Kurz proud despite loss

Coach Marco Kurz feels Adelaide United can justifiably take consolation from their 2-0 defeat to defending champions Melbourne Victory.

The Reds went looking to make it three straight wins when they travelled to Marvel Stadium and, although they came away empty-handed, Kurz was encouraged by the number of good chances they created.

Kevin Muscat's side had shown more ruthlessness in front of goal, said the United coach, and that was the difference between the two teams.

Kosta Barbarouses netted from a rebound to give the home side the lead just past the hour mark and Ola Toivonen's second goal with nine minutes to go secured the points for Victory.

Adelaide could and should have been ahead before Barbarouses struck, Kurz believes. Their performance against a team that had won their previous four games and had home advantage left him pleased.

"I'm very proud about the performance because I think we played a very good game," said the coach. "The only mistake was that we didn't score a goal; I think we played well and the difference today was the quality from the offensive lines.

"If you want to win games you must score goals and I think we had more than four or five big chances and then you've to score a goal if you want to pick up the points away."

It was only Adelaide's second loss in the opening seven rounds and he is confident they can bounce back when they host Melbourne City this weekend.

"I think we played well and we can play flexible," added Kurz. We can change the system a lot of the time and find always a good solution; the boys are hungry for success."

Adelaide are 10/1 to win the Grand Final and 5/4 to win their next game against Melbourne City, who are 2/1 with the draw 5/2.

Lia seeks a compact United

Vince Lia admits Adelaide United will have to improve their defensive form when they take on Melbourne Victory at Marvel Stadium.

The Reds have the second-best record in the A-League in terms of goals conceded, with only last season's Premier's Plate winners Sydney having let in fewer.

But the way Victory are playing, with four consecutive wins taking them up to second spot, Lia says they won't be able to afford any mistakes in Melbourne.

The Reds are up to fourth in the table, on the back of three wins from their last four matches.

They've won both of their away matches so far this season, against Central Coast and Wellington, but those two teams are in the bottom two and taking on the defending champions will be a tougher prospect.

Lia said of Kevin Muscat's side: "For them to be in this form early shows they're a very good team, and they're going to be title contenders, the favourites probably.

"They've got so many players that can hurt you, so I think if you focus on (Keisuke) Honda alone you'll get hurt by (James) Troisi or (Terry) Antonis, who's having a good year, Kosta's (Barbarouses) up front."

The holding midfielder, who has started all but one of the Reds' games this season, added: "We've to be better defensively, more compact, and more solid. I think if we give them as many chances as we've given some other teams in the last few weeks we'll get punished."

Coach Marco Kurz has included centre-back Michael Jakobsen in his extended squad following a minor injury complaint.

Adelaide United are 9/1 to win the Grand Final.

The Reds are 14/5 to win their next game against Melbourne Victory, who are 10/11 with the draw 14/5.

View all Soccer betting

Alosi surveys defeat damage

Three Brisbane Roar players were injured as John Aloisi's side went down 2-1 at Adelaide United.

The most concerning of the three for the coach was a groin injury for leading scorer Adam Taggart in the first half.

Taggart, who had scored five goals in as many games going into the match, hit the post with a shot before limping out of the Coopers Stadium clash.

Stefan Mauk will also need to be monitored after being knocked out in injury time in an incident that saw him dismissed.

Mauk's studs-up challenge earned a straight red from the referee, but Aloisi was angry that United's players tried to intervene by attempting to drag the player to his feet while he was concussed.

Aloisi, who will also assess a knee injury to Frenchman Eric Bautheac, will lose Mauk for at least one game.

It was the second sending-off of the night, with Adelaide defender Taylor Regan being shown a second yellow card putting his hands on the face of Mauk.

Speaking of the incident involving Mauk just before the end of the game, Aloisi said: "I don't appreciate when a player's welfare, and especially our player, my player. He's knocked out and then I see their players pulling him up and then they're yelling as if it was our fault."

The coach said he had been disappointed with opposite number Marco Kurz's reaction at that time, though he indicated it may have been that Kurz hadn't understood the points he was making about his players' actions.

Speaking of Taggart's injury, Aloisi said: "We just have wait and see but that seems a little bit more serious. We'll wait 24 hours maybe and then we'll see what the doctor says."

Bautheac was forced off in the second half after copping a knock to his right knee in a collision with Regan.

"He (Bautheac) seems to get kicked every week which is unfortunate for him, hopefully it's not too serious," said Aloisi.

The Roar are 5/2 to win their next game against Newcastle Jets, who are 1/1, with the draw 13/5.

View all Soccer betting

Adelaide ponder new striker swoop

Adelaide United are looking into the possibility of bringing in a new striker in January as Baba Diawara continues to struggle for fitness.

The Senegal star has had a number of fitness issues so far this season and has managed to play just 20 minutes of A-League football, plus another two games in the FFA Cup.

It is a big concern for coach Marco Kurz, who is struggling for options in attack as fellow striker George Blackwood is also out injured with a collarbone problem.

Ben Halloran has been forced to play in an unnatural No.9 position, while youngster Apostolos Stamatelopoulos has also stepped in and done well.

Even so, United are still lacking options in attack and Kurz admits they could be forced to bring in a new striker in January.

The United boss is waiting to hear just how long Diawara will be out for, but no doubt the club would already have done their homework regarding possible replacements.

"We will wait for what happens with Baba … this week we will have a clear answer from the doctors, how long how long he will be out for us," the manager told a media conference.

"Then, it depends how long we can make a replacement … but for Mirko (Boland) and Georgey (Blackwood) I think they will come back for sure.

"They will be ready in January for sure."

United's first game back after the international break is the lengthy trip east to face Wellington Phoenix at Westpac Stadium.

Adelaide are 1/1 to beat Wellington, with the home side 5/2 and the draw 13/5.

United are 14/1 to win the Grand Final.

View all Soccer betting

United hand out three new deals

Adelaide United have handed senior deals to two youngsters, and signed striker Carlo Armiento to a youth scholarship contract.

A year after signing his scholarship deal, striker Apostolos Stamatelopoulos has been upgraded by the Reds.

It comes in the wake of him netting his first goal of the league season, in the 3-0 away win against Central Coast Mariners.

Goalkeeper Isaac Richards has also signed a senior contract, with the pair being rewarded for their increasing potential and continuous hard work. 

Stamatelopoulos has played 13 matches overall for the Reds, including six this season.

He netted six times in pre-season for Marco Kurz's side, and earned a call-up to the 23-man Young Socceroos squad for the AFC U19 Championship in Indonesia.

The forward said: "At the moment I have a good chance to play some more A-League games and I'm doing everything I can to make the most of them. There's still a lot I can improve on and I'm determined to keep working hard, scoring more goals, and contributing as much as possible."

Richards, who like Stamatelopoulos is 19, had an excellent season with the Young Reds in the NPL last season, was named Goalkeeper of the Year at the FFSA Celebration of Football Awards Night.

The keeper said he felt the senior contract was a good opportunity for him and his career.

"I guess my hard work has paid off after being with the club for a few years now, but I have to keep working hard," he added.
"This is only the beginning and if I get the opportunity to feature in the first team, I have to take it and perform as best as I can."

Armiento, who is also 19, joined United for the Foxtel Y-League season last year and finished as the team's top goalscorer with 12 overall.

Adelaide are 14/1 to win the Grand Final.

United are 1/1 to win their next game against Wellington Phoenix, who are 5/2 with the draw 13/5.

View all Soccer betting

Reds to regroup after run ends

Defender Jordan Elsey says the international break will give Adelaide United a chance to address what caused the end of their eight-match unbeaten run.

The Reds went down 2-0 at home to Perth Glory on Sunday, leaving them just inside the Finals Series places.

Marco Kurz's side had put together a good run from the start of the season including coming through four rounds and then winning the FFA Cup final last month against Sydney FC.

Now they have an opportunity to regroup after the A-League for the first time recognised the international break, before they go to out-of-form Wellington Phoenix on 24th November.

Elsey, who has played every game so far this season, says the Reds will be working hard to prepare for their next game at Westpac Stadium after goals from Andy Keogh and Chris Ikonomidis sank them against the Glory.

"I think this break has come at a good time for us to have a look at this game, refresh and know what to do next time," added Elsey, who signed a new three-year deal at the end of last season.

"The spirits aren't down at all, it's just one game that didn't got to plan, that we didn't win. We know we're a good team, we know we're a strong team."

The defender believes Adelaide might need some training geared towards improving their endurance before they take on Wellington.

"Perth showed they were very strong in the last 10 minutes of the game so if that's what we need, that's what we'll do," he said.

The Reds are set to be without midfielder Mirko Boland, who hurt his hamstring against Perth.

Adelaide are 14/1 to win the Grand Final.

United are 1/1 to win their next game against Wellington, who are 5/2 with the draw 13/5.

View all Soccer betting

Poor start upsets Kurz

Adelaide United coach Marco Kurz wasn't happy with his team's lack of sharpness as they fell to a 2-0 home loss to defending champions Melbourne Victory.

The Reds survived a close call on 12 minutes when Joel Chianese hit the crossbar and, although Kurz felt they were better in the second half, they conceded both the goals after the break.

Andy Keogh and Chris Ikonomidis scored from close range to take the Glory into pole position and handing Kurz's team their first loss of the campaign.

Andelaide struggled to get into the rhythm of the match at Coopers Stadium, and the coach said: "I think in the 90 minutes we weren't in the shape we expected. In the first 20 minutes we had a lot of problems with our compactness. Our goal was to stay compact and to press them.

"At the start the players looked flat but then we came good in the game and had a lot of power. But if you don't stay compact and the weather was very hot and the opponents created a lot of chances and you drop a little back in your sharpness in the game can be a reason."

Adelaide had been unbeaten in eight games going into the clash against Tony Popovic's side.

However, they struggled to break down a strong Glory back-five unit that were able to block most of their shots.

Kurz took some positives out of the loss, especially the way they had played after the interval.

"I think we looked not bad in the second half. We had a lot of power and applied pressure on them," he added.

Adelaide are 14/1 to win the Grand Final and 1/1 to win their next game against Wellington, who are 5/2 with the draw 13/5.

Kurz expects bigger challenge

Adelaide United won't let their concentration lapse against last season's wooden spoon side Central Coast, insists coach Marco Kurz.

The Reds claimed their second FFA Cup success on Tuesday when they beat Sydney FC in the final at Coopers Stadium.

Though the first trophy of the season has been secured, Kurz says they can't afford to lose any focus because he expects the Mariners to be a much-improved team this year.

Encouraged by the hunger he's seen from the players since they beat the Sky Blues, the coach is looking for a committed performance against Mike Mulvey's side.

Central Coast have strengthened since last season, bringing in the likes of Ross McCormack, Matt Simon, and Tommy Oar.

The two sides have both picked up two points from their opening two A-League games.

Speaking of the Mariners, Kurz said: "It's a completely different team with a different quality to last season and different line-up. They signed very good players offensively in Simon and McCormack and in their winger positions.

"They've also brought in a very experienced centre back (Kalifa Cissé) and it's a strong team, which they've shown in the last two games."

United could bring back Apostolos Stamatelopoulos, Nikola Mileusnic, and Ryan Kitto.

Stamatelopoulos has returned to the club  after completing international duty with the Young Socceroos, while Mileusnic (foot) and Kitto (adductor) have both overcome troublesome injuries.

Speaking of Kitto, Kurz said: "[He] is always improving in the trainings and I am very happy with him because he's a very important player for us. He has speed, was our best goal scorer last season, and is ready."

Central Coast are 5/2 to win their next game against Adelaide United, who are 1/1 with the draw 14/5.

View all Soccer betting

We’ve more quality up front claims Kurz

Adelaide United coach Marco Kurz feels there should be more goals from his team in the new A-League season.

United only managed 36 goals in their 27 games last season, when they finished fifth in the table before exiting the finals at the first hurdle against Melbourne Victory.

Kurz hopes the changes he's made to the squad ahead of the new campaign will make them more of an attacking threat.

Only leading scorer Ryan Kitto, with seven, scored more than six goals for the Reds last season.

Midfielder Daniel Adlung, who got five goals, has left during the off-season along with Dane Johan Absalonsen.

In have come two quick wingers – Ben Halloran and and Craig Goodwin – along with Mirko Boland and Danish forward Ken Ilso.

Adelaide indicated at the start of pre-season that they were potent up front, scoring 13 goals in the space of two games against South Adelaide and Adelaide Comets.

They haven't won any of the three hit-outs they have had against fellow A-League teams, but Kurz's side have had success in the FFA Cup.

They beat Bentleigh Greens in last week's semi-final to earn the right to host holders Sydney FC in the decider on 30th October.

Kurz says the signings the club have made during the off-season have been positive moves.

"Now we have a lot of depth in the wing positions. In terms of strikers we have Baba (Diawara), Ken (Ilso) can play striker, George Blackwood, the quality is higher," added the coach.

Having Baba Diawara fit for the start of the season is a big help, says Kurz.

"It's a big season for him and for all of us. Last season we played without (Johan) Absalonsen, and without Baba for long periods – that was one reason why we weren't at the level we wanted sometimes," he added.

"I hope he can stay fit and score a lot of goals, but we also have Goodwin who can score, Boland, Ilso, plus our defensive players can score off set pieces too."

Adelaide United are 14/1 to win the Grand Final.

View all Soccer betting

Kurz says job done for Adelaide

Coach Marco Kurz regards Adelaide United's FFA Cup semi-final win over Bentleigh Greens as an excellent way to complete their build-up to the new A-League season.

The German says with the A-League's pre-season being so long, at five months, it's important to have competitive games leading into the campaign.

Having seen off semi-professional side Bentleigh Greens 2-0 in the semi-final, thanks to goals from Ben Halloran and Jordan Elsey, the Reds are now able to switch their attentions fully to the opening round of the A-League.

Kurz said reaching the final of the FFA Cup, which United have done for the second year in a row, was one of his key objectives when pre-season began in June.

And he was proud of his team's professional performance against the NPL side, where their goals came either side of the break.

Halloran scored his first goal for United on 21 minutes and the second came when Elsey pounced on the rebound to finish Isaias' free kick, which had been parried out.

Adelaide made the finals last season but fell at the first hurdle to eventual champions Melbourne Victory, so other than their FFA Cup ties, the last competitive game they had was that match on 22nd April.

"It's very good to have official games and now today it was our last step to reach the final again," said Kurz. "And the job is done for the pre-season, our aim was to reach the final and now we can start the focus for the first home game in two weeks."

The coach feels the combination of new recruit Mirko Boland and Isaias in midfield is developing well ahead of the opening round clash with Sydney FC.

"Each game for both of them it's very important they can develop and can improve," he said. "I think Boland will be a good player for us for the whole season."

Adelaide United are 11/10 to win the FFA Cup.

The Reds are 14/1 to win the A-League Grand Final.

View all Soccer betting