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Simoes hired by Fluminense

Canuck Oranje

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Published in the International Herald Tribune


Struggling Fluminense fires coach Cuca

The Associated Press

Thursday, October 2, 2008

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil: Brazil's Fluminense fired coach Stival Cuca after he failed to lift the club from the Brazilian league's relegation zone, replacing him with former Jamaica manager Rene Simoes.

Thursday's announcement came a day after Fluminense was held to a 1-1 draw by Goias at Maracana stadium, its seventh straight game without a win.

The result left the 1984 national champion second-to-last in the 20-team standings with 27 points from 28 matches. Fluminense has only 10 matches remaining.

Cuca was in charge of Fluminense for only nine matches, leaving with a 2-2-5 record.

Simoes, 55, was fired by Jamaica in September, nine months into a three-year contract with the team, which got off to a slow start in the penultimate round of World Cup qualifying.

The Brazilian coach led Jamaica to its first World Cup appearance in 1998, then resigned in 2000 after six years as technical director. He returned in January to succeed Bora Milutinovic, who was fired for breach of contract.

"I'm very happy and upbeat," Simoes said. "I know it is a great challenge, but every difficulty is a new opportunity."

Cuca earlier this year coached Santos and Botafogo. He arrived at Fluminense on Aug. 11 on a contract until the end of the year to replace Renato Gaucho, who was fired after the team began to struggle in the Brazilian league following a runner-up finish in this year's Copa Libertadores.

Renato Gaucho is now with Fluminense rival Vasco, which is last in the standings and also is in danger of being relegated to the second division. About 10 Vasco fans invaded the team's practice on Thursday to demand better results from the four-time national champion.

The bottom four clubs in the Brazilian league will be relegated at the end of the year.

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