

Last years' 1. Division matchups between these two ended in a 4-1 home turf win for each team.

Løv-Ham hopes to use that same home field advantage against Sarpsborg's dynamic duo of Martin Wiig and Øyvind Hoås up top.

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