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Western United's inaugural A-League squad compares strongly to Wanderers' debut team


Starting a team from scratch can seem a daunting proposition, but new A-League club Western United look to have compiled a quality squad for their debut season - and one than compares with the Western Sydney Wanderers side that won the Premiership at first attempt.

While there is certainly no guarantee Western United will be as successful as the Wanderers in season one - the red and black had master coach Tony Popovic at the helm - the club has so far recruited a list that looks capable of making the finals.

Read the full story on Goal.

Taggart to square off with Ronaldo as Juve visit Korea


In-form Australian striker Adam Taggart will have the chance to take on Cristiano Ronaldo and Juventus in a friendly match on Friday night.

With Ronaldo looming as the centre-forward for Juve, Taggart will feature at the other end for the K-League All Stars team in the game at Seoul World Cup Stadium.

The 26-year-old was voted by Korean fans into the representative team after his 12 goals in 19 appearances has him currently placed as the K-League's top scorer.

Taggart will likely face a tough battle against an Old Lady defence that could feature the likes of Leonardo Bonucci, Giorgio Chiellini and Matthijs De Ligt.

The match kicks off at 9pm (AEST).

Socceroos striker scores in Europa League


Australian centre-forward Apostolos Giannou scored the opening goal in AEK Larnaca's 3-0 Europa League win against Levski Sofia

The 29-year-old latched on to a cross in the 66th minute to score the opening goal with a delightful touch past the goalkeeper.

The Cypriots hit the back of the net twice more before the 75th minute to take a commanding lead into the second leg in Bulgaria on August 2 (AEST).

Melbourne Victory confirm Nabbout signing


One day after the return of Robbie Kruse, Melbourne Victory have confirmed the signing of Andrew Nabbout on a one-year contract.

In a story first revealed by Goal's Covert Agent, the 26-year-old has come back to the A-League club which kickstarted his career in 2012.

Nabbout, who was the starting Socceroos striker at the 2018 World Cup, makes the move from Japanese giants Urawa Reds after 16 months in the J-League.

"I’m delighted to be coming back to Melbourne Victory – this is a fantastic opportunity," Nabbout said.
"After speaking with the club and discussing with my wife, we thought it was the right time to return to Melbourne. On a personal level, my wife and I are expecting our first child in November so to be around family will give us a big boost of support.
"From a football perspective, I just can’t wait to play.
"The club’s expectations are clear in wanting to achieve success – I expect nothing less from Victory and I’m very excited to be given the chance to work towards that."

Nabbout was a part of Victory's 2015 A-League double winning team before finding himself at the Newcastle Jets via a stint with Negeri Sembilan in Malaysia.

His last A-League season for the Jets in 2017-18 saw him score an impressive 10 goals in 22 matches before earning the move to Urawa.

Diamanti arrives as new Western United star


Italian international Alessandro Diamanti has been presented to the media as the star of new A-League team Western United.

The 36-year-old forward - who has signed a one-year marquee deal - was paraded at one of the club's training facilities at Fraser Rise on Thursday morning.

Diamanti has 17 caps for Italy and was part of the Azzurri squad that finished runner-up at the 2012 European Championships.

"I have played all around the world, with world class clubs and team mates, and Western United stood out to me after speaking with the coaches and staff, and hearing how they plan on having an impact in their first season in the A-League," Diamanti said. 

"It’s exciting to join a club in a country where the popularity of football is growing so quickly."

Coach Mark Rudan was confident the Italy veteran would be a drawcard for supporters with his extensive resume proving his quality.

"Alessandro Diamanti is a player of enormous quality with fantastic pedigree who possesses the X-factor we’ve been searching for. He’s a player that will excite our fans and work hard for his team mates," Rudan said.

"We look forward to welcoming Alessandro’s experience to the Western United family."

Diamanti has enjoyed a 20-year senior career which has included stints at clubs such as Bologna, West Ham, Livorno and Brescia - plus two seasons at Chinese team Guangzhou Evergrande.

The attacking midfielder will his competitive debut for Western United when the A-League season kicks off in October.

Alessandro Diamanti Western United

Sydney FC unveil slick new playing kit


A-League and W-League champions Sydney FC have introduced their new Under Armour kit for the 2019-20 season.

The four strips - which included home, away, third kit and goalkeeper jersey - were paraded at an event at Darling Harbour on Wednesday night.

Each kit takes inspiration from the Sydney Opera House with the outlining of the famous building featuring on the outfield player jerseys.

The message 'We are Sydney' is featured on the back neck of each kit alongside a small graphic of the Sydney Harbour bridge.

Tell us your thoughts on the Sydney FC kit reveal at Goal Australia's Twitter.

We're just getting started. 👊 Welcome to the team @sydneyfootballclub #BuiltForSydney

316 Likes, 15 Comments - Under Armour Australia (@underarmourau) on Instagram: "We're just getting started. 👊 Welcome to the team @sydneyfootballclub #BuiltForSydney"

Phoenix name ex-Premier League captain as new skipper


Steven Taylor has been appointed as the new captain of Wellington Phoenix - replacing the long-serving Andrew Durante.

The English central defender has been handed the honour by new coach Ufuk Talay after impressing in a leadership role during his first campaign at the club last season.

The outgoing Durante was Phoenix captain for 11 seasons but decided to follow Mark Rudan to new A-League franchise Western United.

Wellington had a successful start with Taylor wearing the armband, steamrolling Wairarapa United 7-0 in a pre-season friendly on Wednesday.

New acquisitions Jaushua Sotirio and David Ball both secured braces while Mexican import Ulises Davila also found the scoresheet.

Steven Taylor

FFA Cup wrap: Adelaide Olympic pull off stunning comeback


South Australian side Adelaide Olympic have overcome a two-goal deficit to record an incredible 4-3 victory against Western Australia's Floreat Athena in the FFA round-of-32.

The WA club led 2-0 at half-time courtesy of goals from Ludovic Boi and skipper Dean Evans - the latter a brilliant free kick.

But Olympic didn't drop their heads at the break and instead managed to pull level by the 61st minute through strikes from Fausto Erba and Ioannis Simosis.

Erba struck again three minutes to hand Olympic an extraordinary lead but Floreat finally hit back with Phil Arnold tying the game up at 3-3 on 71 minutes.

However Simosis had the final say from the spot with 12 minutes to play, holding his nerve from the spotkick to give Olympic a famous win.

In other results, Brisbane Olympic eased to a 5-2 win against Bayswater City, Manly United progressed on penalties after a 2-2 draw with Mt Druitt Town Rangers and Edgeworth comfortably overcame Darwin Olympic 3-0.

Moreland Zebras knocked out Bulleen on penalties after a 1-1 deadlock and Magpies Crusaders eliminated Coomera Colts 2-1.

Australian joins ex-Man Utd players' revolution


Versatile defender Cameron Burgess has become the latest signing for League Two debutants Salford City.

The Australian, who can play as a central defender or left back, joins on loan from Scunthorpe United as Salford City prepare for their first ever campaign in the Football League.

"He has probably got a point to prove, he is out of contract next summer, and he has all the attributes to be a top centre-half," Salford coach Graham Alexander said.

Burgess was born in Scotland but pledged his allegiance to Australia when he made his debut in the Championship for Fulham in 2014 - however he made only four appearances at the London club while enduring a series of loan spells.

The 23-year-old made 36 appearances for Scunthorpe in League One last season - scoring one goal as the team's season finished in relegation.

Salford City is the club part-owned by a group of 'class of 92' Manchester United players including David Beckham, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs, Nick Butt and Gary and Phil Neville.

Cameron Burgess Scunthorpe United

The Covert Agent: Nabbout returns to Melbourne Victory


Melbourne Victory is set to acquire another former player, with Socceroo attacker Andrew Nabbout imminently to sign with the club.

The Covert Agent can reveal the 26-year-old has decided to return to Victory after failing to establish himself at J-League side Urawa Red Diamonds because of injury and form struggles.

Read the full story on Goal

Singh impresses for Bayern in friendly


New Bayern Munich signing Sarpreet Singh has again impressed for the Bundesliga champions in a friendly.

The 20-year-old was given just over 30 minutes in the International Champions Cup fixture against AC Milan, coming on as a substitute for Renato Sanches.

With 12 minutes to play, Singh executed a wonderful turn against his Milan opponent before driving through midfield to begin a Bayern attack.

He also got forward later on in the match, unfortunately blazing a shot wide after the ball fell kindly in the penalty area.

It's been a whirlwind few weeks for Singh, who signed for Bayern from Wellington Phoenix at the end of last month, and has already participated in friendly matches against Arsenal and Real Madrid.

Singh's former Wellington Phoenix teammate Tom Doyle joined German 3.Liga club Chemnitzer overnight, meaning the two will likely square off if the former is playing for Bayern's reserves in the same division.

Antonis leaves Victory for Korea


Melbourne Victory midfielder Terry Antonis has left the club to join K-League side Suwon Bluewings.

The 25-year-old joins fellow Socceroo Adam Taggart at the Korean side and has signed a contract that is believed to span two years.

Antonis is best known at Victory for scoring the extra-time winning goal in the 2017-18 semi-final against Sydney, which helped lead the club to the A-League championship the following week.

His departure comes less than 24 hours after Victory announced the signing of Robbie Kruse - their first big signing of the off-season.

"Terry accomplished a lot in his time with us, but there is no doubt he will be remembered for a long time by our members and fans for that goal in the Semi-Final against Sydney FC and the championship that followed," Victory football operations manager Paul Trimboli said.
"This is an opportunity that Terry wanted to pursue, and we thank him for his contributions to our success and wish him well in his future endeavours."

Neymar set to face Sydney FC in China


Paris Saint Germain superstar Neymar has been named in their touring squad to take on Sydney FC in China at the end of the month.

With the Brazilian reportedly keen on a move away from club, it was in doubt whether he would participate in their far east tour - which also includes a match against Inter in Macau.

But confirmation came through from PSG on Tuesday night of his participation in the pre-season games, with their German coach naming the 27-year-old in a 33-man squad.

The Parisians first match against Inter kicks off at 9.30pm (AEST) on July 27 before they take on the Sky Blues on July 30 in Shenzhen at 10pm (AEST).

Neymar PSG

Robbie Kruse returns to Melbourne Victory


Robbie Kruse will return to Melbourne Victory after the A-League club announced the Socceroos attacker as their first big signing of the off-season.

The 30-year-old has signed a two-year contract and will join the squad pending a medical assessment later this week.

Kruse was excited to rejoin his former club after carving out a career in Europe and explained his excitement at being part of the project headed by new coach Marco Kurz.

"I’m excited to return home after eight years playing overseas. It was an incredible experience, but to have the opportunity to come back to the A-League and represent Victory again is really special," Kruse said.
"I have great memories playing with Victory and of the club as whole; it helped me set expectations of myself as a player and ground me professionally.

"During our discussions, I’ve been impressed with Marco Kurz’s vision for the team and look forward to joining my teammates, many new and a couple I already know."

Kruse first made a name for himself at Victory during the 2010-11 season, scoring 11 goals in 18 games before heading to Germany's Fortuna Dusseldorf.

Read the full story on Goal.