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Where could Mohamed Salah slot in at Liverpool?

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Mohamed Salah is said to be close to sealing a record $49.2 million move to Liverpool from AS Roma as Jurgen Klopp continues to rebuild the Reds.

But where will Salah fit in?

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With many expecting Liverpool to buy new defenders this summer (ahem, we all know how the Virgil van Dijk situation played out) Klopp is instead close to adding yet another attacking player.

Salah’s arrival is said to be for a club-record fee of $49.2 million, with the Egyptian winger also set to become the most-expensive African player in history after excelling at Roma over the past two seasons, scoring 29 goals in 65 Serie A appearances while adding 17 assists.

It’s safe to say Salah will be eager to prove himself in the PL after a disappointing debut season at Chelsea (he joined for $15 million from FC Basel in January 2014) which then saw him shipped out on loan to Fiorentina and Roma before joining the latter permanently in the summer of 2016. At 25 years old he is entering his prime and with Liverpool having a UEFA Champions League qualifier to negotiate, they’ll have plenty of games to give everyone minutes this season.

With Liverpool having Sadio Mane on one wing, potentially Salah on the other and Philippe Coutinho underneath Roberto Firmino, the obvious odd-man out here is Adam Lallana. Will the England international, who shone for the first half of last season, suddenly move down the pecking order at Liverpool? If Klopp switches to a 3-4-3 or 3-5-2- formation it could slot everyone in, but then that would mean Salah or Lallana playing in wing-back roles, which won’t get the best out of their attacking talents.

Salah’s best talents include dribbling, finishing and crossing and those talents should link up well with the extreme pace of Mane and the trickery of Coutinho in-behind Firmino. Salah is quick too, but he’s not Mane quick.

It will be intriguing to see how this all slots together, but with Jordan Henderson and Georginio Wijnaldum occupying the two central spots, Salah’s imminent arrival certainly congests the forward areas, especially when you consider that Daniel Sturridge, Divock Origi and Danny Ings will all be fighting for a role next season.

Here’s a look at how Liverpool could line up after Salah’s arrival.


—– Mignolet —–

—- Clyne —- Lovren —- Matip —- Milner —-

—– Henderson —– Wijnaldum —–

—- Salah —- Coutinho —- Mane —-

—— Firmino —— 


The lineup above looks like the most balanced and obvious way Salah will slot into the team because, let’s face it, if you spend a club-record fee on a player who has been ripping it up in Serie A then you obviously want him to become an integral part of your team.

Below is another way Salah could slot in to the starting lineup at Liverpool with Lallana also handed a spot as Klopp could somehow shoehorn all of his top attacking talents into the same lineup. It would be risky, but the German coach has always been a huge proponent of attack being the best form of defense. Plus, everyone loves a 3-4-3 these days…


—– Mignolet —-

—- Klavan —- Matip —- Lovren —-

 Salah — H’son — Wijnaldum — Lallana

—- Coutinho —- Firmino —- Mane —-


WATCH: Camila’s wicked swerving goal for Brazil

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The Tournament of Nations got underway earlier Thursday, with Brazil and Japan drawing 1-1 in Seattle.

While some in the crowd may’ve been waiting to see the United States women’s national team and Australia in the second game of the twin bill, they got an absolute treat from Brazil’s Camila.

[ MORE: Galaxy’s season-changing signing ]

The Orlando Pride midfielder is yet to scoop up 10 caps, but blasted this 25-yard goal home with a wicked outside bend.

The aesthetics are terrific.

LA Galaxy’s second Dos Santos signing is a season-changer

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Remember this day, MLS fans, as one that perhaps helped determine an MLS Cup Finalist.

The LA Galaxy have signed Villarreal midfielder and Mexican national teamer Jonathan Dos Santos, and he’s the sort of player who could alter the landscape of the Western Conference.

Like Nicolas Lodeiro to Seattle last season and New England’s addition of Jermaine Jones in 2014, Dos Santos’ move comes with the distinct possibility of elevating LA into the next stratosphere.

[ MORE: USMNT’s Arriola attracting transfer interest ]

Take the Galaxy’s history of winning, and toss in a midseason coaching improvement from Curt Onalfo to Sigi Schmid, as well as MVP-in-their-own-right caliber teammates Giovani Dos Santos, Romain Alessandrini, and Jelle van Damme.

Don’t sleep on the fact that Schmid might be gathering momentum from inheriting a talented and underachieving roster and a brand new game-changing midfielder, which feels a bit like karmic retribution for Seattle firing him and signing Lodeiro the next day last season. Seattle only went and won the MLS Cup.

Schmid has used any number of formations, but could deploy a 4-3-3 with Jona Dos Santos, Jermaine Jones, and Joao Pedro in the midfielder and Giovani Dos Santos, Alessandrini, and Gyasi Zardes up top (Sebastian Lletget could return at some point, too).

Now FC Dallas is very deep, Sporting KC looks powerful, and Seattle won it all last year — plus, may be adding Derlis Gonzalez?!? — but LA’s move to add Dos Santos creates a quartet of teams with proven mettle (Houston looks decent, too, but I have concerns about their first-time as a unit in the playoffs).

Joey Barton’s gambling ban lowered by almost 5 months

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Joey Barton’s 18-month ban for betting on almost 1,300 soccer-related events has been lowered to 13 months and one week.

Putting aside the hilarity of grown men and women discussing whether an extra week was necessary, the alteration means he’ll be eligible to return to football on June 1, 2018.

[ MORE: USMNT’s Arriola attracting transfer interest ]

While that still hampers the idea of the 34-year-old playing again — he’ll be 36 when the ban ends — it’s a significant change if he’s open to the idea of returning to the game.

Barton’s original ban expired in late October 2018, well into a season. From Sky Sports:

The appeal board also agreed: “It was clear that Mr Barton was not involved in any cheating, he did not influence any games and there was nothing suspicious about his bets.

“(The reduction) reflects the overall seriousness of the breaches and also the mitigation of Mr Barton’s addiction.”

Barton’s remarkably controversial career has including several suspensions and imprisonment, but he always found his way back to the field and was very good when in form. After time at Manchester City and Newcastle United, Barton fended off naysayers with stints at QPR, Marseille, Burnley, and a regrettable move to Rangers.

We may see him on the field in August 2018.

FIFA fines Qatar after players’ political support for Emir

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ZURICH (AP) FIFA has fined Qatar’s soccer federation after national team players breached rules against political statements by displaying T-shirts of the country’s Emir at a World Cup qualifier.

FIFA says its disciplinary panel imposed a 50,000 Swiss francs ($51,800) fine and reprimanded Qatar, the 2022 World Cup host.

[ MORE: Nainggolan staying at Roma ]

The incident happened in Doha on June 13, amid a dispute with regional rivals Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.

Qatar’s players warmed up for a 3-2 win over South Korea wearing white T-shirts with an image of Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani to show their support for him.

FIFA says the charges related to “displaying a political image” and “political displays” by spectators.