Friday Kickoff: Gyau signs new club deal, Maradona responds to Pele and more

Friday Kickoff: Gyau signs new club deal, Maradona responds to Pele and more

International Soccer

Friday Kickoff: Gyau signs new club deal, Maradona responds to Pele and more

Gyau (Reuters Pictures)

Joe Gyau's future at TSG 1899 Hoffenheim is secure.

The U.S. Under-23 winger signed a three-year professional contract with the Bundesliga club on Friday, meaning that he is tied to Hoffneheim through 2015.

Gyau, 19, has begun to emerge as an option for the first team this season after proving his quality for the club's U-23 side. He made his debut for Hoffenheim in a DFB Pokal game and has made the bench for a few league games as well while completing most of his training with the first team, according to the club's official website.

He'll continue to join Fabian Johnson and Daniel Williams as U.S. internationals at the club, which currently sits ninth in the Bundesliga.

Here are a few more stories to get your day going:

MARADONA RESPONDS TO PELE'S COMMENTS

Diego Maradona has made an emphatic entry into the Lionel Messi-Neymar discussion fueled by Pele's recent comments, which had caused a stir of their own.

Earlier this week, Pele made the bold assertion that, "Now everyone is talking about Messi; he is a star. But [to be the best ever] he must first become better than Neymar. At the moment, Messi is just more experienced."

In response to that, Maradona came out and said what most were already thinking.

"My God that is just stupid," Maradona said. "Maybe Neymar is the best player in the world, but only if you say that Messi is from a different planet." 

BRADLEY'S EGYPT BEATS NIGERIA

Bob Bradley's Egypt ran its unbeaten streak to six matches after a last-second, 3-2 victory over Nigeria in a friendly on Thursday.

Ahmed Hassan Mekky's close-range finish in stoppage time was the difference, as Egypt won another match in its preparation for a pair of World Cup qualifiers and a pair of African Cup of Nations qualifiers in June.

After a 2-0 loss to Brazil in his Egypt debut, Bradley has guided Egypt to a 5-0-1 record in friendlies, all against African competition. 

HANNOVER'S DIOUF OUT FOR SEASON

Steve Cherundolo's Hannover 96 had their chances of securing a place in next year's UEFA Europa League take a bit of a hit with the word that key forward Mame Biram Diouf is out for the season with torn ligaments in his ankle.

Since being transferred to Hannover from Manchester United prior to the close of the winter transfer window, Diouf had been on fire, scoring 10 goals in all competitions. Hannover is in a battle with Stuttgart and Bayer Leverkusen for the Bundesliga's Europa League berths. With four games remaining, they are currently level with Leverkusen on points — whom they play in the penultimate game of the season — but trail in goal differential. Both clubs are two points behind Stuttgart.  

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What do you think of Gyau's new deal? Think Maradona is spot on? Impressed that Bradley continues to get results in Egypt? Do you think Hannover can secure a place in Europe for next season?

Share your thoughts below.

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