Barcelona's Song heads the ball during a training session at Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper in Sant Joan Despi

Thursday’s Transfer Rumor Roundup: Song to Liverpool, Abel Hernandez to Hull

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Hull City are set to splash the cash they received for Shane Long, as the Tigers are lining up Uruguayan international Abel Hernandez. The Palermo striker,  24, would be a club record signing for last seasons FA Cup runners up and would be a massive buy for Steve Bruce’s side. Speaking to reporters, Bruce confirmed the deal is close and Hernandez has already been seen at Hull’s training ground. With only Yannick Sagbo and Nikica Jelavic as recognized strikers at the KC Stadium, they need new additions for a potential Europa League push.

[RELATED: Welbeck to Spurs?]

According to the Daily Mail Sunderland are close to signing Inter Milan winger Ricky Alvarez on a season-long loan. The Argentina international will move to the Stadium of Light on a temporary basis and Gus Poyet’s side will then have the option of signing him permanently at the end of the season for $14 million. Alvarez, 26, is 6 foot 2 and will provide a touch of class on the flank for the Black Cats, he went to the World Cup with Argentina this summer and his signing would be somewhat of a coup for Sunderland.

Crystal Palace are closing in on re-signing winger Wilfried Zaha from Manchester United. Palace sold Zaha to United last season for $22 million but the England winger has failed to break through at Old Trafford and was loaned out to Cardiff City last season. It is believed that new Palace boss Neil Warnock has already spoken to Zaha about bringing him back to Selhurst Park on loan.

[RELATED: Hernandez to Juve, Valencia]

Reports in England are linking Liverpool with signing FC Barcelona midfielder Alex Song. The former Arsenal player has been linked with Tottenham this week and is said to be out of Luis Enrique’s plans at the Nou Camp. Song, 26, is a holding midfielder and even though it seems like Liverpool are well stocked in that area with the likes of Jordan Henderson, Steven Gerrard and Lucas Leiva, Welshman Joe Allen has been linked with a move away from Anfield so Song could arrive on loan from Barca to fill that void.

Finally, Lewis Holtby could be on his way out of Tottenham after failing to break into Mauricio Pochettino’s plans. Holtby, 23, could be heading back to the Bundesliga as the German international seeks first-team soccer. Hamburg are said to be keen on taking the attacking midfielder on loan, while Holtby just wants to play. The London Evening Standard believe a deal is close.


Don’t forget to tune in to the “Transfer Deadline Day Show” on NBCSN (Monday, 6-8 p.m. ET).

MLS Cup Playoffs: Toronto FC 3-1 Philadelphia Union (video)

Sebastian Giovinco, Toronto FC
Chris Young/The Associated Press via AP
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The game in 100 words (or less): 10 years later, Toronto FC are MLS Cup Playoffs victors. For eight seasons, the playoffs eluded them altogether. Last year, they were one-and-done in embarrassing fashion at the hands of their local rivals. In 2016, it was  their year — a proclamation we’d heard plenty times before — and so far, they’ve lived up to the hype. Wednesday’s 3-1 home victory over the Philadelphia Union in the knockout round gets the monkey off the Reds’ back, but more importantly, afforded Sebastian Giovinco, who bagged a goal and an assist on the night (his second straight game with such a line), 90 more minutes of game time after missing more than a month through injuries as the regular season wound down. After 270 minutes of action, the Atomic Ant looks sharp as ever, and destined to terrorize New York City FC, whom TFC will face in the conference semifinals, beginning Sunday.

[ MORE: All of PST’s MLS Cup Playoffs preview coverage ]

Three Four moments that mattered

15′ — Atlidore feeds Giovinco for 1-0 — The first playoff goal in TFC’s 10-year history. Poor goalkeeping, ball-watching defending, terrible touches, an overhead cross, and a strike off the crossbar. There’s a lot going on here. Watch it all right here.

49′ — Osorio slams home from the corner for 2-0 — The Union have been bad at defending set pieces all season, so is it at all surprising a set-piece gaffe effectively ended their season? No, it’s not.

73′ — Bedoya puts the loose ball home for 2-1 — Speaking of failing to effectively clear a corner kick, the Union were gifted a lifeline 15 minutes before full-time.

85′ — Altidore puts it out of reach, seals it for TFC — Ken Tribbet did not have the best night a center back has ever seen. His final blunder resulted in Jozy Altidore reclaiming TFC’s two-goal lead, and ending the Union’s 2016 season.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Men of the match: Sebastian Giovinco

Goalscorers: Giovinco (15′), Osorio (49′), Bedoya (73′), Altidore (85′)

Men In Blazers podcast: Mourinho’s Chelsea return; Bradley’s 1st point

Men In Blazers
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Rog and Davo break down Jose Mourinho’s return to Chelsea with Manchester United, another stumble for Manchester City and Bob Bradley’s first Premier League point.

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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VIDEO: Altidore, Giovinco combine for TFC’s first-ever playoff goal

Sebastian Giovinco
Chris Young/The Associated Press via AP
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It’s been 10 years in the making, and Toronto FC finally have their first-ever goal in the MLS Cup Playoffs.

[ MORE: All of PST’s MLS Cup Playoffs preview coverage ]

After failing to qualify for the playoffs in each of their first eight seasons, 2015 saw the Reds venture into the postseason for the first time ever, only to be thumped in the knockout round, 3-0, by their 401 derby rival Montreal Impact, of all sides.

This is the year, though, or so we’ve said and been told all season long. While it remains to be seen how deep of a run TFC can muster in 2016, they’ll always have the Jozy Altidore‘s terrible first touch; Altidore’s wayward second and third touches; Altidore’s overhead cross; and Sebastian Giovinco’s strike, all of which you can watch in all its hilarity glory below.

[ MORE: Power rankings — Playoffs edition | MLS Cup predictions ]

Julian Green’s historic first start, goal for Bayern Munich

Julian Green, Bayern Munich (Photo credit: Bundesliga / Twitter)
Photo credit: Bundesliga / Twitter
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FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) United States international Julian Green scored in his first official start as title holder Bayern Munich eased to a 3-1 win over Augsburg to reach the third round of the German Cup on Wednesday.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s USMNT coverage ]

Green’s first goal in a competition match for Bayern came in the 42nd minute with a header off a cross by Thomas Mueller.

The 21-year-old American winger played in the previous German Cup round, coming off the bench in a 5-0 win over Carl-Zeiss Jena. Green has been in coach Carlo Ancelotti’s squad several times this season but this was his first start.

Green made headlines by scoring a hat trick against Inter Milan in a pre-season tour of the United States, then scored in back-to-back matches for the United States against Cuba and New Zealand.

[ MORE: MLS Power Rankings — Going to the playoffs edition ]

Ancelotti left many of his regulars on the bench against Augsburg and Green got his chance.

Another player made a comeback with defender Holger Badstuber coming off the bench late in the match. Badstuber had not played since an ankle injury in February.

Bayern, an 18-time German Cup winner, went ahead through Philipp Lahm in the second minute and David Alaba completed the victory in injury time.

[ MORE: MLS Cup predictions ]

Ji Dong-won had cut Augusburg’s deficit with fine angled shot above Manuel Neuer’s arms into the roof of the net in the 69th.

Both teams missed penalties, with Mueller shooting high for Bayern and Neuer saving the spot-kick taken by Koo Ja-cheol.