Good for you, Liverpool: Suarez fee straight-up silly

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This morning on Twitter, I watched as some respected soccer minds/friends/Liverpool supporters worried regarding Luis Suarez’s departure to Barcelona.

Surely it’s understandable when a superstar skips town, especially when he scored 31 goals the previous season. And in a “glass half-empty” world, it’s easy to grasp concerns that the Reds will flunk the test of spending the $128 million coming from Suarez’s sale (just ask Spurs fans).

So allow me to put these thoughts out there for Liverpool fans this morning: your club just did you very, very well.

First off, that $128 million is going to come in mighty handy for a striker or two to use in, I don’t know, August, September and October. Those are months that Suarez would not have been available due to his suspension for biting a player for the third time in his career.

[ MORE: Liverpool, Suarez confirm striker is leaving Anfield for Barcelona ]

[ MORE: Where does the crazy $128 million Suarez transfer fee rank all-time? ]

That money should also be useful to pick up some defenders for Europe, as Liverpool allowed a relatively-high amount of goals last year. The figure is 50, and it’s nine more than anyone else in the Top Five.

Perhaps that’s the main reason the Reds went 2-4 against the other members of the Top Four last season, being outscored 8-2 in those losses. Suarez played in each of those losses, by the way, scoring no goals and adding a whopping zero assists. In those two wins, though, 5-1 over Arsenal and 3-2 over City, he had no goals and two assists. So he was better.

Your team scored 101 goals last year, one behind Manchester City and 30 goals ahead of third-place Chelsea. Those will still come, especially with the addition of Adam Lallana from the FA’s Team of the Year. He’s pretty valuable insurance in case 34-year-old Steven Gerrard becomes 34-year-old Steven Gerrard.

And even if the Reds count their three transfer purchases as a part of the making up for Suarez, they’re playing with 36 million pounds through August just to meet the cost of a striker who wouldn’t have played in the first three UEFA Champions League group stage matches in addition to the eight Premier League and two League Cup matchups.

He’s also 28 in January, two months after his suspension ends. Plus, there’s a certain amount of value in knowing you won’t be held hostage by whatever nefarious act he cooks up next.

IN (Cost: 39 million pounds): Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert, Emre Can

OUT (Fee: 75 million pounds): Luis Suarez

So if Liverpool had to pay 20 million pounds for Wilfried Bony from Swansea, they could still drop 16 on a pair of defenders. And that’s before they spend anything outside of the Suarez money.

Know what happened the year after Manchester United sold Cristiano Ronaldo for crazy dough? They scored 18 more goals despite “replacing” him with Antonio Valencia, Michael Owen and Gabriel Obertan. Admittedly, they finished with five less points and dropped to No. 2 in the league.

Please stop the dour and defeatist talk that make the grumpiest Buffalo Bills fans look like the “Shiny Happy People” video. It’s going to be fine. And if it isn’t, it won’t be because you sold Suarez.

Lippi leads China over SKorea 1-0 in World Cup qualifier

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SEOUL, South Korea (AP) Marcello Lippi earned his biggest victory since taking over as coach of China’s national soccer team, leading his squad to a 1-0 victory over South Korea on Thursday in a World Cup qualifier.

[ MORE: Shorthanded USMNT hosts Honduras as WCQ resumes ]

The coach, who led his native Italy to the World Cup title in 2006, was hired by China in October.

Yu Dabao scored the lone goal at Helong Stadium in Changsha with a header in the 34th minute, giving China only its second victory over South Korea in 32 matches.

China spent much of the second half defending with the visitors piling on the pressure. Ki Seung-yeung and Ji Dong-won both went close for South Korea but could not find a way past China goalkeeper Zeng Cheng.

South Korea has 10 points from six matches in Group A and is still on course to qualify for the World Cup in Russia. China, which last qualified for the World Cup in 2002, has five points.

Only the top two teams from the six-nation group qualify automatically. The third-place team will head to the playoffs.

CONMEBOL wrap: Brazil routs Uruguay, Messi guides Argentina past Chile

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A roundup of Thursday’s action from around CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying…

[ MORE: USMNT looks to build momentum against Honduras in WCQ ]

Paulinho‘s hat-trick helped bring Brazil back from an early deficit as the Selecao topped Uruguay, 4-1. Edinson Cavani put the hosts ahead after nine minutes from the penalty spot, but it was Paulinho that answered 10 minutes later for his first of the night. Neymar also tallied for the Brazilians, who continue to lead CONMEBOL qualifying with 30 points.

Lionel Messi scored in the first half to help lift Argentina over Chile, 1-0. The Barcelona attacker scored after 16 minutes when Angel di Maria was taken down inside the Chilean area by José Fuenzalida. Chile was held to just one shot on target throughout, and the loss leaves the reigning Copa America winners on the outside looking in at the top five.

James Rodriguez rescued Colombia on Thursday as the Real Madrid winger capitalized off of his penalty-kick rebound to give Los Cafeteros a 1-0 win over Bolivia. Goalkeeper Carlos Lampe did his best to preserve a draw for the visitors, recording six saves on the afternoon, however, it wasn’t enough to tame Colombia.

Meanwhile, Paraguay knocked off Ecuador, 2-1, behind goals from Bruno Valdez and Junior Alonso. The visitors pulled a goal back in the 70th minute when Felipe Caicedo converted from the penalty spot, but it wasn’t enough for Ecuador.

Peru battled back with two second-half goals to preserve a 2-2 draw against Venezuela on the road. The hosts got out to a 2-0 advantage before halftime when Mikel Villanueva and Romulu Otero scored for Venezuela, however, the Peruvians struck back in the second stanza to knick a point. Andre Carrillo and Paolo Guerrero scored in the 46th and 64th minutes, respectively, for Peru.


Thursday’s results

Colombia 1-0 Bolivia
Paraguay 2-1 Ecuador
Uruguay 1-4 Brazil
Argentina 1-0 Chile
Venezuela 2-2 Peru


Updated CONMEBOL table

  1. Brazil — 9-3-1 — 30 pts.
  2. Uruguay — 7-2-4 — 23 pts.
  3. Argentina — 6-4-3 — 22 pts.
  4. Colombia — 6-3-4 — 21 pts.
  5. Ecuador — 6-2-4 — 20 pts.
  6. Chile — 6-2-5 — 20 pts.
  7. Paraguay — 5-3-5 — 18 pts.
  8. Peru — 4-3-6 — 15 pts.
  9. Bolivia — 2-1-9 — 7 pts.
  10. Venezuela — 1-3-9 — 6 pts.

Ex-Disney CEO Eisner eyes English soccer club Portsmouth

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PORTSMOUTH, England (AP) Michael Eisner, the former chief executive of The Walt Disney Co., is in talks to buy English soccer club Portsmouth.

The fourth-tier club says it has entered into a 70-day exclusivity agreement with Eisner for takeover talks to take place.

Eisner wrote on Twitter: “Exciting times! Looking forward to coming over and meeting you all. Good luck against Newport County on Saturday!!”

Portsmouth, which is based on the south coast, spent beyond its means in the pursuit of glory. The team endured financial turmoil in the years following its 2008 FA Cup win, sinking from the Premier League to the fourth tier.

After entering bankruptcy protection, Portsmouth was rescued by the fans through a trust in 2013.

CONCACAF: USMNT, Trinidad & Tobago seek first points of Hexagonal

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Through two rounds of play in the Hexagonal, everything has gone according to plan for Mexico and Costa Rica.

Not so much though for the U.S. Men’s National Team.

[ MORE: Shorthanded USMNT hosts Honduras as WCQ resumes ]

While Los Ticos and El Tri currently sit in the top two positions of the final round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying, the U.S. is left at the bottom and faces a difficult match against Honduras when play resumes on Friday night.

[ MORE: Five questions for USMNT ahead of Honduras match ]

Mexico and Costa Rica will face off at the Estadio Azteca in the second of Friday’s three slated qualifiers, and while both nations surely expect to reach the World Cup in Russia, both CONCACAF heavyweights have the opportunity to put their stamp on the group.

For Costa Rica, a victory could potentially open up a five-point gap over El Tri, while a win for Mexico would bring Juan Carlos Osorio’s side the opportunity leap over their Central American foes.

Friday’s action will kick off at 7 p.m. though when third place Panama travels to Trinidad & Tobago, who seeks its first points of the Hex. Trinidad will be led by captain Kenwyne Jones of Atlanta United as well as Minnesota United midfielder Kevin Molino, with the duo scoring a combined 39 international goals for the Soca Warriors.

Below is the schedule and current table ahead of Friday’s CONCACAF matches as the region turns its attention to Matchday 3 of the Hexagonal.


Trinidad & Tobago vs. Panama — 7 p.m. ET

Mexico vs. Costa Rica — 9:50 p.m. ET

USMNT vs. Honduras — 10:30 p.m. ET (PREVIEW)


1. Costa Rica — 2-0-0 — 6 pts.
2. Mexico — 1-1-0 — 4 pts.
3. Panama — 1-1-0 — 4 pts.
4. Honduras — 1-0-1 — 3 pts.
5. Trinidad & Tobago — 0-0-2 — 0 pts.
6. USMNT — 0-0-2 — 0 pts.