Adelaide United 2021/22 Season Preview

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Adelaide United fell in the semi-finals last season. With some familiar faces returning, can the Reds go one better this season?

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Last season… 

A-League: 5th 
Finals: Semi-final 

They’ll win the league because… 

After a solid home-and-away campaign last season and an impressive elimination final win over Brisbane Roar, United is keen to continue building and push into another deep finals run. 

The return of favourite son Isaías brings much-needed experience and a winning culture to United. Isaías enjoyed six successful trophy-laden seasons during his first stint with United including the 2015/16 A-League premiership/championship double, and at the age of 34 Isaías is still winding the clock back.  

Furthermore, the development of youngsters will be pivotal to United’s success this season. The Reds are boasting with young talent such as Bernardo Oliveira, Mohamed Toure, Joshua Cavallo, Kusini Yengi and Louis D’Arrigo just to name a few. These youngsters have excitement and flair in bucket loads and will be the catalyst to push United up the table.  

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They’ll be cellar dwellers because… 

Experienced campaigners are few and far between for United this season. Big name departures such as Michael Marrone, Jordan Elsey and Tomi Juric take years of experience away from a side that already has 14 players 24 years old or younger, and only six players over the age of 29. A pure lack of experience could be the Reds’ Achilles heel.  

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Talk around the water cooler… look smart in front of your colleagues with this valuable piece of information

Success is on Carl Veart’s side as he enters his second season in charge. Six managers in A-League history have won a championship in their second season, that is 38 per cent of all champion managers.  

The off-season brought

Ups and downs as veteran players such as Marrone, Elsey and Juric departed the club for new opportunities. But the return of familiar faces in club legend Isaías and George Blackwood, along with the signing of 2014/15 championship winner Nick Ansell evened out an up and down off-season.  

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Key player 

The 2015/16 Aurelio Vidmar club champion Craig Goodwin will look to build on a solid 2020/21 season. Goodwin settled back into the A-League seamlessly after two seasons in the Saudi Professional League as he netted eight goals and set up another five in his 18 appearances before an ankle injury ended his season early. 

Adelaide’s assistant head coach Ross Aloisi spoke of Goodwin’s importance to United this season on SEN SA Breakfast with Kane Cornes and Andrew Hayes, saying that Goodwin is a “superstar”.

“The guy – his worth ethic is fantastic. He is great around the boys,” Aloisi said.  

“He knows that he is an important player just like everyone else in our team.  I think he is going to have a good season.”  

The pressure is on, but all is primed for a big season for Goodwin.  

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One to watch… 

Mohamed Toure burst onto the scene as the youngest-ever goal scorer in the A-League at the age of 15 years and 326 days. His talent is undeniable and his potential is sky high. 

Now with 24 games under his belt, the departures of forwards Juric and Toure’s brother Al Hassan Toure, and Mohamed still being at the tender age of 17. Mo Toure is one to watch this season for the Reds.  

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INS: Nicholas Ansell (Melbourne Victory), George Blackwood (Oldham Athletic, England), Isaías Sánchez (Al-Wakrah, Qatar), Jacob Tratt (Odisha FC, India)

OUTS: Michael Marrone, Ryan Strain, Domenic Costanzo, Pacifique Niyongabire, Noah Smith, Yared Abetew, Jordan Elsey, Tomi Juric, Al Hassan Toure 

Full squad list 

Goalkeepers: Ethan Cox, James Delianov, Joe Gauci, Dakota Ochsenham 

Defenders: Nicholas Ansell, Michael Jakobsen, Javi López, Alexandar Popović, George Timotheou, Jacob Tratt 

Midfielders: Ethan Alagich, Joe Caletti, Joshua Cavallo, Louis D’Arrigo, Ben Halloran, Ryan Kitto, Stefan Mauk, Arbi Mollas, Bernardo Oliveira, Juande, Isaías, Jonny Yull 

Forwards: George Blackwood, Yaya Dukuly, Craig Goodwin, Nestory Irankunda, Mohamed Toure, Kusini Yengi,  

Featured image credit: Jordan Trombetta (Adelaide United) 

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Cameron Ottenhoff
Sport, media and communications student at Flinders University in Adelaide. I was forced to hang the boots up at a young age after discovering I'm no good at sport, so now I just talk about it instead.

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