Centenary Cup planned
The South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) will celebrate its centenary in 2016 with a 16-team tournament to be held in the US, the body announced on Wednesday. The tournament, called the Centenary Copa America, will also mark 100 years since the South American championship, as it was formerly named, was first played. CONMEBOL said at the end of a meeting in Buenos Aires that the teams taking part would be its 10 member nations, plus the US and Mexico and four other teams from the CONCACAF, picked on their ranking in that region’s Gold Cup. The Copa America is the world’s oldest active tournament since the demise of the British championship involving England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Fowler in talks with T-Team
Former England and Liverpool striker Robbie Fowler is in talks with Super League side T-Team of Terengganu about joining the club as player-manager for next season, local media reported yesterday. Fowler, 37, has been without a club since February, after he left Thai side Muangthong United, where he held a similar role. Since then, proposed moves to English championship (second division) side Blackpool and a new Indian league have fallen through. Fowler is fourth on the Premier League’s all-time top scorers list, with 163 after his two stints for Liverpool and spells at Leeds United and Manchester City. He has also played in the Australian league, prior to moving to Thailand last year.
Sporting beat Union for title
C.J. Sapong scored the winning goal off a Kei Kamara pass on Wednesday as Sporting Kansas City beat the Philadelphia Union 2-1 to clinch their second straight Eastern Conference regular-season title. Jacob Peterson opened the scoring after entering the game as a first-half substitute for Sporting, who needed only a draw to secure the conference title. Antoine Hoppenot equalized early in the second half for the Union, but Sapong answered when Kamara found him open on the wing in the 82nd minute. Sapong’s shot past Union goalkeeper Zac MacMath found the back of the net for his ninth goal of the year. The victory pushed Sporting’s club-record point total to 63, six clear of second-place DC United, who have one game remaining in the regular season this weekend. Sporting will carry a 12-match unbeaten streak into the two-leg conference semi-finals, which start on the road on Nov. 3 or Nov. 4 against an opponent yet to be determined. The return match is scheduled for Nov. 7 at Livestrong Sporting Park.
Zenit edge Anderlecht 1-0
Alexander Kerzhakov scored the 200th goal of his career as Zenit St Petersburg edged out RSC Anderlecht 1-0 on Wednesday to earn their first points in this season’s Champions League. The Russia striker calmly converted the 72nd-minute spot-kick after defender Bram Nuytinck had pulled down Alexander Anyukov following a quickly taken free-kick. Kerzhakov scored a hat-trick in Zenit’s 3-1 win over Anderlecht when they last met in European competition two years ago. Anderlecht, missing leading scorer Dieudonne Mbokani of the Democratic Republic of the Congo after he returned from international duty with a broken nose, created several chances, but failed to score for the third consecutive game in the competition. The victory put Luciano Spalletti’s team back in contention for a place in the knockout stages after they had lost their first two matches.