FORMER Socceroos mainstay Matthew Spiranovic is set for a return to the A-League after being released by his Chinese club, while Australia could now have the chance to compete in
the Copa America.
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SPIRANOVIC SET FOR A-LEAGUE RETURN
Socceroos defender Matthew Spiranovic’s time in China is reportedly over amid speculation he’s been released by Zheijang Greentown.
Trusted transfer news site Transfermarkt lists the centre-back as a free agent after Zheijang filled their allotted foreigner quota with three strikers.
The 29-year-old is being linked with a return to the A-League after flying home to thrash out his club future.
It is believed Spiranovic has held talks over a possible return to the West Sydney Wanderers, who he left in 2015 for China, with Sydney FC, Melbourne Victory and Melbourne City all keen to fight them for his signature.
The defender has 35 caps for the Socceroos, although hasn’t made an international appearance since Australia’s 2-0 loss to Japan last August.
Spiranovic hasn’t given up hope of making the Socceroos squad for Russia, although he’ll face an uphill battle to convince Bert van Marwijk he’s worthy of reinstatement.
COPA AMERICA TO INCLUDE FOREIGN TEAMS
The Copa America will undergo a big change for its 2019 edition after it was announced that six teams from around the world will be invited to compete.
The tournament will include 16 teams, of which ten will be from CONMEBOL (South America) while two teams from each of UEFA (Europe), AFC (Asia) and CONCACAF (Central American) will be included.
“We are proud to begin the work to make an unforgettable Copa America 2019 in a country that has the recent experience of organizing major sporting events.”
“Conmebol is experiencing a new moment and we are sure that it will be a historic competition, which will return to Brazil after 30 years,” said CONMEBOL president Alejandro Dominguez.
The tournament will be held in Brazil and will be the first time since 1999 that teams from outside the association compete. Spain was invited in 2011, but they declined the proposal.
CITY UP FOR DERBY
Melbourne City were devastated on Saturday night but pledge to be back on their A-Game for Friday night’s A-League derby against Melbourne Victory. And more than that, City are looking onwards towards the finals, believing themselves to be the equal of any team in a knock-out situation. City’s 97th minute collapse against Perth Glory ended their faint mathematical hopes of winning the premier’s plate.
Adam Taggart’s winner, and Sydney FC’s derby triumph on Sunday, moved the Sky Blues 19 points ahead of City with just six matches left in the season. But City new boy Dario Vidosic says Newcastle – eight points clear of his side – are still catchable.
“We’re in third with a lot to play for,” he said.
“Anyone in the top six at the end of the season has a chance to get to the grand final, and the higher up you finish the better.
“On any given day if we play to our best we know we can beat anyone.” Teammate Scott Jamieson agrees despite Sydney knocking over City 4-0 at AAMI Park in their last meeting.
“Sydney FC mauled us on the scoreboard but they didn’t maul us in play … the score didn’t reflect the game,” he said.
“In a league format yes they are a lot better than everyone else. They’re consistent.
“When incomes to the finals I don’t think its going to be so straight forward. “One, it’s a finals series. Two, the Asian Champions League and they’re under the pump there.
“We’ve had some opportunities to put them to the sword.
“The premier’s plate, they’ve won that, but don’t be surprised if Sydney don’t win the grand final.” Vidosic, if selected, will play in his first Melbourne derby on Friday night. After his experience with the Wanderers in the Sydney showpiece, he can’t wait to play in the Melbourne edition.
“They’re great, great game with crowds, atmosphere and intensity,” he said. “Everyone was a little bit down coming back from the trip.
“But we’re definitely confident.
“We’ll keep working and combining towards what we think we can achieve.”