Crystal Palace add firepower as Jason Puncheon joins on loan

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Ian Holloway lamented his team on Sunday following their 1-0 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur.

For many people, Crystal Palace had given a good account of themselves but Holloway felt his side were lacking belief, pace and a cutting edge.

So he’s done something about it.

On Wednesday Palace signed Southampton winger Jason Puncheon on a season-long loan deal, with the 27-year-old attacker direct and forward thinking. Exactly what an exasperated Holloway said he needed in a typically animated post-match press conference, following the opening day loss to Spurs.

(MORE: Crystal Palace 0 – Tottenham Hotspur 1; Soldado penalty grabs Spurs win – Video)

It is perhaps a surprise that Southampton have let Puncheon leave, as he only signed a new three-year deal back in March and scored seven goals in 34 appearances for Saints last season.

Holloway and Puncehon have history, as the Saints winger joined Blackpool on loan when Saints were in League One and Blackpool were in the Premier League under Holloway. The talented winger added goals and attacking impetus to Holloway’s side then, and it’s hard to not see that happening this time around.

Puncheon is a loan specialist, with the season-long jaunt to Palace his seventh loan spell during his ten-year career. For most of his time at Southampton, Puncheon was an outcast after falling out with owner Nicola Cortese. However the pair made up and Puncheon helped the Saints to PL survival last year, scoring the goal that sealed their safety in a 1-1 draw with Sunderland late in the campaign.

(MORE: Holloway disappointed with Palace players, slams officiating)

But with attacker Pablo Osvaldo joining for a club record $22.5 million earlier this week, Puncheon was falling down the pecking order. He should be relishing the chance to play regularly at Palace and under a manger who trusts him and knows what he can do.

An added bonus is that Puncheon is returning home. He was born in Croydon, which is the area adjacent to Crystal Palace’s Selhurst Park home.

With Holloway wanting goals and more purpose, Puncheon can deliver that. A shrewd piece of business by the Eagles manager.

Expect plenty more new faces to arrive at Palace in the coming days, after the Eagles added some ‘Punch’ to their attack…

2-year doping ban upheld for Finland, CSKA Moscow player

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) The Court of Arbitration for Sport has upheld a two-year ban for CSKA Moscow midfielder Roman Eremenko for a positive test for cocaine.

[ MORE: Morata signs five-year contract at Chelsea ]

CAS says the ban imposed by UEFA was “appropriate” and dismissed the Finland international’s appeal.

[ MORE: Vertonghen says Spurs need to “level up” like rest of PL contenders ]

The ban will expire on Oct. 5, 2018, when Eremenko will be 31.

Eremenko tested positive after playing in a Champions League game for CSKA Moscow against Bayer Leverkusen last September. The 2-2 result was not affected despite Eremenko scoring CSKA’s second goal.

Born in Moscow, Eremenko grew up in Finland and has represented its national team 73 times.

Webb says De Jong would have been sent off with video review

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NEW YORK (AP) Howard Webb says he would have given Dutch midfielder Nigel De Jong a red card in the 2010 World Cup final if a video assistant referee had been in place.

The retired English referee showed De Jong a yellow card in the 28th minute for his karate kick into the chest of Spain’s Xabi Alonso. Hired in March to oversee video technology for professional soccer in the U.S. and Canada, Webb held a media seminar Friday ahead of its Aug. 5 launch in Major League Soccer.

Webb says: “Yes, it was a clear red card. It was a clear and obvious error on my part not to send the player off, and VAR would have been able to recommend a review to me, and I would have been able to make the right call.”

Now 46, Webb was a Premier League referee from 2003-14. He worked the Champions League and World Cup finals in 2010, became director of referees at the Saudi Arabian Football Federation, and started in March as manager of video assistant referee operations for the Professional Referee Organization.

MLS Snapshot: Orlando City 0-1 Atlanta United (video)

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The game in 100 words (or less): Friday night’s effort at Orlando City Stadium wasn’t the prettiest for either side but Atlanta United will gladly take three points from the fixture as the Central Florida venue proved to be a fortress once more. The Lions were far superior in their attacking threats throughout the match, testing USMNT and Atlanta goalkeeper Brad Guzan on multiple occasions. However, it was Hector Villalba that proved to be the difference when he blasted a long-distance effort to beat Joe Bendik in the 86th minute. Atlanta extends its unbeaten streak to four matches with Friday’s decision, keeping Tata Martino’s side in fourth place in the Eastern Conference, while Orlando City moves into fifth.

Three moments that mattered

36′ — Guzan stands tall, denies Rivas — Carlos Rivas thought he scorched this one (and he did…), but Brad Guzan acted like it was nothing as he held his ground to make the stop.

39′ — Spector gets ripped off by Guzan — The U.S. goalkeeper is at it again… What a save!

86′ — Villalba unleashes stunner to propel Atlanta — Sometimes it just takes one good hit as a striker.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: Brad Guzan

Goalscorers: Hector Villalba (86′)

Report: Man City adding Mendy to continue backline restoration

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Fresh off of completing a record deal to help bolster the club’s back line this summer, Manchester City is back at it with the Premier League season looming.

[ MORE: Alvaro Morata signs five-year contract at Chelsea ]

The Citizens are reportedly on the brink of signing Monaco left back Benjamin Mendy to yet another world-record fee — which will total over $67 million.

Confirmation of the deal has yet to be announced by either team, but L’Equipe is reporting that the Citizens are hot on the 23-year-old’s trail in adding to their pricy back four.

Manager Pep Guardiola and Man City have not been shy readjusting their defensive unit over the past year, adding expensive first-team choices John Stones and Kyle Walker.