Staebek IF is among the top teams in Norway, playing in the top flight there for all but one of the last 15 seasons. Last season, they finished third in the league, behind Rosenborg and Molde. In 2008, they won the league for the first time in club history.
Their top scorer in 2009 was Swedish striker Daniel Nannskog, whose 15 goals in 28 matches gives him 96 goals in 136 career regular season appearances. Behind him, the next three top scorers all did not return for the 2010 season. Their next top-scoring returner is midfielder Pontus Farnerud with four goals.
Perhaps their most notable player is 19-year-old midifielder Mikkel Diskerud. Born in Norway, Diskerud was raised in Arizona and played with the US U-18 squad until he was, at one point, exiled from the team. In the meantime, he went on to play for Norway’s U-18 team, including a game against the Americans. However, when push came to shove, he returned to the American side and scored his first goal with the US U-20s in a 2009 friendly against Egypt.
“They’ve got good physical players, guys with good size, that are going to challenge and hold balls up, with hard running guys up front,” Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid said. “Their level of play is little bit behind Rosenborg, but they’re a good team and it’s going to be good opposition for us.”
Kickoff is set for 3 pm local time, 6 am PT. Sounders FC will be live-blogging the game.