Season Preview: Sydney FC

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 looking at Sydney FC.

Last Season: 7th.
Sydney started out poorly and after giving up a 2-0 lead against Melbourne in round 6 Ian Crook quit citing health reasons. In his place came Farina who managed to get wins at home but not on the road, with a 2-0 loss away to his former club Brisbane denying them a spot in the finals.

Manager: Frank Farina
Frank came in at a difficult time last season and did a reasonable job, but just couldn’t get them organised enough to make the finals. It’s a big year for Frank, possibly his last chance to become a long term A-League coach.

Kit:
20130902120823_newsfc3

Squad:
1) Necevski, 2) Ryall, 3) Warren, 4) Bosschaart, 5) Jurman, 6) Petkovic, 7) Emerton, 8) Bojic, 9) Gameiro, 10) Del Piero, 11) Garcia, 12) Powell, 13) Calvano, 14) Mallia, 15) McFlynn, 16) Chianese, 17) Antonis, 18) Triantis, 19) Carle, 20) Janjetovic, 21) Yau, 22), Abbas, 23) Grant, 24) Gligor, 25) Petkovski, 27) Urosevski, 28) Calver.


Ins:

Matthew Jurman (Brisbane Roar), Nick Carle (loan return), Marc Warren (Airdrie United- Scotland), Pedj Bojic (Central Coast Mariners), Corey Gameiro (Fulham- England), Yairo Yau (Sporting San Miguelito- Panama, 1yr loan), Richard Garcia (Melbourne Heart), Nikola Petkovic (Red Star Belgrade- Serbia).

Outs:
Nathan Sherlock (Sydney United- NSWPL), Adam Griffiths (Selangor FA- Malaysia), Paul Reid (Rockdale Coty Suns- NSWPL), Trent McClenahan (Released), Kruno Lovrek (NK Sesvete- Croatia), Fabio Alves (Philadelphia Union- MLS), Joel Griffiths (Qingdao Jonoon- China), Lucas Neill (Omida Ardija- Japan), Jarrod Kyle (Palm Beach Sharks- NPL Queensland).

Key player: Alesandro Del Piero
The Italian had a fantastic first season in the A-League having a massive impact both on and off the pitch despite Sydney’s failure to make the finals. If they’re to make the postseason this year they’ll need their Italian talisman to produce again.

Expected starting XI: (4-3-3)
843465_Sydney_FC

Last Season against Brisbane:
Round 7: Brisbane Roar 4-2 Sydney FC
Round 20: Sydney FC 2-1 Brisbane Roar
Round 27: Brisbane Roar 3-1 Sydney FC

Meetings this season:
October 19th: Brisbane Roar vs. Sydney FC
December 26th: Sydney FC vs. Brisbane Roar
March 14th: Sydney FC vs. Brisbane Roar

Pre-season form:
Belmore United 0-6 Sydney FC
Sydney Uni. 1-7 Sydney FC
Sagan Tosu 2-1 Sydney FC
Macarthur Rams 1-1 Sydney FC
Padova 3-2 Sydney FC
Udinese 3-5 Sydney FC
Vicenza 1-3 Sydney FC
A.S. Cittadella 0-1 Sydney FC
Venezia 1-0 Sydney FC
Reggina 2-2 Sydney FC
Sydney FC 0-3 Wellington Phoenix
St. George 2-1 Sydney FC
Sydney FC 0-1 Newcastle Jets
Brisbane Roar 4-1 Sydney FC
Sydney FC 0-3 Perth Glory

Brisbane connections:
Just the one. Former championship winning defender Matt Jurman has returned to Sydney after a disappointing season last year.

Prediction:
It’ a tough one, because in Del Piero they’ve got the talismanic character capable of leading them deep into the finals, but their pre-season form has been terrible. Some of the defensive performances and errors have been particularly poor from all reports, so on that basis I think they’ll miss the finals for a 2nd straight year.

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