Aussies Abroad Preview: Degenek eyes debut

While European football draws to a close in the next few months, Aussies in the United States and Japan are just starting their quest for silverware!

While Tom Rogic and Mat Ryan played out their European knockout ties overnight, Milos Degenek is set for his first taste of Major League Soccer this weekend.

Read all about it in our latest Aussies Abroad Preview. 

Socceroos Japan


England & Scotland

Overnight, Celtic's European campaign ended in Norway, with the Hoops falling in both legs to Bodø/Glimt during the UEFA Conference League Second Round. Tom Rogic had been primed for the return fixture after limited minutes in the league just days earlier, yet neither he, or his talented forward line could break through one of Europe's most exciting young sides.

The Aussie started the match and was eventually withdrawn early into the second half, as the Norwegians ran out 2-0 winners.

There is little time for rest however, with Ange Postecoglou's men returning to the league on the weekend, where their lead at the top continues to grow. A huge match awaits, with Celtic travelling to Aberdeen to face fourth-place Hibernian (Sunday 11pm) - a side that many Australians in recent times have become particularly familiar with.

Despite grabbing a crucial victory away at West Bromwich Albion during the week, Riley McGree and Middlesbrough still find themselves a point below the play-off spots heading into the weekend. The team from England's North-East will not have a better chance than this match-day to regain their spot in the top 6, as they travel to last-place Barnsley (Sunday 2am AEDT).


The race for European football does not get any easier for Ajdin Hrustic and Eintracht Frankfurt this weekend, with German champions Bayern Munich travelling north to face Hrustic's team (Sunday 4:30am AEDT). With 11 games to play, Stuttgart remain in the hunt for either Champions League or Europa League competition next season, with only 6 points separating themselves from the teams in those qualifying places.

Meanwhile in 2. Bundesliga, Jackson Irvine's side FC St Pauli possess a golden opportunity to regain their place at the top of Germany's second division, when they travel to relegation bound Ingolstadt (Saturday 11:30pm AEDT). The side from Hamburg slipped off their perch after a shock loss at home last weekend, yet due to the 2. Bundesliga's tight nature, a one match bounce back to the league's summit is still a real possibility.


Brandon Borrello will be hoping his side Dynamo Dresden produce a large scalp, when they host third-place Darmstadt (Sunday 6:30am AEDT). The chances for Borrello's team are there, with Dynamo managing to take points off the league's top sides recently, along with Darmstadt's dip in form over the last month. Socceroos teammate Irvine will also be watching on, with a Dresden win giving St Pauli the chance to leapfrog Darmstadt this weekend.

Mainland Europe

This season's Europe League adventure ends for Mat Ryan and Real Sociedad, after defeat in their home second-leg tie 3-1 against German side RB Leipzig.

The Socceroos shot-stopper was in the thick of the action all night, making three of four spectacular blocks, along with a penalty save in the first half. Ryan was an example of La Real's hard luck throughout the game, with his penalty save rebounding to a Leipzig forward who tapped home.

The performance by Ryan was a standout and will hopefully aid his case for regular game-time back in La Liga. The side from San Sebastian return to the league this weekend, when they host Osasuna (Monday 4:30am AEDT), with three points being enough to help Ryan's team regain Spain's top six sides.

Trent Sainsbury's team KV Kortrijk travel to fellow mid-table outfit Genk (Monday 2am AEDT), who sit just two points ahead. Sainsbury's side will be buoyed by a 

Check out the new Aussies Abroad Podcast featuring Trent in the player below, or listen and subscribe on SpotifyApple Podcasts & Google Play

AS Eupen and James Jeggo will travel to Belgium's toughest away match this weekend to face Brussels side Union Saint-Gilloise (Sunday 2:15am AEDT), who have practically wrapped up a first league title in decades, sitting nine points clear with six games to play.

After travelling to the Danish capital to face league giants FC Kobenhavn in his debut game, you would think that Joel King would be given an easier task for his second match at Odensk BK. Unfortunately for the 21-year-old, the schedule gets tougher, with league champions and current leaders FC Midtjylland travelling to the coastal city (Monday 4am AEDT).


In Turkey, Aziz Behich prepares for a straight shootout with league safety being the prize, as his side Giresunspor host Göztepe (Sunday 9:30pm AEDT). Behich and co. find themselves a point inside the relegation zone, yet they can pass on that responsibility to Göztepe, who currently occupy the position above them.

Brescia have regained their crown at the top of the Serie B for now, with Fran Karacic edging ever closer to a first campaign in Italy's first division next season. They must now warden off any competitors beneath them, starting with mid-table side Como, who host Karacic's club this weekend (Sunday 12am AEDT).

Danny Vukovic's side Nijmegen sit just five points beneath European qualification, with their next opponents Vitesse, being one of the sides that currently deny them of a chance at continental competition. A victory away from home would be an enormous step towards returning to The Netherlands' top echelon of teams.

United States

Major League Soccer returns once again in the United States and Canada, with a number of Aussies having made their name in the bright lights of North America over the years. 

The next name that will hopefully join the illustrious list is recent Columbus Crew signing Milos Degenek. After several seasons at the top of European competition in Belgrade, the Socceroo has made the switch to America's mid-west and is determined to start the campaign on the right foot.

The Crew wont be able to use the cold conditions as an advantage unfortunately, with the Ohio outfit opening their account at home to Canadian side Vancouver Whitecaps (Sunday 7:30am AEDT).


Asia and Middle-East

Fagiano Okayama and Mitch Duke started their campaign in perfect fashion, scoring four and now sitting top of J2. Duke's side will be looking to continue their early form with another home game against Tokushima Vortis. Thankfully for Australian supporters who would have been preparing their alarms for some early morning football, Duke's match will instead be the perfect Sunday afternoon wind-down (4pm AEDT).

Martin Boyle will be hoping for another couple of goals and a victory for new club Al-Faisaly. His Saudi team will have no better chance to return to winning ways than this weekend, facing relegation bound Al-Batin (Sunday 11:50pm AEDT).