Premier League players released, MLS sides interested?

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At about this time each year, English Premier League clubs start to release a list of the players who are out of contract and will not be offered a new deal.

Released players are a curious breed.

They are often dealt a rough hand, many are capable of performing at the highest level but didn’t quite get the breaks. One way or another, most are now scrapping for any opportunity they can get to play pro soccer for one more season.

With that in mind, free agents can often prove to be a great deal financially and often have a chip on their shoulder that spurs them on to success after being given a second chance somewhere else.

That got me thinking, would any of the EPL players released today be able to do a good job in Major League Soccer?

So let’s take a look at which pros now find themselves without a club, after several EPL sides announced their released lists.

Arsenal

Andrey Arshavin, Denilson, Sebastien Squillaci

Aston Villa

Eric Lichaj, Andy Marshall, Richard Dunne, Jean Makoun, Simon Dawkins

Norwich City

Simeon Jackson, Elliott Ward

Southampton

Frazer Richardson, Danny Butterfield, Dan Seaborne, Ryan Dickson

Sunderland

Titus Bramble, Matthew Kilgallon, Ryan Noble

Stoke City

Jermaine Pennant, Dean Whitehead, Carlo Nash, Matthew Upson, Rory Delap, Matthew Lund, Mamady Sidibe

West Brom

Jerome Thomas, Gonzalo Jara

So out of that list above, Andrey Arshavin, Simon Dawkins, Eric Lichaj, Richard Dunne, Simeon Jackson, Titus Bramble, Jermaine Pennant, Matthew Upson and Jerome Thomas could all do a very good job in MLS for one team or another.

Some of those players have already been linked with a move across to the US or Canada. With Arshavin linked with the Galaxy for months, while Dunne was once a target for the New York Red Bulls. Elsewhere Dawkins could fancy a return to the San Jose Earthquakes, he certainly sparkled under Frank Yallop during his two loan spells from Tottenham Hotspur.

More EPL teams will announce their released lists in the coming days. So more bargains for Major League Soccer teams could present themselves.

If you think any of the names on the list above could be classified as bargains, that is?

First pick Joao Moutinho scores first LAFC goal in preseason

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Los Angeles FC will need all of its new assets to contribute as the club looks to find its footing in MLS during its inaugural season.

That includes the team’s first-ever MLS SuperDraft selection, who is already paying big dividends for the expansion team.

Former University of Akron defender Joao Moutinho scored the lone goal for LAFC during Sunday’s 1-0 preseason friendly win over USL side Sacramento Republic FC.

Moutinho, who has primarily played left back for LAFC during preseason, shot down the left side of the pitch in the 60th minute before blasting a low shot into the far corner.

The defender is no stranger to finding the back of the net though, after scoring three goals and adding five assists last year in his lone campaign at the University of Akron.

Henry: Arsenal job would be a “dream for me”

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Thierry Henry remains a legend within the ranks of Arsenal, and the former striker says it would “be a dream” if he were to grab hold of the reigns at the London club.

[ MORE: Guardiola hails Man City as trophy haul begins ]

The Frenchman is currently a commentator in England and an assistant manager for the Belgium national team, however, the ex-Gunner clearly has his sights set on becoming the lead man at Arsenal one day.

“It would be a dream for me,” Henry told Sky Sports. “Interested [in the job]? Yes. Who wouldn’t be?

“But I can’t talk about it because of the respect that I have for the man in charge still, and my job that I’m doing with Belgium right now.”

Long-time manager Arsene Wenger and Henry have remained close for many years, even after Henry exited the Premier League giants, and it would likely take the former to step down from his position for Henry to have a shot at nabbing the job.

Wenger has been in charge at the Emirates Stadium since 1996, and has won three Premier League titles in that span, to go along with the rest of his club’s silverware.

UEFA bans Samir Nasri six months for IV treatment

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Former Premier League midfielder Samir Nasri has been banned for six months by European governing body UEFA for receiving an intravenous drip treatment in Los Angeles, California in December 2016.

[ MORE: Guardiola hails Man City as trophy haul begins ]

During the time in question, Nasri was on loan from Manchester City with Spanish side Sevilla.

Nasri reportedly received the treatment upon an initial diagnosis from his ex-girlfriend Dr. Sarabjit Anand. He later traveled to LA for the treatment, where a private medical company known as the Drip Doctors, set up the IV drip for Nasri.

The IV was said to have contained sterile water containing 50 milliliters of micronutrient components, which given in an infusion over the span of six hours is considered illegal by the World Anti-doping Agency.

Nasri is without a club at this time, after last appearing for Turkish club Antalyaspor in January. The 30-year-old left the side this winter after making just eight appearances in all competitions.

PSG suffers big blow as Neymar stretchered off against Marseille

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With an important run of fixtures upcoming, including a UEFA Champions League date with Real Madrid, the Parisians received disappointing news on Sunday.

[ MORE: Guardiola hails Man City as trophy haul begins ]

Despite picking up a 3-0 victory against Marseille, Paris Saint-Germain suffered a massive blow in the second stanza after Neymar was stretchered off the pitch with a right leg injury in the 81st minute.

The Brazilian international appeared to twist his ankle upon landing on the ground after going in for a challenge, although there was no contact when the attacker went down in agony.

Minutes after suffering the apparent ankle injury, Neymar was carried off the field on a stretcher by medical staff, raising questions about his availability in the coming weeks.

PSG faces a crucial run of matches, including Wednesday’s French Cup match against Marseille and their second leg UCL fixture against Real Madrid.

Unai Emery and his side currently trail 3-1 against Los Blancos, as the tie heads back to Paris for the second meeting.

This season, Neymar has tallied 28 goals in all competitions for the Parisians, including six finishes in the UCL, so his potential absence would be a huge blow to PSG’s hopes of advancing to the quarterfinals.