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Date: Friday, 15 Aug 2014 11:35

The race for Major League Soccer teams to own a USL Pro franchise is heating up - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

7888714 1398654700 200x142 The race for Major League Soccer teams to own a USL Pro franchise is heating up

Seattle Sounders FC future USL Pro club could potentially discover them their future Clint Dempsey (Left) and Obafemi Martins (Right), with the young players in the Seattle region getting some playing time to develop. Photo provided by Soccerly.com.

A possible six Major League Soccer teams could possibly create their own United Soccer League Pro teams by the year 2016. 

The Vancouver Whitecaps, the New York Red Bulls, Real Salt Lake, the Seattle Sounders FC, the Orlando City SC and FC Dallas could be the next Major League Soccer clubs to follow the footsteps of the Los Angeles Galaxy and run their own United Soccer League Pro team within the next couple of years or sooner.

A trend that began with the Galaxy creating their third-division team in the USL Pro this year, for the sole purpose of letting their younger players get some meaningful playing time and develop for the club. With the LA Galaxy II not even finished with their inaugural season in the USL Pro, multiple teams in MLS want to make a club for their youth to grow.

The Whitecaps are one of the teams that are eager to create their own team, and they are very close of having a team playing in the USL by next year. Their main hurdle is to complete the rebuilding process for the Queen Park Stadium in New Westminster, B.C. by Sept. 15.

“We are thrilled to announce our efforts with the City of New Westminster to bring a new professional soccer team to its vibrant sports and family oriented community,” Whitecaps President Bob Lenarduzzi said in a statement. “A USL PRO franchise in our own backyard is an important step in our efforts to support the development of players, especially young Canadians, at every level by bridging the pathway to our Major Soccer League team, as well as the national team.”

This movement is one that will help MLS grow into a stronger league and it will benefit the USL Pro as well. The USL will benefit because they will constantly be getting a new batch of players that will be hungry to be called up from their MLS club. Which will make the competition level in the third-tier of the United States dramatically rise; even potentially passing the North American Soccer League, which is the current second-division of the U.S.

For MLS teams, the positives is that their youth will finally get a chance to play in games that have more meaning, which is something that most clubs cannot offer at consistent basis right now. It is a known fact for something to survive and flourish, their need to be future generations to not only take the place of the older ones but to be even stronger, and the USL Pro clubs gives the MLS just that.

Since, at the moment it is no secret that MLS struggles to grow their young players, the lack of playing time hurts the progress of both the players and the future of the league. Most talented young players leave MLS because they know that the chances of breaking through are very small, and the ones that stay usually progress but at a slow pace.

The most recent case of a player leaving MLS is 18-year-old forward Amando Moreno, he left the New York Red Bulls recently to join Liga MX side, Club Tijuana. The main reason for the U.S. under-20 international leaving, was because it was unknown when he would realistically break through the Red Bulls senior squad. So taking a chance on another club does not seem like a crazy choice to an 18-year-old kid who is hungry to play anywhere.

“That would’ve been an enormous (help),” New York Red Bulls Sporting Director Andy Roxburgh told SoccerbyIves.com, if having a USL Pro club would have helped them keeping the U.S. youth international. “We would’ve immediately signed him [Amando Moreno] and no argument about it.”

However, the area that having USL clubs will help the most is with the national teams. Instead of having players coming only through the MLS academies and getting lost in there till their mid-twenties, and usually by that age attempting to break through the national team is a long shot and should remain one. If the U.S. and Canada continue the same system, that will only give them the option of looking at players that are barely beginning to gain the experience of consistent playing time in their mid twenties, which is something that they should of been getting in their late teens instead.

There is no doubt that this new strategy for MLS can produce gold for their clubs and the national team, just look at the German National team. This is a system that created its own division just for their youth to play and develop, and it is safe to say that their national team is among one of the bests in the world, if not the best.

Now that does not mean by the 2018 World Cup, the United States or Canada will produce their own global stars and win it all in Russia. No this is going to be a process that will take time, however, it will be worth the wait and the money that MLS clubs will be putting into these teams.

From Soccerlens.com - Football News

Author: "Jorge Belon" Tags: "FC Dallas, FIFA, General Football News, ..."
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Date: Friday, 15 Aug 2014 11:10

Chelsea and Arsenal given hope on signing dazzling Frenchman - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Paris Saint Germain are actively considering the option of selling midfielder Adrien Rabiot after the club has failed to convince the youngster to sign a new contract in their latest meeting with the player’s entourage.

Rabiot Chelsea and Arsenal given hope on signing dazzling Frenchman

The news would boost Arsenal and Chelsea, the two Premier League clubs thought to be heavily interested in the 19-year-old. Arsenal had sent scouts to track his progress regularly last season, which The Guardian also claimed that Chelsea were looking to tempt the young Frenchman with a huge pay-rise.

36be5b807aa7552850660bd5130634bd Chelsea and Arsenal given hope on signing dazzling Frenchman

PSG have made several attempts to keep him at the club but the youngster is unwilling to sign a new contract. His current contract expires in 2015, which means he will become a free transfer next season or can sign a pre-contract with a foreign club in January.

The French champions probably would not take the risk of selling him for free. With FFP regulations hanging on their shoulders like Albatross, selling him for nothing would be catastrophe for their economy.

French newspaper Le Parisien claim that PSG president Nasser al-Khelaifi is now looking at the possibility of cash in on the player. Arsenal, Juventus and Roma are thought to be the interested parties at the moment. 

All PSG now need is to come to an agreement with any potential buyer and would be willing to do business for a paltry fee of around €5-8m. 

From Soccerlens.com - Football News

Author: "Saikat" Tags: "Arsenal, Blogroll, Chelsea, Football Tra..."
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Date: Friday, 15 Aug 2014 09:07

Fiorentina Aim To Steal Arsenal Target At Bargain Price - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Arsene Wenger’s bid to strengthen the Gunners’ midfield by bringing in Real Madrid’s Sami Khedira may be about to suffer a blow. According to reports from Spanish website AS, Seria A side Fiorentina are making a late attempt to hijack the move and bring the German to the Stadio Artemio Franchi.

khedira 462549 Fiorentina Aim To Steal Arsenal Target At Bargain Price

After Carlo Ancelotti left him out of the side in the recent UEFA Super Cup, it was revealed that Khedira would leave Madrid this summer, with the Premier League being his most likely destination. The Indepedent reported that Arsenal and Chelsea are the clubs said to be in the ascendancy to sign the 27 year-old, but this late inquiry by Fiorentina has put a spanner in the works. The Italians have reportedly bid 10 million Euros for the newly-crowned World Cup Winner. They are attempting to seal the deal at a cut-down price for a player whose contract runs out at the end of the upcoming season. Madrid are willing to sell Khedira now rather than having to let him go for free next summer.

Ancelotti has signed some big-names in midfield this summer, bringing in Toni Kroos and James Rodriguez to the Spanish capital. This has pushed Khedira  further down the pecking order, after already playing second-fiddle to Luka Modric and Xabi Alonso last season.

 

 

From Soccerlens.com - Football News

Author: "venkateshhari" Tags: "Arsenal, Blogroll, Chelsea, English Prem..."
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Date: Friday, 15 Aug 2014 08:49

Manchester United’s £16m bid take club into court battle - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Marcos Rojo impressed heavily during the World Cup in Brazil. He was one of the consistent performers for Argentina in the World Cup and as natural consequence has been in hot demand among top European clubs.

Liverpool and few other European clubs had shown an early interest in him, but it seems like Manchester United have taking it more seriously and are keen to land him before the transfer deadline day.

marcos rojo Manchester Uniteds £16m bid take club into court battle

Rojo is mainly a left-back but can play as centre-back as well. Attracted by this versatility, Louis van Gaal wants to add the Sporting defender to his ranks.

Manchester United have made a £16m bid for Rojo but have been left frustrated by a row between Sporting and the Doyen Sports investment group that owns 75 per cent of Rojo’s economic rights.

9980b4eea2f79d61dfa9c81851a25ef6 Manchester Uniteds £16m bid take club into court battle

Sporting have terminated their arrangement with Doyen, who in turn threats to take legal action, “if not paid money it claims to be owed even if Rojo is not transferred”, reports The Times. 

Doyen added: “Sporting is entirely within its rights not to transfer Marcos Rojo, knowing that it only has to make up for the fund under the terms and deadlines contractually established. We will not hesitate to use all legal resources at our disposal to defend fully all our interests and rights.”

United are still hopeful that a deal can be struck for Rojo, but should this go to court over the ownership issues, the 20 times Premier League champions may well forget about signing him in this transfer window.

From Soccerlens.com - Football News

Author: "Saikat" Tags: "Blogroll, Football Transfers, Manchester..."
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Date: Friday, 15 Aug 2014 08:13

Take your seats, the Barclays Premier League is back! - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

The Premier League has seen many spectacular opening day moments – goals, thrashings, title challenge markers and fantastic debuts that linger in the memory for months to come.

Then there are the true stand-out performances that make you sit up and take notice – the stuff bottled up in highlight reels and sold around the world to further the Premier League’s global reach. The moments that you will remember forever – a goal, a hat-trick, a moment of passing genius, a miraculous save, a mind-boggling off-the-pitch incident.

Over the years the Premier League has had a unique unifying effect for it’s viewers – we’ve experienced the highs and lows through a shared consciousness. For fans that experience is more physical, but for the TV viewers it is just as real.

Every summer we wait for what seems like forever for these moments, but now the waiting is almost over. Now is the time for expectation.

Will Louis van Gaal and Manchester United compete with Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City? Will Arsenal add to their recent success and mount a serious title challenge? Who will make it to Europe? Will Everton surprise us again? Which team is this season’s dark horse?

At this stage we don’t have the answers; we just have the hope, excitement, and anticipation of knowing that something special is just around the corner.

So start dreaming, start believing and take your seats. It’s about to begin.

This is a sponsored post.

From Soccerlens.com - Football News

Author: "Soccerlens" Tags: "English Premier League, Football Videos"
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Date: Friday, 15 Aug 2014 07:39

Possible Liverpool starting lineup Against Southampton - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Liverpool on Sunday will begin their life post-Luis Suarez when they take on Southampton at Anfield on Sunday.

Southampton were one of the two clubs (Chelsea other one) that registered a victory over Liverpool at Anfield last season.

gerrardsturridge1 3017088 Possible Liverpool starting lineup Against Southampton

 

Situation has changed ever since. Liverpool have signed three Southampton players this summer and new manager Koeman has a number of new arrivals to call on in his first trip to Anfield. 

Liverpool came agonisingly close to win their first Premiership title in over two decades last season and the Reds are expected to mount a serious title challenge this term as well.

New signing Adam Lallana is certain to miss the tie with a knee injury, while Daniel Agger, Jon Flanagan and Lazar Markovic are so doubtful for this game.

Dejan Lovren, Javier Manquillo and Emre Can could make their Premiership debut for Liverpool on Sunday. Here is the possible line up for the Reds. 

6a5e8a8f64b015d6d786d06536759f1b Possible Liverpool starting lineup Against Southampton

Prediction: 2-0; Liverpool would be hoping to start the season with a bang and expect them to earn full three points.

From Soccerlens.com - Football News

Author: "Saikat" Tags: "Blogroll, English Premier League, Footba..."
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Date: Friday, 15 Aug 2014 07:03

£33m player rules out Chelsea and Manchester United move - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

1839199900 mehdi benatia 1w6Kb1h7VWef 1024x576 £33m player rules out Chelsea and Manchester United move

According to ESPN, highly-rated defender Mehdi Benatia has ruled out a move from Roma this summer. The 27-year-old had been linked with Manchester United and Chelsea but it appears as though he will be staying in Italy.

At Roma’s summer training camp, Benatia told the fans to “relax” and that he is “staying put.” This will come as frustrating news to Manchester United more than Chelsea after Jose Mourinho said his club was not looking to buy the Moroccan. He said: “No. We are not interested. We have (John) Terry, (Gary) Cahill, (Branislav) Ivanovic and (Kurt) Zouma…we are fine.”

United, on the other hand, only have Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Jonny Evans. With Louis Van Gaal opting for a 3-5-2 formation, none of those three can afford to get injured otherwise the young and inexperienced Tyler Blackett would be needed.

Some people consider Jones, Smalling and Evans not the required level if United want to be challenging for titles again. Also they are known for having injury problems. The club needs a least one top class centre back and Benatia would have been a great addition.

He played 33 times in Seria A for Roma last season, scoring 5 goals. He joined from Udinese in July 2013 for €13.5 million (£10.8 million). Now a year on, he’s valued at approximately £33 million.

From Soccerlens.com - Football News

Author: "Zach Emmanuel" Tags: "Blogroll, Chelsea, Football Transfers, M..."
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Date: Friday, 15 Aug 2014 06:55

Manchester United player set to leave club, deal likely in 48 hours - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Marouane Fellaini’s career is set to be over withing the coming 2-3 days as the midfielder could well be shipped off to Italian side Napoli according to reports from Naples based media outlet Tutto Napoli. The report has cited Italian daily Il Mattino claiming that the Partenopei have made fresh contacts with the Red Devils or the 26 year old who has earlier been told by Louis Van Gaal that he has no future at Old Trafford.

fellaini Manchester United player set to leave club, deal likely in 48 hours

It is believed that Napoli manager Rafa Benitez considers Fellaini as a perfect fit for his midfield and is looking to wrap up a deal for the Belgian. The Partenopei however only want the player on a season long loan with an option to buy. United are about to respond but their priority is to push the midfielder out of the club after a terrible debut season last term.

Fellaini did feature in United’s last pre-season match against Spanish side Valencia scoring a goal in the 2-1 win for the English giants. The former Everton player is also attracted to join the Naples based outfit where he would be able to link up with national team mate and friend Dries Mertens.

 

 

From Soccerlens.com - Football News

Author: "tamojitc" Tags: "Blogroll, Columns, Football Transfers, M..."
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Date: Friday, 15 Aug 2014 06:44

Arsenal’s €65m offer for player could kill Manchester United’s hope of landing €80m star - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Arsenal could play a key part in solving the Angel di Maria saga.

Well, there was nothing complex in it. Di Maria was one of the key players for Real Madrid last season, but the club need to sell him having already signed James Rodriguez from Monaco.

The asking price varies from one newspaper to another, but Madrid based newspapers maintain that Real Madrid are demanding a fee in the region of €80m.

di maria Arsenals €65m offer for player could kill Manchester Uniteds hope of landing €80m star

Manchester United and PSG are thought to be the two European heavy weights vying for his signature. PSG are keen to land him but they need to offload some of their stars, like Edinson Cavani or Ezequiel Lavezzi in order to balance the book.

Therefore, it gives Manchester United an option to negotiate at a slightly lesser price. This is where Arsenal could end United’s hopes.

d78224d27e1ed90399ac2a8b8a44f23f Arsenals €65m offer for player could kill Manchester Uniteds hope of landing €80m star

According to Catalan newspaper Sport, Arsenal who are looking to sign a world class striker, and preparing a €65m bid for Edinson Cavani.

Although PSG publicly maintain the stance that the player is not for sale, they would simply bite the hands of Arsenal, should such offer is put on table. Sport reckon that PSG would be able to sign Di Maria once they offload Cavani.

Last but not the least: This coming from a catalan based newspaper!

From Soccerlens.com - Football News

Author: "Saikat" Tags: "Arsenal, Blogroll, Football Transfers, M..."
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Date: Friday, 15 Aug 2014 06:16

Liverpool preview 2014-15: Rodgers aims to bury Ghost of Past - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

2008/09 – Liverpool finished second under Rafael Benitez.

Despite losing Xabi Alonso the following season, no body, yes no body, thought Liverpool would finish outside top four.

Liverpool finished 7th. Rafa was sacked. Champions League kissed goodbye and the club stared at dark and bleak future waiting to grasp.

What was supposed to be a season of hope and expectation turned out to be a season of massive catastrophe and mayhem. Injury was averted but the wound threatened to linger for years.

rodgers Liverpool preview 2014 15: Rodgers aims to bury Ghost of Past

New owners bought a new lease of life at Anfield, but the club needed a hero. For a while, an attempt was made to bring back the old ethos at the club. Soon it became clear such sentiments would wash away with the changing tides of modern football. The club cried for someone with whom fans could dare to dream – ‘anything is possible for those who believe’.

Brendan Rodgers in his short tenure at the club has quickly become an adorable figure – a true hero.

Critics were not wholly convinced with him and neither are they now. As if taking a seventh placed team to title challenge till the final day wasn’t enough and that finishing second in the league was just a glorious one-off.

Yet, under Rodgers, Liverpool have made a habit of upsetting the odds and there’s no reason why they can’t repeat it again.

Rodgers is left with an onerous task as Luis Suarez’ exit has left a gaping void. The flawed genius was the real inspiration behind Liverpool’s resurgence last season as his 31 league goals took Liverpool agonizingly close to landing the elusive Premier League title.

It was not just about his goals and assists that make him a truly world class player, the sheer inherent ability brings the best out of those surrounding him.

Liverpool tried the best to hold on to him, but were helpless against his lofty ambitions. He wanted a different challenge and was desperate to join Barcelona, with family matters playing a key part in taking his decision.

raheem sterling liverpool 375418 Liverpool preview 2014 15: Rodgers aims to bury Ghost of Past

Liverpool simply had no options left once Barcelona met his £75m buy-out clause. But, unlike Fernando Torres, whose acrimonious departure to Chelsea left a bad taste in the mouth, Suarez’s exit leaves a melancholy tune, bereft of any hard feelings. 

It was never going to be an easy task to find a like-for-like replacement of Suarez. To be honest, it is impossible. So, Rodgers used that influx of cash to provide necessary depth in the squad that were so lacking for some years now.

Till date it has been the biggest summer spending spree in Liverpool’s history. The club have spent over £100m to land players like Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana, Divock Origi, Lazar Markovic, Dejan Lovren, Emre Can, Javier Manquillo and Alberto Moreno and who knows there could be one or two additions before the transfer window closes down. 

While Liverpool scored goals for fun last season, it was the leaky defence (51 goals conceded) that stood out as their major Achilles heel.

It is often argued that Liverpool’s system of playing an attacking brand of football is often their own downfall, as it often leaves the defence exposed.

Rodgers, who holds a strong footballing philosophy, feels that Liverpool lacks a leader at the back. Lovren, the £20m signing from Southampton, not only has a strong physical presence but also comfortable with ball at feet, an ideal Rodgers-type-player that ticks all the right boxes. 

Manquillo, on loan from Atletico Madrid will give an added option on the right hand side, while Sevilla’s Alberto Moreno, definitely an upgrade over Jose Enrique, would add an extra dimension to this team.

Likewise, Lambert gives Liverpool a plan B option that was never there last season, while Lallana and Can would add creativity and discipline in the middle of the park.

But Liverpool’s biggest strength lies in the hidden potentials of young talents like Henderson, Sterling and Coutinho. Add raw talent of Markovic to it and you get a bunch of uncut-stones that promises to shine like a diamond, if properly polished.

“Something we said to Raheem when he first broke into the team, and something we’ve reiterated, is that you have to have an identity as a player,” said Rodgers, while giving a candid verdict on Sterling. 

“The identity he has is to score goals and create goals. That’s what the job is. He scored 10 goals last year and this kid is only going to get better. When you’re so young, it’s important to understand exactly what your role is. Not just look good, you have to be efficient and effective. His development has gone to a new level. He’s way above the level from when he first came in.

“Tactically, technically, and what has been beautiful to watch with Raheem has been his maturity. He’s turning into a beautiful young man, with all the responsibility. He’s taking it all in his stride and now he’s in a good place with every part of his game. It’s just about maintaining that commitment to his work. He’s still only 19, but in big games he’s performed and he’s a wonderful talent.”

Many critics have brought the reference of Tottenham last season while commenting on Liverpool’s summer spending spree. Spurs spent most of their fortune gained on selling Gareth Bale to Real Madrid by signing seven new players. Liverpool have followed a similar philosophy by signing too many players using Suarez’ money.

The North Londoners still finished outside top four which suggests that buying too many players sometimes do not yield the right output. However, Spurs didn’t finish in top four either with Bale during his outstanding campaign for them the previous season before he left.

Of course, rival teams have strengthened simultaneously But, Liverpool can hardly afford to pay too much heed to it. You can only look up at others, only if you’re below or at par with them. At the top, it’s you and you only.

Instead of treating it as a psychological barrier, that is the failure of landing the title from a winning position, Liverpool must take great confidence of finishing second, as nobody expected them to even go that far before the season started.

“What it has done with this team and this group, it has made us even more unified and stronger to be more successful in the future. I’m super hungry to be a champion and succeed and we have shown we have the credentials to do that,” said Rodgers. 

In the Premier League era, Liverpool have finished second before but they couldn’t replicate that performance, not to talk about bettering it, the following season. It’s time for Rodgers and his team to bury that Ghost of the Past.

From Soccerlens.com - Football News

Author: "Saikat" Tags: "Blogroll, Brendan Rodgers, English Premi..."
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Date: Friday, 15 Aug 2014 06:00

Liverpool make formal bid for Manchester United target, player could join within hours - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Liverpool have made an offer (details of the offer is not known as of yet) for Barcelona and former Arsenal midfielder Alex Song, according to reports from Spain.

Yesterday, Catalan newspaper Sport published a story where they claimed Liverpool are among the interested parties willing to sign Song, who has had a tough period in Spain, since he joined from Arsenal in 2012.

song fab Liverpool make formal bid for Manchester United target, player could join within hours

Song, who has been often been used as a central defender at Barcelona, made only 19 league appearances last season and was linked with a move to Manchester United back in June.

Barcelona are keen to sell him but it remains to be seen whether any club is prepared to match his €4m-per-year wage demands. 

676113e033849aad631c56f9ea9183f9 Liverpool make formal bid for Manchester United target, player could join within hours

Today Sport has another update on this saga. They claim, both Liverpool and Galatasaray have made an offer for him, with the later want him to join on loan.

Song himself want to sort out his future at the earliest and Sport claim that he would be making a decision, that choosing an offer within ‘next few hours’.

From Soccerlens.com - Football News

Author: "Saikat" Tags: "Arsenal, Barcelona, Blogroll, Football T..."
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Date: Friday, 15 Aug 2014 05:12

PHOTO: Manchester City midfielder in Zenit Saint Petersburg shirt - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Javi García PHOTO: Manchester City midfielder in Zenit Saint Petersburg shirt
Javi Garcia has completed his switch from Manchester City to Zenit Saint Petersburg on a five-year deal.

After a disappointing spell with the English champions, the Spain international decided to end his time with Manuel Pellgrini’s side and make a switch to the Russian Premier League outfit.

Garcia underwent medical with Zenit and will join former Tottenham Hotspur manager Andre Villa-Boas with the Russian outfit.

“The football clubs Zenit and Manchester City reached an agreement over the transfer of the Spanish midfielder Javi García! He has already undergone a physical examination and will soon join the team,” a statement on Zenit’s website read.

“The contract with García lasts until the end of the 2018/2019 season, the midfielder will play with the number 21.”

From Soccerlens.com - Football News

Author: "Chris David" Tags: "Blogroll, English Premier League, Footba..."
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Date: Friday, 15 Aug 2014 05:04

DONE DEAL: Midfielder leaves Manchester City on permanent transfer - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Javi Garcia DONE DEAL: Midfielder leaves Manchester City on permanent transfer Manchester City have confirmed their midfielder Javi Garcia has completed a permanent switch to Zenit St Petersburg on Thursday.

A statement on the Citizens official website read, “Spanish midfielder Javi Garcia has left City to join Zenit St Petersburg on a permanent basis.”

“Bringing an end to his two-year association with the club, the 27-year old links up with former Spurs manager André Villas-Boas at the Petrovsky Stadium.”

The 27-year-old arrived at the Etihad in the summer of 2012 as he was signed by the English champions’ former manager Roberto Mancini. However, the Spain international failed to make an impact for City in his debut season.

Last summer the Citizens current manager Manuel Pellgrini signed Fernandinho and further addition of his compatriot Fernando has seen him drop down the pecking order. Thus Garcia decided to end his time in England and agreed to leave City for Zenit.

From Soccerlens.com - Football News

Author: "Chris David" Tags: "Blogroll, English Premier League, Footba..."
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Date: Friday, 15 Aug 2014 03:08

The United States Men’s National team will be facing Ecuador in Oct. - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

epa brazil soccer fifa world cup 2014 004 The United States Mens National team will be facing Ecuador in Oct.

The Yanks will be hosting Ecuador on Oct. 10 at Rentschler Fied at East Hartford, CONN in a FIFA Friendly match. Photo provided by USA Today.

The Yanks will be hosting the South American side on Oct. 10, in a FIFA Friendly match.

The United States Soccer Federation announced on Thursday, that the USMNT will be making their return to the states against Ecuador on Oct. 10 at the 40,000 capacity stadium Rentschler Field at East Hartford, CONN.

The game will be televised live on ESPN, WatchESPN and UniMas and the game will take place at 7 p.m. U.S. Coach Jürgen Klinsmann is excited to play the first home game since the World Cup.

“We are really excited to get our first chance to play at home after the World Cup,” Klinsmann stated in a release. “The support from our fans in the United States and everyone that traveled to Brazil was awesome, and we want to build on that energy. We have an exciting four years ahead of us, and this is just the beginning. The U.S. team has a great history at Rentschler Field, so we are hoping for another big crowd against Ecuador.”

The Americans and the Amarillos have faced each other 11 times, the first match between the two nations was in 1984 on Nov. 30 with a scoreless draw. However, since then the Stars and Stripes hold a disappointing 2-5-4 record with the South American side. However, in the final four matches the two nations have faced, the Yanks have a 2-1-1 record; with both victories being played in the States.

Even though the Yanks would have preferred to play their first home match against fourth ranked Colombia in Sept., but playing against the 21-ranked nation according to FIFA’s rankings will do. Regardless, of that the USMNT will still be looking to build on the momentum of the World Cup, and get a third victory against the Ecuadorians on Oct 10 in their 12 meeting.

Klinsmann now has three friendlies confirmed to get the young Americans some playing time to develop for the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup next summer. The first match for the USMNT will be against the Czech Republic on Sept. 3 in Prague. The second will now be a home match against Ecuador on Oct., and the last match will be against the Republic of Ireland on Nov. 18 in Dublin.

From Soccerlens.com - Football News

Author: "Jorge Belon" Tags: "Ecuador, FIFA, General Football News, J..."
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Date: Thursday, 14 Aug 2014 18:00

Arsenal preview 2014-15: A new dawn or the same old Gunners? - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

A new dawn awaits at North London as the azure skies over the Emirates is set to open up. After ending their trophy drought of over eight years by claiming the coveted FA Cup, Arsenal are perhaps set to for a significant Premier League title Challenge. If last Saturday’s 3-0 win over Manchester City in the Community Shield gave glimpses on what awaits, come this weekend, Arsene Wenger is ready to enter the bandwagon.

Aaron Ramsey’s winner at Wembley against Hull City in the FA cup final looks to have cast a magic spell on the squad. The burden to win silverware is off their back and even though there were suggestions of a possible transfer window failure while Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United shopped at will, Arsen Wenger did, what he does best. The 64 year old was busy enjoying his holidays in Brazil during the World Cup and while photos of the former Economics professor enjoying a game of volleyball grabbed the limelight at the Ipanema beach in Rio de Janeiro, Arsenal fans all around the globe seemed despondent.

wenger Arsenal preview 2014 15: A new dawn or the same old Gunners?

In hindsight deals for Mathieu Debuchy, David Ospina and Alexis Sanchez were as good as done. Southampton’s Calum Chambers was soon to follow while Costa Rican World Cup star is back to his parent club after at Olympiakos. Though Thomas Vermaelen left the club for the greener pastures of Camp Nour, Wenger has suggested he still has the cash and the options to boost his squad before the transfer window slams shut.

ign Arsenal preview 2014 15: A new dawn or the same old Gunners?

A striker still remains the priority while the Gunners could also do with a central defensive midfielder given Mikel Arteta didn’t look at his best last season. Sami Khedira’s name has been doing the rounds while the rumour mill has been quiet qith Lars Bender and William Carvalho over the past few weeks. Theo Walcott should be back from injury early in September while Lukas Podolski is another option up front alongside Olivier Giroud. Yaya Sanogo too will feel he has a case of his own thanks to his four hits at the back of the next in the Emirates cup against Portuguese Champions Benfica.

How will the Gunners line up: Balancing between domestic cup competitions and the Champions League will once again take its toll, the squad depth will be fully tested but the priority for Arsene Wenger would be to reclaim the lost glory by lifting the Premier League title. Arsenal face an early test against Turkish side Besiktas in the Champions league playoff, one which doesn’t look easy as it seems on paper.

David Ospina will certainly challenge Wojciech Szczesny for a starting spot under the sticks while the form of the two wing backs in Debuchy and Gibbs will be the key going forward in the season. As the pre-season showed their link up with the wingers up front remains the key to Arsenal’s attack in the final third. Calum Chambers looks like a fine prospect with great positional awareness but the teenager, despite having significant Premier League experience isn’t perhaps ready to take up the mantle for the London club. Alexis Sanchez’s form remains Arsenal’s weapon, the Chilean as we know can create havoc with his raw pace and dazzling trickery on the flanks. Mesut Ozil too has vowed to improve in his second season for the club.

Expectations: Nothing less than a silverware at the end of the season would be considered as a successful campaign, yet Wenger has all the ammunition for a significant title challenge. The Gunners might be in the race till January and it will be interesting to see how to cope up with the expectations of retaining their FA Cup title and Champions League aspirations.

From Soccerlens.com - Football News

Author: "tamojitc" Tags: "Arsenal, Blogroll, English Premier Leagu..."
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Date: Thursday, 14 Aug 2014 17:40

Manchester United preview 2014-15: Rise like Phoenix from the Ashes - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

louis van gaal 1 Manchester United preview 2014 15: Rise like Phoenix from the Ashes

After a disappointing campaign last season, Manchester United will kick-start the 2014-15 Premier League season against Swansea City under the guidance of their new manager Louis van Gaal.

The Red Devils finished seventh just after being crowned as the Premier League champions last May. Several things have changed since they won the league title for the 20th time.

Firstly, their manager Sir Alex Ferguson stepped down and the great elder of Old Trafford announced David Moyes his successor. However, the former Everton boss’ time at United is something all the club fans would like to forget.

They not only failed to miss out of the next season’s Champions League, but also lost to lower teams in the FA Cup (Swansea) and Capital One Cup (Sunderland in the semi-final). At the same time, Moyes allowed Nemanja Vidic leave the club on a free transfer as the Serbian defender had a pre-contract agreement with Inter Milan.

vidicrio Manchester United preview 2014 15: Rise like Phoenix from the Ashes Also, United allowed another three legends, Ryan Giggs, Rio Ferdinand and Patrice Evra leave the club this summer. However, the Welshman has now been promoted as the assistant manager for the next season.

With several key players in United’s success in the past few years, leaving this summer and a new manager taking the helm at Old Trafford, it is the beginning of a new era. United faithful would be hoping that Van Gaal could turn things around in order to take the club on top.

Tactics:

So far, United have added central midfielder Ander Herrera and left-back Luke Shaw to their squad. The Red Devils are yet to find a replacement for Vidic and Ferdinand, while the former Southampton star will take place Evra’s position in the squad.

Tyler Blackett and Michael Keane have impressed during the pre-season tour and one needs to wait and see if Van Gaal gives them the opportunity to shine in the first team this season. If the Dutchman players 3-5-2 system, which he has played throughout the pre-season, United may need one experienced player in their defence, apart from the existing trio.

If United manages to sign a top quality central defender and another midfielder, they will be in a firm position to challenge for the league title. With Robin van Perise returning to full fitness after the World Cup break, the former Arsenal skipper will partner with Wayne Rooney to lead United’s attack.

RVP Rooney e1361799486758 Manchester United preview 2014 15: Rise like Phoenix from the Ashes

Van Gaal can still call upon Danny Welbeck and Adnan Januzaj to lead their attack as the latter was played as a forward during United’s 2-1 victory over Valencia. Spain international Juan Mata will play behind the two strikers and the former Chelsea star will play a crucial role in creating chances to the two players ahead of him.

If United manages to keep Darren Fletcher, who is their new vice-captain in top form for the most part of the season, the Scottish international along with Herrera will dominate the Red Devils’ midfield.

However, having an experienced defender like Mats Hummels or Mehdi Benatia, it will give their midfielders more options to support the attacking players in creating more chances. And should they sign Arturo Vidal from Juventus, the Chilean international will form a great partnership alongside Herrera in their midfield.

Prediction:

With two more potential signings of a central defender and another midfielder, United could be in the mix to challenge for the title. However, with Chelsea having a more balanced squad that United, the West London club are favourites to win the Premier League title.

mata 237 Manchester United preview 2014 15: Rise like Phoenix from the Ashes

However, United will pip Liverpool for a place in the top four, while the remaining three out of the top four will make it to the Champions League a year later.

From Soccerlens.com - Football News

Author: "Chris David" Tags: "Blogroll, English Premier League, Genera..."
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Date: Thursday, 14 Aug 2014 17:15

Chelsea Preview 2014-15: Action Begins for The Men In Blue - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

The new season brings inflated hopes of success and silverware at Chelsea Football Club. After a trophyless yet memorable campaign last season which had so many plus-points for the Blues, Jose Mourinho’s men will want to make sure that all that positivity is translated into some tangible form of success.

Mourinho insisted throughout the whole of last year that his team was not ready to challenge for the title, referring to Chelsea as the ‘little horses’ in the race. He said that the 2014-15 campaign would be the one where the team would completely mature and perform at its highest level. Some dismissed these comments off as mindgames, but Jose proved to be right in the end as Chelsea fell short in the Premier League.

Now though, the Blues have no excuses or places to hide. Having strengthened the squad in the transfer window and got the players they were chasing, they are firm favourites for the title. Mourinho’s recent statements too, are an indication of that fact.

Chelsea were Champions for the last time in 2010 and haven’t finished in the top 2 since 2011. This season, they look all set to change that.

Chelsea league finishes Chelsea Preview 2014 15: Action Begins for The Men In Blue

 

Last season’s performance:

The summer of 2013 brought immense excitement at Chelsea, as the most successful manager in their history, Jose Mourinho, made his return to Stamford Bridge. Many pundits expected the Portuguese to weave his magic and return the Premier League crown to West London in his first season in charge, but unfortunately for Chelsea, it wasn’t to be. For several points in the season, it looked like the Blues would win the title, but points dropped against bottom-half sides came back to bite them.

mourinho Chelsea Preview 2014 15: Action Begins for The Men In Blue

Chelsea’s record against their fellow top 4 sides in Man City, Liverpool and Arsenal was near-perfect, as they dropped just 2 points in 6 games against their rivals. But losses towards the end of the season against the likes of Aston Villa, Crystal Palace and Sunderland meant that they finished 3rd, behind City and Liverpool.

Transfer Activity:

Chelsea have done some shrewd business in this summer’s transfer window, letting some big-name players go while bringing in some world-class reinforcements.

Fan-favourite David Luiz left for PSG for a mammoth £50 million while Romelu Lukaku joined Everton for £28 million. Another player to leave was Senegalese striker Demba Ba, who joined Turkish side Besiktas. Club legends Ashley Cole and Frank Lampard were released by the club following the expiration of their contracts.

It was widely accepted last year that Chelsea needed a world-class central midfielder and a world-class striker to have a complete squad. They got both. Cesc Fabregas signed from Barcelona for £30 million and Diego Costa was brought in from Atletico Madrid for £32 million. Filipe Luis, one of the best left-backs in Europe last season, was also brought in from Atletico for £15 million. Club legend Didier Drogba also returned to the club on a free transfer to provide experience and leadership to the squad.

chelsea signings Chelsea Preview 2014 15: Action Begins for The Men In Blue

The Season Ahead:

With many pundits predicting Chelsea to win the Premier League this season, the pressure of expectation looms large. The likes of Costa and Fabregas have settled in well, making an immediate impression with their performances in pre-season.

The Blues play their first game of the season on Monday night, away at newly-promoted Burnley. It is imperative for both, individuals and the team as a whole to get off to a good start in order to lay the foundations for the campaign ahead.The best XI for Chelsea is still unclear,with Jose Mourinho having a plethora of options to choose from in every position.

Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool have all strenghtened their squads in the summer, and they all look good to give Chelsea a proper run for their money in the title race. It is not going to be easy for the Blues by any stretch of the imagination, and going another year without silverware could spell doom for Mourinho.

prem top four 2802799b Chelsea Preview 2014 15: Action Begins for The Men In Blue

Prediction:

Jose Mourinho has now gone two seasons without a trophy, and one wouldn’t put it past him to make up for them this year. He has a squad full of world-beaters at his disposal, and is at a club which he regards his own.

mourinho1 Chelsea Preview 2014 15: Action Begins for The Men In Blue

Expect a lot more mindgames, taunts and controversy with Mourinho, but this season, unlike the last, he will have the last laugh, with Chelsea winning the Premier League.

From Soccerlens.com - Football News

Author: "venkateshhari" Tags: "Arsene Wenger, Blogroll, Brendan Rodgers..."
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Date: Thursday, 14 Aug 2014 17:05

Possible Manchester United starting lineup against Swansea City - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

rooney fletcher manchester united 3182770 Possible Manchester United starting lineup against Swansea City Manchester United will kick-start the Premier League season against Swansea City at Old Trafford.

The Red Devils new manager Louis van Gaal will take in charge of his first competitive fixture after an impressive pre-season with the 20-time English champions. Soccerlens will take a look at the possible lineup for the game against the Welsh club.

With Jonny Evans being ruled out for the pre-season victory over Valencia, Van Gaal could hand Tyler Blackett a place in the starting lineup, alongside Phil Jones and Chris Smalling. David de Gea as usual will be in between the posts.

Along with Evans, the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager even confirmed that summer signing Luke Shaw and Antonio Valencia are also injured. The England international has picked up a hamstring injury and will be sidelined for around four weeks.

The situation is likely to see Van Gaal use Ashley Young as the right wing-back, while Reece James will play on the left wing-back position. After having an impressive pre-season, another summer signing Ander Herrera will partner new United vice-captain, Darren Fletcher in the heart of the midfield.

Juan Mata will play the No 10 role, behind the two strikers. Van Gaal deployed Javier Hernandez and Wayne Rooney for the clash against the La Liga outfit.

The 63-year-old manager is likely to go with the same two players for the game against Swansea, especially with Robin van Persie working on regaining full fitness after his recent holiday following a third place finish with the Netherlands in the World Cup.

Manchester United Possible Lineup v Swansea City is given below

United Possible Manchester United starting lineup against Swansea City

Prediction: 2-0; A comfortable victory for Louis van Gaal on his Premier League debut.

Do you like with our line-up? Share your reactions below… 

From Soccerlens.com - Football News

Author: "Chris David" Tags: "Blogroll, English Premier League, Genera..."
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Date: Thursday, 14 Aug 2014 17:00

Possible Arsenal starting lineup against Crystal Palace - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Last two competitive games. Two Trophies. FA Cup and the Community Shield. Big things are expected of Arsenal this season in the Premier League.

Arsenal have made some smart signings this summer and are expecting to mount a serious challenge for the Barclays Premier League title this season. The Gunners start their campaign against Crystal Palace at home on Saturday, where Arsene Wenger will be hoping for nothing less than three full points.

BusN8CcIUAE51OJ Possible Arsenal starting lineup against Crystal Palace

Mikel Arteta has been officially confirmed as the captain of Arsenal

Crystal Palace on the other hand may find themselves in all sorts of trouble after reports emerging that manager Tony Pulis will hold a showdown talks with Palace officials and that he could leave the club within next 24 hours. The former Stoke City manager is largely frustrated with the lack of transfer funds available to him and consequence Palace had missed several top transfer targets thus far.

Team News: New signing David Ospina may miss the opening game of the season, while Serge Gnabry, Ryo Miyaichi and Theo Walcott are all absent through injury as well. 

Central defender Laurent Koscielny is also doubtful but new signing Calum Chambers could be handed his Arsenal PL debut. Likewise, the German trio of Mertesacker, Ozil and Podolski may well miss out, following their World Cup excursions. Debuchy and Alexis Sanchez could all make their Premier League debuts on Saturday. 

944b99d451dacba2fc585c4f15e64fa5 Possible Arsenal starting lineup against Crystal Palace

Prediction: 3-0; Arsenal are undefeated in their last 18 home matches in the Premier League and therefore expect them to win comfortably on the opening day. 

From Soccerlens.com - Football News

Author: "Saikat" Tags: "Arsenal, Blogroll, Crystal Palace, Engli..."
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Date: Thursday, 14 Aug 2014 16:47

DONE DEAL: Liverpool confirm latest transfer - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Liverpool defender Martin Kelly has joined Crystal Palace on a permanent deal after agreeing terms and passing a medical at Selhurst Park, the club has confirmed

kelly 6x461 1829114 478x359 DONE DEAL: Liverpool confirm latest transfer

Kelly graduated from the Liverpool’s Academy system and made a total of 62 appearances for the Reds, scoring once. He was handed his first-team debut against PSV Eindhoven by Rafael Benitez in December 2008.

His rapid progress earned his one international cap as well to his name. The 24-year-old has put pen to paper on a three-year deal at Selhurst Park after passing a medical last night. He will wear the number 34 shirt for the Eagles and would be in contention to making his debut for his new club on the opening day of the Barclays Premier League season at Arsenal this weekend.

He told cpfc.co.uk: “I’m over the moon. It was a lot of travelling to get down yesterday, but I’m glad to have signed and I’m looking forward to the weekend.

“I’d heard about a potential move at the start of the summer, but I just wanted to concentrate on playing again in pre-season. I played a lot of games, which is what I needed. I’ve been out, fit, but not playing competitively all of last season.

“Now is the time at that age where I need to get back to playing week-in week-out.

“I’m looking forward to playing under Tony [Pulis] and playing regular football again.

“I remember coming here with Liverpool at the back end of last season to the 3-3 draw and the fans were incredible. That was one of the only stadiums I’ve come to where it felt like Liverpool fans the way they got behind the team on Champions League nights.

“The fans are massive are massive at any club – they were brilliant at Liverpool – and they seem brilliant here.

“But I’ve looked around the training ground and all the posters on the wall are about the team. That’s what I want, to play for a team.”

From Soccerlens.com - Football News

Author: "Saikat" Tags: "Blogroll, Crystal Palace, Football Trans..."
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