Luis Suarez is the best in the world, says Steven Gerrard

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Steven Gerrard has confirmed what many soccer fans have been saying for some time now – that right now, Luis Suarez is the best player in the world.

“On current form he’s the best player in the world,” Gerrard told Sky Sports television.

“Lionel Messi’s out injured and Cristiano Ronaldo’s had a bit of an injury of late,” the Liverpool captain said. “He (Suarez) is certainly the best striker out there. He’s proving that with his minutes-to-goals ratio.”

No disagreeing with Gerrard on this one. Luis Suarez is an absolute phenomenon.

Liverpool are a quality side with a savvy manager but without Luis Suarez there’s zero chance the Reds would be in first place. Top 4, yes. But top of the table? No way.

The fact that blows me away is Suarez’ goals per game average and how that could transpire over the course of the season. In 12 appearances he’s notched 19 goals, a rate of 1.583 goals per game.

If calculated over the remaining 21 games of the 2013-14 season that means the Uruguayan is projected to score 52 goals this year. Fifty-freaking-two! That’s bananas.

The scoring record in the Premier League can be looked at in two ways: Under the 42 game season that the Premier League utilized during its first three seasons (1992-93, 1993-94 and 1994-95) the record is 34 goals scored, shared by Andy Cole (1993-94) and Alan Shearer (1994-94). In the modern day 38 game season the record is 31 goals, held by Shearer (1995-96) and Cristiano Ronaldo (2007-08).

Either way, Suarez is on pace to absolutely slaughter those records. In fact, at his current pace he could set the modern day record by the February 8th home clash against Arsenal.

Imagine that? Crowning a new scoring record holder with 13 matches left in the season – and doing it against the club that tried to buy him last summer?

Whether Suarez sets the record in February, March or April makes little difference. Assuming things like form, injuries and suspensions continue to go in Suarez’ favor, that record is going to fall in a big way.

Gerrard is a truthspeaker.

Luis Suarez, best player in the world.

Another American heads to Schalke: Zyen Jones

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Schalkamerica?

Bundesliga mainstays Schalke have added yet another American, this one 17-year-old Zyen Jones of Atlanta United. Jones is a forward with the U.S. U-17 national team.

Like Josh Sargent, who signed his deal with Werder Bremen on Tuesday, he’ll head overseas and sign a pro contract on Aug. 25, his 18th birthday.

[ MORE: Chelsea-Barca recap | JPW’s 3 things ]

Jones will join several potential USMNT teammates in Gelsenkirchen, including injured senior team midfielder Weston McKennie and youngster Nick Taitague (19). Forward Haji Wright is on loan at Sandhausen.

Report: Simon Dawkins making move to Minnesota

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The Loons are taking a flier on Simon Dawkins.

The London-born Jamaican international hasn’t done a ton since returning to MLS from Derby County, and turned 30 over the offseason, and Paul Tenorio says the player is on his way to Minnesota United.

[ MORE: Chelsea-Barca recap | JPW’s 3 things ]

Dawkins scored 14 goals between 2011-12 with San Jose, but scored just five times in his return to California and was blanked in 14 appearances last season. He registered just 10 shots in those matches.

The left winger would join an attack with Christian Ramirez, Kevin Molino, Ethan Finlay, and a pair of Generations Adidas forwards: Abu Danladi (2017 SuperDraft) and Mason Toye (2018).

Champions League Weds. preview: Sevilla-Man Utd, Shakhtar-Roma

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Jose Mourinho says Manchester United is one round away from having legitimate hopes of winning the UEFA Champions League.

[ MORE: Chelsea-Barca recap | JPW’s 3 things ]

That makes the Round of 16 tie against Sevilla — beginning Wednesday in Spain — a bit of a dream qualifier for the Red Devils.

“I normally say that Champions League dreams start around the quarter-finals and not yet in the last 16,” Mourinho said on ManUtd.com. “Last 16 still looks a long way to go. When a team reaches the quarter-finals, I think it’s the moment where even the teams that are not favourites – which is our case – they start realising that anything is possible.

The injury-hit side got a bit of a boost on Tuesday in Sevilla, where Paul Pogba, Antonio Valencia, Marcus Rashford and Ander Herrera all trained ahead of the first leg.

As for the hosts, manager Vincenzo Montella admitted that he hopes Pogba won’t play, and joked that he’d prefer to tie up and “padlock” Alexis Sanchez in a bid to defend against the Chilean star.

The final Round of 16 tie to start will be Roma’s pairing with Shakhtar Donetsk, with the first leg taking place in Ukraine.

Shakhtar hasn’t played in some time, but the great equalizer is the bitter cold at Donbass Arena, where the temperature is set to be between 21 and 28 degrees Fahrenheit come kickoff.

Don’t worry, Roma fans, Daniele De Rossi is busy breathing fire into any teammates angling for excuses:

“The cold weather could affect things a little because we’re not used to it but at the end of the day it comes down to how well you perform out there. We must be mentally ready from the get-go because the cold might hit us in the opening minutes.

“If it was that much of a factor, these teams would win the Champions League every year. You don’t go through because of the weather.”

Villarreal opens probe into Semedo’s reported arrest

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MADRID (AP) Spanish club Villarreal says it is investigating the actions of defender Ruben Semedo after reports that he was arrested for a violent incident.

The club said it is “highly concerned” about the issue and “will take the appropriate disciplinary actions with utmost rigor based on the seriousness of the events.”

[ MORE: Chelsea-Barca recap | JPW’s 3 things ]

The statement was released after Spanish media reported that the Portuguese player was taken into custody early Tuesday for allegedly being involved in a hostile confrontation with another man last week.

Police did not immediately confirm Semedo’s arrest.