Adam Lallana to join Liverpool, as Southampton’s exodus continue

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Just as Luke Shaw is completed his $60 million move to Manchester United on Friday, his fellow Southampton and England teammate Adam Lallana is also switching the Saints for one of England’s most famous club.

Lallana is (finally) heading to Liverpool.

The 26-year-old attacker has long been chased by Brendan Rodgers’ side after his stellar 2013-14 campaign which saw him captain Saints to an impressive eighth-place finish in the Premier League. Lallana has been brought up through Saints’ renowned academy system and has been a leading figure in their incredible rise from England’s third-tier to the upper echelons of the PL.

[ RELATED: Southampton’s great fire-sale begins ]

Now his rise is set to continue.

Nine goals and eight assists last season saw Lallana catapult himself into the English national side and he appeared in all of the Three Lions’ games at the 2014 World Cup. However with England failing to advance past the group stage, they team arrived back home earlier this week and Lallana’s move to Liverpool is now close to completion.

His silky skills will suit Liverpool’s attacking style perfectly as Lallana can beat a player on the dribble, bamboozle them and is capable of laying on assists and dictating the tempo of the game. The only area where the Southampton academy product could possibly improve is in front of goal. Lallana scored nine times during the ’13-14 campaign but could have had double that had his composure in front of goal not let him down. That said, with Daniel Sturridge, Luis Suarez, Philippe Coutinho and Raheem Sterling around at Anfield, Lallana will slot in perfectly and has a PL title battle and UEFA Champions League soccer to look forward to next season.

Liverpool are getting one of the most exciting players England has to offer and with Saints going through a transitional period following former manager Mauricio Pochettino’s departure to Tottenham and new boss Ronald Koeman arriving this summer. Now may be the perfect time to move onto pastures new for Lallana.

The transfer fee of over $40 million seems about right and while Saints will recoup most of that, they also have to pay English second-tier side Bournemouth 25 percent of the fee as they inserted that clause into Lallana’s deal when he switched Bournemouth for Southampton at the age of 12.

As for Southampton, they look to have lost their captain and he will link up with fellow teammate Rickie Lambert at Liverpool. In the space of a few weeks the Saints will have raked in over $100 million in transfers fees for three of its best players but new boss Koeman is said to be allowed to spend all of that on new players.

That’s one heck of a transfer kitty for a club that’s trying to break into the top seven of the PL. Let’s see how this goes.

PODCAST: Bob Bradley talks MLS past, USMNT

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Scott Nicholls and Otis Earle welcomed Bob Bradley to their “Beyond The Pitch” podcast to discuss his time coaching the Chicago Fire, the Fire’s current squad, how MLS has evolved, the new generation of players coming into the USMNT and more.

Perhaps most interesting is Bradley talking about previous losses with stinging emotion that sounds like they happened yesterday, including the 2000 MLS Cup.

[ MORE: Latest Men In Blazers pod ]

Since being fired from Swansea City after less than 100 days, Bradley has been linked with the Norway national team gig as well as a return to Los Angeles. Keep up with the U.S. coach here, and check it out:

U.S. Open Cup preview: Which underdog has best odds?

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Every dog has its day, and the three lower-tier clubs remaining in the 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup are hoping for a second.

Miami FC, Sacramento Republic, and FC Cincinnati enjoyed wins over Major League Soccer sides in the fourth round, and now get further MLS tests in this week’s fifth round.

[ MORE: Lampard linked with manager opening ]

Once FC Dallas and Colorado Rapids tangle on Tuesday, attention turns to the underdogs on Wednesday. Who has the best chance to advance?

  1. Miami FC vs. Atlanta United — Playing an MLS expansion side at Riccardo Silva Stadium will give Miami a bit of confidence, and this is also a side with some good experience in pressure spots. Whether it’s manager Alessandro Nesta or MLS vets Michel, Gabriel Farfan, and Michael Lahoud, MFC won’t shy away. Upset chance: Solid.
  2. FC Cincinnati vs. Chicago Fire — The visitors are having a heck of a season in MLS and don’t have a group which will be worried by a huge crowd, but there’s no debating that 25,000-plus in Southern Ohio give FCC more than a puncher’s chance. Upset chance: Improbable, but possible
  3. LA Galaxy vs. Sacramento Republic — If LA puts something close to its best side out there, Sacramento will struggle to stop its attack.  Upset chance: Long shot.

Elsewhere on Wednesday, New England hosts DC United, Philadelphia visits the Red Bulls, Seattle is off to San Jose, and Houston hosts Sporting KC.

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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