Mesut Özil (Arsenal, EPL) The German international had a hockey assist Saturday in Arsenal’s 4-0 win over Watford. Late in the 2nd half, Özil hit a long ball corralled by Costa Rican international Joel Campbell, who crossed for an easy Theo Walcott goal.The 27 year-old Gelsenkirchen native came up in the Schalke youth system, and played for the Royal Blues, Werder Bremen and Real Madrid before joining Arsenal in 2013. He also had a PK goal Tuesday in Germany’s 4-1 friendly win over their bogey-team, Italy.
Juan Arango (NY Cosmos, NASL) The former Borussia Mönchengladbach midfielder had a dream debut for the Cosmos in their season opening replay of last season’s NASL championship, as they once again defeated the Ottawa Fury. Arango scored two goals within two minutes in the first half to stake the champions to a lead they would never relinquish, beating their Canadian foes 3-0. The Venezuelan international came over to the Cosmos from Liga MX club Xolos de Tijuana in the offseason after five successful years for Gladbach. The Fury also had a former Bundesliga player in their starting lineup, as Canadian international Marcel de Jong came to the club in the offseason from MLS side Sporting Kansas City. De Jong featured for Bavarian club FC Augsburg from 2010-2015, helping them get promoted to the Bundesliga.
Eljero Elia (Feyenoord, Eredivise) The attacker scored the second goal Feyenoord’s 3-0 win over Excelsior Saturday. The goal was the seventh of the season for the 29 year-old Dutchman, who played 52 league matches for Hamburger SV from 2009-2011 and featured in 66 contests for Werder Bremen from 2012-2015 sandwiched between a brief spell at Juventus. Elia finds himself back in the Eredivise this season, where he began his professional career with Ado Den Haag, after a loan spell at Southampton. The winger also has earned 27 caps for the Netherlands since 2009.
Alexander Hleb (Gençlerbirliği, Turkish Super Lig) The 34 year-old was in the starting XI for the Ankara-based club in their 1-0 loss to one of his former employers, Konyaspor, Saturday. The Belarus international has seen actions in nine matches this season, but has yet to score a goal. His German heyday was with Stuttgart between 2000-2005 when he featured in 175 matches for the Swabians. He left for Arsenal after that time, but had two more Bundesliga stints with Stuttgart again and also a short time with VfL Wolfsburg. The well-travelled veteran was a Bundesliga title runner-up with VfB early in his stay, won a CL title and League Cup with Arsenal and did the treble in his one season at Barcelona. Alban Meha, meanwhile, the Kosovo-born midfielder who featured for SC Paderborn 07 and helped them earn their promotion to the first division, was a starter for Konyaspor. Meha received deserved attention during his 2014/2015 season in the top flight for the quality of his spot kicks.
Zdravko Kuzmanović (Udinese, Serie A) It was a big Sunday for Udinese as they downed visiting Napoli 3-1 with former Stuttgart man Kuzmanović among the starting XI for the winners. The Serbian international appeared in over 125 matches for the Swabians, scoring 22 goals, in three and 1/2 seasons after coming to Stuttgart from Fiorentina. The Thun-born midfielder was signed by Inter Milan during the winter break of the 2012/season and has since played for FC Basel before joining Udinese on loan this season.
Markus Rosenberg (Malmö FF, Allsvenskan) The 33 year-old Swede captained MFF Saturday in their 3-1 win over IFK Norrkoping. An international with 33 caps, Rosenburg played in almost 170 matches for Werder Bremen between 2006 and 2012.tim scoring 63 goals after coming to northern Germany from Ajax. He won a Pokal while with the green-whites, scoring five goals in five Cup matches. Rosenberg began his career with Malmö in 2001 before returning to the club in time for the 2014 Allsvenskan season. Rosenburg also played for Racing Santander, West Brom Albion and Halmstads BK in a career that’s seen him net 150 goals for clubs and country.
Andreas Ivanschitz (Seattle Sounders, MLS) The Austrian had the only assist of the match between the Sounders and Montreal Impact, providing for Clint Dempsey’s goal with a cross from a CK. The attacking midfielder joined Seattle late last season, coming over from Spanish side Levante after a successful time at FSV Mainz, where he featured in 113 matches, scoring 24 times for FSV. Ivanschitz began his career with Austria Wien, and also spent time with Red Bull Salzburg and Panathinaikos before coming to Germany in 2009. He’s also earned 69 caps for Austria, beginning in 2003.
Daniel Fernandes (Rayo OKC, NASL) The 32 year-old Canadian was in goal Saturday in the first league game ever for Rayo OKC and kept a clean sheet as the club, with majority ownership by Raul Martin Presa of Rayo Vallecano in La Liga, drew 0-0 with FC Edmonton. Fernandes, born in Edmonton of Portuguese descent, came up in the Porto youth system. He played for SV Jahn Regensburg reserves side in 2003 and joined VfL Bohum in 2008, where he was their starting goalkeeper for a season in Germany’s top flight. Most of Fernandes’ career has been in spent playing in Greece for several clubs, with his longest stint being at PAOK. Also among the starters for Rayo OKC was Derek Boateng, the Ghanian international veteran of two World Cups who played with 1.FC Köln during the 2008/2009 debut. Starting for FC Edmonton was Canadian international Nik Ledgerwood, a native of Alberta who played a dozen seasons in Germany for six different clubs including 1860 Munich and Energie Cottbus.
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