Can Luis Suarez slay City on Boxing Day?

Why Liverpool must splash the cash to replace Luis Suarez

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Over the weekend Liverpool agreed a $13 million fee with Queens Park Rangers for French forward Loic Remy.

Brendan Rodgers is continuing to spend the $128 million Liverpool received for star man Luis Suarez earlier this week, as the Reds try to prove there is life after Luiz. Frugal spending won’t get them there, though.

[RELATED: Liverpool tried everything to keep Suarez]

Yes, Rodgers and Liverpool have plucked some gems out of the transfer market in the past, players like Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho prove that, however,with Suarez gone and Liverpool trying to replace not only his 31 Premier League goals but his influence in each and every game, they can’t do this on the cheap.

Remy is a fine player who scored 14 goals at Newcastle United last season. If he completes his move, he will join veteran Rickie Lambert who bagged 14 goals for Southampton last season as Liverpool’s two new strikers alongside Sturridge. With midfielders Adam Lallana, Emre Can and Lazar Markovic also signing on this summer, the Reds are certainly bolstering their squad ahead of the new season which will see them take in at least four competitions. There have been no defensive additions, which Rodgers should probably address, but going forward is the main focus right now.

When you look down that list of new additions: Remy, Lambert, Can, Markovic, Lallana… do any of them replace Suarez? It’s hard to see any of those mentioned making the same impact Suarez did at Anfield.

Rodgers probably doesn’t expect them to. Suarez is a one of a kind, that’s why Barcelona paid $128 million for him. Replacing him with a top-notch striker is what they need to do. Markovic, 20, is young and raw. Lallana and Lambert both shone for Southampton but have no experience of challenging for trophies. Can is unproven in England and Remy is a very good striker, but is he ‘Suarez class’? Definitely not.

With Arsenal snapping up Alexis Sanchez, who would have been a perfect fit to replace Suarez, Liverpool must aim for somebody of that caliber to come in and replicate Suarez’s success. Whether it is splashing some serious cash to bring in Marco Reus, Angel di Maria or any other attackers out there who may leave top European teams, they need to do it. The impact of losing Suarez over the summer should not be underestimated. Last summer we saw Tottenham cash in on Gareth Bale and then sign eight or nine very good players, but no ‘greats.’ Rodgers should not make the same mistake and sign quantity over quality. He is bolstering his squad for a Champions League campaign, but what if Sturridge gets injured? Where will Liverpool’s goals come from. Their total team play dazzled everyone last season, but Suarez was the key ingredient and now he’s gone.

Liverpool needs to act fast and spend big to retain their place amongst the PL title contenders.

USC wins NCAA women’s soccer national championship

Southern California's Morgan Andrews celebrates after scoring a goal against West Virginia during the first half in the NCAA Women's College Cup soccer final, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016 in San Jose, Calif. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)
AP Photo/Tony Avelar
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SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) Katie Johnson broke a tie in the 75th minute and Southern California won the NCAA women’s soccer title Sunday, beating top-ranked West Virginia 3-1 at Avaya Stadium on Sunday.

The second-seeded Trojans (19-4-2) also won the College Cup in 2007.

The Mountaineers (23-2-2) lost for the first time since a 1-0 setback to Georgetown on Sept. 18. West Virginia had a 17-game unbeaten streak snapped, and allowed three goals for the first all season.

Johnson, who also had the winning goal in USC’s 1-0 semifinal victory over Georgetown on Friday, was wide open in front of the net when Leah Pruitt took a pass up the left sideline, beat defender Easther Mayi Kith, and delivered a perfect cross. Johnson simply rolled the ball into the goal to the right of goalkeeper Rylee Foster.

Johnson scored again off an assist from Nicole Molen in the 87th minute.

The Trojans got on the board just 1:22 into play after Julia Bingham directed a corner kick to the top of the penalty box, where Savannah Levin headed the ball forward to Morgan Andrews, whose header from 5 yards eluded Foster.

West Virginia’s Ashley Lawrence, a member of the 2016 Canadian Olympic team, tied it in the 66th minute when she ripped a shot from the top left corner of the penalty box just inside the near post.

After USC took the 2-1 lead, the Mountaineers nearly drew even in the 81st minute on a shot by Heather Kaleiohi that was stopped on a diving save by goalkeeper Sammy Prudhomme.

The Mountaineers outshot USC 21-8 and held a 9-1 edge in corner kicks.

The Trojans joined North Carolina (21 titles), Notre Dame (3) and Portland (3) as the only multiple winners of the College Cup.

USC won its 126th national team title on the same day its men’s water polo team lost 10-8 to Cal in the NCAA final just 45 miles away in Berkeley.

West Virginia, in its first College Cup final, was hoping to claim its first NCAA title in any sport besides its co-ed rifle team, which has won 18 national titles.

VIDEO: 70-yard volley from Chile is nearly impossible to believe

Alejandro Camargo, Universidad de Concepcion
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His name is Alejandro Camargo, and he scored what might just go down as the best goal of 2016 on Sunday: an impossibly perfect volley from well beyond the halfway line.

[ MORE: PL roundup — Chelsea top Man City; Arsenal, Spurs win big ]

Miguel Pinto is the opposing goalkeeper whose long-range clearance, which covered about 50 yards during the final seconds of Universidad de Concepcion’s clash with O’Higgins in the Chilean first division, was taken off the fly, first-time, by the Argentine midfielder to seal a 3-1 victory for the home side.

[ MORE: Serie A roundup — Roma, AC Milan win, still tied for 2nd ]

“The coach told us Pinto was always playing in advance of his goal, so I closed my eyes and hit it,” Camargo said after the game.

“Hit it and hope” has never looked so good.

Roma fans stay away from derby to protest new security barriers

A view of a huge section of empty seats as Roma fans desert derby in protest over security barriers, during a Serie A soccer match between Lazio and Roma, at the Rome Olympic stadium Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia
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ROME (AP) Roma’s most ardent supporters stayed away from the derby match against Lazio in protest at barriers introduced at the start of last season in their area.

Normally filled with supporters waving huge banners, lighting flares and singing, half of the “curva sud” — southern end — of the Stadio Olimpico was left empty for Sunday’s match.

[ MORE: Serie A roundup — Roma, AC Milan win, still tied for 2nd ]

Three of Roma’s locally born standouts held a meeting with the “ultra” fans during the week. Captain Francesco Totti, Daniele De Rossi and Alessandro Florenzi asked the supporters to return, and the club itself has also tried to resolve the matter.

But the appeals had no effect.

In contrast, Lazio fans filled the northern end of the stadium as usual.

The plexiglass barriers were put in place by city officials for security reasons.

VIDEO: “Behind The Badge: Watford FC” — Episode 2

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In Episode 2 of Behind the Badge: Watford FC, watch the players’ recovery after a win against Leicester, a look at the club’s one-of-a-kind internship program and a flashback to a memorable moment in Watford’s history.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

To watch past episodes of Behind The Badge, including last season’s edition featuring a look inside Crystal Palace, head over to the full archive by clicking here.

[ MORE: PL roundup — Chelsea top Man City; Arsenal, Spurs win big ]

First episode: Watch full episode, here
Second episode: Above video
Third episode: Sunday, Dec. 11, 2 p.m. ET – NBCSN
Fourth episode: Sunday, Dec. 18, 2 p.m. ET – NBCSN