Friday, January 31, 2014

Preview: Shabab Al-Dhahrieh vs. FK Alay Osh (Kyrgyzstan) - AFC Cup Qualifier

What: AFC Cup Qualifier
Where: Dora (Al-Khaleel/Hebron), Palestine
When: February 2nd
TV: beIN Sports 8

Last year's WBPL champions Shabab Al-Dhahrieh host Kyrgyz counterpart FK Alay Osh in an AFC Cup qualifier Sunday. The winner of the match will be the first of their country to participate in the AFC Cup - which is the second tier of continental club competition in Asia. Palestinian and Kyrgyz sides had previously been limited to the AFC President's Cup which, like the Challenge Cup, was created for emerging member associations. The qualification opportunity represents a sort of graduation for both football associations as the AFC moves towards restructuring its competitions.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Wadi Al-Nes - Little Village, Big Talent

Wadi Al-Nes is a little village on the outskirts of Bethlehem with a population of 800. It is a one mosque town - literally - whose local side, Taraji, is currently topping the WBPL table halfway through the 2013/14 season, four points ahead of Shabab Al-Khaleel. To put that into perspective, Al-Khaleel (Hebron) has a population of 250,000 and its clubs have the funds to attract the best players in Palestine.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Two weeks into 2014 - What you need to know

First off, I hope the new year has been kind to everyone reading this. It certainly could be a landmark year for Palestinian football and by no means started off calmly, so here's a roundup of what's buzzing.

Will Palestine rise to the occasion in 2014?

In contrast to 2012, Palestine was a bit of a mixed bag. After all, in 2012 Palestine started the year using a good Pan-Arab games campaign as momentum going into the 2012 Challenge Cup. That tournament ended in a 2-0 loss to eventual champions Korea DPR but going forward Palestine were able to hang their hats on good performances in the Arab Cup and the WAFF Championship. Although both tournaments ended with Palestine going out at the group stage; the feeling was that Palestine was ready to take the next step under Jamal Mahmoud.

Palestine played fewer games in 2013. There were offensive explosions in friendlies against India and Malaysia that bookended a laborious Challenge Cup qualifying campaign where only Palestine-based players featured. 

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Omar Jarun signs with Ottawa Fury FC

After a half-a-season sabbatical, Omar Jarun has himself a new club. The 6'5 centerback is going back to Canada to join the Ottawa Fury of the North American Soccer League. It his fourth American club in a career that has also seem him play for clubs in Poland and Belgium. The two parties have agreed a two-year deal with a one year option- the financial terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Jarun last played for Sporting Charleroi of the Belgian Jupiler League.

After the Jump: Omar Jarun introduces himself to Fury FC