South American Soccer

Monday Evening Ticker: Poyet reportedly nearing Sunderland job; Januzaj rejects Belgium call up; and more

GusPoyetBrighton1-BoltonWanderers (Getty)


Following more than two weeks of deliberations, Sunderland owner Ellis Short looks to finally have his new manager.

According to reports in England, Gus Poyet has accepted an offer to become the next Sunderland manager, taking over the last-place club in the Premier League on a three-year contract. Poyet replaces Paolo Di Canio, who saved the club from relegation last season but earned just one point in five games this year before the club ran out of patience with him and the two parties parted ways.

The 45-year-old Uruguayan most recently coached at Brighton and Hove Albion, taking the club in 2009 from League One all the way to the Championship playoffs this past year, though he was sacked last June after what the Brighton board called “gross misconduct” from the manager. Though he has coached as an assistant or head coach since 2006, he has no managerial experience in the Premier League.

Since Di Canio was sacked, Sunderland reserves head coach Kevin Ball has taken charge as the interim head coach, leading the Black Cats to a Capital One Cup win but losing two successive Premier League games.

Here are some more stories from around the world of soccer:


The latest name on everybody’s lips is 18-year-old midfielder Adnan Januzaj, who scored two goals for Manchester United in his first ever Premier League start to lead the Red Devils to a 2-1 victory at Sunderland.

Januzaj’s play caught the eye of Belgium coach Mark Wilmots, who made a late call to Man United to see if the teenager wanted to join the Belgium squad for their World Cup qualifiers this month. However, according to Wilmots himself at a press conference, Man United turned down the request, saying that Januzaj isn’t ready to make a decision on his international future just yet. Wilmots was hoping that Januzaj could replace the injured Vincent Kompany, who had to pull out of the qualifiers with a quadriceps injury.

“Manchester United told me that Januzaj has not made a decision to play for a national team yet, not for any country,” Wilmots told the Guardian. “We gave a clear signal [that we want him to play for Belgium] and now it’s up to him. I will respect his choice.”

Januzaj is a Belgian by birth but is also eligible to represent Albania, Turkey, and even Serbia (or Kosovo if there was ever a FIFA-recognized national team), making him the talk of the world about what’s next for the dazzling youngster.


AC Milan’s troubling start to the Serie A season took another turn for the worst as they fell 3-2 to Juventus on Sunday, being reduced to ten men in the 74th minute when Milan defender Philippe Mexes received a second yellow card.

Adding insult to injury for Mexes, a sport tribunal handed down an additional three-match ban to the Frenchman for his actions during the defeat. Mexes had received the second yellow card for reportedly punching opposing defender Giorgio Chiellini in the neck.

In addition, Milan learned that their next home game, on October 19 against Udinese, will be played in an empty stadium, after numerous fans were adjudged by the sporting courts on Monday made discriminatory chants during the match against Juventus.

Milan currently sit in 12th place in the Serie A standings with just eight points from seven games played. They also sit in second place in Group H of the UEFA Champions League group stage, with two matches against Barcelona coming in the next month.


Already without Ilkay Gundogan, Nuri Sahin, and Sebastian Kehl in central midfield, Borussia Dortmund head coach Jurgen Klopp received more bad news on Monday as Sven Bender and Marco Reus have both been diagnosed with injuries.

Bender, suffering from back muscle stiffness and Reus, who reportedly has torn ankle ligaments, both withdrew from the German National Team this week and will miss their nation’s final two World Cup qualifying matches against the Republic of Ireland and Sweden.

In addition to their injuries, Borussia defender Mats Hummels will miss Borussia’s next game vs. Hannover on October 19.


The Spanish Football League (LFP) has confirmed that the first La Liga “El Clasico” of the season will take place on October 26 at 6pm local time (1pm ET). (REPORT)

Danish club Brondby have signed former Chelsea defender Khalid Boulahrouz to a contract that ends at the end of the season. (REPORT)

FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke has reiterated that the Estadio Beira-Rio in Brazil’s Porto Alegre will be finished on time in December. (REPORT)

German club FC Nurnburg have parted ways with manager Michael Weisinger after the club’s 5-0 defeat to Hamburg last Sunday. (REPORT)


What do you think of these reports? Do you believe Poyet is a good appointment for the club? Do you agree with Januzaj’s decision to take some time on his international decision? Do you agree with the punishment handed down to Mexes and Milan? Do you see Dortmund struggling without Reus and Bender likely available for their next match?

Share your thoughts below.

  • 2tone

    Looks like Adnan is saving himself for England. No way he would turn down Belgium for Albania or Turkey or Serbia. Only logical thing here is he is waiting for English citizenship which supposedly he will qualify for soon.


      • Dave

        Wrong spin Iggy. He makes the bench for Belgium but will get lots of playing time for England :)


    • ernj

      Not sure it would be the best path for Januzaj, but his parents are hoping he will choose Albania.


      • Mueller

        Someone on the Sunderland Messageboard said they were trying to have him wait til Kosovo is recognized by Fifa.


    • Yankeedom

      I hear he’s also some how eligible to play for Croatia as well; I haven’t been able to find any further info.


      • chuck

        He wouldn’t be eligible for England because of the Home Nations agreement. You need to have a certain time of schooling in a home nation to be able to represent it. They won’t cap people based on residency, that’s why no Nacho Novo for Scotland, no Almunia not Arteta for England.

        It’s a good rule


  • salamander

    really need to make $1000 for a flight to Germany to meet the woman of my dreams. any ideas. just need to it really fast to book a flight. I can go get food stamps or welfare or anything to survive but I need that cash fast to see her before valentine’s day


    • zyx

      Call the White House.

      Tell them you’re a gay, black-Hispanic, Muslim former hermaphrodite turned transgendered woman with a degree in gender-political studies that you earned by working parking cars at a whites-only country club, but just lost her job because your white Christian male business owner-boss has off-shored your job to China so he could afford to pay himself a bonus which he used as a political contribution to Focus on the Family to support traditional marriage by defeating gay marriage.

      They’ll give you the f’ing universe.

      ; )


      • Turgid Jacobian

        Not the place for political crap, folks. Soccerblog. Focus on what matters in life.


      • zyx

        Withdrawn. Clumsy attempt at humor. Just making fun of both sides’ agendas.


      • Ben

        How come when people say they are making fun of both sides’ agendas, they are really only making fun of one?


      • Good Jeremy

        It won’t win any journalism awards, but it was an amusing reply to spam.


      • SoCal Soccer Mom

        You actually have to meet certain standards to enlist in the military. See you local recruiter to take the test(s) depending on what you want to do (shoot, computers, fly jets, drive tanks, machanics, etc.)


      • salamander

        My only skill is I enjoy writing.

        so I can serve a tour in the Army by just typing? Really need to get to Germany


      • Good Jeremy

        You can actually. There are several occupational specialties for journalists to write puff pieces for the base newspapers. Germany is no guarantee though.


      • Increase

        You got 2 kidneys. Sell one, just resist the temptation to buy and ipad with the money.


    • edmondo

      There are NGO’s who offer fellowships where they cover only your basic living expenses. BTW, flight to Germany are definitely less than 1000


  • salamander

    why cant players just play for the country the were born/raised in.

    if you were born in Brazil but moved to Japan at age 8 and suddenly at age 21 you’re getting a call-up, play for Japan. it’s where you were raised. that’s your culture or okay play for Brazil. it’s your motherland. don’t play for America and Peru just cause that’s where your parents are from. your parents homeland ain’t your concern, it’s your homeland that matters.

    he should play for Belgium


    • jacknut

      Because citizenship doesn’t work that way. Think of it like this: FIFA has a clear, relatively unambiguous standard for international eligibility. You must be a citizen of the nation you represent and you cannot have represented another nation in a competitive match (simplifying for space). Any attempt to restrict eligibility on some other basis would be discriminatory and would run afoul of many nation’s labor laws.


    • slowleftarm

      Totally agree. This nonsense devalues the international game and the US with AJ and the Germericans are prime offenders. I still cheer for anyone wearing a US shirt but it cheapens it a bit in my opinion. Others here strongly disagree however.


      • k

        agreed. players shouldn’t have 4-6 options for a NT. they should have maximum 2


    • edmondo

      You are entitled to your own opinion. However, you made a pretty naive statement. You clearly do not know most national citizenships work. Additionally, you are also trivializing the ties that individuals may have towards different countries.

      Citizenship is granted by the countries themselves. There are many countries where you are still not a citizen EVEN IF you are born and raised there if you your parents are NOT citizens. So that debunks your whole argument about being born and raised. Additionally, there are people like myself who have parents from different countries and were raised elsewhere. Where I ever good enough to play for national teams I would have 3 options (that I feel tied to) on 3 continents. For example, I have friends who are Peruvian/Colombian/American, German/Irish/American and Argentinean/Italian/Spanish through their parents and where they were raised


      • Horsewhistle

        Whoa, heavy stuff man.
        Call Klinsman and tell him to cap tie Jumanji, done.
        Aron Bacon and the Discodude can rent a van and take him for a tour.


      • Increase

        Diego Fagundez can’t play for the US and hes been here roughly his whole life…


    • The Imperative Voice

      One practical example that cuts both ways: Neven Subotic, born in Banja Luka, parents moved to Germany to flee war, USA when German visa ran out, makes USA youth teams, gets recruited back to Germany for professional play, war is over and he represents Serbia as a senior player. For a while the talk was about Rongen’s decisionmaking at the U20 level for the USA, but now he’s being benched a lot for Serbia this cycle.

      It’s complicated. There may be a political, economic, social, or military situation you don’t want to return to (conversely, it may end and you may want to revert). You may have cultural affinities (Beitashour apparently feels culturally Persian enough to play for Iran, even though he was born here). You may want to represent your then-workplace (Josh Saunders is “Puerto Rican”). You may just want to play in an official game.

      That being said, I think the one-time switch is dubious. Short of becoming stateless I think you should be committed to the youth or senior team that caps you in even so much as a friendly, much less an official competition.


      • GW

        If you think it is bad now , the current rules are more stringent than they used to be. You’d be whining up a storm without these “new” rules.

        Until 2004 you basically only had to be a citizen of the country. Sounds simple enough except unlike the US which, comparatively, has very clear and unambigous rules regarding citizenship, many other countries had rules which were more like guidelines.


        “Fifa has introduced emergency measures to stop players from taking undue advantage of its rules on switching nationality.
        Following a decision by its emergency committee, any player assuming a new nationality without a clear connection to that country will not be eligible to play for it.
        The rule follows the decision of three Brazilians to play for the Qatar national team.
        Fifa’s decision will adversely African national teams who intend to naturalise foreign players in future.
        Last year, Togo naturalised five Brazilians who played in the 2004 Nations Cup qualification games.

        Had the Fifa ruling been in place by June 2003, the Togolese federation would have had a tough task in naturalising the players.

        Kenya and Cape Verde, who played against Togo in the qualifiers, protested to Caf over Togo’s action, but the west Africans claimed that some of their citizens can trace their roots back to Brazil.
        Fifa’s emergency committee ruled on Wednesday that players must have a “clear connection to that country” if they wished to wear the colours of a nation other than the one of their birth.
        The rules now state a player must either have lived in a country for at least two years, or have a parent or grandparent who was born there.

        Brazilian Francileudo dos Santos would have been unaffected by the new rule even if he hadn’t naturalised for Tunisia ahead of the last Nations Cup.
        Santos played two seasons in Tunisia and his Brazilian-born team mate Jose Clayton has played more than half of his club football in the country as well.
        For Qatar, their FA had said the German-based trio of Ailton, Dede and Leandro would be given citizenship within a week.
        “Naturalization that allows players with no obvious connection to the new country to play for that country’s national team is not the aim and object of the (Fifa) statutes,” said Fifa president Sepp Blatter.
        Fifa’s rules state a player who has never competed at international level can switch to another country if he is granted citizenship.
        Qatar national manager Phillipe Troussier – the Frenchman who coached Japan at the last World Cup – has been trying to naturalize overseas players discarded by their national teams.
        None of the Brazilian trio – Ailton, Dede and Leandro – have made full international appearances for Brazil and none have any previous connections with the Gulf state.
        Ailton has reportedly been offered more than $1m to play for Qatar, but the Bundesliga’s current top scorer denied he is a mercenary.
        “Money is not the decisive factor here, as I earn good money at Werder Bremen,” he said.
        “If Brazil ignores me for 2006, then I have to find another way to get there.”
        Former Kenyan athlete Stephen Cherono switched allegiance to Qatar and won the World Championship gold medal for them in the 3000m steeplechase under the name of Saif Saeed Shaheen.
        Blatter said he would raise the issue with the Fifa Congress, meeting in Paris in May, with a view to changing the statutes. “


  • Nate Dollars

    not that i should be telling professional soccer people their business, but i feel like they need to slow down on januzaj. yes, the volleyed goal was great, but otherwise, they do realize he was playing against the worst team in the league, right?

    i think the excitement speaks more to the lack of options on man u’s bench than anything else.


  • DC Josh

    A kid scores a couple goals for Man United and all the world wants a piece of him. Reminds me of that Italian kid a few years back. I can’t remember his name… Macarena or something…


    • Increase

      England would have to wait 5 years for one thing… they are really desperate at the moment huh.


    • Joamiq

      He didn’t just score a couple of goals. He looked like the most technically gifted player on the field.


    • GW

      AJ played 20 minutes for the US, did not score two goals and he is the new US soccer god.

      You are thinking of Federico Macheda. he is still with Man. U but he has been loaned out nearly every year since.


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