Chile: Roberto Bishara and his Palestino side had a rough start to the season that saw yet another coaching change. New manager Gustavo Benitez steadied the ship and allowed Tito to play his way back into the squad after a long spell out with injury. Palestino finished a respectable 11th on 42 points, Bishara made 20 appearances scoring 1 goal.
Edgardo Abdala had an inconsistent season but still managed 24 appearances and a goal for Huachipato. The Steelers suffered from consistency for much of the season but managed to sneak in to the Copa Libertadores playoff on 48 points. They faced Audax Italiano in the first round, despite a 2-1 victory in the home leg, Huachipato fell 2-1 away and crashed out of the tournament. Edgardo Abdala recently announced the mutual termination of his contract, he will be on the lookout for a new club next season.
Sweden: Imad Zatara did not display his best football, spending much of the season on the trainer’s table. For the beginning of the season he was on loan at Ligue 2’s Olympique Nîmes where he made 6 appearances and scored 1 goal. He made 7 appearances for Syrianska this season (a far cry from the 28 starts, 4 goal, 7 assist season he had last year). The good news is that Syrianska won the Superettan this year and earned automatic promotion to the Allsvenskan, the top tier of Swedish football.
Poland: The biggest news this year was how Omar Jarun was going to explore the possibility of playing for Jordan, despite the fact that he played a World Cup qualifier for Palestine. His move to Pogon Szczecin in February saw him become an instant hit. He helped Pogon reach the Polish Cup final were they narrowly lost to Jagiellonia Bialystok. After finishing in the top five of the Polish first league last season, Pogon were seen as favorites for promotion this season. So far, things haven’t gone to plan. The tail end of the 2009/10 season saw Jarun make 12 league appearances with 4 cup appearances. This season, Jarun has made 11 appearances in Pogon’s 17 games. Polish football is now on break and will return in March. Pogon is currently in 13th place on 17 points, a whopping 22 points back of the final promotion place.
France: We don’t have a lot to report. There were rumors that Mohammed-ali Shatrit was going to move to the WBPL in the winter transfer window. JA Drancy, Shatrit’s team, are in 13th place in their group on 24 points. They are 15 points back of first place CA Bastia for promotion to the Championnat National.
Egypt/Sudan: Mohammed Samara‘s Arab Contractors are currently fighting off relegation with a measly 11 points from 14 games. Samara has had two goals in 12 appearances, his goals helped Arab Contractors secure four of their 11 points. Ramzi Saleh had an up and down couple of months with Al-Merreikh, with an injury keeping him out for three weeks towards the end of the Sudanese league season. His first game back was against archrivals Al-Hilal the team lost 3-1, with Ramzi Saleh being unfairly booed and ostracized by his own fans. Ramzi has since left Al-Merreikh and nearly signed with Egyptian league leaders Zamalek. His contract demands caused Zamalek to pull out of the deal. He is currently being linked with a host of Egyptian sides including: Harras Al-Hodoud, Al-Masry, and Arab Contractors.
Kuwait: Majed Abusidu has helped guide Tadamon to the semifinals of the Kuwaiti FA Cup. They will face giants Qadsia in the first week of January with a spot in the finals on the line. Through six weeks of play, Tadamon seem to be on track for promotion back to the Premier Division. They are in second place behind Fahaheel on 13 points, Abusidu has scored one league goal this season.
Jordan: Everything was fine and dandy with Wehdat and their Palestinian trio until the riot after the Amman Derby resulted in 250 fans being injured. The fallout from those events saw team president threaten to withdraw his side from all competitions unless justice was served. In response, the Jordanian government put him on trial for threats against the Gendarmerie. Tariq Khoury was sentenced to two years in prison but has yet to be detained.
As far as football goes, Wehdat are running away with everything this season. They leade the league on 31 points from a possible 33, 8 points ahead of Faisaly. They won the Jordanian Shield with Ahmed Keshkesh scoring twice and Fahed Attal opening his account after moving from Al-Jazira. They also are hot favorites for the Jordanian FA Cup, with a semifinal against Kafrsoum awaiting them in the second half of the season and a relatively easy side (Manshieh or Al-Arabi) awaiting them in the final should they go through. Keshkesh and Attal have scored one goal each so far in the cup.
Abdelatif Bahdari remains a stalwart at the back for Wehdat. He started every single game for them this season and has scored twice, against Al-Ramtha and Yarmouk. Fahed Attal has four league goals this season (for a total of six on the season), and Ahmed Keshkesh has two (for a total of five in all competitions). Wehdat tend to rotate their forwards which is why the numbers appear a little deflated.
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