Southampton seal $17 million deal for Serbian star Dusan Tadic

Leave a comment

The exodus has finally stopped at St. Mary’s Stadium. Now the influx can begin.

Southampton’s new manager Ronald Koeman has signed his first player as Saints boss, as 25-year-old Serbian playmaker Dusan Tadic has arrived for a reported $17 million from FC Twente.

Tadic has dazzled as a playmaker in the Dutch top flight over the past few seasons and last year he led the Eredivisie assist table with 14 and his 16 goals made him the fourth-highest scorer in the division. Watch the below from his old club FC Twente to get a flavor of what Tadic is all about.

If Saints were looking for the perfect replacement for recently departed captain Adam Lallana, they have their man in Tadic. Coupled with the departure of Lallana to Liverpool, the team who finished eighth last season in the PL also lost Rickie Lambert to Liverpool and Luke Shaw to Manchester United this summer.

At last, there’s some good news for Saints fans.

The Serbian international has 25 caps for his country and has played in the Dutch leagues since 2010. Tadic is a pure playmaker and created more chances, plus played more key passes than any other player in the Dutch top-flight during the 2013-14 season.

Speaking of his move to the Premier League to Saints’ website, Tadic was delighted to join a club that he felt shares his own attacking philosophy.

“I watched a lot of the games last season and saw that the Club plays really nice football which will suit me because I like to play in the same way,” Tadic said. ” The manager obviously knows me from the Dutch league so when he called me and told me his plan it was an easy decision to make.”

Koeman shared his delight in capturing Tadic’s signature, as clubs such as Everton were reportedly interested in the attacker. The Dutch legend in charge of Saints also pointed towards more players arriving at St. Mary’s in the coming weeks to replace those lost. Feyenoord striker Graziano Pelle is expected to sign for Saints in the coming days as Koeman looks to his homeland to recruit new players.

“It was very important to get this signing done – not only for me, but for the rest of the squad and for our fans,” Koeman said. “It’s fantastic news. We’ve lost some good players but we want to continue the ambition and philosophy of the club, so it’s a great signal to have brought in our first player. He’s a great player. I know him very well from Holland, where he had a great season last year. We now look forward to bringing in more players because we want to continue and maybe even better what Southampton did last season.”

CCL: Toronto wins; Wild Herediano comeback

AP Photo/David Zalubowski
Leave a comment

On a single-digit Tuesday that severely limited the attendance at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, where the Colorado Rapids and Toronto FC dueled in the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals.

Jonathan Osorio’s second half goal put the Reds in front and Sebastian Giovinco had a goal and an assist and the visitors take a 2-0 decision back to Ontario.

The best chance of a preseason quality first half saw Dominique Badji flub the best chance of the stage into the feet of Alex Bono.

Toronto took the lead, nabbing the away goal through Osorio’s header of a Sebastian Giovinco cross. And the Atomic Ant got on the board with a goal of his own off an Auro assist with 17 minutes to play.

[ MORE: Georgia teen heading to Schalke ]

Tuesday’s other first leg saw Herediano and Tigres play to a 2-2 draw in Costa Rica, with the Liga MX visitors taking a pair of away goals but shocked by a pair of stoppage time concessions.

Francisco Meza scored in the 15th minute and Lucas Zelarayan seemingly put it to bed with 15 minutes to play.

But Yendrick Ruiz converted a 90th minute penalty kick before ex-DC United forward Jairo Arrieta did this ahead of the Feb. 22 second leg in Mexico.

Another American heads to Schalke: Zyen Jones

@KingZyen
Leave a comment

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

Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images
Leave a comment

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

Martin Rickett/PA via AP
Leave a comment

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.”