Felipe Santana (Kuban Krasnodar, Russian Premier League) The former BvB and Schalke man started in central defense Thursday in Kuban Krasnodar’s 4-1 loss away to Zenit St. Petersburg. The Brazilian joined the Russian club in January this year after a six-month loan spell at Olympiacos while under contract with the Royal Blues. The 30 year-old was unable to duplicate the success he had for their great rivals, Borussia Dortmund. Santana featured on two Bundesliga championship teams while wearing the yellow and black, and also won a Pokal championship. He will always be remembered for his late goal that brought victory to Jurgen Klopp’s BvB side against Malaga in the Champions League in April, 2013, a win that helped push Dortmund to the CL final against Bayern Munich. The defender began his career in Brazil with Figueirense before signing with Dortmund in June, 2008.
Miro Klose (SS Lazio, Serie A) Inter Milan were looking to clinch a top four Serie A berth when they came to Rome Sunday, but Klose and Lazio denied them, winning 2-0. The great former German international scored in the 8th minute to get Lazio rolling. Klose launched his professional career with Kaiserslautern during the 1999/2000 season and spent four more additional season with the Red Devils before moving on to Werder Bremen, where he spent three seasons and Bayern Munich, where he spent four. Now 37, Klose is in his fifth season with Lazio but is retired from international competition, having scored a whopping 71 goals for the German national team over the years. Former BvB and Wolfsburg man Ivan Perisic started for Inter and took four shots, but couldn’t find the back of the net.
Benny Feilhaber (Sporting Kansas City, MLS) The former Hamburger SV man started for SKC in their 1-1 draw with the Vancouver Whitecaps Wednesday evening. Feilhaber, the Brazilian-born American international, was in the middle of the action, drawing two fouls and commiting two. After playing soccer at the collegiate level at UCLA, Feilhaber signed with HSV in July, 2005 after his performances at the FIFA World Youth Championship and in the Maccabi games. The midfielder spent most of his time at HSV playing for the reserve squad, but did make his Bundelsiga debut in October, 2006 and made featured on seven other occasions for the red-shorts senior squad. He left HSV for Derby County and played in Denmark before joining MLS in 2011. He has 41 USMNT caps, but has been critical of the roster choices of American national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann, feeling the he and other MLS players are overlooked. Now 31, Feilhaber has won an MLS Cup and US Open Cup with Kansas City.
Gylfi Sigurdsson (Swansea City, EPL) The former Hoffenheim man had an assist and took four shots for the Swans in their 3-1 win Sunday over Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool. The Icelandic international played for Hoffe between 2010-2012, scoring eight Bundesliga goals. Still only 26 years old, Sigurdsson has played for five different clubs in England, beginning with Reading in 2008. Neither Emre Can or Shinji Okazaki, both former Bundesliga players, suited up for LFC on Sunday.
Pavel Pogrebnyak (Dinamo Moscow, Russian Premier League) The 32 year-old was a starter for Dinamo Friday in their scoreless draw with FK Amkar Perm. Pogrebnyak began his career with Spartak Moscow in 2002, and after several loans, signed with Tom Tomsk in 2006 and Zenit St. Petersburg in 2007. He joined VfB Stuttgart in August, 2009 and played two full seasons with the club, leaving on loan to Fulham during winter break of the 2011/2012m where he scored six goals in only twelve EPL matches. Pogrebnyak featured in 81 matches for the Swabians, scoring 21 goals, and signed with Reading after his loan spell at Fulham. He returned to Russian football in August, 2015 by signing a three-year deal with Dinamo. The striker has scored 138 professional goals in club football, and another eight in 33 matches for the Russian national team.
Carlos Gruezo (Dallas FC, MLS) The 21 year-old was a starter for Dallas FC Friday night in their 4-0 loss to the NY Red Bulls. Gruezo came to Germany from Ecuador in January, 2014 when he signed a three-year deal with Stuttgart. He became the first Ecuadoran to score in the Bundesliga on November of that year against SC Freiburg, but only played in 14 Bundesliga games for a Stuttgart team that was constantly facing relegation. He signed with FC Dallas in January of this year, and at age 21 already has ten caps for his country. Goalkeeper Luis Robles, who began his professional career with 1.FC Kaiserslautern in 2007, and also played with Karlsruher SC, made four saves to record the clean sheet for NYRB, while Sal Zizzo had an assist for the Red Bulls. Zizzo played in 45 matches for Hannover’s reserve side between 2007-2010 and appeared eight times for Hannover’s senior squad. He also spent time on loan with Fortuna Düsseldorf while in Germany.
Yohandry Orozco (NY Cosmos, NASL) Orozco scored the opening goal in the match Sunday between the Cosmos and Carolina RailHawks, the hottest team in the NASL. The Venezuelan was signed by VfL Wolfsburg in January.2011 but never flourished in the Volkswagen City, featuring in only seven Wolves’ matches. He does, however, hold the distinction of being the shortest player (5’4″) to appear in a BuLi match, according to Wikipedia. Orozco, 25, signed with the Cosmos in January and is a teammate of fellow Venezuelan international Juan Arango, formerly of Borussia Mönchengladbach, who also started Sunday’s match.
Francisco Rodriguez (Cruz Azul, Liga MX) ‘Maza’ was in the starting XI for Cruz Azul Sunday and launched two shots as La Maquina defeated home side Toluca 2-0. Cruz Azul are clinging to the 8th and final playoff ‘La Liguilla’ berth in the Liga MX table with one more round of matches that will end the Clausura regular season. Rodriguez played for Stuttgart for a season and a half, coming over from PSV Eindhoven. The defender has won two championships in Mexico with Chivas de Guadalajara and Club America, and has 108 caps for El Tri.
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