Saints' talented crop of youngsters are impressing at St. Mary's

No Southampton ‘fire-sale’ as Saints intend to build on talented young squad

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Every single morning for the last few months, gossip columns around the world have been speculating a mammoth exodus from Southampton Football Club.

On Friday the Premier League side finally spoke out about the transfer rumblings, as Southampton’s Chief Executive Les Reed addressed rumors about the future of Saints’ manager Mauricio Pochettino and many of their stars players, including the likes of England internationals Adam Lallana, Jay Rodriguez and Luke Shaw.

“Reports that some of our players are negotiating transfers are misinformed,” Reed said. “As we stand, there have been no inquiries or offers for any of our players. That is the truth. There is not going to be a fire-sale, we want to keep all of our best players at the club and build for the future.”

That is superb news for Southampton fans, as their team currently sit in eighth spot with three games to go in the season and are close to capturing their record points tally in the Premier League era. Reed also admitted the South Coast club aren’t just content to stay where they are after a rapid ascent from English third-tier to the top 10 of the PL.

Plans are already in place to add to their talented squad, as Saints aim to keep improving under the hugely influential Pochettino.

“No club has been given permission to talk to any of our players,” Reed added. “We have had a great season and we want to improve on it. We want retain the players we’ve got. They are all contracted and we intend to honor those contracts. Any inquiries we get will probably be met with a ‘no, not for sale’. Our intention is to keep this very good team together and build on it by bringing in players to improve on that. We have our targets and these are things we talk about on a daily basis.”

In the past Southampton have had to sell their best players, see Gareth Bale, Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, due to financial reasons but now they are bankrolled by the Swiss Billionaire Liebherr family who are happy to pump money into the club as they continue to churn out exceptional English talent and become one of the most attractive sides to watch in the PL.

The future is bright for the red and white’s.

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′)