Last month, we rounded-up six Calgary soccer players making waves across the pond. Now, with the World Cup in full swing, we kept up with their progress with their clubs before club soccer’s Cup break, where one Calgarian represented the city on the global stage.
Adekugbe found himself as the lone Calgarian on the Canadian national team after Scott Kennedy’s injury ruled him out. Before joining up with the squad in the Middle East, Adekugbe played two matches for his Turkish Super Lig club Hatayspor.
Last month we mentioned that Adekugbe seemed to have won over new manager Volkan Demirel after playing all 90 minutes in the last two matches in October, and November proved no different. Adekugbe has cemented his role as Hatayspor’s first-choice left back, playing every minute in their two matches this month, a 3-3 draw and a 1-0 win.
Following these fixtures, Adekugbe met up with the Canada squad, first for a friendly match against Japan in Bahrain where he started and played 60 minutes, before travelling to Qatar with the Canada squad.
Adekugbe was not picked to start in either of Canada’s World Cup matches in November, with manager John Herdman opting for Toronto FC’s Richie Laryea in his left wing back position. Herdman eventually would substitute Adekugbe on in both games, unfortunately to little effect as he was unable to prevent Canada from losing in either match. Despite this, Adekugbe’s appearance did lead to an unforgettable moment for his mother.
Adekugbe did start Canada’s third match of the tournament against Morocco.
As we predicted in October’s roundup, Tomori was a hot topic of conversation among England fans as he was snubbed by manager Gareth Southgate from the Three Lions’ 26-man squad going to Qatar despite calls for his inclusion.
Nevertheless, November was more of the same from Tomori for his club side, AC Milan, as he played every minute of Milan’s four games before the break. The reigning Italian champions went undefeated in the month, only conceding two goals in total as they currently sit in second place, eight points behind leaders Napoli.
Statistically, Tomori has maintained his consistent presence as a rock at the back, as he completed 100 per cent of his tackles in three of the four matches this month. He also had a rare contribution to a goal in Milan’s 2-1 win over Fiorentina on Nov. 13, as his pass led to the assist for Rafael Leao’s finish in the second minute.
Victor Loturi has had his best month yet at his club Ross County in the Scottish Premiership, starting in all three of their games last month. Loturi was able to help Ross County climb off the bottom of the league, as they won two of their three games in November, only losing to league leaders Celtic.
In a 3-2 win over St. Mirren on Nov. 5, Loturi got his first assist of the season, providing striker Jordan White with an inch-perfect cross for an easy tap-in. The goal helped Ross County secure only their second win in 10 matches, with the last win coming on Oct. 8.
Following this match, Loturi started and played all 90 minutes in a 2-0 win against Hibernian on Nov. 8. This result meant that Ross County had won two matches in a row for the first time this season. Playing as a defensive midfielder, Loturi did a good job in keeping hold of the ball, as he recorded a pass completion percentage of 88.9, a game-high.
Only time will tell if Loturi has managed to win the starting spot from Ross Callachan, who is due to return from injury after the World Cup.
William Akio’s month could not have gone differently than his brother and teammate, Victor Loturi’s. While Loturi started all of Ross County’s games this month, Akio did not start any, making appearances in each game as a late-game substitute, to little effect.
This has been the story of the season so far for Akio, who will undoubtedly look to break into the first team soon.
Both Aribim Pepple and Scott Kennedy have not played this month for their respective clubs. Pepple strained his hamstring in Grimsby Town’s Oct. 29 match, which ruled him out for the team’s four November fixtures before club soccer was halted for the World Cup. Kennedy is still nursing a shoulder injury, coincidentally also suffered in his Oct. 29 match, that caused him to miss the World Cup.