DAVID SMITH - Friday, September 14, 2012
The third round of the Danish Cup has been set, giving all Americans competing in the Superligaen entirely winnable matchups against lower-league opposition.
With the upper teams in the top-tier finally entering the competition in the third round, a full slate of Americans are ready to try and push their way into the final 16.
Michael Parkhurst and the defending league champions Nordsjaelland saw their streak of two straight Cup titles end last season at the quarterfinal stage. They should have few problems to easily breeze past third-tier Svebølle B&I, who were knocked out in the third round last season by SønderjyskE in a surprisingly tight 1-0 battle.
Clarence Goodson and Brøndby have been plagued by a disastrous season which has them on the edge of relegation, but even with their woes, they should be able to beat local third-level rivals B.93.
Their Copenhagen area opponents have fallen off considerably since their glory days in decades gone by, with their nine league championships in the first half of the 20th century and their lone Danish Cup win in 1982 a distant relic of the past.
Conor O'Brien will be involved in the first potential American face-off in the competition when SønderjyskE head to the northern tip of Denmark to face Hjørring. However with defender Mike Jones yet to make an appearance for the hosts in a competitive game, O'Brien will likely be the only Yank to take the field in the Superligaen versus First Division battle.
Rounding out the competition, Charlie Davies will likely continue to be a super-sub option for Randers when they visit third-tier team Næstved, while Brad Rusin and Shawn Nicklaw will hope that their cup matchup against Hellerup IK will provide some respite from an otherwise disastrous First Division campaign for Køge.
Exact dates for the games have not yet been set, however they will take place in the midweek, either in the period from September 25-27 or the following week from October 2-4.
Danish Cup third round draw
Næstved - Randers FC
B93 - Brøndby
Svebølle - FC Nordsjælland
FC Hjørring - SønderjyskE
Hellerup IK - HB Køge