With a few of the Scandinavian leagues coming to a close in the next month, I thought I would give a quick run down on how a few Americans are sitting with the last couple games to be played.
In Finland, there is one game left for each of the 14 teams. Daniel Antunez and FC Inter Turku sit in sixth place with 36 points. Unfortunately, they are four points behind fourth place and unable to get a Europa League First qualifying round spot.
Vaasan Palloseura (Greg Eckhardt and Brian Pope) are in 10th place with 30 points, three points ahead of 13th place and a spot in the relegation playoffs. While there are teams in 11th and 12th place, their -11 goal differential is worse and could come into play if they lose and some teams below them get wins.
One of those teams slightly behind them is IFK Mariehamn and the American trio of Giuseppe Funicello, Lamar Neagle and Mason Trafford. They sit in 11th place with 28 points, one point ahead of the relegation playoffs (13th place) and two points ahead of the automatic relegation (14th place).
So the Veikkausliiga is coming down to the last game of the season.
Next we head to Norway’s top-flight league, which has three games left in the season for the 16 teams.
IK Start (Clarence Goodson and the now injured Hunter Freeman) currently sit in eighth place with 38 points. They are safe from relegation and probably mathematically eliminated from third place (Europa League First qualifying round spot).
Mikkel Diskerud and Erik Benjaminsen are in 11th place at Stabæk with 36 points. They are safe from relegation.
Over at Hønefoss (Steve Clark and Kenneth Di Vita Jensen) are in 14th place (relegation playoffs), five points ahead of 15th place (automatic relegation), but six points behind 13th place and safety. If they get stuck in the relegation playoffs, they will be in a four-team playoff with the teams that finished between third to fifth in the Adeccoligaen.
In Norway’s first division, there are four or five games left for the 15 teams.
Joseph Bendik and Sogndal are in first place with 52 points, seven points ahead of second place. In the Adeccoligaen, the top two teams get promoted automatically, so they have a good shot at promotion with four games left to be played.
Colin Burns and Sarpsborg 08 are in third place with 41 points. Like mentioned above, teams third through fifth are put in the promotion/relegation playoffs. Fourth place is at 40 points, while fifth and sixth place are at 34 points.
Graham Dugoni and Mjøndalen are in 11th place with 28 points, only three points ahead of the relegation zone, so their last five games are very important.
Over in Sweden, there are three to four games left for the 16 teams in the top-flight league.
USMNTer Alejandro Bedoya has his Örebro SK side in third place with 45 points. They are 13 points behind second place, but only two points ahead of fourth place. If they can hold onto third place, they will get a Europa League First qualifying round spot for next season.
Ryan Miller and Halmstads BK are in 12th place with 32 points, but are only four points ahead of the relegation playoffs spot (14th place). So they have some work to do in their last three games to stay safe this season.
A pair of Americans play at Ljungskile BK (Nick Noble and Michael Thomas). They are in fifth place with 44 points, but with only one game left to be played, they are five points shy of making the promotion playoffs, so they will be in the Superettan in 2011.
League of Ireland Premier Division
Two games are left in Ireland and Ryan Guy has his St Patrick’s Athletic squad in fifth place, three points behind third place and a Europa League First qualifying round spot for next season.
League of Ireland First Division
Down in the first division, goalkeeper Chris Konopka and Waterford United are currently in third place (promotion playoffs), two points ahead of fourth place and nothing with two games left in the season.
Russian Premier League
Finally, we head over to Russia where Eugene Starikov (on loan from FC Zenit Saint Petersburg) and FC Tom Tomsk are in 10th place out of the 16 teams with 27 points. There are still five to eight games left, depending on the team, so there is still a lot of soccer left to be played in Russia.
So there you have it. Hopefully you are all caught up to speed on the leagues that are coming to a close in October and November.