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FourFourTwo - A-League

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Updated: 21 min 14 sec ago

Pics: Phoenix v Newcastle

2 hours 47 min ago
Ernie Merrick's men were edged 1-0 by the Premier League outfit after recording a memorable win against West Ham earlier in the week. Click here for all the match action from the Phoenix v Magpies clash. Pics by Getty Images.
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Arnold not carried away by Sydney win

3 hours 39 min ago
Defeating Premier League oppositition is a rare feat but there were no exuberant celebrations from the Sky Blues boss at Wellington's Westpac Stadium. "Of course it's great to win a game," Arnold said. "But as I said when Wellington beat West Ham there are no points or trophy for it and it's the same for us. "It's about us getting better and better every time we step on the pitch. It's about playing to the game plan and playing to the instructions." Having lost 4-0 to Newcastle United earlier in the week, the Sky Blues fully deserved their victory against the Hammers and Corey Gameiro (two) and Alex Brosque deserved their goals. While Gameiro was fortunate to be allowed his second – after Terry Antonis handled the ball in the build-up – his first inside the fourth minute was a great strike. Brosque too showed good poise for his goal in the 26th minute. Even when a cruel own-goal which deflected on off skipper Nikola Petkovic got West Ham back to 2-1 Sydney didn't panic and instead pressed hard in search of their third. "Consistency is the key but if we can play like that every week (in the A-League) I'll be a very happy man," Arnold said. "I'm very proud of the way the boys have handled themselves." It was West Ham's second successive defeat of the Football United Tour having gone down 2-1 to the Wellington Phoenix in midweek. West Ham manager Sam Allardyce admitted his side had been poor, just three weeks out from the start of the Premier League. "We've played two games and we've played poorly in them," said Allardyce. "The football was not good enough to get results but we're experimenting and working on more open attacking play and it hasn't worked well from a defensive point of view." The Hammers boss also felt the decision to allow Gameiro's second goal to stand had been "embarrassing". "We would have been a bit more upset if we had been in a league match because it would have been a horrendous mistake," he said. "It wasn't the best decision I've ever seen." Hammers and New Zealand defender Winston Reid said the players had not been caught out by the standard of the A-League sides. "I knew what to expect from the players who play in the New Zealand national team," Reid said. "A lot of them play in the A-League. They are not bad players at all. "We came down here and we expected to do well and we didn't do so well. "We'll go back home and work on some things."
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Newcastle stay perfect in NZ

6 hours 3 min ago
Having dispatched Sydney FC 4-0 earlier in the week, the Premier League side were made to work hard for their win at Westpac Stadium which came courtesy of a first-half goal to Yoan Gouffran. But having beaten West Ham 2-1 on Wednesday night, and restricting a slick Newcastle side to just one goal, the Phoenix can be happy with their week's work. Wellington signings Alejandro Rodriguez-Gorrin and Nathan Burns have settled in well. Rodriguez-Gorrin, in particular, has formed an excellent understanding with fellow Spaniard Albert Riera in the midfield in just a few short weeks. Tom Doyle also did his chances of securing a full-time contract from Phoenix coach Ernie Merrick no harm either after another solid effort at left-back. The second match of the double-header was an entertaining one with chances at both ends bringing the 30,968-strong crowd to life. The Phoenix took the game to their more illustrious opponents from the start with Tyler Boyd finding the side netting early after Siem de Jong's long-range effort had just skimmed the crossbar for Newcastle. Doyle, who was playing local club football prior to the pre-season tournament, was working well down the left flank and he fired a superb cross into the box for Jeremy Brockie, who was flagged for offside. After his impressive debut against West Ham earlier in the week, Rodriguez-Gorrin continued his good form in the midfield but could not find his touch in front of goal. De Jong, who missed training with a bruised toe on Friday, was replaced by Ayoze Perez after just 33 minutes and the Spaniard was quickly into his work. Newcastle won a series of corners but keeper Glen Moss tipped Gouffran's shot over and then denied Perez. The breakthrough for the Magpies eventually came in the 41st minute when Newcastle changed their corner routine. Instead of Jack Colback firing it in to the back post he played it short to Vurnon Anita whose cross found Gouffran and the French striker's looping header beat Moss. Colback could have doubled Newcastle's lead a minute before the break when Perez laid on the perfect ball only for the midfielder's fierce shot to be blocked by Phoenix skipper Andrew Durante. The Phoenix had several chances to equalise in the second half, but Brockie could find no way past Newcastle keeper Rob Elliott. In the 56th minute the Phoenix striker's low shot was pushed behind for a corner, then in the 63rd minute Elliott made a great block to deny him again. The Phoenix continued to press hard for an equaliser, to no avail.
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Pics: Sydney FC v West Ham

6 hours 12 min ago
Fans of the Claret and Blue were in fine voice at Westpac Stadium in Wellington, but couldn't lift their team to a win. Click on the links below to see the match action between the Sky Blues and the Hammers by Getty Images.
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Gameiro brace adds to West Ham woes

Sat, 26/07/2014 - 15:36
The result was the Premier League outfits second in succession to A-League opposition, after their 2-1 reverse to Wellington Phoenix on Wednesday. Gameiro got his opener in just the fourth minute and Alex Brosque slotted home to give the Sky Blues a 2-0 lead at the break. West Ham hit back early in the second half, when Sydney captain Nikola Petkovic deflected the ball into his own net. Gameiros second sealed the win for Sydney midway through the second half, although the goal was shrouded in controversy as there appeared to be a handball in the build-up. The result summed up West Hams difficulties in the final third which were evident in their loss to the Phoenix. The two losses, coupled with key striker Andy Carroll being ruled out for four months following ankle surgery, are sure to ramp up pressure on manager Sam Allardyce with the opening game of the Premier League season against Tottenham just three weeks away. Sydney, who lost 4-0 to Newcastle United in the opening match of the Football United Tour on Tuesday night, got off to the dream start. Having successfully defended a free-kick from right on the edge of their own box, Ali Abbas pounced on a loose pass from West Ham midfielder Mark Noble to break clear and threaded a pass to Gameiro who coolly slotted it past Adrian. Allardyce bemoaned his sides lack of finishing against the Phoenix and he would have been left equally frustrated with his sides wastefulness at Westpac Stadium. Noble fired a free-kick from just outside the box straight at Sydney keeper Vedran Janjetovic in the 19th minute after a heavy challenge on Matt Jarvis by Terry Antonis. Hammers midfielder Mohamed Diame then wasted a gilt-edged chance four minutes later when having dispossessed Milos Dimitrijevic he scuffed his shot straight at the Sky Blues keeper. Sydney made the Premier League outfit pay in the 26th minute as they doubled their lead. This time it was a counter-attack from Bernie Ibini, who passed to an unmarked Brosque, who took a touch and fired the ball into the bottom right hand corner. West Ham were back in the game in the 50th minute, when Petkovic deflected a Jarvis cross into his own net, but Gameiros controversial second goal 15 minutes later sealed the win for the A-League outfit.
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Lampard could move to Melbourne on loan

Sat, 26/07/2014 - 13:06
Lampard's long-awaited move to incoming MLS franchise New York City was confirmed on Thursday after the England international midfielder signed a two-year deal. With New York City not in action until the 2015 season, there has been talk ofLampard - Chelsea's all-time leading goalscorer - following high-profile recruit David Villa to fellow City Football Group-owned side Melbourne City in a temporary deal to keep fit. Australian newspaper the Herald Sun published a report this week dismissing suggestions the 36-year-old would be joining Villa at the Melbourne club, who are also bankrolled by Premier League champions Manchester City. However, Reyna told Sky Sports News a loan spell Down Under could be on the cards. "There's that possibility, but we really haven't spoken about it," Reyna said. "We wanted to make sure that Frank had his vacation that he's earned and is well deserved after so many years in the Premier League as well as the World Cup. "We're going to sit down this week - he's here in New York for another week or so - and we'll have those discussions on just planning what we do with him for five months and that is an option. "But we just need to speak together as a group, with Manchester City as well, and see what they think as far as our group. "But one thing for sure is we're really confident he looks after himself and that he'll be ready to go in January 2015."
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James Meredith turned down slow A-League

Fri, 25/07/2014 - 19:06
The UK-based defender didn't fancy trying his luck back home, preferring to remain at Valley Parade despite having no guarantees over regular first-team action. The 26-year-old left-back has agreed a one-year extension at the League One side, where he faces competition for his stiff place from new signing Alan Sheehan. Speaking to local newspaper theTelegraph Argus, Meredith - who was born in WA but came through the academy at Derby County and has never played professionally in Australia - claimed he rejected approaches from the two A-League sides over concerns about the standard of the competition. "There was interest from other clubs – there was strong interest in Australia. Melbourne Heart (City) and Western Sydney Wanderers offered me good deals, probably better," he said. "But it wasn't right for me. I like playing in England and I like playing for Bradford. "Maybe playing in Australia is something you do when you're a bit older and you want to go back. It's a bit slower. "But I love the fast pace here and the competitiveness. I feel I've got unfinished business at this club." Meredith left Derby in 2007 without making a senior appearance and has since played for Sligo Rovers, Shrewsbury Town and York City.
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Central Coast Mariners get their Mané

Fri, 25/07/2014 - 11:27
The 25-year-old joins the Mariners from Swedish club IFKGöteborg on a one-year loan deal. Mané began his career in Senegal for Casa Sports, with stints in Norway for Sogndal Fotball and Sandefjord Fotball as well as a season at FK Aktobe in Kazakhstan. The striker, who stands at roughly 5'8 and weighs over 80kgs, has represented his country on one occasion - a friendly match against Niger in November 2012. “My attributes are that I work hard for the team, and try and do everything for the team – especially scoring goals,” Mané said from Sweden. “(Alessandro) Del Piero played in Australia, so I am happy to play my football there. I have read that Central Coast Mariners are a very good team, so I will be happy to represent the club.” Mané is a likely replacement for Bernie Ibini, who joined Sydney FC in May, but Mariners head coach Phil Moss hinted that another attacking recruit may be announced as early as next week. “We’ve been looking for dynamic, attacking players during our recruitment process and Malick certainly possess the attributes we’ve been looking for,” Moss said. “He’s a very powerful player, he’s pacey, he’s good in one on one situations, and he’s a natural finisher, so we’re delighted to have finalised his loan move.” "Along with Mitchell Duke, Matt Simon, Nick Fitzgerald, Isaka Cernak and Tom Slater, Malick Mane provides us with another strong option in attack. "And, we hope to have another attacking recruit finalised over the coming days." Mané will link up with his teammates in Australia later this month.
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No Frank Lampard plans for Melbourne City

Fri, 25/07/2014 - 10:07
Lampard has penned a two-year-deal with the franchise, who are owned by Premier League champions Manchester City, who also own the Victorian A-League club. According to News Corp reports, a New York City spokesperson was asked whether Lampard may still be coming to the A-League. He replied: "There are no plans in place for Frank to come to Melbourne." The news is a blow to the competition, despite Melbourne City gaining the services of Spanish goalscoring sensation David Villa - also a New York City player - on what is probably a 10-match guest stint that wil finish just before the new MLS season commences. The competition would have been looking to build on the news of Villa's signing and an inspiring World Cup performance from the Socceroos by having a player of Lampard's drawing power in the competition. Yet it appears unlikely that either he, or Tim Cahill - a Sydney FC target - will be playing on these shores in the next season. Lampard, though, will headto the United Statesahead of theirfirst season in the competition in 2015. The 36-year-old hasbeen without a club since he left Chelsea in June after a successful 13-season stay with the Premier League giants. Chelsea's all-time leading goalscorerrepresentedEngland during their disappointing World Cup campaign in Brazil, making one appearance in the 0-0 draw with Costa Rica in their final group fixture. Lampard said: "Having spoken to the people from the club here and seeing the vision,I'm not talking about a franchise hoping things come off, I've seen a real long term plan and I want to be a part of that. "I want to be that leader - I want to be that person - not just on the pitch but off the pitch too." Lampard was also quizzed on his England prospects after moving to the States, and revealed he would be coming to a decision over his international future. "I had a bit of time after the World Cup which was a huge disappointment," the veteran midfielder added. "I know I need to think about England, I know need to think about that but it won’t be long now I know where I’m playing my football I can make that decision." Lampard said he would have to find other ways to keep in shapeprior to the MLS season beginning. "I'm going to keep fit," he explained. "How I'll do that is not clear yet I’m going to sit with [director of football operations] Claudio [Reyna] and [head coach] Jason [Kreiss] and find the best way forward."
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Lampard joins New York City

Fri, 25/07/2014 - 02:06
Lamaprd has penned a two-year-deal with the franchise, who are owned by Premier League champions Manchester City. The England international heads to the United Statesahead of theirfirst season in the competition in 2015. Lampard, 36, joins David Villa, Spains recordgoalscorer, at the City Football Group-owned side. He hadbeen without a club since he left Chelsea in June after a successful 13-season stay with the Premier League giants. Chelseas all-time leading goalscorerrepresentedEngland during their disappointing World Cup campaign in Brazil, making one appearance in the 0-0 draw with Costa Rica in their final group fixture. Lampard said: Having spoken to the people from the club here and seeing the vision,Im not talking about a franchise hoping things come off, Ive seen a real long term plan and I want to be a part of that. I want to be that leader - I want to be that person - not just on the pitch but off the pitch too. Lampard was also quizzed on his England prospects after moving to the States, and revealed he would be coming to a decision over his international future. I had a bit of time after the World Cup which was a huge disappointment, the veteran midfielder added. I know I need to think about England, I know need to think about that but it wont be long now I know where Im playing my football I can make that decision. Villa will prepare for the MLS campaign starting in March by spending a 10-game spell with Melbourne City in the A-League, though Lampard is not confirmed to be following suit. Im going to keep fit, he explained. How Ill do that is not clear yet Im going to sit with [director of football operations] Claudio [Reyna] and [head coach] Jason [Kreiss] and find the best way forward.
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Lowe rejects Olympic claims

Thu, 24/07/2014 - 15:22
Glory withdrew from the game upon arrival at the venue in New South Wales, citing safety issues and concerns over player welfare as the reason behind their decision. Sydney Olympic coach Grant Lee claims he was told by his opposite number that the Glory players were not mentally ready to play. "I was dumbfounded," Lee told Perth radio station 6PR. "I went out and talked to Kenny and he said, 'look mate, the player's heads aren't there, they're not right. I'm really sorry mate, we can't play.' And that was it." Addressing the same outlet, Lowe dismissed those suggestions, accusing Sydney Olympic of failing to provide Glory with an adequate warm-up area or access to dressing rooms. "That's an interesting conversation you've had there with (Grant) Lee," he said. "I made the decision not to play. Unfortunately we couldn't prepare correctly to play the game. "We've got a number of guys who (have) just arrived at the club and looking to play their first game in Mitch Nichols, second game in Youssouf Hersi. "We had no changing rooms to change in, we had no warm-up area to train on. So I made a professional decision that if we can't prepare correctly for a game, we're not going to play the game. "It's got nothing to do with the player's heads, it's got everything to do with my professionalism, wanting to be fully prepared to play a game. It could impact massively if we pick up injuries or we don't warm up correctly. "There was an Under-16s game going on, there was Under-16s players in the changing rooms, we couldn't even get access." Glory's next match is now a high-profile friendly against La Liga club Malaga on Sunday, with Lowe confident the eagerly awaited visit by Spanish opposition will not be interrupted by the cancellation. "It shouldn't unduly affect the preparations for Malaga, because we'll get an extra session in on Friday," he said.
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Merrick blasts FFA over McGlinchey stalemate

Thu, 24/07/2014 - 14:41
Following the end of his loan period with Japanese club Vegalta Sendai and the transfer of licence at the Central Coast Mariners, McGlinchey – backed by the Professional Footballers Australia – believed he was a free agent and able to sign for the Phoenix. But the Mariners have disputed this saying the 27-year-old All Whites midfielder remains contracted to them. The matter has been before the FFA for several weeks now but the governing body has still not made a decision. "I'm appalled by the lack of speed in decision-making," Merrick said. "To leave him in limbo for this long is totally out of order. I'm hugely disappointed." McGlinchey, who was born in Wellington, has been training with the Phoenix since July 7 but has been unable to play in any of their pre-season friendlies. He was ruled out of Wednesday night's 2-1 win over English Premier League club West Ham just hours before kick-off, leaving Merrick extremely frustrated. "Two hours before kick-off our general manager (David Dome) was trying to organise for him to play but there seems to be no movement on decision-making." While the McGlinchey saga has left Merrick fuming, his team's performance against the Hammers would have brought a smile to his face. Goals from skipper Andrew Durante and new signing Alejandro Rodriguez-Gorrin in the first half set up the win before West Ham came back in the second half and grabbed a goal through substitute Mauro Zarate. "It was a great performance and a terrific result but we have to keep it in context," cautioned Merrick, whose side will face Newcastle United at Westpac Stadium in Wellington on Saturday immediately after Sydney take on West Ham in the first game of the double-header. "West Ham are a very good team. They are a little bit behind us in preparation and they had far more scoring chances than we had. "It was a big step in the right direction regarding the way we want to play and the confidence to play that way. "Holding possession in the midfield was critical and having a rock solid defence was just tremendous. "We've got to try and back that up. It's going to be very difficult recovering in three days for a game against Newcastle, who after watching them in Dunedin look like they are further down the track than West Ham."
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Melbourne City maul Bolton 5-1

Thu, 24/07/2014 - 14:29
After conceding the first against their opponent, Patrick Kisnorbo, David Williams, Aaron Mooy, James Brown and Mate Dugandzic scored the goals for City in an impressive mauling of the Wanderers XI. New signing Damien Duff played in the first half for John van’t Schip’s side with Williams and Brown now scoring twice on the touron their UK training camp and tour. Following draws with Bury and Oldham, this win puts the group in a confident position upon their return to Australia ahead of their upcomingFFA Cup clash with Sydney FC in Ballarat on August 12. The club has been based at Carrington Training Centre for much of July as they’ve soaked in the professionalism of their new majority owners Manchester City. Meanwhile, Slovenian international Robert Koren has emerged as the contender to be Melbourne City’s international marquee player for next season. A News Corp reportsuggests the 33-year-old midfielder has been in talks with the club during their pre-season tour in Manchester. Koren’s acquisition would continue their top quality signings for City – formerly Melbourne Heart - with big-names like David Villa and Damien Duff already inking deals with the club. Former Chelsea star Frank Lampard, who is on the verge of joining MLS side New York City, is also reportedly set for a guest stint during the 2014/15A-League season. City football club’s Managing director of football services Brian Marwood didn’t confirm Koren’s signature but conceded he was the type of player the club wants in a marquee. “It’s important that we have the right kind of characteristics both on and off the field,” Marwood said. “We don’t want players coming to the club and thinking it’s a final pay day or it’s a few months in the sun in a beautiful city. That’s not what this club is about.” Koren has been playing in England since 2007, turning out in the Premier League for clubs like West Bromwich Albion and Hull City. He has played 61 games for Slovenia, including at the 2010 World Cup where he scored a goal in a group stage match against Algeria.
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Sydney Olympic baffled by Perth walkout

Thu, 24/07/2014 - 13:24
Perth arrived at the venue more than 2 hours before kick-off but left soon after unhappy with the safety of conditions. An hour later, match officials arrived to officiate the FFA-sanctioned game oblivious to the unfolding drama. Coach of the NPL side, Grant Lee, said he spoke briefly with Glory boss Kenny Lowe on the night but remained perplexed. “In 35 years of pro football I’ve never experienced it before – never seen it or experienced it,” Lee told FourFourTwo. “It just seemed funny from the outset. “When I tried to talk to Kenny he said ‘oh mate I can’t change the players’ minds, they’re not happy with a couple of things that have happened. They’re not in a mental state to play now’.” Olympic were left with egg on their face after inviting a range of corporate sponsors to attend the friendly. Lowe told Perth radio station 6PR his players were uable to access the changerooms or warm-up area due to an U-16s match. CLICK HERE TO READ: LOWE REJECTS OLYMPIC CLAIMS Perth played fellow A-League outfit Adelaide United at the same 23,000 seater stadium on Sunday. But in a statement on their official Facebook page, the club backed Lowe’s decision to pull the pin. "The decision not to proceed with the match was made by the Glory's Head Coach and the Clubs coaching staff who were unable to safely prepare the team at the venue in order for the game to proceed," the statement read. “The Club wholeheartedly supports the decision made by its coaching staff. The cancellation at such a late time is highly disappointing particularly given all at the Club and at Sydney Olympic were keen for the game to proceed. “The Club will not be making any further comment on the matter.” A tweet was posted notifying fans of the cancellation. PRE-SEASON | We regret to advise, due to unforeseen circumstances the @sydneyolympic game has been cancelled. We apologise for inconvenience Perth Glory FC (@PerthGloryFC) July 23, 2014 Lee said he walked in on a Perth team "huddle" about 20 minutes after the players arrived and soon after they were back on the bus and heading out. He understood the visitors raised concerns about the advertised 7.30pm kick off time and the fact that U16s were warming-up on the same pitch for the curtain-raiser. But he said the young players were quickly shifted to a back field so Perth could have access to the entire pitch. “I’m totally in the dark,” Lee added. “As I say I just can’t fathom the reasons why (it was cancelled). It’s just unprecedented. “(Our players) were expecting a really good quality game against quality opposition to showcase their wares, their attributes and capabilities to step up to that level. They were all primed for the game.” The match was factored into Olympic’s preparation for their FFA Cup opener against Manly United on Tuesday night. “You structure everything around – the training sessions and everything else – to prepare the boys for those things,” Lee said. “You’ve got to suddenly regroup, refocus and get the boys’ head back round it again. It’s disappointing they didn’t play (last night) but it happens.” The clubs are currently in negotiations to strengthen ties with reciprocal matches planned in the future. Perth billed Wednesday night’s game as a resumption of rivalries between old National Soccer League adversaries which reached their zenith in the 2002 and 2003 grand finals played out in front of sold-out crowds at Subiaco Oval. Sydney Olympic won the former 1-0 but Glory hit back the following year to take the title with a 2-0 triumph. Perth reproduced a copy of the original match program from Glory’s first ever National Soccer League game against Olympic on the 13th October 1996 in honour of the event.
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Pics: Wellington Phoenix v West Ham

Thu, 24/07/2014 - 02:57
First half goals to skipper Andrew Durante and new signing Alejandro Gorrin got the A-League outfit off to a blinder before the Hammers pulled one back on 71 minutes courtesy of new Argentine signing Mauro Zarate. Durante described it as a win for the entire country. Click on the links below to see the matchday action by Getty Images.
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Wellington Phoenix stun West Ham

Wed, 23/07/2014 - 23:38
The A-League team upstaged their more fancied opponents 2-1 in Auckland on Wednesday night, with first half goals to skipper Andrew Durante and new signing Alejandro Gorrin handing the Kiwi club a memorable victory. Durante described it as a win for the entire country. "First and foremost, beating a Premier League side is a huge achievement for this club," Durante told "It's great, it was a great feeling. The team are very excited. It was a big occasion for us and a big occasion for New Zealand. We're just glad that we contributed to a pretty good game. "Credit to West Ham, they put us under the pump, especially toward the end of the game. Ernie spoke to us all week about just enjoying ourselves, not going into our shell and letting the occasion overawe us." Phoenix raced out of the blocks to pile on two goals inside 30 minutes. A free kick by Gorrin was headed in by Durante to give Phoenix the lead, before Gorrin capped off a solo run by slotting home past Jussi Jaaskelainen. The Hammers pulled one back on 71 minutes courtesy of new Argentine signing Mauro Zarate. Post-match Merrick was keen to keep a lid on the euphoria. "Glen Moss pulled off a couple of great saves, it could have gone the other way but there are a lot of good signs,” the coach told " I won't get carried away with it. West Ham were a wee bit unlucky today. "It was crucial for us to put on a good performance, to win the ball and keep it. Our real strength was a rock-solid backline who were well protected by a bank of midfielders. "For the boys to perform like that, it was outstanding." Next up for the Nix is Saturday’s double-header in Wellington when Merrick’s men take on Newcastle United - who pummelled Sydney FC 4-0 on Tuesday – while the Sky Blues face West Ham who will be looking to atone for their loss. "We want to play well there,” Merrick said of the weekend clash. “My concern is getting them to recover for the next one."
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Melbourne Victory star trio impress in first outing

Wed, 23/07/2014 - 18:03
Besart Berisha, Carl Valeri and Matthieu Delpierre all played as Victory defeated National Premier League Victoria side Bentleigh Greens 3-0 in a friendly on Tuesday. Connor Pain, Leigh Broxham and Jesse Makarounas were on the score sheet for the A-League powerhouse, but it was the fortunes of the newcomers that prompted a clutch of hardy Victory supporters to brave the cold at a foggy Kingston Heath Soccer Complex. "They seem to have settled in quite well," Muscat said when asked about his star signings. "Obviously for Carl and Matthieu, (they're) getting used to local football here in Australia, but all three acquitted themselves tonight." Brazilian playmaker Gui Finkler, who signed a new deal with the club in March, was not involved, but should be in contention to face another NPL Victoria side in the form of Hume City next week. "Hopefully we'll add Gui Finkler and Scotty (Scott Galloway) and Jordy (Jordan Brown) to the group from tonight to start getting some work into those (players),” Muscat added. "Gradually, week by week, we'll improve, not only the conditioning aspect of the game but also the tactical awareness. "I thought there was some good football tonight. I was most pleased with the way we pressed and took a lot out of the game from that perspective." Melbourne Victory's pre-season preparations will ramp up a gear when they travel to Perth to play Bayswater City in the FFA Cup round of 32 on August 20.
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Final A-League All Stars named to take on Juventus

Wed, 23/07/2014 - 14:30
All Stars coach Josep Gombau believes he now has a competitive unit to take on the Serie A champions at ANZ Stadium next month. “I'm satisfied with the squad that we have to play against Juventus,” Gombau said. “It will be a great experience for all the players and coaches that are involved and I want everybody to enjoy this football party. “The most important part of the event for the players is to allow the fans to enjoy this fantastic game. “ Juventus is one of the best teams in the world at the moment. I want everybody to appreciate the opportunity we have and work hard every single minute they are on the field.” Newcastle Jets' Birighitti was part of Ange Postecoglou's preliminary World Cup squad, just missing out on the final cut. He will battle it out with veteran Socceroo custodian, Eugene Galekovic, for a chance to stand between the sticks on August 10. All 10 A-League teams are featured in the All Stars squad with Birighitti and Perth Glory’s Hersi the sole representatives of their clubs. Montgomery brings the number of Central Coast Mariners All Stars to three, while Muscat becomes the second Wellington Phoenix player to join the squad. Along with the Mariners, Sydney FC have the highest presence with three named on the 20-player roster. Meanwhile Central Coast boss Phil Moss has been named Gombau’s assistant coach and Peter Blazincic from Adelaide United appointed goalkeeper coach. Moss said he was excited about the prospect of working with Gombau to prepare the All Stars for the Bianconeri. “It’s a great honour to be hand-picked by Josep and FFA in this position for this historic match,” Moss said. “To be able to help prepare the best of the Hyundai A-League to face such an iconic club as Juventus was too good an opportunity to pass up. “Personally, I want to learn as much as possible from my involvement with the FOXTEL A-League All Stars and then apply those learnings when I return to my club.” FOXTEL A-League All Stars squad Alessandro Del Piero (uncontracted), Marcelo Carrusca (Adelaide United), Eugene Galekovic (Adelaide United), Thomas Broich (Brisbane Roar), Matt Smith (Brisbane Roar), Nick Montgomery (Central Coast Mariners), Josh Rose (Central Coast Mariners), Storm Roux (Central Coast Mariners), David Williams ( Melbourne City), Besart Berisha (Melbourne Victory), Gui Finkler (Melbourne Victory), Mark Birighitti (Newcastle Jets), Youssouf Hersi (Perth Glory), Ali Abbas (Sydney FC), Bernie Ibini (Sydney FC), Sasa Ognenovski (Sydney FC), Manny Muscat (Wellington Phoenix), Albert Riera (Wellington Phoenix), Tomi Juric (Western Sydney Wanderers), Matthew Spiranovic (Western Sydney Wanderers) Match Details FOXTEL A-League All Stars v Juventus FC Sunday 10 August 2014 ANZ Stadium, Sydney Kick-Off: 7:30 pm AEST
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Pics: Sydney v Newcastle United

Wed, 23/07/2014 - 00:53
Before the match, two wreaths were placed on stadium seats in memory of Newcastle supporters, John Alder and Liam Sweeney, who lost their lives on Malaysian Airlines flight MH17. Click on the links below to see pics of the match by Getty Images.
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Melbourne City on the hunt for two new signings

Tue, 22/07/2014 - 23:09
The team formerly known as Melbourne Heart have played friendlies against Bury and Oldham Athletic, with another game against Bolton Wanderers to come on Wednesday. The takeover by Manchester City has afforded the A-League outfit an opportunity to train at world class facilities, while the likes of Damien Duff and David Villa will turn out for John van 't Schip's team next season. And the recruitment drive hasn't finished yet. City are yet to unveil a domestic or overseas marquee for 2014-15, with Frank Lampard tipped to appear in Melbourne for at least some of next season as part of the deal he is reportedly set to sign with MLS outfit New York City FC. According to Munn, there has been plenty of work going on behind the scenes as van 't Schip put his players through their paces in Manchester. "We have enjoyed our time in England and it has given the club the chance to talk to (Manchester City executive) Brian Marwood about potentially bringing some new players to Melbourne," he told the Manchester Evening News. "We are looking for two more players to fill our squad so hopefully we should be able to finalise that in the new month or so and bring in some more exciting names." City utility player Jason Hoffman feels the team will reap the benefits of their time training at the Premier League giants. "It's been a big change for everyone but this is a great opportunity for the club," he said.
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