Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Overseas Season Round-Up

Its a little late due to everything going on, but its time for the season round-up for the clubs overseas that I follow.

Queen of the South: As reported earlier QoS stormed through their season, being the first team in the UK to clinch a championship and the promotion that goes with it.  They also won the Ramsdens Cup over 1st Division Champions Partick Thistle.  Queens received awards galore including Manager of the Year and Team of the Year.   As soon as the offseason hit though, the negative side of their success appeared.  Leading scorer Nicky Clark will not be going up with the team as he was bought by another Second Division team, a little club you might of heard of called Rangers.  Just yesterday manager Allan Johnston agreed to a contract with Kilmarnock of the Premier League.  An impressive move by a guy who has 1 year (admittedly a great year) of managerial experience.  Next year the Doonhamers are back in the First Division after their one year absence.

Blackburn Rovers: A bad season for Rovers after last year's relegation saw them go through 5 managers and barely avoid a second straight drop, finally finishing 17th in the Championship.  Venky's ownership continued to spin the club out of control, leading to as many off-field problems as on-field problems.  Leadership seems to be getting sorted out but the club still has quite a financial crisis which will tie their hands for the coming season.  The bumpy ride isn't over yet.

CD Tenerife: After two seasons in the third division and coming oh-so-close to promotion last year they got over the hump this year.  They won their group by 3 points and then won their promotion playoff 3-2 on aggregate over L'Hospitalet.  Facing Alaves for the Segunda B championship they lost by a two-leg score of 3-2.  Next season its back to their normal stomping grounds of the Spanish Segunda where they'll meet their Canary Island rivals Las Palmas.

Melbourne Victory: The Victory bounced back from a rough season with a 3rd placed finish in the A-League behind Western Sydney and Central Coast, who ran away from the rest of the pack.  3rd place was good enough to get the A-League's AFC Champions League qualifier spot for the 2014 competition.  Much like MLS, the A-League's season is offset from much of the rest of the confederation which leads to a big delay between champions league qualification and actually playing.  In the A-League playoffs the Victory won their first round battle before losing to eventual champions Central Coast in the semis.

TSG 1899 Hoffenheim: This is a new club I've been rooting for, thanks to my sister and brother-in-law visiting that part of Germany a couple of years ago and bringing a scarf back from the club for me.  Hoffenheim was backed in 2000 by one of the founders of SAP, at the time they were playing in the 5th division of German soccer.  Between 2000 and 2008 they earned 4 promotions to end up in the Bundesliga. The club is also the home of 2 young German-born American Nats players, Daniel Williams and Fabian Johnson, and a 3rd American, Joe Gyau, who has played for the U.S. youth national teams.  This year Hoffenheim struggled in the Bundesliga, going through 4 different managers, ending in 16th place and in the relegation playoff.  In the playoff they beat Kaiserslautern 5-2 to keep their place in the Bundesliga for the 2013-14 season.

So, two teams promoted and none relegated, not a bad season.  Next year there's 2 top division teams (Melbourne and Hoffenheim) and 3 second division teams (Queen of the South, Blackburn, and Tenerife).

No comments: