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They bought Unirea’s top players, but couldn’t kill the team’s spirit

October 1, 2010 2 comments

After this summer's sale, there's nothing ideal left in Urziceni

As expected, Unirea Urziceni, the team lead by Dan Petrescu to a record eigth points in the Champions League’s group stage, was dismantled by the other title contenders, at the beginning of the season. The season that was going to be Unirea’s last in the Liga I, with relegation as sure “as death and taxes”, after the departure of an entire squad. Reserves and coaches included, plus several staff members. The club was going down, but not without a fight.

Players out: Pablo Brandan, Laurentiu Marinescu, George Galamaz, Ricardo Gomes, Iulian Apostol, Marius Onofras and Marius Bilasco (Steaua Bucharest); Adrian Neaga and Sorin Paraschiv (Volyn Lutsk); Valeriu Bordeanu (Dinamo), Sorin Frunza (Rapid), Catalin Grigore (Astra Ploiesti), Dan Matei (FCM Targu Mures), Maurice Junior Dale (Panserraikos); Daniel Tudor, Petre Marin, Bruno Fernanded (released).

Well, the fight started right away, after the appointment of Octavian Grigore, and has made a series of high profile collateral victims. In the last four rounds, Urziceni suffered a heavy defeat at the hand of league leaders Otelul Galati, but managed to snatch three wins against as many serious title contenders. The last two of them came with the same score, 1-0, on the same impossible home ground for those who’d try to play ball, against the mighty Steaua and Dinamo. Read more…

Today’s press

January 31, 2010 Leave a comment
  • Rapid continues to surprise with its aggressive presence on the transfer market, given the financial status of the club. The latest ambitious target for the Bucharest side is getting back Cristian Sapunaru (25), from FC Porto. The right back, who was sold in Portugal in the summer of 2008 and collected so far 22 matches in the Liga Sagres, would take this opportunity in case he will be suspended for hitting a steward after the match against Benfica.
  • The Slovakian defender Marian Cisovsky (30) has returned to full fitness after four months spent on the sidelines. Cisovsky, who had played in 27 matches and scored three goals in his first season in Romania,  had suffered a knee injury in the Champions League qualifying match against VFB Stuttgart. After Milos Brezinsky (25), he’s the second important defensive player that returns from a long injury and, with the adition of Cosmin Contra, coach Ioan Ovidiu Sabau has every reason to look forward to the second half of season, in which the Viola outfit will be pushing for the title.
  • Former Romanian international and Barcelona captain, Gheorghe “Gica” Popescu, intends to invest in a second football academy, in Targoviste. He already has one located just outside Craiova, spread over 50.000 square meters, which produced a number of valuable players. The first good “products”  were the established Ovidiu Burca (Energie Cottbus), Ionut Rada (ex Rapid and Steaua Bucharest), Mihai Dina (Universitatea Craiova, but now there’s a new generation that includes the promising Sebastian Mladen, Alexandru Pena, Alin Petrea and Adrian Stoian (all transferred to AS Roma), Sabrin Sburlea (FC Brasov), Liviu Ganea (Dinamo), Lucian Filip (Steaua).
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