The plot lines are plentiful as the EFL Cup begins its semifinal first legs on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Will Jose Mourinho claim his first big tournament trophy as Manchester United boss? To do so, he’ll need to take down fellow Portuguese manager and “next Mourinho” label earner Marco Silva, who now runs Hull City.
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The first leg is Tuesday at 3 p.m. EDT, with Old Trafford hosting the affair. United has taken 11 of 12 from Hull, though the relegation-threatened Tigers boast an FA Cup win under Silva.
Meanwhile, Jurgen Klopp leads Liverpool into Southampton for another reunion of ex-Saints.
Former Southampton heroes Adam Lallana, Dejan Lovren, and Nathaniel Clyne could feature for Liverpool, though Sadio Mane is on AFCON duty. It’s a 2:45 p.m. EDT first leg kickoff Wednesday at St. Mary’s.
Saints have won and drawn Liverpool the last two times the Reds marched into their park.
- Hull City has been to one cup final in its recent history, losing to Arsenal in an FA Cup thriller in 2014.
- Manchester United can join Chelsea (5), Liverpool (8), and Aston Villa (5) as the only clubs to win five EFL Cups.
- Southampton is yet to win an EFL Cup, only making one final in 1979.
- Liverpool is the most-accomplished EFL Cup club in history, snaring 8, last winning in 2012.
Chelsea is looking to make a big transfer splash as it searches for potential replacements for Michy Batshuayi and David Luiz.
According to multiple reports, Chelsea is attempting a double signing from AS Roma, forward Edin Dzeko and midfielder Emerson Palmieri. The Brazilian left-back is rated by Roma at $30.5 million but he could join Chelsea on loan. However the interest in Dzeko is much newer, and it’s unclear whether Roma would allow Dzeko to leave, especially in the middle of the season.
[READ: MLS SuperDraft 2018 Live Tracker]
With Roma preparing to face Inter Milan this weekend, talks between the two clubs have been put on hold until next week.
Dzeko’s agent confirmed that Conte is interested in the Bosnia and Herzegovina international but stated Dzeko’s desire is to remain at Roma.
After failing to beat out Sergio Aguero in the starting lineup for Manchester City, it would be interesting to see Dzeko give the Premier League another go, although he’d likely play second-fiddle again, this time to Alvaro Morata.
Here are some more transfer rumors from around Europe and the Premier League:
For a few dozen players, hearing their name called up to the big stage will validate all the hard work and sacrifices they’ve made since they were children.
Starting at 11:00 a.m. when Los Angeles FC is on the clock at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, the 2018 MLS SuperDraft will be underway. Many of the top college prospects will soon find out whether they’ll be headed to the Pacific Northwest, New England, the Southeast, Southern California or anywhere in between.
[MORE: 2018 MLS Mock Draft]
This year’s draft class is loaded with attacking talent, from Generation Adidas trio Ema Twumasi (Wake Forest), Mason Toye (Indiana) and Francis Atuahene (Michigan) to Twumasi’s college teammate Jon Bakero.
But potential No. 1 overall pick is a three-time national champion, Thomas Hilliard-Arce, who could become the anchor of a backline for a decade.
Follow along below as we update the picks live as we hear them:
MUNICH (AP) Bayern Munich signed Germany midfielder Leon Goretzka on Friday on a free transfer from Bundesliga rival Schalke effective from next season.
Bayern said the 22-year-old Goretzka signed a four-year deal from July 1 through June 2022.
Schalke, which Goretzka joined in 2013 from hometown club Bochum, said the player informed the club this week of his wish to join Bayern when his contract expired.
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“We think we did everything in the last months to convince Leon to stay with us,” Schalke sporting director Christian Heidel said. “In the end, it wasn’t enough.”
Schalke had long been engaged in trying to get Goretzka to extend his contract, but was aware of reported interest from Bayern, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus and Liverpool.
“We’re very happy that Leon Goretzka, a German international with big potential, has decided in favor of Bayern despite big-name international competitors. This way it’s ensured that Leon Goretzka remains in the Bundesliga,” Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said.
Goretzka scored 19 goals and set up 13 more in 130 appearances for Schalke.
The club had previously expressed its displeasure with Bayern making public statements about its player after Goretzka was praised by sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic and coach Jupp Heynckes.
Heidel said “we don’t need to hear every day from the Munich people how good our player is.”
Goretzka has six goals in 12 games for Germany.
The most famous soccer player in the world had a scare last night as he was hospitalized in Brazil for “severe exhaustion.”
Pele, 77, was set to travel to London this weekend to be honored by the Football Writers Association, though it looks like that trip has now been postponed.
In the early hours of Thursday morning, Pele collapsed and was taken to a hospital in Brazil where he has undergone a series of tests which appear to point to severe exhaustion,” a FWA statement said. “He remains on fluids while doctors monitor his recovery.
“Thankfully, there is no suggestion of anything more serious than exhaustion.”
Here’s to hoping Pele makes a full recovery.
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