Timbers on Loan: Portland Timbers Michael Nanchoff hits the ground running in Sweden
Timbers midfielder Michael Nanchoff embarked on his loan stint with Swedish second-division side Jönköpings Södra IF on July 9 and recently appeared in his first game action for the club after all his paperwork cleared.
With the language barrier not being quite so large a hurdle since many Swedish people speak at least basic English, Nanchoff has acclimated very quickly to his new surroundings in Jönköping.
“I've acclimated to the culture really fast,” Nanchoff said via email this week. “I played in the biggest youth tournament (Gothia Cup) when I was a bit younger, so I'm still familiar with how things work. It makes it much easier considering 99.9 percent of Swedish people speak English. It's difficult sometimes when training sessions are solely in Swedish. However, the coach does a good job of throwing in a couple English words here and there.”
Starting off on the right foot, the 25-year-old earned a spot in the Starting XI in the last three matches for Jönköpings Södra IF, recording a goal and an assist. Nanchoff tallied an assist in his first appearance for the team, a 3-1 road loss at league-leader Örebro on Aug 7. Playing an attacking midfield role for head coach Mats Gren’s side, Nanchoff has logged 219 minutes in three appearances (all starts) and netted his first goal for the club on Thursday, the game-tying goal in a 4-1, come-from-behind win against Degerfors IF before a home crowd of 1,898 fans at historic Stadsparksvallen in Jönköping.
Jönköpings Södra IF is currently in 13th place out of 16 teams, with a 6-10-3 (21pts) record and 24 goals in 19 games. Most recently, playing three games in nine days, the side earned a 1-1 draw against Varbergs FC with a late equalizer on Aug. 10 before Thursday’s win over Degerfors IF.
Up next on the schedule for Nanchoff is a 2013-14 Svenska Cupen, second-round match on the road against Swedish fourth-division club Torns IF on Wednesday, Aug. 21.
Jönköpings Södra IF returns to league play on Saturday, Aug. 24, against Ängelholms FF, which features former USL Portland Timbers goalkeeper Matt Pyzdrowski and on-loan FC Dallas midfielder Bobby Warshaw.