Tottenham Hotspur v West Ham United - Premier League

Report: West Ham are prepared to sell Ravel Morrison to raise money for January purchases

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Between his age, skill, and performance this season, some would see Ravel Morrison as the most valuable player in West Ham’s squad. That, along with the club’s depth in the middle, may be why the up-and-coming midfielder could be sold in January.

According to the Telegraph, West Ham would like to make four purchases during the upcoming transfer window. Although manager Sam Allardyce has been told he will have money to buy regardless of what happens to Morrison, the England U-21 international could still be moved next month, with that money going to make improvements in West Ham’s 19th place squad.

Midfield is one place West Ham has depth, making Morrison expendable. While he has more potential than the likes of Kevin Nolan, Mohamed Diamé, and Mark Noble, he also has a much higher market value. Having cost the Hammers just over $1.7 million so far (the payments to Manchester United increasing with each appearance), the 20-year-old’s sale could allow West Ham to realize a significant profit.

In 15 games this season (12 starts), Morrison has scored three times and collecting two assists while on an inexpensive $1.23 million per season deal. According to the Telegraph, however, a rare contract clause would see that salary would automatically quadruple should another club table a $16.5 million transfer bid for him. Morrison’s contract also contains a release clause just south of $30 million.

Given the talent Morrison has put on display this year for England’s U-21s, West Ham shouldn’t have trouble finding a buyer for their young midfielder, particularly given his current salary is very low. Whether they make enough to serve their other purposes is another matter, but with names Johnny Heitinga, Nikica Jelavic, and Demba Ba linked in the Telegraph’s reporting, making $10 million on Morrison could allow West Ham to swap depth for some much-needed help.

MLS Snapshot: Orlando City SC 2-1 Montreal Impact

Cyle Larin, Orlando City SC

The game in 100 words (or less): For weeks, it was a widely held belief that the Montreal Impact would snatch up the sixth and final playoff place in the Eastern Conference with little or no resistance from their opposition. As they went six games unbeaten (four wins), all looked to be setting up perfect for the club that fired Frank Klopas midseason, but there was another team in the race for sixth that kept winning themselves: Orlando City SC. On Saturday night, Montreal and Orlando City faced off at the Citrus, with the expansion Lions claiming their fourth-straight victory with a 2-1 triumph. Montreal now holds a one-point lead on Orlando in the race for sixth, and have two games in hand, but it’s no longer a foregone conclusion L’Impact will qualify for the playoffs no resistance whatsoever.

[ MORE: | Week 30 TOTW | POTW ]

Three moments that mattered

33′ — Bush’s mistake gifts Larin the opening goal — Larin did what your taught to do as a striker — “put it on frame, test the goalkeeper” — but in no universe does a shot so feeble have any business finding the back of the net. Evan Bush has been great this year. Hopefully (for Montreal’s sake), this howler doesn’t turn into the yips with the playoffs looming.

43′ — Hall’s “mistake” gifts Oduro an equalizer — Dominic Oduro equalized in the 43rd minute, when he took the ball out of the hands of Tally Hall and smashed it into the back of the net, but the goal should have been disallowed due to Hall having full control of the ball.

80′ — Hines hits the winner for Orlando — Seb Hines put the ball back into the mixer and just so happened to find the back of the net in the 80th minute. Sometimes that’s all it takes.

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

Man of the match: Seb Hines

Goalscorers: Larin (33′), Oduro (43′), Hines (80′)

MLS Snapshot: NY Red Bulls 2-1 Columbus Crew SC

Bradley Wright-Phillips, New York Red Bulls
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The game in 100 words (or less): Two weeks in a row Columbus Crew SC have had a chance to go top of the Eastern Conference with a victory, and two weeks in a row Crew SC have failed to take a single point from massively important fixtures. Their latest defeat, a 2-1 humbling at the hands of the East-leading New York Red Bulls, started so well for Gregg Berhalter’s side, but was undone by a pair of costly, comedic defensive errors that allowed Lloyd Sam and Bradley Wright-Phillips (15th of the season) to erase an early deficit (Justin Meram) and win all three points. The result not only keeps the Red Bulls top of the East, but gives them a three- and four-point cushion with three and two games in hand on their nearest competitors., D.C. United and New England Revoltion respectively. For Crew SC, they’re four points back of the Red Bulls in fourth place, one point ahead of fifth-place Toronto FC, who have a game in hand.

[ MORE: | Week 30 TOTW | POTW ]

Three moments that mattered

9′ — Meram pokes it past Robles for an early lead — Meram “earned” his goal all the way back in midfield, when the Iraqi international’s mazy run took a routine turnover inside Crew SC’s defensive half and turned it into a dangerous counter-attacking opportunity. Harrison Afful overlapped and provided the cross for Meram to send home.

12′ — Sam capitalizes on multiple mistakes to equalize — Crew SC pass the ball out of the back. They don’t boot it forward to clear. It’s just what they do. Sometimes, that’ll bite you. When your goalkeeper and right back both have blunders clearing the ball 10 seconds apart, you probably deserve to concede an ugly, scrappy goal.

21′ — Wright-Phillips capitalizes on more defensive gaffes — See the above description for Red Bulls goal no. 1.

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

Man of the match: Damien Perrinelle

Goalscorers: Meram (9′), Sam (12′), Wright-Phillips (21′)