Malky Mackay has a friend in Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers, who has come to the Cardiff City manager’s defense by accusing the club’s owner, Vincent Tan, of “knowing nothing about football.”
Earlier in the week the public fallout between Mackay and Tan rose to a new level after the owner informed his manager he would not be given “a single penny” for new players in the January transfer window.
MORE: Cardiff City unraveling, Mackay won’t get a penny
The verbal slap has ramped-up speculation that Mackay’s time in South Wales is soon to be cut short and with Liverpool set to host the Bluebirds on Sunday, Rodgers sounded off on the situation.
“I find it incredible all the talk about Malky, who I know well from working with him at Watford,” Rodgers said. “I find it astonishing what he has had to go through.”
The former Swansea manager then discussed Tan’s odd behavior when Rodgers was the rival coach. “This is a guy [Tan] who walked into Cardiff after they had lost in the play-off semi-finals and they waited two weeks to sack the manager Dave Jones on the day we [Swansea] were in the final – which I found strange.
“Malky walked into the club with 10 players that summer and he totally transformed the mentality of the club. He took them to the Carling Cup final, to a play-off place and just lost out and the following season took them to the championship and promotion.
“He has had great results this season and is going to go on and be a great manager at a big club and I find it absolutely astonishing there is talk about him leaving there.”
Rodgers continued: “My only conclusion is you have a business guy operating the club who knows absolutely nothing about football. He has obviously been a successful businessman – congratulations but football is like no other business.
“When I see what Malky has had to put up with, to see him being questioned I find it remarkable. Especially when supporters there look up to him and respect him for what he’s done.”
LIMA, Peru (AP) Peru has extradited the country’s former soccer boss to the United States for his alleged involvement in a multibillion-dollar FIFA bribery scandal involving marketing and broadcasting rights.
Manuel Burga was sent to New York on a commercial flight before dawn on Friday.
He has been in jail since December 2015 as part of the investigation. Peru’s Supreme Court in June cleared the way for his extradition and President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski signed a decree authorizing the move a week ago.
Burga oversaw Peru’s football federation for more than a decade until 2014. He has denied any wrongdoing.
While the battle for MLS Cup 2016 has been dwindled down to two sides, the rest of the league continues to make roster transactions in preparation for next season.
[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverage ]
The San Jose Earthquakes announced on Friday that the club has exercised options on six players, including goalkeeper David Bingham, Fatai Alashe, Kip Colvey and Victor Bernardez.
Additionally, the Earthquakes have released nine players, including U.S. Men’s National Team defender Clarence Goodson, Marc Pelosi and Tommy Thompson, however, the latter two are reportedly in talks to return to the club in 2017.
NAPLES, Italy (AP) Napoli eased to a 3-0 win over Inter Milan in Serie A on Friday, with two goals in the opening five minutes.
[ MORE: Top 5 PL storylines heading into weekend ]
The home side got off to a lightning start as, following a wonderful team move, Jose Callejon headed back Marek Hamsik’s chipped pass for Piotr Zielinski to volley into the bottom left corner.
[ MORE: Ronaldo, Mourinho involved in massive tax evasion system ]
Zielinski turned provider moments later as Hamsik beat the offside trap to run onto his pass and fire into the bottom right corner.
It was Hamsik’s 104th goal for Napoli, moving him level with Edinson Cavani in third in the clubs’ goalscoring charts. The Slovakia forward needs 11 more to equal Diego Maradona’s record.
Inter started the second half aggressively but hopes of getting back into the match were scuppered six minutes after the restart when Lorenzo Insigne netted his fourth goal in three league matches after visiting goalkeeper Samir Handanovic only flapped at a corner.
Napoli moved level on points with Atalanta, which visits league leader Juventus on Saturday, and fourth-placed Lazio, which hosts Roma in the capital derby on Sunday.
Inter, which beat Fiorentina 4-2 on Monday for its first win under coach Stefano Pioli, remained eighth ahead of the rest of the weekend’s fixtures.
On a day where Atlanta United added another young talent, the 2017 MLS expansion side could be preparing to make a major splash for a South American playmaker.
According to numerous Argentine media outlets, Atlanta is closing in on signing Paraguay international Miguel Almiron for an MLS-record fee of $13 million from Lanus at the end of 2016.
Almiron, 22, has scored three goals in 34 appearances for Lanus since joining the Argentine club in 2015. The young winger began his professional career back in 2013 with Cerro Porteno, where Almiron also played for the club’s youth academy.
On the international stage, Almiron has already earned seven caps for Paraguay after previously representing the nation’s Under-17 and U-20 national teams.