After earning just six points in its first four matches of the Turkish Süper Lig season, Galatasaray fired manager Fatih Terim on Tuesday after a vote from the board of directors. Terim also recently took the Turkish national team job, where he has had more recent success.
His first two games in charge of Turkey were a 5-0 win against Andorra and a 2-0 win at Romania to take over third place in the group with two matches remaining. Things haven’t been quite so rosy on the club front, as Gala lost 6-1 to Real Madrid in the first UEFA Champions League group game, following three straight league draws.
Although he is only the interim coach of the national team, Galatasaray became suspicious of Terim, 60, when he was unwilling to sign a two-year extension with the club in conjunction with the national team deal, which expires in May.
“In spite of the decision of the Galatasaray Sports Club and the Board of Directors to extend the term of the contract with Fatih Terim for two more years as of May 2014, when Mr. Terim has rejected the offer, the board has instead decided to terminate the contract between him and the club,” the club said in a press release. “We would like to thank Mr. Terim for all his services and wish him all the best in his future career.”
Terim’s firing brings to a close his third stint in charge of Galatasaray. He won six Süper Lig titles, a UEFA Cup, two Turkish Cups and two Super Cups with the club.
(MORE: Galatasaray manager Fatih Terim named Turkey head coach)
Reports out of England have linked Roberto Mancini and Roberto Di Matteo with the opening. The Daily Mail reported Mancini as a possibility on Tuesday, while The Independent’s report on Thursday mentions Di Matteo as a primary target for a two-year deal in Istanbul.
Sunderland has also been linked with Di Matteo in recent days after firing Paolo di Canio as manager following another defeat last weekend.
The managers are meeting the media ahead of this week’s Premier League matches, and many eyes are trained on one specific match-up.
Chelsea and Manchester United meet on Sunday, the first time Jose Mourinho will manage against his old side since his unceremonious exit last winger.
[ USWNT: Holiday has tumor removed ]
Mourinho, of course, led Chelsea to the 2014-15 title only to see a miserable start to the following campaign. He was hired at Manchester United this summer, but Conte thinks Mourinho’s Chelsea laurels have earned him some love from Stamford Bridge.
“I have great respect for Mourinho. He deserves a good reception. He was an important man for Chelsea and wrote part of the club’s story.”
Conte also touched on Paul Pogba‘s decision to head back to Old Trafford. The manager guided the French midfielder during their time at Juventus.
“It was Paul Pogba’s dream was to return to Manchester United. I wish him well, but only after this game.”
Conte said John Terry is available to return for Chelsea, and that could be invaluable against a big, strong forward like United’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic. With the Red Devils having played Thursday, Conte will like his chances a bit more than usual.
The bracket is set for the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals, and ensures that at least one MLS vs. Liga MX semifinal will happen next Spring.
No. 1 seed New York Red Bulls will cross the continent to meet No. 8 Vancouver Whitecaps, with the winner moving on to face the victor of Mexico’s Tigres UANL vs. Pumas UNAM.
[ VIDEO: Previewing all 10 PL matches ]
The possibility of an all-Liga MX or all-MLS final still exists, with Pachuca and FC Dallas on opposite sides of the bracket. Arabe Unido gives Panama hope for its first CCL semifinalist, while Saprissa can be Costa Rica’s first semifinalist since 2011.
Of the remaining teams, only Pachuca has won a title in the CCL era (2008-present). Tigres lost in the 2016 final, the only other team to make it that far.
New York Red Bulls (1) vs. Vancouver Whitecaps (8)
Tigres UANL (4) vs. Pumas UNAM (5)
Arabe Unido (2) vs. FC Dallas (7)
Pachuca (3) vs. Saprissa (4)
The first legs will be played in late February, and the bright side to the intra-league quarters will be one MLS side waiting a round before facing a more in-form club playing a traditional season schedule (though that’s an overblown excuse at this point).
Some fans don’t care much for the tournament, while others — myself included — are extremely keen to see an MLS team win the CCL and represent North America in the Club World Cup, where it can get a high profile litmus test in a serious competition (Real Madrid beat Cruz Azul 4-0 in a 2014 semifinal).
World Cup champion Lauren Holiday has had a brain tumor removed, one month after giving birth.
Holiday’s husband, Jrue Holiday of the New Orleans Pelicans, announced that his pregnant wife was diagnosed with an operable tumor in September, and Lauren Holiday has publicly thanked fans for support while requesting prayers.
[ MORE: UCL Final in United States? ]
The Holidays welcomed their first child earlier this month, and Jrue left the Pelicans preseason to help his wife.
The BBC added this tidbit:
Unbelievably as a three-year-old, she had open-heart surgery to repair a defect and went on to become one of the world’s most respected football players.
Get well soon, Lauren.
Carlos Lizarazo’s ridiculous rocket shook rain off the net in an aesthetically pleasing CONCACAF Champions League goal on Thursday.
The Cruz Azul loanee struck a vicious shot for FC Dallas’ fifth goal, which boosted out of the No. 8 seed for the quarterfinals after a 5-2 win at Suchitepéquez in Guatemala.
[ MORE: PST talks with FCD’s Hedges, Zimmerman ]
Lizarazo, 25, had two goals in 10 appearances for FCD heading into the game, with both coming in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.