Can Jedinak lead the Eagles to yet another surprise season in the PL?

Mile Jedinak gets some much deserved love, scoops Aussie POY honors

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Not a lot of good things have happened to Crystal Palace this season so with the announcement that the Football Federation Australia has named Mile Jedinak their Player of the Year, let’s take a moment to recognize one of the Eagle’s bright spots.

In large part Jedinak won the award for his efforts in captaining Crystal Palace to what many deemed to be a shock promotion to the Premier League last spring.

After finishing fifth in the Championship by virtue of a final week victory, Palace saw off Brighton & Hove Albion in the play-off semi-finals and Watford in the play-off final to gain promotion to the England’s top-flight for the first time in eight years.

“It was a massive year, it was very successful and one I’m not going to forget in a hurry,” Jedinak said upon receiving the honor.

Life in the Premier League has proven difficult for Palace so far, beating only Sunderland and drawing with Everton for a total of four points in 11 matches. But parity among the league means the Eagles are down, not out, and if Palace are to pull off the incredible it will be at the hands of their burly captain.

Jedinak is a grinder. With an unstoppable engine and a penchant for tough tackling, he can be a nightmare for opposing teams. Planted alongside the similarly broad-shouldered Kagisho Dikgacoi, the pair have proven very difficult to unlock.

Jedinak’s story is one of a late bloomer. He spent five years as a semi-professional at Sydney United before receiving the call to play in Australia’s top league with Central Coast Mariners. After three productive seasons, Jedinak decided to take his game abroad and signed a two-and-a-half-year deal with Turkish club Genclerbirligi.

At 27-years-old Jedinak then moved to Palace, became a fan favorite in his first season, was handed the captain’s armband in his second season and is now raising eye-brows with his rugged performances in the Premier League.

With his POY award in tote, Jedinak remains a player to watch as Palace seek to fight off relegation. Even if the Eagles go down, don’t be surprised if the Aussie is scooped up by a Premier League mainstay this summer.

Coleman explains why he stayed as Wales coach, rejected Hull

ZENICA, BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA - OCTOBER 10: Head coach Chris Coleman of Wales celebrates after the Euro 2016 qualifying football match between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Wales at the Stadium Bilino Polje in Elbasan on October 10, 2015. (Photo by Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images)
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CARDIFF, Wales (AP) — Chris Coleman says he chose to remain as Wales manager despite interest from Premier League side Hull because he’s in a job that is “close to his heart.”

The Football Association of Wales rejected an approach for Coleman from Hull this month, with the Welshman deciding to stay on rather than resigning.

Coleman, who guided Wales to the European Championship semifinals against the odds, said on Wednesday that “if someone comes and it’s the Premier League, anybody, you kind of look at it sideways. Of course.”

But, Coleman added, managing your country “comes around once, if you’re lucky.”

Coleman has made no secret of his desire to manage in club football in the future, but says “what I’ve got here is something very special and close to my heart.”

FOLLOW LIVE: The UEFA Champions League finds its last five group stage teams

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - AUGUST 24:  Joe Hart of Manchester City warms up prior to the UEFA Champions League Play-off Second Leg match between Manchester City and Steaua Bucharest at Etihad Stadium on August 24, 2016 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
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Who’s going to join Porto, Monaco, Legia Warsaw, Ludogorets Razgrad and Celtic as playoff teams to join the UEFA Champions League group stage?

The biggest names of Wednesday’s slate are cruising after their first legs, with Manchester City and Borussia Monchengladbach putting five and three goals on the board, respectively.

[ MORE: Champions League Tues. roundup ]

Could the match be Joe Hart‘s last for City? The longtime backstop gets the call with the transfer window a week away.

In the other three cases, things are wide open. Rostov plays Ajax, Red Bull Salzburg faces Dinamo Zagreb, and APOEL lines up Copenhagen.

Wednesday’s UEFA Champions League slateFOLLOW LIVE

Borussia Monchengladbach (3) vs. (1) BSC Young Boys
Rostov (1) vs. (1) Ajax
Red Bull Salzburg (1) vs. (1) Dinamo Zagreb
APOEL (0) vs. (1) Copenhagen
Manchester City (5) vs. Steaua Bucuresti (0)

FOLLOW LIVE – EFL CUP: Four Americans in the 18 for Fulham, Sunderland, Bournemouth

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - AUGUST 13: Lynden Gooch of Sunderland challenges David Silva of Manchester City during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Sunderland at Etihad Stadium on August 13, 2016 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
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The newly-renamed EFL Cup, formerly the League Cup, rolls on Wednesday with four more matches ahead of the evening’s third-round draw.

American attacker Lynden Gooch starts for Sunderland, while Tim Ream starts for Fulham and Luca de la Torre is on the Cottagers’ bench. Emerson Hyndman is on the bench for Bournemouth.

Tuesday’s action saw Premier League sides West Brom and Watford excused from the tournament.

Wednesday’s EFL Cup scheduleFOLLOW LIVE

Accrington Stanley vs. Burnley
Fulham vs. Middlesbrough
Morecambe vs. Bournemouth
Sunderland vs. Shrewsbury Town

L.A. Galaxy’s Keane retires from Republic of Ireland duty

DUBLIN, IRELAND - OCTOBER 11:  Robbie Keane of Republic of Ireland applauds the fans during the EURO 2016 Qualifier match between Republic of Ireland and Gibraltar at Aviva Stadium on October 11, 2014 in Dublin, Ireland.  (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)
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Robbie Keane is ending a big chapter in his career.

Fear not, Galaxy fans, the 36-year-old living L.A. legend isn’t calling it quits on club soccer, but Keane is done with representing the Republic of Ireland.

Keane will play one more game for the Boys in Green, a friendly against Oman next week, before leaving the Republic to qualify for the World Cup without him.

[ MORE: Yedlin, Newcastle make it official ]

In a sprawling and understandably emotional — if not moving — statement, Keane says he isn’t going to stop playing for his club anytime soon, and that he hardly dreamed he’d get to this point.

No player has been capped (145) or scored (67) as many times for Ireland than Keane.