Teenager Mike Petrasso had a whirlwind weekend, securing a loan Friday and scoring his first pro goal on Saturday. Goal recaps that and other Canadians Abroad weekend action.With the horrific year that the men's national team and its players have had in 2013, it's sometimes tough to remember that there are a number of very promising Canadian youngsters coming up through the ranks.
Following a dip in performance at the various youth levels over several years in the past decade, Canada has started to rebound within CONCACAF in U-17 and U-20 play, and it came within a game of qualifying for last year's Olympics.
Many of the players from those youth teams are starting their professional journeys, and some have predictably made quicker impacts than others. This past week saw one of Canada's more promising attacking players take his first steps in the pro game, with a goal to mark the occasion.
On-loan youngster Michael Petrasso made his professional debut on Saturday, joining League One's Oldham Athletic from Queens Park Rangers, where he has featured for the academy and U-21 sides.
Petrasso's loan to Oldham was announced Friday, and he was in the starting lineup the next day at Gillingham. The 18-year-old had what can only be described as a dream debut match, as he nodded home the game's only goal in the 57th minute.
He played 60 minutes in the 1-0 win, which lifted Oldham out of the relegation zone.
Elsewhere in League One, Marcus Haber was also in the starting lineup as his team, Notts County, fell 1-0 at Shrewsbury Town.
Haber went 83 minutes for Notts County, which sits dead last in the league.
The other Canadian in England's third tier, striker Iain Hume, was left on the bench as Preston North End drew Colchester United 1-1. PNE is in fifth place after 17 rounds of play.
Up a rung in the Championship, David Edgar started and went the full 90 minutes for first-place Burnley as it played to a 1-1 deadlock at Nottingham Forest.
Burnley's hold on the top spot in the standings is tenuous, especially as three straight draws by the club have allowed Leicester and QPR to draw level on points atop the standings.
Speaking of QPR, the London side defeated visiting Charlton Athletic 1-0 on Saturday without Brampton, Ont., native Junior Hoilett, who was not in the 18-man squad.
The two Canadian internationals in the Bundesliga saw very little playing time over the weekend, continuing the disturbing trend that has played itself over the course of the entire season so far.
In Braunschweig, Simeon Jackson started on the bench and entered the match with five minutes remaining in regulation time, as Eintracht Braunschweig was looking to nullify a one-goal deficit. Unfortunately for Jackson and his struggling club, the scoreline would stand and Eintracht fell 1-0 to SC Freiburg.
Elsewhere in Germany's top tier, Marcel de Jong didn't even get off the bench as his team, FC Augsburg, defeated Hoffenheim 2-0 on Saturday.
Augsburg has fallen off after a bright start to the season, but de Jong continues to play the role of backup.
Things weren't any better for André Hainault in the 2. Bundesliga, as the defender watched from the bench while his club, VfR Aalen, fell 1-0 to visiting FC St. Pauli.
Also riding the pine was Rob Friend, who remained on the bench for 1860 Munich in a 1-0 win over Greuther Furth. Friend has played 559 league minutes in 10 appearances for 1860 so far this season.
It wasn't all doom and gloom for Canadians in Germany, however, as striker Olivier Occean scored the first goal for Kaiserslautern in a 3-0 win over Union Berlin.
It was the second goal of the season for the 32-year-old, who has started only eight league games for his table-topping side.
The versatile Atiba Hutchinson played the full 90 minutes for Besiktas on Monday, starting at left back in a 3-1 win over Konyaspor.
The 30-year-old mostly plays as a central midfielder for his club, but he can slot in at just about every outfield position when needed.
On the opposite side of the coin is goalkeeper Milan Borjan, whose exile at Sivasspor continues this week.
The 26-year-old was not in the club's 18-man squad for Saturday's 2-1 loss to Galatasaray, and he will not be playing any league matches for Sivasspor in the foreseeable future unless something drastic happens.
Meanwhile in the 1. Lig, Tosaint Ricketts played the final 22 minutes for Bucaspor and was shown a yellow card in a 1-0 loss to visiting Şanlıurfaspor.
Bucaspor sits in 16th place after 13 matches.
After a brief injury spell, midfielder Julian de Guzman has reclaimed his place in the starting lineup for SKODA Xanthi, which prevailed 3-1 over Panaitolikos on Sunday.
Although it is still early in the campaign, Xanthi is within shouting distance of a European spot at present. The club sits seventh in the Greek Super League, just one point out of the league's final Champions League playoff spot.
Striker Daniel Haber made the briefest of cameos for Apollon over the weekend, subbing on in the 91st minute as his club fell 1-0 to AEL.
The loss didn't cause Apollon to drop from its perch atop the Cypriot 1. Division table, but increased competition from chasing clubs will make it that much tougher for the 21-year-old Canadian to increase his playing time in the near future.