West Brom 1-2 Stoke City: Charlie Adam winner gives Stoke best-ever finish (video)

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Charlie Adam produced a goal out of nothing and Stoke City combined a win with a Newcastle loss to jump to ninth place on the final day, marking their best-ever Premier League finish.

The substitute weaved his way through a lackadaisical West Brom defense all by himself and gave Mark Hughes a fitting finish to a surprisingly successful season.

West Brom were incredibly close early on, hitting the bar with a header off a corner in just the second minute.  The ball bounced straight down but goalline technology showed the ball did not fully cross the line.

source:
Stoke finish the season in ninth as the Potters prevailed.

That was all the Baggies would have for a while, as Stoke brought their quality wing play to the Hawthorns and it began to go to work.

The Potters would eventually benefit from putting the touchline under pressure, as Marko Arnautovic powered down the left-hand side and crossed into the box, but his cross never found its mark. Instead, it nicked off Gareth McAuley’s heel and snuck into the bottom corner for an own-goal and Stoke’s lead.

West Brom had a few half chances, but the goal energized the visitors and things looked bleak for the Baggies in their last match of the season.

Stoke finished out the half in comfortable fashion, with the home attack offering little into the box and the visitors enjoying plenty of dangerous possession.

In the second half, things were the same for West Brom, finding themselves helpless in the final third and Stoke looking much more incisive.  Despite this, the Baggies would find an equalizer.

In their first real bit of quality, Graham Dorrans had options and found Craig Dawson, whose cross was passed up by Morgan Amalfitano before Stephane Sessegnon crashed it home.

With the game slowing down as the minutes ticked on, Stoke City searched for their winner and waited until the 86th minute before it came.  Substitute Charlie Adam received a ball from behind the halfway line and worked his way past four sleeping defenders to slot home the winner for Stoke.

LINEUPS:

West Brom – Foster; Dawson (O’Neil 83′), McAuley, Olsson, Brunt; Dorrans, Mulumbu (Vydra 90′), Morrison, Amalfitano (Anichebe 63′), Sessegnon; Berahino.

Goals – Sessegnon 56′

Stoke City – Sorensen; Muniesa, Shawcross, Wilson, Cameron; Arnautovic (Etherington 90′), Whelan, Nzonzi, Odemwingie (Crouch 77′); Ireland, Walters (Adam 81).

Goals – McAuley (og) 22′, Adam 86′

WATCH: Spain’s Saul smashes a shot past Italy’s Donnarumma

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Since returning from a loan at Rayo Vallecano, Saul Niguez has been a somewhat under the radar star at Atletico Madrid.

Coming off his best season with Atleti, the 22-year-old Saul is making an even bigger name for himself at the U-21 EURO this summer.

Spain’s Saul scored a hat trick past Gianluigi Donnarumma and Italy on Tuesday, and the second goal was laced with venom.

Getting onto the ball from 30-plus yards out, Saul smashed his shot with enough power that the ball barely had occasion to rotate.

Saul is under contract at the Vicente Calderon through 2022, and has three caps for Spain’s senior team, too. He was rated Atleti’s third-best performer by WhoScored this season.

Men in Blazers podcast: Transfer window, USMNT at Gold Cup, RBNY-NYCFC

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Men In Blazers are back with their latest podcast, and the boys are hitting club soccer here and abroad as well as Bruce Arena’s men in the red, white, and blue.

Rog and Davo break down transfer window activity, rumored and real; get a heat check on the USMNT heading into the Gold Cup; and recap the (Ray) Hudson River Derby.

All of the MiB content — pods, videos and stories can be seen here, but to really stay in touch, follow, subscribe, click here:

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Agent Jorge Mendes appears before judge in Falcao tax probe

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MADRID (AP) Football agent Jorge Mendes has told a Spanish judge that he had no involvement in the financial planning of client Radamel Falcao, who has been accused by a state prosecutor of tax fraud.

Mendes, who is not accused of any wrongdoing, appeared before a judge in a Madrid court for 45 minutes on Tuesday as part of the probe into whether there are grounds for the case against Falcao to go to trial.

[ MORE: Lampard linked with manager opening ]

Mendes’ agency, Gestifute, released a statement saying that “neither he nor his employees have ever intervened in the creation of corporate structures for his clients and much less provided any tax advice to them.”

Last month, a state prosecutor accused Falcao of defrauding Spain’s Tax Office of around $6 million from 2012-13. The alleged unpaid taxes were from money the Colombian player made from endorsement deals through image rights, not from the salary he was then being paid from club Atletico Madrid. Falcao now plays for Monaco.

Arfield, Adekugbe on Canada’s Gold Cup roster

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Burnley midfielder Scott Arfield and on-loan Brighton defender Samuel Adekugbe are among the players who will represent Canada in this summer’s Gold Cup.

Arfield, 28, was born in Scotland and earned the first of seven Canada caps in 2016, and Adekugbe returns to Vancouver from a year-long loan to Brighton and Hove Albion on June 30.

The pair join nine MLS players, two NASL player, and a USL player, with the rest of the group based outside North America.

[ MORE: Lampard linked with manager opening ]

Notably, Orlando City players Will Johnson and Cyle Larin were not called up by coach Octavio Zambrano.

Goalkeepers: Maxime Crepeau (Montreal), Milan Borjan (MKS Korona Kielce), Jayson Leutwiler (Shrewsbury Town)

Defenders: Samuel Adekugbe (Brighton and Hove Albion), Fraser Aird, Manjrekar James (Vasas Budapest), Dejan Jakovic (New York Cosmos), Adam Straith (FC Edmonton), Steven Vitoria (Lechia Gdansk), Marcel de Jong (Vancouver Whitecaps)

Midfielders: Scott Arfield (Burnley), Patrice Bernier (Montreal), Alphonso Davies (Vancouver), Raheem Edwards (Toronto FC), Junior Hoilett (Cardiff City), Mark-Anthony Kaye (Louisville City FC), Anthony Jackson-Hamel (Montreal), Jonathan Osorio (Toronto), Michael Petrasso (QPR), Samuel Piette (CD Izarra), Russell Teibert (Vancouver)

Forwards: Lucas Cavallini (CA Penarol), Tosaint Ricketts (Toronto)