Season Preview: Adelaide UnitedPosted: October 1, 2013
In the lead-up to season 9 of the A-League we’ll be doing an extensive preview of the league club by club- today we’ll kick it off with Adelaide United.
4th. Lost Elimination final to Brisbane Roar.
Adelaide started last season on fire losing just twice in their opening 11 games before falling in something of a hole which saw them win just two of their next 8 bringing an end to John Kosmina’s 2nd stint as Reds boss. In his place came his assistant Michael Valkanis who won just two of his 10 games in charge as interim manager culminating in the 2-1 loss at Hindmarsh in the Elimination Final against Brisbane.
Manager: Josep Gombau
After sacking both Kosmina and then interim replacement Valkanis in the off-season, Adelaide chairman Greg Griffin turned to South-East Asia for his 4th manergial appointment in his reign as chairman hiring Spaniard Josep Gombau to lead the Reds. Gombau, 37, is one of the latest coaches to emerge from the famous FC Barcelona coaching school and will be looking to bring that Catalan style of football to the A-League this season. He had an incredibly successful stint in charge of Hong Kong outfit Kitchee FC leading them to back to back First Division title’s in 2010-11 and 2011-12 along with winning the Hong Kong FA Cup twice -2011-12, 2012-13-, and the League Cup once 2011-12-. He’ll no doubt look to bring a more Catalan style to the Reds this summer and his signings since taking over should help him implement that style on the squad.
1) Galekovic, 3) Boogaard, 4) McKain, 5) Malik, 6) Cassio, 7) Neumann, 8) Isaias, 9) Cirio, 10) Carrusca, 11) Djite, 12) Golec, 13) Lustica, 14) Watson, 15) Melling, 16) Bowles, 17) Mabil, 18) Zullo, 19) Barker-Daish, 20) Izzo, 21) Elrich, 22) Ferreira, 23) Elsey.
Jordan Elsey (Promoted from NYL), Awer Mabil (Promoted from NYL), Sergio Cirio (Hospitalet), Isaias Sanchez (Ponferradina), Tarek Elrich (Western Sydney Wanderers), Michael Zullo (FC Utrecht- loan), Steven Lustica (Hajduk Split)
Iain Ramsay (Melbourne Heart), Tomi Juric (Western Sydney Wanderers), Fabian Barbiero (Croydon Kings- SA Premier League) Evan Kostopoulos (Released), Iain Fyfe (Mes Kerman- Iran), Dario Vidosic (Sion).
It’s difficult to say because it was shaping up to be ex Roar attacker Dario Vidosic, but he’s since transferred to Swiss side FC Sion. Expect Spanish duo Sergio Cirio and Isaias Sanchez to be pivotal parts of the squad, along with last seasons standout Jeronimo Neumann.
Last Season against Brisbane:
Round 5: Brisbane Roar 0-1 Adelaide United (Vidosic)
Round 13: Adelaide United 0-1 Brisbane Roar (Henrique)
Round 23: Adelaide United 0-1 Brisbane Roar (Halloran)
Elimination final: Adelaide United (Vidosic) 1-2 Brisbane Roar (Brattan, Franjic)
Meetings this season:
December 6th: Adelaide United vs. Brisbane Roar
January 11th: Brisbane Roar vs. Adelaide United
March 9th: Brisbane Roar vs. Adelaide United
Cumberland United 1-4 Adelaide United
MetroStars 1-2 Adelaide United
Croydon Kings 1-7 Adelaide United
West Torrens Birkalla 1-8 Adelaide United
Western Strikers 0-11 Adelaide United
Adelaide United 0-1 Central Coast Mariners
Western Sydney Wanderers 1-1 Adelaide United
Melbourne Heart 1–2 Adelaide United
Adelaide have their fair share of former Roar players on the books despite the recent departure of Dario Vidosic to the Swiss Super League. Steven Lustica –who spent last season on loan in Brisbane from Hajduk Split- has moved to Adelaide on a permanent basis after his deal in Croatia was terminated, while former Roar flyer and FC Utrecht left back Michael Zullo has joined the Reds on a 1 year loan. In addition Roar youth graduate Daniel Bowles –who headed to Gold Coast United before breaking into the Roar first team squad- now also calls Adelaide home.
It’s all going to come down to Gombau and how quickly he can get the squad playing the way he wants them to. The signings look solid, and should fit into the style of play they’re going to try. The Spanish duo alongside Neumann will be key, if it all clicks they should find themselves in the finals again this year.