Friday Kickoff: Cruyff joins Guadalajara, Wambach named co-captain and more

Cruyff (Getty Images)

Johan Cruyff is bringing his expertise to Mexico.

The Dutch legend will join Chivas de Guadalajara as an advisor this weekend in an effort to change the fortunes of the renowned Mexican club. Chivas has fallen on hard times, failing to win in their last 13 matches across all competitions and most recently getting blown out by Velez Sarsfield in the Copa Libertadores group stage on Wednesday. Chivas sit dead last in the Mexican Clausura table, with just two points from seven games.

Credited as the foundation and inspiration for Barcelona's style and dominance, Cruyff is coming off a tenuous administrative role with Ajax, where he was a former standout player and manager. He resigned from his post at the Dutch power earlier this month over a conflict regarding the potential appointment of Louis van Gaal as the club's CEO.

Here are a few more stories to get your Friday going:

WAMBACH NAMED USWNT CO-CAPTAIN

Abby Wambach has been looked upon to provide plenty of on-field leadership in her time with the U.S. women's national team, and now she has an official title to accompany that role.

Wambach was named co-captain of the U.S. women's national team, giving the 31-year-old striker added responsibility going forward. Already the anchor of the team's front line, Wambach has 131 career international goals, second all-time to former U.S. forward Mia Hamm.

The appointment could be setting Wambach up to take over as full-time captain for the U.S. women following this summer's Olympics. Current captain Christie Rampone has said that she will retire following the London Games, leaving a leadership vacancy that Wambach is now in line to inherit.

TORRES LEFT OUT OF SPAIN SQUAD

Fernando Torres' extended spell of futility has cost him a place with the Spanish national team.

The struggling Chelsea striker was left off Spain's roster for the world champions' friendly against Venezuela next week, marking the latest development in the downward spiral that has seen him go from one of the world's most feared forwards to a reserve role for the struggling London club.

"Torres isn't doing well, and we've decided that in this case he won't come," Spain manager Vicente del Bosque reportedly told Spanish outlet Marca. "It hurts me to leave out Fernando Torres, but I cannot be unfair and hold back those who have been pushing to get in."

With just four goals in all competitions this season, Torres has been far from repaying Chelsea for its £50 million move to get the striker from Liverpool last winter. Barring a major turnaround, Torres is in jeopardy of being left off Spain's roster for this summer's European championship as well.

SAMBA SET FOR RUSSIAN TRANSFER

Blackburn centerback Christopher Samba had longed to be transferred from the Premier League club during the winter transfer window, and just because the window in England is shut, does not mean he will not get his wish.

Samba, who has not played for Blackburn since vocalizing his wish to leave the club in early January, is reportedly set for a shock transfer to Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala. The Russian transfer window closes later on Friday, meaning that Samba could be the next big name to head to Anzhi.

The club pried Samuel Eto'o away from Inter Milan and also added former Brazilian great Roberto Carlos and Chelsea player Yuri Zhirkov in an effort to put itself of on the map. It might not be stopping with Samba either. According to reports, Anzhi has made a bid for Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel as well.

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What do you make of Cruyff joining Chivas? Think Wambach would make a good successor as captain for Rampone? Think it's a no-brainer that Torres was left off the Spain squad? What's your take on Samba potentially being shipped to Russia?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in European Soccer, International Soccer, Mexican Soccer, U.S. Women's National Team. Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Friday Kickoff: Cruyff joins Guadalajara, Wambach named co-captain and more

  1. Alex G says:

    Congrats Abby

  2. Roberto says:

    I guess the club over in Russia is getting “anzhi” to win things.

  3. wilyboy says:

    Someone wanted to go to Russia in the winter? Clearly not a student of history.

  4. Dos says:

    Has anyone read “Soccer Men” by Simon Kuper? Incredible collection, and the chapter on Johan Cruyff will make you laugh out loud

  5. jon says:

    first napolean, then the germans, now samba

  6. biff says:

    Good to see that Abby Wambach’s captaincy has been made official. In my mind, she is the heart, soul and leader of the USWMNT. With no disrespect to Christine Rampone, it looked to me during the women’s WC2011 that Wambach was already the de facto co-captain anyway.

  7. Jamie Z. says:

    Great read. My favorite chapter was actually the one on Billy Beane.

  8. Jamie Z. says:

    Exactly. I saw the news and had to think, “Wait…Abby’s not already the…but who…oh, right.”

  9. Chuck says:

    Writing them a couple of emails every six months about how their youth teams should be organized is not “joining” Chivas.

  10. Boris Yeltsin says:

    I thought I heard once they can’t even train in Dagestan because the insurgency makes it too dangerous. So, they live and train somewhere like Moscow and fly in for the games. I hope the non-Russian guys like spending winters in Moscow.

  11. Big Ben says:

    That’s true but he’s actually going to living in Guadalajara, just like Han Westerhof is doing in Pachuca.

    It’s another story how serious he’s going to take this job. They should’ve just hired Claudio Reyna, but there too stupid for that.

  12. Chuck says:

    The team only plays in Makhachakala, training and living is done in Moscow. But it’s not due to the danger, cause the club belongs to a big boss there (so they’re safe). It is because fancy players wouldn’t come to live in such a small town. Moscow might be cold but it’s also a huge metropolis.

  13. Chuck says:

    No he won’t live there according to Dutch media. He’ll probably just appoint a youth coach like Westerhof and Te Kloese (Rongen, perhaps?? LOL) and show up twice a year to evaluate it, like he does with his schools.

  14. PanchoMiguelMoralesdeConejo says:

    Abby “throw the league under the bus for my personal gain’ Wambach is the captain?

    I wouldn’t have her on my squad.