Mid-Day Ticker: Wolfsburg fire McLaren, stars sidelined for friendlies and more

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

After a reign of only eight months, Steve McClaren's time at Wolfsburg is over.

McClaren was let go by Wolfsburg on Monday after the former England manager has struggled at the helm of the 2009 champion, who is now fighting a relegation battle near the bottom of the Bundesliga table. McClaren, who was fired as England manager after the Three Lions failed to qualify for Euro 2008, looked to have his career back on track after leading FC Twente to the Dutch League title last season.

"We were no longer convinced that we could finish the season with stability by working together with Steve McLaren," Wolfsburg general manager Diter Hoeness said on the club's website.

Wolfsburg currently sits 12th in the Budesliga table, just one point away from the relegation zone and has won just one ofits last 12 matches. Talks of McLaren's departure go back to Wolfsburg's embarassing elimination from the German Cup to a second-division side. Assistant coach Pierre Littbarski will take over as interim manager.

Here are some more stories to keep your Monday going.

FABREGAS, GOMEZ, VAN PERSIE RULED OUT OF FRIENDLIES

More of Europe's top international sides will be missing some of their star players this week as Cesc Fabregas (Spain), Robin van Persie (Netherlands) and Mario Gomez (Germany) will be out with injuries. Fabregas will miss Spain's matchup with Colombia due to a stomach bug, leading Bundesliga scorer Gomez will miss the clash with Italy with a sprained knee and van Persie will miss the Dutch's game against Austria with the flu.

ALLARDYCE NOT INTERESTED IN WEST BROM JOB

The search to fill the managerial vacancy left by Roberto Di Matteo's sacking from West Bromwich Albion is in full swing but one out-of-work English manager won't be taking the position. Former Blackburn manager Sam Allardyce ruled himself out of consideration for the job Monday after several reports named him as the frontrunner. Roy Hodgson, Chris Hougton and Martin Jol are thought to still be in contention for the job.

DYNAMO UNVEIL STADIUM VIDEO

The Houston Dynamo has unveiled a video highlighting the new stadium planned for downtown Houston.



MOURINHO NAMED ITALIAN COACH OF THE YEAR

It's been eight months since Jose Mourinho left Inter Milan for Real Madrid but the Portuguese coach is still being honored for his 2010 treble. Mourinho was named the Italian coach of the year Monday, beating out current-Juventus coach Luigi Del Neri and Roma coach Claudio Ranieri.

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What do you think of this afternoon's stories? Is Wolfsburg better off without McLaren? Will you miss seeing European stars play for their country? Disappointed Allardyce won't be taking over West Brom?

Share your thoughts below.

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26 Responses to Mid-Day Ticker: Wolfsburg fire McLaren, stars sidelined for friendlies and more

  1. Hahaha, “the only urban soccer experience in all of MLS” – – – really are they smoking something funny? What about Toronto?

  2. Houstonian says:

    Heres to hoping Houston Dynamo carry over there signature orange soccer nets into the new stadium.

  3. fischy says:

    Base on pictures I’ve seen, it’s not a whole lot more urban than RFK. It’s kind of a wasteland, no? Eastern edge of downtown? More like a couple of blocks from civilization?

  4. TyrannicalWriters says:

    Qwest field is in Pioneer Square, blocks from downtown. But then again, Houston have to try and claim in the MLS; they’ll never have the fan base or passion that clubs like TFC, SSFC, PTFC will have.

  5. Steve C says:

    Hearing the announcer on some of those highlights makes me miss watching Saturday night games on HDNet. =/

  6. Thomas513 says:

    Thumbs up to Houston getting a stadium. Thumbs down to the video.

    22,000 seats? That seems a bit small for a team that draws well already.

  7. TyrannicalWriters says:

    Sorry, “soccer-specific”. Still Houston are making pretty outrageous claims here.

  8. jts says:

    Everyone a critic.

    COngrats to MLS for another (mostly) soccer stadium.

  9. Dave says:

    There is no downtown experience in Houston sports. Minute Maid park was supposed to bring people to the area before and after games but it never developed into anything like Chicago or Boston has. The area the Dynamo stadium will be in is trash right now. Hopefully Dynamo fans will change the pattern of the lame Houston sports scene.

  10. patrick says:

    or new york, or seattle…..

  11. patrick says:

    thats pretty typicla for an MLS stadium. It’ll increase demand for tickets, and will have a great atmosphere.

  12. fenel says:

    haha Van Persie and Fabregas got the “flu” and a “stomach bug.” It’s just funny the way arsenal protects its players from being injured in a meaningless friendly.

  13. TimN says:

    Firing a manager after only 8 months at the helm is simply ridiculous. Yes, I’ll make that blanket statement. McClaren wasn’t the best manager for the English MNT, but he has proven himself at the club level. I also thought firing Hidgson from Liverpool was a mistake. Yes, Dalglish has had some early success, but I chalk that up to the novelty of a new manager…what will they do the next time a losing streak comes on, fire him?? Absurd…

  14. Michael F. SBI Mafia Original says:

    I can not get enough SSS porn. Love it.

  15. Josh D says:

    To everyone criticizing their stadium, we at RFK would pay for individual helicopters to fly it right up to the White House..

  16. LD says:

    On an unrelated note, Im curious as to why MLS and US media doesnt call the MLS Cup winner World Champion like the NFL, NBA and MLB does for their league title winners?

  17. Paul C says:

    Because MLS isn’t the best soccer league in the world. Unlike the other sports which you mentioned above, which are all widely regarded as the best leagues in their respective sports world wide.

  18. yea not too funny when your starting CB is injured in a meaningless friendly ala Vermaelen for Belgium in Aug/Sept

  19. debvs says:

    Pretty corny video. Great lookin stadium but the buffer zone between the fans and the field looked a bit far.

  20. TyrannicalWriters says:

    Or when Van Persie broke his ankle in an international friendly last season.

  21. Warren says:

    wise guy

  22. keene010 says:

    I am completely not surprised that two star players for Arsenal will miss their international matches with the “supposed” flu/bug… If Wenger doesn’t want them playing because they get hurt when they play for country he should just out and say it, not make up lame excuses…

  23. dan c says:

    I go to Houston every year for a trade show and stay in the Hilton attached to the Convention center. Not much downtown to speak of (I’m from nj/Philly), but after talking to Dynamo fans during my visits, I’m very happy for them! I recomend the Reserve, across from the house of blues, cause it is the only place you can get a cheap beer in the entire area….. pete’s piano bar aint a bad place to visit either. but watch out walking the streets after dark, there is a ton of panhandlers down there….

  24. Northzax says:

    He can’t say it. It’s a FIFA date, clubs are required to release healthy players.

  25. kevin says:

    Haha, what a ridiculously corny video. But I am pumped for the stadium – looks pretty rad.

  26. GW says:

    I am unaware of any soccer “league title winner” anyhwere in the world who call themselves World Champions.

    Why should MLS do it?

    As for the NFL, MLB and NBA winners calling themselves that can you make a reasonable argument why they should not? Know any football teams anywhere abroad who can beat the Packers?