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Morning Ticker: More on Soumare’s Mali move, Newcastle tops Villa and Watford manager steps down


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Following up on Monday’s story revealing that Bakary Soumare had decided to play for Mali, here are some other details that didn’t make it into the story:

Soumare spoke to FC Barcelona midfielder Seydou Keita about playing for Mali during the summer, when Barcelona was in Chicago to play a friendly against Chivas de Guadalajara. Keyta admitted that while he might not have recommended that Soumare choose Mali in the past, he felt very confident about the direction the team is going in now under the leadership of head coach Stephen Keshi.

If the name Stephen Keshi rings a bell, it is because he was Nigeria’s captain during the 1994 World Cup. The Mali manager helped Togo to its improbable 2006 World Cup run and he also has ties to the United States. He spent 1996 in Sacramento, California, where he worked on his coaching education while also playing semi-professionally.

As for the Nov. 19 friendly between Mali and Algeria, it remains unresolved whether Soumare would travel to Paris for that match if the Chicago Fire were to reach the MLS Cup final (on Nov. 23 in Carson, California). The Fire can’t prevent Soumare from going to the match since it takes place on a FIFA date, but Soumare is prepared to work with the Fire on a course of action if Chicago does reach the final.

Here are some other stories to get your day started:

Martins brace downs Villa

Obafemi Martins netted a pair of second half goals to lead Newcastle United past Brad Friedel and Aston Villa, 2-0, on Monday.

The victory propelled Newcastle from the bottom of the EPL standings to 14th place, while keeping Aston Villa even on points with Arsenal and Hull.

Watford’s manager steps down

What a difference a year can make. Less than a year ago Watford was cruising atop the Coca Cola Championship and looked destined to return to the English Premier League. A slump, a failed playoff bid and terrible start to the First Division season now has Watford in last place fourth from the bottom of the table in the Championship and led manager Adrian Boothroyd to step down.

Boothroyd’s departure could spell bad news for U.S. national team defender Jay DeMerit, who has flourished under Boothroyd, but who could now be cast aside as part of Watford’s defensive struggles.

That’s all for now. Feel free to share your thoughts on these stories, and any other soccer stories from this morning and Monday in the comments section below.


  1. Soumare just made the biggest mistake in his life, it sort fits well since Obama is now the President. Two very bad decisions! Mali who? They will never ever make the WC, plus that country has so many problems, its almost unsafe to watch a game there. He easily would have gotten a call up to the US, due to how he’s played this year. He must have LD’s agent.

  2. So Soumare has given up any hope to ever play in a World Cup to play for the country he barely knows.




  3. Ives,

    You are mistaken with regards to Watford’s position in the Championship table. Watford is currently fourth from the bottom…not even in relegation position. They are MOST CERTAINLY NOT last in the division.

  4. CD agree on another last good contract…Berhalter seems to be doing just fine in Central D in his mid thirties in the 2nd tier German league – would love to see DeMerit do as well….unless of course he comes to DC in which case he should just come on over now!!!

  5. DeMerit has had a great career in England and is a great story rags to riches success story. If they decide to cast him a side a change of scenery might not be all that bad for him at this point. He has shown in the past his grit and determination and I would not want to bet against him being successful wherever he ends up. Being a Wisconsin guy and playing at U of I in Chicago I am sure the Fire would love to try to get their hands on him as a Conde replacement if he elected to come back state side.

  6. Jules, I believe the MLS Cup Final date of November 23 is not a FIFA date, but there is one right before it (Nov 19). This would make practicing with the Fire a bit problematic, not to mention the stress of the travel and a first international for Soumare if he plays.

  7. Yes…let’s hope DeMerrit does well under the interim coach. I do seem to remember, though, a period last year when DeMerrit was out of favor, his captain band removed and he sat on the bench and asked to be traded so I don’t think it has been all rosy for him under Boothroyd.

  8. Boothroyd would make an interesting MLS coach, because he’s shown that he can put together a competitive team on a shoe-string budget. I hope DeMerit’s fate doesn’t mirror that of Dempsey’s after Fulham changed managers.


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