MEGHAN BRENNAN - Tuesday, June 8, 2010
The third round of the Norwegian Cup highlights the final matches in Norway before the month-long summer break with Mikkel Diskerud and Stabaek facing Tønsberg while Hunter Freeman and Start tangle with Sandnes Ulf.
Stabæk - Tønsberg
It has been almost six weeks since Stabaek and Mikkel Diskerud have played in their home of Telenor Arena and when they return Wednesday for the third round of the Norwegian Cup they will meet FK Tønsberg.
Expectations are high for the homecoming after the Eurovision Song Contest left Jan Jonsson's team sharing Vålerenga's stadium for more than six weeks.
Coincidentally, Stabæk will face off against a fierce 2. Division Tønsberg squad who took down Eliteserien club Vålerenga 3-2 in the previous round of the Cup.
Diskerud is likely to start in the midfield and contribute to the attack. Just this past Sunday, Diskerud was voted man of the match by the Norwegian national newspaper for his last minute, game saving goal against Sandefjord.
He hopes to increase his goal tally on Wednesday before Stabæk and the rest of the Eliteserien go on international break for the World Cup.
Sarpsborg - Hønefoss
It is uncertain whether Kenneth Di Vita Jensen will face off against fellow American Colin Burns in round three Norwegian Cup match at Sarpsborg Stadion.
The match up between Eliteserien club Hønefoss and 1. Division Sarpsborg is scheduled to be played in Sarpsborg's city owned and operated stadium. However with city workers currently on strike, the game remains a question mark.
The decision to play or not to play will be made at noon Wednesday, just six hours before the scheduled kick off.
If all goes as planned, a strong 1. Division Sarpsborg will do their best to knock a struggling Eliteserien Hønefoss out of the Cup.
Di Vita Jensen is a likely starter for Hønefoss at striker as is Burns a likely starter for Sarpsborg in net.
Steve Clark continues his quest to re-earn the starting keeper position for Hønefoss and will support his team from the sidelines should the match be played.
Start - Sandnes Ulf
Hunter Freeman and IK Start will face off against 1. Division squad Sandnes Ulf Thursday in the third round of the Norwegian Cup at Sør Arena.
Freeman will start in his customary right back position and will be the lone American in a typical defensive two-some. Start's center back Clarence Goodson is on duty with the US Men's National Team for the World Cup.
The visiting squad, Sandnes Ulf sit second from last in the 1. Division with only two wins and has a tall order ahead of them if they wish to advance to the next round.
However Start is no stranger to early exits in the cup, as they lost in this very round last year to 1. Division squad Løv-Ham.
Molde - Sogndal
Joseph Bednik should get his third start in goal for 1. Division Sogndal who take on reeling Molde in the third round of the Norwegian Cup.
Bednik started the previous two cup contests for Sogndal and impressed in both outings. While those matches were against inferior lower division competition, Wednesday's affair at Aker Stadion will be a much tougher test.
The hosts were runners-up in last year's Eliteserien and also reached the final of last year's cup before losing to Aalesund in penalty kicks.
Sogndal's league play has been stellar as they are coming off a 2-0 thumping of Lov-Ham helping them reach third in the league standings, just a win away from one of the automatic promotion spots.
Molde, on the other hand, enter the match looking to shake off their monumental collapse versus Lillestrom over the weekend when they gave up three goals in second half stoppage time resulting in a 3-3 draw.
In order for Sogndal to pull the upset, it will have to be done without Isaac Scheel who is still out with an injury while Molde will be missing playmaker Pape Pate Diouf.
Lyn goalkeeper Tyrel Lacey is still rehabbing a torn meniscus in his knee and will not be available against Stromsgodset.