Stephen Sunday

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Sunny
Stephen sundy.jpg
Sunny before a game with CSKA Sofia in 2014
Personal information
Full name Stephen Obayan Sunday
Date of birth (1988-09-17) 17 September 1988 (age 28)
Place of birth Lagos, Nigeria
Height 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Real Salt Lake
Number 8
Youth career
FC Ebedei
2003–2004 Jegede Babes
2004–2005 Poli Ejido
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2005–2007 Poli Ejido 63 (0)
2007–2011 Valencia 10 (0)
2008–2009 Osasuna (loan) 4 (0)
2009–2010 Betis (loan) 7 (0)
2011 Numancia (loan) 14 (2)
2011–2013 Numancia 62 (2)
2013 Bnei Sakhnin 2 (0)
2014–2015 CSKA Sofia 36 (0)
2015–2016 Alanyaspor 12 (0)
2016– Real Salt Lake 15 (1)
2016 Real Monarchs (loan) 2 (0)
National team
2007 Spain U19 5 (0)
2007 Spain U20 4 (0)
2009 Spain U21 1 (0)
2010– Nigeria 1 (0)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 31 October 2016.

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 10 October 2010

Stephen Obayan Sunday (born 17 September 1988), nicknamed Sunny, is a Nigerian professional footballer who plays as a defensive midfielder for American club Real Salt Lake.

Club career[edit]

Early years[edit]

Born in Lagos, Sunny began his career in Nigeria with FC Ebedei and Jegede Babes. In 2003, he participated in two youth championships in Sweden and Spain: in the latter he appeared in Madrid's third edition of the Annual Immigrants World Cup, where he impressed so much he was given a five-year-contract with Polideportivo Ejido, in the second division.[1]

Valencia[edit]

Sunny became a regular player for the Andalusia team, making 65 competitive appearances during his two-year spell and signing for Valencia CF in the summer, but after one season where he was scarcely used, he was loaned to fellow La Liga club CA Osasuna. In late January 2009, he was linked with a move to England's Portsmouth, but the deal eventually collapsed due to financial complications.[2]

On 30 June 2009, after a season which was marred by injury,[3] Sunny was loaned to Real Betis for one year with a view to a permanent four-year move.[4][5] He also appeared rarely during the second level campaign, as the Verdiblancos failed to return to the top division (seven matches out of 42).

In July 2010, Sunny had a trial in England with newly promoted Premier League side Blackpool, playing in a pre-season friendly against Crewe Alexandra on 27 July[6] and four days later against Bristol City, but nothing came of it.

Numancia[edit]

Sunny spent the first months of the new season training on his own, having been deemed surplus to requirements by Valencia manager Unai Emery.[7] On 19 January 2011 he was again loaned, moving to CD Numancia from the second level.[8]

In the following two years, still in that tier and already as a permanent signing,[9] Sunny was first-choice for the Sorians.[10] On 11 May 2011 he scored his first goal as a senior, netting the 2–1 winner away against Albacete Balompié.[11]

Bnei Sakhnin / CSKA Sofia[edit]

On 30 July 2013, Sunny signed a two-year contract with Israeli club Bnei Sakhnin FC.[12] On 3 January of the following year, he moved teams and countries again, joining Bulgaria's PFC CSKA Sofia after penning a two-and-a-half-year deal.[13]

Real Salt Lake[edit]

After starting out the season in Turkey with Alanyaspor, Sunny joined Real Salt Lake on 21 January 2016.[14] He scored his first Major League Soccer goal on 12 March, helping to a 2–1 home defeat of Seattle Sounders FC.[15]

International career[edit]

Sunday (middle) playing at the 2007 U-20 World Cup against Uruguay.

Sunday, who was born in Nigeria, was eligible to play for Spain under FIFA rules allowing players with dual nationality and without full international caps to switch allegiance before the age of 21. After first appearing for the under-19 side, he was called up by his adopted nation to the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Canada,[16][17] playing in four games as the team exited in the quarter-finals.[18]

In September 2010, Sunny was called up for Nigeria's 2012 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Guinea,[19] and made his debut in the game as a starter as the Super Eagles lost 0–1.

Honours[edit]

Valencia

References[edit]

  1. ^ Oluwashina Okeleji (20 March 2007). "Stephen's Latin love". BBC Sport. Retrieved 7 April 2009. 
  2. ^ "Sunny no-go for Pompey". Sky Sports. 28 January 2009. Retrieved 7 April 2009. 
  3. ^ "Sunny: "En Osasuna jugué poco, pero fue por sufrir varias lesiones"" [Sunny: "I played little at Osasuna, but it was because I suffered several injuries"] (in Spanish). Navarra Sport. 14 July 2009. Retrieved 1 June 2016. 
  4. ^ "Sunny jugará cedido en el Betis con opción de compra" [Sunny will play on loan to Betis with an option to buy]. Marca (in Spanish). 30 June 2009. Retrieved 1 June 2016. 
  5. ^ "Sunny, cuarto refuerzo verdiblanco, se suma a la causa del ascenso y de la unión" [Sunny, fourth green-and-white addition, joins promotion and unity cause]. ABC (in Spanish). 15 July 2009. Retrieved 1 June 2016. 
  6. ^ "Valencia star joins Blackpool for trial". Blackpool Gazette. 28 July 2010. Retrieved 28 July 2010. 
  7. ^ "Viana y Sunny, primeros descartes" [Viana and Sunny, first ones discarded]. Las Provincias (in Spanish). 20 July 2010. Retrieved 1 June 2016. 
  8. ^ "El Numancia se refuerza con los cedidos Ion Vélez y Sunny" [Numancia bolsters with loaned Ion Vélez and Sunny]. Marca (in Spanish). 19 January 2011. Retrieved 15 January 2014. 
  9. ^ "Mercado: Sunny se desvincula del Valencia y el Numancia le ficha como agente libre" [Market: Sunny cuts ties with Valencia and Numancia signs him as a free agent] (in Spanish). Goal.com. 14 July 2011. Retrieved 15 January 2014. 
  10. ^ "Sunny, titular para la 'vendetta' de Alcorcón" [Sunny, starter for Alcorcón 'vendetta']. Diario AS (in Spanish). 21 January 2012. Retrieved 15 January 2014. 
  11. ^ "1–2. El Albacete desciende tras caer ante el Numancia" [1–2. Albacete relegated after falling to Numancia]. ABC (in Spanish). 11 May 2011. Retrieved 15 January 2014. 
  12. ^ Presenting: the 2013/14 Israeli Premier League; Maccabi Tel Aviv, 19 August 2013
  13. ^ "Съни вече е футболист на ЦСКА, подписа за 2,5 години" [Sunny is now a CSKA player, he signed for 2,5 years] (in Bulgarian). Gong.bg. 3 January 2014. Retrieved 3 January 2014. 
  14. ^ "Real Salt Lake signs Nigerian MF Sunday Stephen Obayan". Real Salt Lake. 21 January 2016. Retrieved 21 January 2016. 
  15. ^ "Post-match quotes: Real Salt Lake 2, Seattle Sounders 1". The Seattle Times. 12 March 2016. Retrieved 1 June 2016. 
  16. ^ "Sunny, el centrocampista español que llegó de África" [Sunny, the Spanish midfielder who came from Africa] (in Spanish). FIFA.com. 4 July 2007. Retrieved 1 June 2016. 
  17. ^ "Empieza la sucesión de Messi" [Messi's succession begins]. Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). 30 June 2007. Retrieved 24 June 2014. 
  18. ^ "2007, Mundial sub'20 (y III): Una dura caída" [2007, Under-20 World Cup (and III): A hard fall] (in Spanish). Recuerdos de Nigeria. 17 August 2009. Retrieved 1 June 2016. 
  19. ^ Taye Taiwo gets Nigeria recall, Danny Shittu dropped; Kickoff, 29 September 2010

External links[edit]