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A-League

No-one quite expected that drama on a Friday night between Adelaide United and Brisbane Roar. A brace to Ben Halloran just either side of half-time, Taylor Regan shown his second yellow card in the 78th minute, and Stefan Mauk the same in the 91st minute after having lost consciousness, Brisbane Roar's in-form striker Adam Taggart injured, the coaches with a bit of how's your father stuff, and 8,005 fans on-hand to watch it all unfold. Here's how the experts saw it:

Western Sydney Wanderers

Goodness. It's eight months until Western Sydney Wanderers play Leeds United but the lead in this chat with Jordan O'Doherty is on "family drama" for that match as his mum's family are Leeds supporters and his dad is a Millwall supporter, and Millwall fans hate Leeds. Apparently. And the relevance of this to tonight's A-League match is ...? Here's a tip: this story is interesting, and the photo of O'Doherty's nephews is cute, but it really could have waited till .... (checks calendar) about July 11 next year.

By contrast, this is a terrific read here from Dominic Bossi on how playing football - pushed by mum, yay, go mum's - eased the transition from a refugee camp in Kenya to life in suburban Sydney for Abraham Majok. It is so often the refugee and migrant experience. Majok says "Nothing is really given to someone and no position is safe," and he intends continuing to work hard.

Sydney FC

Where other teams may "stew over a loss" and then follow that up with more poor results, Sydney FC has the ability to "bounce back" and Steve Corica is confident they will do so against Central Coast Mariners this afternoon. 

Melbourne Victory

Melbourne Victory's early season form may look ominous to many, but Kevin Muscat isn't getting carried away ($) and says there is still room for improvement. Muscat says he has "a lot of respect" for this weekend's opponents, Western Sydney Wanderers, as they are leading the competition in terms of "shots on target and chances created".

Muscat says much the same thing here; that relative positions on the ladder are not necessarily "a true reflection" of the Wanderers' form. 

Melbourne City 

We're not Melbourne City bashers, but the suggestion that some City fans "intend boycotting games" would be that noticeable might also be seen as a long bow. Others intend having a sit-down protest at the game - all because 'fan favourite' Bruno Fornaroli (pictured) apparently has skin folds that don't miss the fat test. Fans are calling for Joyce to be sacked, amidst talk that Fornaroli is actually hoping for a transfer to Sydney FC in January. 

The suggestion is that Fornaroli has played his last game with Melbourne City and the relationship with Joyce and the club is "irreparable". A City focussed podcast, 'Talking City', has written on Facebook that Joyce has alienated the club's "greatest ever player" and has called on the so-far silent CEO, Scott Munn, either to "sack this clown or lose the few remaining fans."

The one thing that can be said about the brouhaha surrounding Fornaroli v Joyce is that at least City is in the news. While they toil away week-in, week-out, and do some good work in the community, it is generally unnoticed. Not so now. As Michael Lynch writes: "Fan protests, public condemnation of the club, coach and management, with a foundation player leading the critical charge. Has there ever been a more trying week for Melbourne City ...?"

Central Coast

20-year-old Aiden O'Neill was pleased to come back to Australia ($) on a loan because he had a "nagging feeling" that he needed a change of scenery. He said the change to the A-League is not because of needing regular first-team football as he was getting that in League One. O'Neill says he also wanted to put himself in contention for Socceroos duty, and will "definitely" return to England when his loan deal is complete.

O'Neill had "a taste of the big time" with Burnley, but two years in League One was a "dose of reality" and he now has to "earn his stripes". He said joining Burnley as a 16-year-old meant he either had to learn to sink or swim.

    A-League expansion

    We couldn't agree more, Lawrie McKinna. A 22-round competition - reportedly FOX Sports' preference - would be "going backwards". He says, from a football perspective, 22 rounds simply isn't enough. 

    Good read here from Lynch on the two "outsider" A-League bids - South Melbourne and Canberra. He says that both have interesting aspects of history, geography and diversity to bring to the competition but he feels they may have to play the "long game". 

    The Canberra A-League bid has signed a MoU with Capital Football, and the winners could be Canberra United (W-League), as the Canberra A-League bid team wants women to be fully professional. The partnership reportedly includes raises to player salaries, sharing elite-level facilities and coordination across commercial opportunities.

    W-League

    Canberra United import, South African vice-captain, Refiloe Jane will boost Canberra United this weekend as she returns after leading South Africa to its first women's World Cup. Jane was one of the stars in Canberra's opening two games of the season before leaving for international duties, after which Canberra lost successive matches. 

    David Villa to link-up with Ange Postecoglou?

    It was touched upon in yesterday's paper, but now AP is also reporting that David Villa, who currently plays with New York City, may link-up with Yokohama Marinos FC, which is majority owned by the City Football Group, and their coach, Ange Postecoglou. If so, Villa would join Andres Iniesta and Fernando Torres in the J.League.

    The weekend's matches (W-League in italics)

    Saturday:

    • Central Coast Mariners v Sydney FC, Central Coast Stadium, 5.35pm local & AEDT
    • Melbourne City v Adelaide United, CB Smith Reserve, 7.30pm AEDT
    • Melbourne Victory v Western Sydney Wanderers, Marvel Stadium, 7.50pm local & AEDT

    Sunday:

    • Melbourne Victory v Western Sydney Wanderers, LaTrobe City Stadium, 4pm AEDT
    • Canberra United v Sydney FC, McKellar Park, 4pm AEDT
    • Wellington Phoenix v Perth Glory, Westpac Stadium, 7pm local, 5pm AEDT
    • Melbourne City v Newcastle Jets, AAMI Park, 7pm local & AEDT

    a-league, a-league expansion, w-league

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