Season Preview Series: Sydney FCPosted: October 2, 2014
In the lead-up to the 10th of the A-League we’ll be doing an extensive preview of the league club by club- continuing today with Sydney FC.
Last Season: 6th (Lost Elimination Final to Melbourne Victory)
Last season was another rollercoaster season for Sydney FC with up and down results all over the place. After scraping into the finals and losing late on against Melbourne in the finals, Frank Farina saw his time end in charge of the sky blues after failing to meet a clause in his contract guaranteeing an extension. It now falls on Graham Arnold to take the challenge of taking Sydney forward.
1) Ivan Necevski, 2) Sebastian Ryall, 3) Sasa Ognenovski, 4) Pedj Bojic, 5) Matthew Jurman, 6) Nikola Petkovic, 7) Corey Gameiro, 8) Milos Dimitrijevic, 9) Shane Smeltz, 11) Bernie Ibini-Isei, 12) Hagi Gligor, 13) Alex Gersbach, 14) Alex Brosque, 16) Chris Naumoff, 17) Terry Antonis, 18) Peter Triantis, 19) Nick Carle, 20) Vedran Janjetovic, 21) Marc Janko, 22) Ali Abbas, 13) Rhyan Grant, 30) Anthony Bouzanis.
Bernie Ibini-Isei (Shanghai Dongya- China (season long loan)), Shane Smeltz (Perth Glory), Alex Brosque (Al Ain- Qatar), Alex Brosque (Australian Institute of Sport), Marc Janko (Trabzonspor- Turkey).
Brett Emerton, Terry McFlynn (both retired), Alessandro Del Piero (Delhi Dynamos- India), Richard Garcia (Minnesota United- USA), Marc Warren, Blake Powell (APIA Leichhardt), Mitchell Mallia (Blacktown City), Joel Chianese (Sydney United 58), Ranko Despotovic (Alaves- Spain).
The players they’ve signed are both proven in this league, or in the case of Janko a perfect fit for the system of play Arnold typically plays. Sydney’s have lost a stack of experience in Emerton, Del Piero and McFlynn, but their performances no longer warranted selection in the squad. Their biggest loss will be the goal scoring of Ranko Despotovic, although they’ve gone out and replaced him.
Expected Starting XI:
Arnold seems to have implemented his diamond 4-4-2 from his Mariners days over the pre-season with a mix of new signing and young players in the squad stepping up. Youngster Alex Gersbach has seemingly won the nod at left-back ahead of Matt Jurman, while Ibini and Abbas are filling the wide midfield roles in the diamond with Naumoff putting the pressure on for a spot. Upfront Arnold has the luxury of choosing from in form Gameiro, Brosque, Smeltz and marquee man Marc Janko.
Sydney have had an impressive pre-season with their only loss coming against Newcastle United early on over in New Zealand. The fact they’ve gone unbeaten against both Melbourne sides, Newcastle, Wellington and Brisbane, in addition to beating West Ham is a solid run of results for Arnold’s men.
Macarthur Rams 1-5 Sydney FC
Newcastle United 4-0 Sydney FC
Sydney FC 3-1 West Ham United
Bonnyrigg White Eagles 2-3 Sydney FC
Melbourne City 1-3 Sydney FC (FFA Cup)
Sydney FC 3-1 Northern Fury
Newcastle Jets 2-4 Sydney FC
Sydney FC 2-0 Brisbane Roar
Canberra FC 0-5 Sydney FC
Sydney FC 0-0 Wellington Phoenix
Sydney United 58 1-3 Sydney FC (FFA Cup)
Melbourne Victory 0-0 Sydney FC
All-time record against Sydney FC:
Things seem to be shaping up better in Sydney this year than in the last couple going into the new season, with impressive pre-season results and solid recruitment to suit the system of play their new coach intends to implement. Finals should be on the agenda once again in the Harbour City, and if their pre-season results translate into the competition proper they could be a threat in the big games this season.