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Daily Briefs Monday: Zizao shines in first start

Chen Zhizao, the Chinese youngster who joined Corinthians in February of last year made his first start for the Brazilian club and looked good doing so, getting an assist on his team’s only goal (video of the play on youtube and sina for those who are GFW blocked).

The pressure’s off Beijing Guoan when it comes to roster moves. The ACL rosters need to be submitted by January 26th, but a new rule allows for five roster changes to be made a week before the competition begins. These changes are in addition to the three injury changes that are allowed, meaning that Guoan (and Evergrande, Sainty, and Renhe) don’t necessarily need to have all their signings done and dusted by the end of this week.

That said, rumor out of Korea is that Jeonbuk Hyundai has agreed to let captain Cho Sung-Hwan go and are looking to move him quickly. Speculation has been rife for almost a month that Cho was being looked at by Guoan and Shandong, could this move finally be happening?

Coul Cleo be heading to Guangzhou R&F? It’s long been expected that Cleo was the odd man out when it came to Evergrande foreigners (considering the club also has Muriqui, Conca, Barrios, and recent signing Elkeson), but up to this point no destination has been found for the striker. R&F has taken a number of players off Evergrande’s hands so far this season and they might add one more with Cleo. However, the blue side of Guangzhou’s biggest wish, that Zhao Xuri will join them, looks highly unlikely.

Speaking of R&F, their fans lined up around Yuexiushan on Saturday to purchase season tickets (see slideshow). As a nice gesture, the club made sure a number of players showed up and signed autographs for the fans.

Shijiazhuang Yongchang showed off their new colors and logo on Friday. The club, formerly Fujian Smart Hero, has lofty aspirations. The team’s chairman is Xu Tao, a former Chinese national teamer and brother of Dalian Aerbin manager Xu Hong. The club is being talked about as the “second Evergrande”, ready to spend RMB 1 billion this offseason to earn a CSL spot. Local players are talked about as transfer targets, though the likes of Zhang Chengdong and Wu Xi are unlikely to be joining anytime soon, however Guoan’s Lang Zheng may be a possibility.

African Cup of Nations Update: Aerbin star Seydou Keita scored a late goal for Mali and then pleads for peace in his war-torn nation. Henan’s Isaac Chansa and Christopher Katongo alongside Liaoning’s James Chamanga will suit up for Zambia today against Ethopia.

Brandon Chemers aka B. Cheng aka A Modern Lei Feng – is a name which may be familiar to many in the Chinese blogosphere. He currently serves as Editor-in-Chief for Wild East Football and is one of the lonely souls writing about Chinese football in English for the last 10 years. Chemers' credentials are second to none – his former blog focused not only on the fortunes of his beloved Beijing Guoan FC, but a multitude of other aspects of Beijing life. He’s deservedly built a reputation in the Chinese blogosphere as an insightful observer of not only Chinese football, but also the wider picture of life in modern China and its many layers. For WEF, beyond writing about Guoan, he often focuses on fan culture and the business of Chinese football.

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