Thursday, 23 October 2003 12:00 AM
By Michael Tsoukalis
Sunday sees South travel to the Sydney United Sports Centre (formerly known as Edensor Park) to face Sydney United. Coming off a sterling 4-1 victory against the ladder topping Newcastle United, South is further strengthened with the availability of young Socceroos Massimo Murdocca and Vince Lia and much-heralded signing Michael Panopoulos.
After a promising start to their campaign United’s season has somewhat gone downhill in the last two weeks. Opening round victories against Wollongong and the Football Kingz had David Lee’s men as the early NSL pacesetters, however, since returning from a bye in round 3 United have lost consecutive games to Sydney Olympic and the Parramatta Power without managing to find the back of the net.
Returning from national team duty is Franco Parisi who should add some bite to the “Bravehearts” forward line. In Liam Reddy – who moved from the Parramatta Power in the off-season – United possess one the local games most talented – if not a touch temperamental – young keepers. NSL experience can be found throughout the United line-up with players such as Joe Vrkic, David Huxley, Matthew Langdon, Michael Cunico and Damon Collina all having played at the highest level in Australia for quite some time.
In young midfielder Anthony Doumanis United also possess one of the league’s most unpredictable yet exciting players, discarded by Sydney Olympic a couple of season’s ago, Doumanis’s diminutive figure lends itself well to his fast paced and technical approach to the game, Doumanis along with many players in this season’s United squad have more than a point to prove to their previous employers.
Conversely, South are full of confidence and looking to consolidate their position in the top 6. Captain Vaughn Coveny has started the season in ominous form, bagging 5 goals from 4 starts. Impressive teenager Kristian Sarkies will once again push for a starting position in South’s midfield engine room. The availability of Murdocca, Lia and Panopoulos gives coach Munro a multitude of attacking options, yet South go into the game having only conceded 2 goals thus far, and more importantly, no goals, in their two away games to date.
Game: Sydney United Vs South Melbourne
Date: Sunday 26 October 2003
Venue: Sydney United Sports Centre
Kickoff: 5pm EST
HEAD TO HEAD (Overall):
United wins 17
South wins 17
HEAD TO HEAD (at Sydney United):
Played: 17(Regular Season)
United wins 8
South wins 6
South 1-0 away win (Round 16 – 5 January 2003)
United 2-0 home loss v Parramatta Power
South 4-1 home win v Newcastle
Position on Ladder:
7th v 6th
SYDNEY UNITED SQUAD: L Reddy (gk), M Rudan, J Vrkic, M Langdon, L Haliti, M Cunico, D Huxley, D Collina, T Doumanis, F Parisi, P Markovic, P Ivanic, T Ozbey, M Filipovic, I Necevski (gk)
IN: F Parisi (returns from U-20 international duty), D Huxley (returns from injury), A Doumanis, T Ozbey (both return from suspension)
OUT: D Heffernan (suspended – 2 matches), S Babic, G Nohra, A Zmire (all injured)
SOUTH MELBOURNE SQUAD: TBA