South American Soccer

Monday Kickoff: Tottenham sack Villas-Boas; Juventus drawn in Europa League knockout round; and more

AndreVillasBoasTottenham1-Liverpool2013 (Getty)


Tottenham’s patience with André Villas-Boas has finally run out.

Early this morning, Tottenham released a short statement saying that they have reached an agreement by mutual consent for Villas-Boas to leave the club, ending his year and a half run in North London. Tottenham spent more than £105 million this past summer on seven signings to help lift the club into the top four, but Villas-Boas hadn’t been able to achieve those goals so far. Tottenham currently sit in seventh place in the English Premier League, eight points behind rivals Arsenal.

“The club can announce that agreement has been reached with Head Coach, Andre Villas-Boas, for the termination of his services,” the Tottenham statement read. “The decision was by mutual consent and in the interests of all parties. We wish Andre well for the future. We shall make a further announcement in due course.”

The Portuguese manager has been on the wrong end of 6-0 (Manchester City) and 5-0 (Liverpool) defeats this season, the latter one coming on Sunday at home in what proved to be his final game in charge. Tottenham didn’t indicate who would take charge of the team on an interim basis. Villas-Boas becomes the fifth EPL manager to lose his job since the start of the season.

Here are some more stories to kick off your week:


Juventus will have their disappointing trip to Istanbul last Tuesday/Wednesday on their mind when they travel back to Turkey next February.

In the UEFA Europa League Round of 32 draw on Monday morning, the Italian champions were drawn against Turkish side Trabzonspor, setting up another trip to the Mediterranean nation. Fellow Italian power Napoli, who only barely missed out in advancing to the next round of the Champions League, were drawn with EPL side Swansea City.

Other matches to keep an eye on include FC Porto vs. Eintracht Frankfurt, AZ Alkmaar vs. Slovan Liberec, Dynamo Kiev vs. Valencia, and Maccabi Tel Aviv vs. FC Basel.


Miguel “El Piojo” Herrera’s send-off wasn’t supposed to end like this.

Trailing by a 2-0 scoreline on-aggregate to Club Leon, America imploded in front of a packed house at Estadio Azteca on Sunday evening, falling 3-1 on the night, 5-1 in all as Leon won their first league title since 1992. It is also the first Mexican league title for Leon captain Rafael Marquez, who only played three years in Mexico before making a move to AS Monaco in 1999.

Former Wigan and Genoa forward Mauro Boselli gave Leon the perfect start when he scored in the 13th minute to extend the visitor’s aggregate lead. America had chances to draw level in the first half alone but the player of the game, Leon goalkeeper William Paul Yarbrough, a Mexican of American descent, played arguably the best game of his career with 11 saves over the course of the game.

America did find a late breakthrough when Leon’s Nacho Gonzalez indadvertedly deflected a a cross from Rubens Sambueza in the 43rd minute. However, heading into the next half, Gonzalez made up for his error with a powerful header in the 51st minute to restore the lead to Leon and the sending off four minutes later of Francisco “Maza” Rodriguez only helped Leon’s chances of winning.

Edwin Hernandez’s close range finish in the 72nd minute all but sealed the final as Leon won their sixth ever Liga MX title, but first in 21 years.


In addition to Liga MX, a number of national leagues across Central and South America declared champions last Saturday and Sunday.

San Lorenzo, who includes Pope Francis as a fan, won the Argentine Torneo Inicial with a scoreless draw at Velez Sarsfield. Danubio were crowned champions of Uruguay with a 1-0 victory against Sud America, Universitario defeated Real Garcilaso, 3-0, on Sunday to win the Peruvian title, and former Chicago Fire and New York Red Bulls head coach Juan Carlos Osorio won his second consecutive Colombian title with Atletico Nacional in a 2-0 victory against Deportivo Cali.


Lionel Messi’s father is under investigation for money laundering during the “Messi and Friends” tour match in Colombia. (REPORT)

Manchester City forward Sergio Aguero has been ruled out for at least one month with a calf injury. (REPORT)

Barcelona defender Carles Puyol is contemplating retirement or moving abroad to a less demanding league as he’s struggled to overcome his knee injuries since March. (REPORT)

Everton’s on-loan youngster Gerard Deulofeu pulled up with a hamstring injury and will be out for the next few weeks, at least through the start of 2014. (REPORT)

A local court in Manaus has suspended construction on the Arena Amazonia after a 22-year-old stadium worker died from a fall of more than 100 feet. (REPORT)


What do you think of these reports? Surprised to see Villas-Boas sacked? Like Juventus’ chances of progressing? Happy for Leon winning their first title since 1992?

Share your thoughts below.

  • A.S.

    “Barcelona defender Carles Puyol is contemplating retirement or moving abroad to a less demanding league”

    I found the NY Red Bulls next DP.


    • TomM

      MLS is less technically demanding, but it is well known abroad that MLS is physically very demanding- not the place to go to rest a recurring injury.


    • Yevgeniy

      Yes, it would be insane for someone to suggest that MLS will be not very demanding for him, especially the travel.


  • Mac

    Tottenham didn’t fire Villas-Boas because their patients ran out, they fired him because they realized that Bob Bradley is looking for a managerial position


    • The Imperative Voice

      AVB is massively overrated. Handed Chelsea’s roster he had them adrift last year just the same. I like Lloris but quite a few strange personnel decisions and he seems to have trouble tactically closing out games.

      That being said, I think Bale alone is the massive difference between seasons, just like Moyes plus some injury issues for RvP is a lot of the Man U difference.

      I wonder what this means for Defoe. AVB might have been ready to shed him but it’s not his team anymore and sometimes replacement coaches want to look around the first team and see what they have, or have different opinions on players. Lampard was toast and then the Special One was rehired. Now he’s probably retiring there. I’ll be interested if the theorized Defoe move to MLS goes forward.


    • biff

      I think there is a chance Levy might bring in a level-headed (and American) coach like Bob Bradley. I am not saying it is going to happen, just that I would not be surprised and I would really love to see it.


      • Nate Dollars

        not a chance in hell; maybe west brom, but i can’t see that either.


      • AcidBurn

        No way, Spurs would bring in some PL retread before Bradley. Would love to see Bradley with a team like Spurs but won’t happen in a million years.

        Ted Lasso would become the gaffer before Bob Bradley, sad but that’s the way it is for US managers in Europe.


  • BigMac

    Bob Bradley’s name is being thrown out there a lot… He’s going to be sad if he doesn’t get any of the teams that are “looking” at him.


  • Thomas McBooglebones

    Surprised to see Villas-Boas go? No, not particularly. However having his most shiny of new toys (cough cough, lamela) completely failing to settle in London certainly didn’t help his cause.
    I do like Juve’s chances of progressing as long as they don’t get stuck playing in another Turkish blizzard.
    And I’m really rooting for the Arena Amazonia to be scrapped as a world cup site altogether, I’m tired of FIFA neglecting all other factors while putting “geographical dispersion” at the very top of their list.


    • Increase

      Seriously what is up with Lamela. He was supposed to be quite good at Roma…
      Coutinho was considered a flop but did well. Lamela success in Italy but doesn’t even play in the UK.

      I used to think that people saying “Not everyone can play in the EPL.” was being silly but it happens quite a bit….


      • Jim

        Lamela isnt getting consistent playing time. AVB has been giving the leftside to townsend and chadli. An the right to Lennon and sigurdson. If he had some consistancy hed be great. But one match every few weeks dosent help anyone.


      • Gary Page

        Look at the difference between Giroud of last year and this year. It takes a while for the vast majority of new players from other leagues to settle in.


    • whoop-whoop

      Pretty sickening… FIFA puts geographical dispersion at the top of their list because it enables them to select countries where blatant corruption and graft is common business practice. Second requirement is the need to move massive amounts of money in the name of multi billion dollar “infrastructure projects”. We’ll have had 4 WCs in a row that fit the bill and line FIFAs pockets with… whose money? When you have the people of Brazil who are literally blind drunk with a love of the game conducting mass protests… something clearly stinks.


      • beto

        infrastructure such as airports, transit & hotels are things that can be used forever instead they insist rushing construction on amazing new stadiums that are turned over to second division clubs after the 4-5 world cup games are complete… just backwards..

        how about countries get all of their infrastructure construction done before they bid! Then their application isn’t a theoretical future that often isn’t achieved (or is achieved at the loss of lives and billions of $)


  • dacap

    Nothing I now like better than watching Spurs implode after the way their fans treated Clint. Bet those losers wish they had his toughness in the team again because they are full of young over hyped prima donnas. Screw that club.


      • haydenjo

        Although I felt AVB treated Clint
        Seemed to favor him over siggy and holtby


      • biff

        Revisionist history. That is not the way I saw it. Holty and Sigurdsson seemed preferred and got the benefit of the doubt. But I will say, AVB could have been worse. Clint never seemed to me to fit into that team, guys like Vertongen and others holding up their noses at him and as the guy said above, the Tottenham fans piling on him. And we will never know what might have happened at Liverpool if that gosh darn son of a fricking gun Martin Jol would not have been such a you-know-what and messed everything up. Hard to forgive bulldog Jol for his key role in that and hopefully Clint can kiss and make up with the Fulham faithful.


      • Clemsonuee

        As a Fulham fan I wish the Liverpool deal for Clint had gone through as well. Rumor is that it was Jordan Henderson for Dempsey. But Henderson didn’t want to step down in team quality after only 1 season. Can’t blame him, and it’s worked out well for him.

        That summer gutted the Fulham midfield. Dempsey and Dembele went to Spurs. Murphy and Etuhu also left. Jol’s inability to fix it cost him his job.


    • Gary Page

      Dempsey has gotten a lot of grief from his departure from Fulham and then Tottenham, even some from this site. But notice he never really bad mouthed anyone during or after. But look at the results. Fulham has dropped to near the bottom, Jol has gotten the axe and now Clint is going back to the Cottagers on loan. Most everyone, myself included, was shocked when he left Tottenham, but look at what’s happened there. They have close to a dozen mid fielders of near equal quality, none of whom are getting a whole lot of minutes except for maybe Paulinho, AVB got the sack and they are fighting to stay at mid-table. Maybe Clint could see the handwriting on the wall. The fact is, losing their superstar, Bale, and having to integrate so many new players into the club almost guaranteed that Tottenham would take at least 6 months to approach last year’s club in performance. Look at Arsenal after they lost RVP. At this point in the season I think they were in even worse position than Tottenham is now. Can anyone tell me what Spurs best line up is? I think that’s their biggest problem right now. They have enough good players, but who do you play where and when and how do you keep them all happy?


  • BrianK

    Boy,…canned twice by two big clubs,…and laughing all the way to the bank. Though shame on Spurs for not identifying him as the POSEUR that he is,…a complete flounce who looks nice in a Burberry trenchcoat.

    AVB, Andre Villa-Buzzzword,….”my project”….”the human dimension”,….what an a$$.


  • Bac

    Though I’m not one to gloat when someone gets fired in any sport in a short time span…..
    This is one I’m smiling about.

    How he turned Chelsea upside down should have given Spurs fair warning before spending over 100 mill after losing Bale.
    And even the team last year finished 5th because of Bales magic late game heroics…. and then when he got hurt they had one guy putting the ball in the net….

    And AVB wanted Deuce gone so quickly he wouldn’t even say his name….
    He specifically said “The Player has been sold”
    It was the Spurs website that announced “Clint Dempsey” leaving, and wishing him luck….

    Well “Coach”…. what comes around goes around….
    Good riddance


  • beachbum

    wow, hello to all the folks who vehemently explained to this board with all their knowledge and insight how much better Spurs were going to be this year, blah blah blah. lmfao


    • Ian

      Just goes to show all the quality players in the world don’t amount to much without a decent coach. AVB just isn’t cut out for the Prem. I see him going back to the continent, maybe back to Portugal.


  • Landon Klinsman

    AVB alway sucked, but he really sucked on how he handled Dempsey. True, the Spurs midfield was crowded, but Dempsey was a role type player whose specific skills weren’t held by anyone on that side. In short, if he was worth signing, then he needed to play. The fact that AVB couldn’t figure that out was just another one of ten clues that he was in over his head.


    • Floyd

      If you saw Dempsey’s play for the Sounders then you’d have to agree that getting rid of him was the absolute right thing to do and a great business move.
      Seattle on the other hand got screwed.


      • whoop-whoop

        Weird…. I would have thought how he played for Spurs would have been what mattered.


      • John

        The Sounders have too many forwards and no midfield. They probably need to get rid of at least 3 of there forwards and buy true midfielders or its going to be a total mess again this year.


      • Landon Klinsman

        I have seen Deuce play for every team since the Metro Stars. I understand his strengths and weaknesses. I assume he was signed by Tottenham because there was something about his grit and knack for scoing that they liked. My point was that they never gave him a chance to showcase his wares because of their obsession with speedier midfielders who starve their forwards of good service. While Dempsey can play either position, he was crowded out of the midfield and had no service up top. This was the product of how the team played. Dempsey is at his best when he links up between middle and attacking thirds and then vanishes until re-appearing inside the box for “the final touch.” If Tottenham wanted to play more directly, using speed, to carry the ball into the box then they should have never signed Deuce to begin with. So, Tottenham screwed up no matter how you cut it.

        Why does every post devolve into a conversation about the Sounders. Your fans are great but your team is not. Let’s move on, shall we?


      • Josh

        Your post might be quite insightful, but… CD played for the Revs, not the MetroStars. So I’m not sure who you’ve been watching for their whole career…


      • Landon Klinsman

        agreed, my bad. I’ll be the first to admit I get confused about old MLS history. But you get my point just the same. AVB didn’t know what to do with Clint, like he doesn’t know what to do with any of his players or teams.


  • beto

    AVB overthough and overcoached his way out of two big jobs. Hopefully he takes some time off and goes back to a smaller league; he obviously isn’t EPL material.

    As for Spurs, you all are delusional to think that Mr. Bradley is a candidate! They are looking in the opposite directions with Martin Jol, Fabio Capello or Gus Hiddink as a replacements. That roster has so much potential and needs a manager that can get them to the short term goals they have set for themselves, at least a Europa League finish. The Defoe situation is something to watch as I bet any of those new managers will certainly use him a lot more than AVB and thus potentially cancel that transfer..

    congrats to Leon for the victory, great club.


  • Sharkbait

    Tottenham wasn’t too concerned about firing AVB when they have coach Ted Lasso ready to take over.


  • John

    Tottenham under AVB always kind of reminded me of Mexico under Chepo. Everyone seems scared to loose position in the final third and they just end up passing it around the box. They just lacked any creative play and it was often just up to Defoe or Bale to fire away from out side the box.


  • Sly

    I wanted AVB to stay at Tottenham, liverpool is fighting them and Everton and Southampton for the last champions league place. Him being there would help us, with a new coach they may get better or worse plus Newcastle is raring their head again, its not easy getting into the champions league in england.

    Maybe with Aguero out we can take some points off city… Yeah Im doubtful myself. itll probably be City, Chelsea, Arsenal, toss up.


    • Jim

      Unless someone can put the ball in the net than whats it matter who coaches? Townsend has the worst conversion rate in Europe and his lone goal was a misplaced cross. When we cant put more than 2 goals a game its hard to win in the EPL.


  • bryan

    so Puyol will be pushing for a move to MLS. but at 35 and with his injury issues, he’d have to take a massive pay cut. so he’ll probably end up in China or the Middle East if he doesn’t retire.


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