By AVI CREDITOR
Alan Pardew has been hired to take the reins at Newcastle United, after Chris Hughton was let go as the club's manager on Monday.
Pardew, who has previously managed Reading, West Ham and Charlton and most recently led Southampton, signed a five-and-a-half year deal with the club and is owner Mike Ashley's fifth coaching hire in his three years with the club.
Hughton had guided Newcastle to promotion, lifting the Magpies back to the top flight of English soccer after a rough spell for the perennial Premier League competitor. After a hot start to the 2010-2011 season, Newcastle has fallen to 12th in the Premier League table, just four points clear of the drop zone.
Pardew's first match at manager will be this weekend as Newcastle welcomes Liverpool to St. James Park.
Here are a few more stories to get your morning going:
PUERTO RICO ADDS ANOTHER USL PRO TEAM
Puerto Rico United Sporting Club has become the 15th team to join the new USL PRO league, joining two other teams from Puerto Rico in the new lower division of U.S. soccer.
Four teams from the Caribbean will now compete in the new league, with Puerto Rico United joining Sevilla FC Puerto Rico, Club Atletico River Plate Puerto Rico and Barracuda FC (Antigua and Barbuda).
A yet-to-be-announced team will be joining the league to complete the 16-club organization.
AL WAHDA ADVANCES AT CLUB WORLD CUP
Goals from Hugo, Fernando Baiano and Abdulraheem Jumaa paced Al Wahda Sports Club to a 3-0 victory over Papua New Guinea-based Hekari United in the first match at the FIFA Club World Cup in the United Arab Emirates on Wednesday.
Al Wahda will take on Korean champion Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma FC on Saturday for the right to face Inter Milan in the tournament semifinals.
Herculez Gomez, Jose Francisco Torres, Marco Vidal and the rest of Pachuca face African champion TP Mazembe Englebert on Friday in the tournament's other quarterfinal (11 a.m., FSC).
INDEPENDIENTE WINS COPA SUDAMERICANA
Despite facing a 2-0 deficit after the first leg of the Copa Sudamericana, Argentinian side Independiente defeated Brazilian club Goias, 3-1, to force extra time and eventually penalties. Independiente took the shootout, 5-3, to win the South American club competition.
Do you like the hiring at Newcastle? Think Hughton got a raw deal? Will you follow USL PRO? Think Pachuca can make some noise at the FIFA Club World Cup? Surprised to see a struggling team such as Independiente capture Copa Sudamericana?
Share your thoughts below.