Alumni Abroad Update

Rain caused postponements in northern France at the weekend as both French-based Fire alumni Carlos Bocanegra and Bakary Soumare saw their matches rescheduled because of water logged pitches.

The big news at midweek, Bocanegra returned to action for Saint-Etienne, playing 90 minutes in Les Verts 2-0 away loss to Auxerre in the quarterfinals of the French Coupe de la Ligue. The defeat was the club’s third straight across all competitions.

Looking to rebound in the league on Saturday, Saint Etienne’s visit to Valenciennes was postponed with the Stade Nugesser pitch reportedly holding puddles of water ranging from 5-10 centimeters.  Sitting atop La Championnat less than a month ago, Bocanegra’s side has fallen to 10th position, having not won a league game since a 1-0 victory at Olympique Lyon on September 25. All is not lost though as Les Verts (5-4-3; 18 points) sit only four points behind current league leaders Brest with a game in hand on the tight Ligue 1 table

Soumare and Ligue 2 side US Boulogne saw their home match against Metz postponed due to the rain as well. Having just taken their first league loss of the season last Monday in a 2-0 defeat at Tours, Boulogne (3-1-10) are mid-table on 19 points, six points back of the last Ligue 2 promotion place with a game in hand.  Soumare’s side will shift focus to the Coupe de France with a first round home match against third-division Pacy Valle-d’Eure this Saturday.

Veteran Polish striker Tomasz Frankowski went 70 minutes in Ekstraklasa league leaders Jagiellonia Bialystok’s 1-1 draw at second-place Korona Kielce.

Kamil Grosicki put Jagiellonia up nine minutes in and Frankowski was brought off in the 70th minute for midfielder Maciej Makuszewski as Jaga went into a more defensive posture to preserve their lead. Korona equalized five minutes from time through Croatian Aleksandar Vukovic. The result keeps Jaga (8-3-2; 26 points) two points ahead of their table-top rivals in the Ekstraklasa table and with eight goals Frankowski stays tied atop the goal scoring table with Polish midfielder Andrzej Niedzielan.

Jagiellonia will take on last place Cracovia Krakow this Saturday.

Cuautehmoc Blanco played 90 minutes and picked up a yellow card, helping Irapuato to a 1-1 draw against Club Leon in Mexican Liga de Ascenso play Saturday.

The result leaves Irapuato sixth in the Mexican second division and matches them with third place Durango in the Apertura playoffs. Irapuato will play host in the two-leg series this Tuesday with the return leg at Durango on Friday.

Paraguayan defender Lider Marmol went 90 minutes in Atlante’s 1-1 season-ending draw at Toluca on Saturday. The result leaves them out of the Apertura playoffs, finishing with a 4-9-4 record and 5th place in Group B. Though a poor season, Atlante did come in with a strong finish, going unbeaten in three of their final four league games.

Botswanan international Dipsy Selolwane went 90 minutes in back-to-back games this week as SuperSport United kept their mid-table pace in the South African Premier Soccer League.

United came back from 2-1 down Wednesday, using a 75th minute goal from Morgan Gould to earn a 2-2 draw away at Maritzburg United.

Sunday, United ran out to a 2-0 first half lead behind goals from Gould and Kermit Erasmus before Bloemfontein Celtic’s Prince Hlela pulled one goal back in the 62nd minute. The strike wasn’t enough and United went out 2-1 winners at home.

The four points moves Selolwane and SuperSport to 3-3-2 (11 points) and keeps the side in ninth place in the 16-team table. United will look to move up as they visit last-place Moroka Swallows this Saturday.

Ivan Guerrero went 90 minutes at right back as Motagua downed Victoria 3-0 in Honduran league play. The result moves Motagua to 4-7-6 (18 points) on the season and the side will look to move up to close out the season by finishing seventh in the table as they visit Deportes Savio in their league finale this Sunday.

DaMarcus Beasley was in the 18 but did not play in Hannover’s 1-0 win at Mainz on Saturday. The victory moves the north German side to 6-5-1 (19 points) and 7th place in the Bundesliga table.

Hannover will host ninth place Hamburg this Saturday.

Jeff Crandall is the Team Writer for the Chicago Fire. Follow him on Twitter @JefeCrandall.