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Solanke signs for Bournemouth; Clyne joins on loan

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Dominic Solanke has signed for Bournemouth from Liverpool for a fee reported to be in the region of $24.1 million.

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Solanke, 21, didn’t feature this season after becoming a regular off the bench during the 2017-18 campaign. The Chelsea academy product moved to Liverpool in the summer of 2017, hot off the heels of leading England’s U-20 side to World Cup glory.

Speaking about the move to Bournemouth, the English striker is excited to get the opportunity to work with Eddie Howe and the fine young forwards they already possess.

“I think the club is going somewhere. Over the past few years, they have been really good in the Premier League and had some good positional finishes as well. I think it’s a good club to be at, especially for someone of my age,” Solanke said. “I spoke with the manager this morning [Friday]. He is a really nice guy. From playing and watching the Premier League, I know the sort of manager he is. I was excited to meet him and am really looking forward to working with him and seeing what he’s about.”

Solanke is no doubt one of the top English prospects up front (he made his full international debut in November 2017 against Brazil), and this move makes a lot of sense.

At Bournemouth he will get to play in a young, exciting attacking unit where the likes of Ryan Fraser, Josh King and David Brooks have flourished and he can hold the ball up and knit things together in attack. At Liverpool he played a bit-part last season but picked up some great experiences in the UEFA Champions League and in cup competitions.

Does Solanke’s arrival suggest that Callum Wilson is heading to Chelsea, as reported?

We will have to wait and see, but given Jermain Defoe‘s impending loan move to Glasgow Rangers Howe needed reinforcements up front and Solanke suits Bournemouth’s speedy forward play, with a focus on strikers running into wide areas, perfectly.

And Solanke will take Nathaniel Clyne with him to the South Coast from Liverpool, as the right back has arrived on loan for the rest of the season.

The right back has had terrible luck with injuries in recent years, but is back to full fitness now and played extremely well in Liverpool’s victory against Manchester United last month.

However, with Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joe Gomez ahead of him in the pecking order at Anfield, Clyne needs regular minutes and he will get that at Bournemouth with regular right back Adam Smith out for another few months with a knee injury and Simon Francis also injured.

At the age of 27, Clyne is in the prime of his career and it is easy to forget he was a regular for England during his days with Southampton and the early part of his Liverpool career.

Two very good, and sensible, pick ups by Bournemouth.

Atletico Madrid roster for MLS All-Star Game includes Felix

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Major League Soccer fans will get a good luck at one of the hottest prospects in world soccer when the MLS All Stars take on Atletico Madrid in next week’s MLS All Star Game.

Joao Felix, the $142 million 19-year-old, is among the roster announced by Diego Simeone for the match.

[ MORE: Newcastle in for $28M Saint-Maximin ]

Felix scored 20 times with 11 assists in 40 matches for Benfica before moving to Atleti in the summer. Those numbers include a hat trick against Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League quarterfinals first leg.

The other stars will be there, too, provided no transfers happen in the interim. Koke, Thomas Lemar, Diego Costa, and Saul Niguez are in the squad.

New Atleti defender Kieran Trippier and longtime El Tri hero Hector Herrera will also be sure to help drive attendance in Orlando City.

The full roster is here.

Leagues Cup preview: MLS gets its next shot at Liga MX

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It’s not a typo; The s is very real.

The Leagues Cup — not the League Cup — is the new competition pitting Major League Soccer sides against some of the top sides from Mexico’s Liga MX.

The tournament has been expanded before it’s even seen a ball kicked in competition, as the second edition with go from eight to 16 teams.

[ MORE: Newcastle in for $28M Saint-Maximin ]

For now, though, we’ve got four American and four Mexican sides meeting over the next two months in a bid for North American supremacy not unlike a CONCACAF Champions League stripped of all the minnows.

Much like the CCL, the Mexican sides will be expected to triumph, even with all of the quarterfinals being staged in the United States.

Chicago Fire hosts Cruz Azul on Tuesday, followed by the LA Galaxy’s visit from Club Tijuana.

Wednesday will see the Houston Dynamo host Club America, and Tigres UANL at Real Salt Lake.

The winners meet Aug. 20, while the final will be played Sept. 18 in Las Vegas.

There’s a lot of promise in this, and it gives MLS another chance to make some statements about the distance between it and Liga MX. The Mexican sides have flat out dominated the CCL, and it’s not difficult to make the same prediction for this tournament.

But, like many tournaments, it also gives success-starved clubs a chance to give their fans something big and their players a tonic. For Bastian Schweinsteiger‘s Chicago, for one, it’s a huge opportunity. And for Zlatan Ibrahimovic and the Galaxy, it’s a look toward another piece of silverware for one of the world’s biggest trophy cases.

USMNT prospect Ledezma earns praise from van Nistelrooy

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Even for talents of the highest levels with top soccer education, sometimes a kid’s gotta learn how to eat.

Richard “Richie” Ledezma, 18, is in the midst of his first year at Eredivisie side PSV Eindhoven, a spot which beckoned after a five-match, one-goal season in the USL with Real Monarchs of the USL.

[ MORE: Chicago adds USMNT hero ]

Ledezma starred for U.S. U-20 team at the World Cup after his first half-season with PSV, which saw him play with the U-19s while trying to lose some weight.

From Goal.com:

“PSV help me with my nutrition, with my food and how I eat. It’s the quantity of food you eat, I guess,” he added. “Because I came a little chubby, when I got here, I guess. They all called me ‘fatty’ and stuff, so I was like, cool, you know? So no more McDonald’s.”

Goal’s James Westwood had a wide-ranging interview with Ledezma and also spoke with soccer royalty: longtime Real Madrid and Manchester United scorer Ruud van Nistelrooy was Ledezma’s coach with the U-19s.

“He’s making a difference in midfield with very quick-thinking passes, movement, can score a goal, play people in, he’s creating chances for the whole team.”

That’s not just good praise from a legend, but a solid sign for fans of the United States men’s national team. A proper No. 10 or playmaking midfielder could allow Gregg Berhalter or another future USMNT coach to use Christian Pulisic on the wings.

Ledezma has some work to do before he breaks into the first team of the Dutch runners-up, who have signed former Stoke City man Ibrahim Afellay and has Gaston Pereiro in the fold as well.

Newcastle reportedly in for $28M mercurial Nice attacker

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L’Equipe says that Newcastle United have returned to Nice in the hopes of landing Allan Saint-Maximin.

The Ligue 1 outfit wants $28 million for the playmaker, who could team up with Miguel Almiron and (maybe) Joelinton to give the Magpies a much-improved attack.

[ MORE: Chicago adds USMNT hero ]

Saint-Maximin, 22, has 10 goals and 10 assists across his last two seasons with Nice, and played everywhere in attack for Patrick Vieira: both wings, center forward, second striker, attacking mid… even some left and right midfield.

The player, however, has been a headache for Vieira at times, with the manager saying Saint-Maximin believes that he has enough talent to reach the highest level without the required amount of work.

That said, the youngster’s skill set is electric. He’s a March birth date, too, so a relatively young 22. That $28 million would be another transfer record broken for Newcastle, assuming it happens ahead of the Joelinton move.

Or… as Newcastle fan knows, neither could go through.