Siem de Jong

Siem de Jong
Photo by Rico Brouwer/Soccrates/Getty Images

FC Cincinnati adds Ajax midfielder Siem de Jong

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FC Cincinnati got a much-needed bit of good news toward the end of a rough week in Southern Ohio.

Longtime Ajax attacker Siem De Jong has joined a talented FCC attack ahead of the club’s second MLS season.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ] 

De Jong, 31, came up through Ajax’s vaunted academy before transferring to Newcastle United, where he suffered through a series of miserable injuries including two collapsed lungs in 18 months.

He’s been capped six times with two goals for the Netherlands in his career and will join a revitalized Cincinnati attack with Jurgen Locadia and Yuya Kubo.

“The system they want to play is quite similar to the Dutch system, and yeah, Ajax is probably one of the team’s that perfected it,” de Jong said. “Over the years I played there, I’ve learned a lot about this similar philosophy and trying to build up from the back in the Dutch style of play. That was one of the reasons why FC Cincinnati was a good fit for me. Hopefully I can help with the experience I’ve had over the years playing this style of football.”

De Jong scored three times in nine matches this season for Ajax, all of the goals coming in a cup match against third-tier Spakenburg. His other eight matches combined for just 118 minutes.

He may not be with FCC when the season starts as he waits on visa approval.

Newcastle’s Siem De Jong has gruesome scare in training, could have lost eyesight

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Newcastle manager Steve McClaren has described a scary moment in training where doctors say Siem De Jong could have lost eyesight in one eye.

“It was just in training and he accidentally got poked in the eye,” McClaren said. “I wasn’t here, he went down screaming. So they said ‘Let us have a look at your eye’ and there was blood pouring from it. He wears contact lenses, and one of the contacts had come out and gone in his eye.”

De Jong has suffered through numerous injuries in the last two years, but nothing that threatened the quality of his future life like this.

“There was a massive danger [he would be blinded], a big danger,” McClaren said. “He was rushed to hospital. It was the biggest black eye ever and headaches and everything.”

The 26-year-old made 16 appearances in Premier League play this year, but has only been in the starting lineup three times. McClaren says De Jong will need a bit to recover.

“I’ve seen him this morning and it looks a lot better. Fortunately the doctor says probably a week or two to settle down. So he’s very lucky.”

Newcastle 1-1 Aston Villa: Villans still winless since opening day

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With more than five months of the 2015-16 Premier League season still to play, Aston Villa are in big, big trouble. Their total of six points won (from 16 games) heading into Saturday’s relegation six-pointer with Newcastle United meant they began the day a whopping 10 points from safety.

On the other hand, only Newcastle’s recent form (two straight wins in the league) made Steve McClaren‘s side, perennial strugglers themselves, anything more than token favorites. In the end, Saturday’s proceedings at St. James’ Park ended in a 1-1 draw.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

Relegation-threatened clubs typically face such a fate because they put forth poor footballing sides week in and week out. Along with failing to produce results, they also pretty typically fail to entertain their own supporters. On paper, Newcastle versus Villa should have been a double dose of terrible. In reality, it was two desperate sides fighting and scrapping for their PL lives, which is throughly entertaining.

After an opening half-hour that saw just two shots in total, the game sprang to life. Newcastle opened the scoring on 38 minutes (below video), when captain Fabricio Coloccini shanked home a right-footed shot to complete a clever set-piece routine. Siem De Jong whipped in the corner kick to the far post, where the Argentine defender was waiting. His effort on goal was scuffed and deflected into the back of the net by Brad Guzan.

[ RELATED: Watch full match replays ]

The two sides headed to the halftime break with the score 1-0 in favor of the home side, but Villa very nearly equalized barely 30 seconds into the second half, whe Jordan Veretout unleashed a left-footed screamer from outside the penalty area. The ball swerved through traffic, nearly wrong-footing Rob Elliott, but the deputy ‘keeper made the diving save at the last moment.

Newcastle’s best chance to double their lead came and went in the 57th minute. De Jong was left shaking his head, wondering how he’d managed to miss a header from three yards out with no one marking him or defending the back post. The shocking miss of the weekend.

[ RELATED: Latest Premier League standings ]

The inevitable equalizer from Villa came four minutes later (above video). Jordan Ayew created a yard of space wide left in the Newcastle penalty area, put the ball onto his powerful right foot and rifled the ball past Elliott and just inside the far post, signaling the first sign of life in Remi Garde’s (and Tim Sherwood‘s) side in many months.

With a handful of late chances failed to be taken by either side, a point apiece is just about is just about right, but will please one side, Newcastle, much more than the other, Villa, given the current league table.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

With the result, Newcastle remain in 17th on 17 points, while Villa stay bottom, five points off Sunderland in 19th and 10 points off Newcastle one place outside the relegation zone. Villa are winless since the opening day of the season and have won just four points from their last 16 league games.

Newcastle spends again, splashing $18 million on Marseille midfielder Thauvin

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Newcastle United got its man.

Florian Thauvin has long been a target for Northeast England club, and Wednesday found him a member of it.

[ MORE: Wednesday’s transfer rumor roundup ]

It’s five-year deal for Thauvin, and the move reportedly cost the club $18 million and the services of last summer’s French flop, Remy Cabella, who wasn’t given much of a chance to shine under Alan Pardew and John Carver.

Now Thauvin, 22, brings his creative, attacking midfield flair into the unit to the tune of 13 Ligue 1 goals during two seasons at Marseille. And it brings notoriously-stingy Newcastle up to $75 million in net spending this summer, the highest in the Premier League.

From NUFC.co.uk:

“I am delighted to be a Newcastle United player,” said Thauvin.

“I have come from France to a really big club and am very happy to be here. It is a big honour to know that Newcastle have been after me for such a long time and that they wanted me that much. They have put their trust in me and I am looking forward to playing for the team.”

Newcastle United head coach Steve McClaren added: “Florian is a player the Club have been watching for a long time and I am delighted that we have been able to sign him.

“He is a perfect signing for this Club – someone who is young, with great potential and is one of the best young players in Europe. He is an exciting, creative talent who can score goals and make assists, and we believe he will have a very bright future at Newcastle.”

This could be a key move for Newcastle, which has a healthy dose of creative wingers and mids in Siem de Jong, Ayoze Perez, Sissoko and Giorginio Wijnaldum underneath Papiss Cisse and Aleksandar Mitrovic. Newcastle also bought Mitrovic and Chancel Mbemba from Anderlecht this summer.

There’s been a heavy French and Dutch accent to Newcastle’s recent signings under Graham Carr, and Thauvin slides into a unit with Wijnaldum, Vurnon Anita, Tim Krul, Massadio Haidara and Moussa Sissoko (amongst others).

Cabella’s move is a loan with “an obligation to buy at the end of the season subject to certain criteria being met”.

Premier League Preview: Newcastle United vs. West Ham United

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  • Newcastle have taken 1 point from a possible 30
  • West Ham have won once in their last seven
  • Newcastle has won once in nine home games under Carver

Newcastle United are on the brink of the abyss. After an incredible slide down the standings since Alan Pardew left as manager in January the Magpies have been on an awful run and have lost nine of their last 10 and have a solitary point from the last 30 available.

[ RELATED: Hull vs. Man United preview ]

On Sunday they host West Ham (Watch live, 10 a.m. ET on USA and online via Live Extra), a side coached by one of their former managers Sam Allardyce. For “Big Sam”, this may well be his final match in charge of the Hammers as his contract runs out at the end of the season. After getting a rough deal up at Newcastle, Allardyce would be quite happy to send them down.

[ Championship Sunday: 10 matches, 10 channels–find yours here ]

As long as Hull City lose to Manchester United on Sunday then Newcastle will be safe, but if Hull win then a Newcastle draw may not be enough as they currently sit two-points above the Tigers as they do battle to stay out of the final relegation place. Tension will be in the air at St James’ Park on Sunday and if the Magpies go down, expect it to be replaced with venomous chants against the despised owner Mike Ashley.

In team news Newcastle will welcome back defender Mike Williamson from suspension, while Siem de Jong could return but Papiss Cisse is not fit enough to make the bench. West Ham will be without James Collins but James Tomkins returns to the squad, as does captain and former Newcastle skipper Kevin Nolan.

What they’re saying

John Carver on the finale: “There are no second chances now. This is the last game, it’s the cup final we’ve been talking about. We all know what we have to do and we all take responsibility. It’s not about me taking the blame or [owner] Mike [Ashley] and [managing director] Lee [Charnley], we all take responsibility.”

Sam Allardyce on his future: “One way or another, my future will be sorted out on Monday. We’ll all know more then. I’m not personally having a meeting but my agent will be available to speak to the owners.”

Prediction

Newcastle need a win big time but Big Sam would love to play the role of spoiler on Sunday to send his old club down. The Magpies will be short on confidence and if news filters through of an early goal for Hull against Manchester United then the nerves will be jangling at St James’ Park. West Ham don’t have much to play for but I think they will sneak a draw and make things very uncomfortable for Newcastle. 2-2.