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Former USMNT captain Dooley facing player revolt as Philippines coach

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Some of the ‘Street Dogs’ are barking at former USMNT captain Thomas Dooley despite his relatively strong record at the helm of the Philippines national team.

As head coach of the Azkals — or ‘street dogs’ — Dooley is under fire from some older players who contend he is favoring the younger players too much.

Two veterans, Stephan Schrock and Dennis Cagara, have declared that they will not play for the country again as long as Dooley is in charge of the squad. Dooley’s previous managing experience is a minor stint with the USMNT and with a lower division German club.

Foreigner comes in and angers vets by favoring youth? Where have we heard this before?

Schrock, a 27-year-old West German-born player, has played 22 games in the Bundesliga and has 17 caps for the Philippines, while Cagara, 29, has had a nomadic club career across Germany and Denmark, making 14 appearances for his country at the back.

Here are Schrock’s comments on Facebook:

source:

From the AFP:

“Dooley is also the reason why I won’t play for the Azkals for the moment,” added the 29-year-old Lyngby BK defender, who has 13 national caps.

The Philippine Football Federation said management was still to fully address the issue, as the players had only made their statements on social media.

“This is best resolved by the team management. It is looking into this,” federation general secretary Edwin Gastanes told AFP from Hanoi.

Dooley and Gastanes had attended Tuesday’s draw in Vietnam for Southeast Asia’s Suzuki Cup, which kicks off on November 22.

Dooley took over the Philippines team in February, and the team is ranked No. 128 in the latest FIFA rankings (Their all-time high was 127th, achieved in 2013). He has coached the Azkals to a 4W-3D-2L mark, including a 1-0 loss to Palestine in the finals of the AFC Challenge Cup. A win would’ve given the side its first berth in the AFC Asian Cup, to be played in 2015.

The Philippines went 5W-1D-3L in 2013, but won just one of their last five matches under boss Michael Weiss. Schrock scored two goals in 2013.

There is an MLS connection to the Azkals, as Swiss born midfielder Martin Steuble signed for Sporting KC in mid-July and has made one appearance for the club.

VIDEO: 70-yard volley from Chile is nearly impossible to believe

Alejandro Camargo, Universidad de Concepcion
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His name is Alejandro Camargo, and he scored what might just go down as the best goal of 2016 on Sunday: an impossibly perfect volley from well beyond the halfway line.

[ MORE: PL roundup — Chelsea top Man City; Arsenal, Spurs win big ]

Miguel Pinto is the opposing goalkeeper whose long-range clearance, which covered about 50 yards during the final seconds of Universidad de Concepcion’s clash with O’Higgins in the Chilean first division, was taken off the fly, first-time, by the Argentine midfielder to seal a 3-1 victory for the home side.

[ MORE: Serie A roundup — Roma, AC Milan win, still tied for 2nd ]

“The coach told us Pinto was always playing in advance of his goal, so I closed my eyes and hit it,” Camargo said after the game.

“Hit it and hope” has never looked so good.

Roma fans stay away from derby to protest new security barriers

A view of a huge section of empty seats as Roma fans desert derby in protest over security barriers, during a Serie A soccer match between Lazio and Roma, at the Rome Olympic stadium Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia
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ROME (AP) Roma’s most ardent supporters stayed away from the derby match against Lazio in protest at barriers introduced at the start of last season in their area.

Normally filled with supporters waving huge banners, lighting flares and singing, half of the “curva sud” — southern end — of the Stadio Olimpico was left empty for Sunday’s match.

[ MORE: Serie A roundup — Roma, AC Milan win, still tied for 2nd ]

Three of Roma’s locally born standouts held a meeting with the “ultra” fans during the week. Captain Francesco Totti, Daniele De Rossi and Alessandro Florenzi asked the supporters to return, and the club itself has also tried to resolve the matter.

But the appeals had no effect.

In contrast, Lazio fans filled the northern end of the stadium as usual.

The plexiglass barriers were put in place by city officials for security reasons.

VIDEO: “Behind The Badge: Watford FC” — Episode 2

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In Episode 2 of Behind the Badge: Watford FC, watch the players’ recovery after a win against Leicester, a look at the club’s one-of-a-kind internship program and a flashback to a memorable moment in Watford’s history.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

To watch past episodes of Behind The Badge, including last season’s edition featuring a look inside Crystal Palace, head over to the full archive by clicking here.

[ MORE: PL roundup — Chelsea top Man City; Arsenal, Spurs win big ]

First episode: Watch full episode, here
Second episode: Above video
Third episode: Sunday, Dec. 11, 2 p.m. ET – NBCSN
Fourth episode: Sunday, Dec. 18, 2 p.m. ET – NBCSN

Pardew saves his job, says Palace owners “don’t know a lot about football”

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 03: Alan Pardew, Manager of Crystal Palace thumbs up prior to the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Southampton at Selhurst Park on December 3, 2016 in London, England.  (Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images)
Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images
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While some may advise that keeping a low profile would best suit Alan Pardew right now, Crystal Palace’s embattled manager is of a totally different mindset.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

Following Saturday’s 3-0 victory over Southampton, in which Pardew’s side saved his job (for the time being), the 55-year-old Eagles boss and former player chose the first bright moment, Palace’s first Premier League win since Sept. 24, to hit out at the club’s new American owners with a scathing assessment of the footballing prowess, or perhaps lack thereof — quotes from the Guardian:

“The chairman got a bit edgy this week, as you’d expect. We have a lot of serious investors at the club who perhaps don’t know a lot about football so the chairman has been defending me.

“I always think as a manager at any level, particularly in the modern era, expect the sack. Just expect it; it’s coming at some stage, so just do your job as best you can. Every week, that’s what I try to do.

“Sometimes it’s hard to dress up six defeats when you’re the owner of the club and you have investors. Obviously there are things he’s got no control over but he’s tried to offer me all the assistance that he could. He’s been brilliant for me and I just want to say thank you to him really.”

With various reports linking Sam Allardyce and Roberto Mancini to a job which he still holds, it’s understandable that Pardew would be slightly on edge, quick to thump his chest and restake his claim as the right man for the job, but perhaps alienating and borderline embarrassing the new investors, who are now responsible for signing your paychecks, wouldn’t have been my go-to move.

[ MORE: PL roundup — Chelsea top Man City; Arsenal, Spurs win big ]

On the other hand, as Pardew rightly stated in the above quotes, his day of reckoning will eventually arrive, so what’s he really got to lose?