Trabzonspor

Trabzonspor European ban
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Turkish leaders Trabzonspor hit with European ban

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Trabzonspor’s outstanding season put it on the verge of a return to European football, but the Turkish Super Lig leaders won’t get to enjoy the spoils of victory.

Trabzonspor has failed to meet the terms of a Financial Fair Play agreement made with UEFA in 2016, according to the BBC, and will miss out on Europe should they qualify in either of the next two seasons.

[ MORE: Remaining PL schedule in full ]

Trabzonspor is comfortably in the top four, ahead of Istanbul Basaksehir on goal differential and nine points clear of fifth-place Besiktas.

The news is plenty good for Besiktas, Alanyaspor, and Fenerbahce, who all sit within four points of fifth place but another five beyond the top four.

There have been plenty of familiar faces in Trabzonspor’s run to the top of the TSL table, though Daniel Sturridge’s starring role is over. His contract with Trabzonspor was voided after he was banned from football until mid-June and fined nearly $200,000 for providing his brother with “inside information” regarding a possible summer transfer to Sevilla.

Ex-Crystal Palace striker Alexander Sorloth leads the club with 25 goals and long-time Chelsea man John Mikel Obi mans the midfielder. Badou Ndiaye, Ogenyi Onazi, and Joao Pereira are also on the team, and may not have the patience for a year without Europe.

Report: Sturridge linked with move to DC United or Inter Miami

Daniel Sturridge
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The next time we see Daniel Sturridge memorable goal celebration, it could be on North American soil.

Goal.com says Sturridge, 30, is already training in America, and links DC United and Inter Miami with the striker.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

It would be a Designated Player situation at both clubs, and Sturridge won’t have to go far for information on the clubs. Fellow English national team alum David Beckham runs Miami, while Three Lions teammate Wayne Rooney spent a dominant spell with DC.

It has been a challenging year for Sturridge, whose contract with Trabzonspor was voided after he was banned from football until mid-June and fined nearly $200,000 for providing his brother with “inside information” regarding a possible summer transfer to Sevilla.

But Sturridge also showed his class, scoring seven goals with four assists in 16 appearances for the Turkish club. He also had more injury troubles. Though not long-term, Sturridge missed between one and three league matches on five separate occasions.

Sturridge was once amongst the most lethal strikers in the world when healthy, a loaded conditional. His first two seasons at Liverpool saw him score 36 goals and 14 assists in 49 appearances. That’s really good.

All-told, the Man City Academy product has 77 goals and 29 assists in 218 Premier League appearances between City, Liverpool, Chelsea, and Bolton (He failed to score in a short-term loan to West Brom to complete his set of six clubs so far).

He’ll score when healthy, no doubt, but will MLS clubs be spending the same once they come out of coronavirus pause. It doesn’t seem prudent if there are no fans in the stands, as the league’s clubs make a good deal of their money on match day.

Sturridge releases video explanation, appeal after worldwide ban

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Daniel Sturridge explained his side of the story after being banned from football until mid-June for a gambling breach.

Sturridge was also fined nearly $200,000 for providing his brother with “inside information” regarding a possible summer transfer to Sevilla.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

The player ended up going to Trabzonspor in Turkey, where he scored seven goals with four assists in 16 appearances before canceling his contract due to the suspension.

Sturridge is upset that the appeal panel has overturned a “highly qualified” original panel.

“I’m going to continue to campaign for professional footballers to be able to speak to their families and friends freely without the real risk of being charged.

“The betting companies and the practice and process of people being able to place bets on people moving clubs has to be stopped. Although the appeal panel has recognized that I hadn’t bet and nobody else had bet, I was still charged.”

On the surface, Sturridge has a point that no one should be able to bet on a player’s next destination. His brother broke rules by betting on his potential move and Sturridge originally served two weeks of a six-week punishment last summer.

The 30-year-old has been linked with a move to Major League Soccer since the termination, but teams will face quite a wait to add the talented but injury-hampered star.

Here is his full statement.

Daniel Sturridge signs for Trabzonspor

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Free agent Daniel Sturridge has signed a three-year contract with Turkish side Trabzonspor.

Sturridge, 29, has been out of contract since leaving Liverpool at the end of last season after seven years at Anfield.

Trabzonspor announced his signing on Wednesday, with Sturridge signing a three-year contract for wages reportedly worth up to $3.2 million per season, including bonuses.

Several clubs across the globe were interested in signing Sturridge, who has struggled for playing time over the last few seasons.

The England international has made just 73 PL appearances over the past five seasons, with several injuries curtailing his progress, plus the emergence of Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino not helping his cause. He did pop up and scored a crucial goal at Chelsea last season, but he scored just four times in 27 appearances, most of which were cameo displays off the bench.

During his time at Liverpool he ended up winning the UEFA Champions League trophy, as he played in seven UCL games last season but didn’t feature in the final against Tottenham Hotspur.

There will always be a feeling of ‘what might have been?’ for Sturridge at Liverpool, as he never managed to replicated his incredible 2013-14 campaign alongside Luis Suarez. He scored 21 goals in 29 appearances that season but has since struggled for form and fitness and he never really suited Jurgen Klopp‘s style of play.

It will be interesting to see how he fares in Turkey, and it is also intriguing that he decided against joining one of the giants of Istanbul in Besiktas, Galatasaray or Fenerbache. Sturridge reportedly had offers in Spain, the Middle East and from MLS, but it was clear that plenty of PL clubs were put off by his injury issues and the fact that in July he was handed a six week ban (four of which were suspended) for breaching the FA’s betting rules.

Trabzonspor are currently in the UEFA Europa League playoff round, where they face AEK Athens over two legs for a place in the group stage this season. The Turkish Super Lig season started last weekend, as they drew 1-1 at Kasimpasa. Former Chelsea star John Obi Mikel plays in midfield for the Turkish side, while Crystal Palace’s Alexander Sorloth is on loan and will battle for minutes with Sturridge up top.

Fabian Castillo completes permanent move to Trabzonspor

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There was a noticeable difference before and after Fabian Castillo left FC Dallas in 2016, and now the club must prepare fully for life after the attacker.

[ MORE: Arena announces first USMNT roster since return ]

On Friday, the MLS side announced Castillo has been sold to Turkish side Trabzonspor after being loaned to the club back in August.

The 24-year-old has yet to score a goal in his time in Turkey’s first division, although he has posted one assist in 14 matches.

During his time in MLS, Castillo notched 34 goals for FC Dallas in over 150 appearances for the Western Conference side. The Colombian also played a part in three playoff runs with Dallas.