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USMNT transfer tracker, grades: Ricardo Pepi, Daryl Dike and James Sands earn January European moves

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What a year 2021 was for the United States men’s national team, winning two trophies against Mexico and beating El Tri another time as Gregg Berhalter’s team has set itself up well in pursuit of World Cup 2022 qualification. While last year produced some memorable moments, it’s all now about getting better ahead of qualifying in Concacaf returning in January. And so far, the first days of the year have also been good to the red, white and blue. 

Three young pieces of the USMNT have earned moves from Major League Soccer to Europe within the last few days. Strikers Ricardo Pepi and Darryl Dike, as well as midfielder James Sands, have all decided to cross the Atlantic to further their careers, with this being Dike’s second spell. The former Orlando City man had a successful loan spell at Championship side Barnsley and is back in the English second division once again.

Here’s a look at the moves, what they mean and a grade for each:

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Ricardo Pepi, Augsburg

Previous club: FC Dallas
Type of move: Permanent transfer
Price: $20 million
Analysis: The most expensive American export from MLS to Europe in history. The 18-year-old star striker was courted by some of the world’s biggest clubs yet ended up at … Augsburg? Looking for minutes, a league where he can develop and a club that could be a stepping stone later on, nobody really saw this one coming. It looked like Wolfsburg were in the driver’s seat until they weren’t, and there came little Augsburg, fighting relegation by putting their money where their mouth is. For Pepi, there is no doubt it is a risk. The exposure won’t be there like it would be at a big club. He likely won’t get a taste of European competition until his next move, and he will probably have fewer opportunities to shine without Champions League and Europa League, while Augsburg are already out of the German Cup. He’s going to get those minutes this season, and if he shines, don’t be shocked if there is noise about clubs wanting him in the summer.
Grade: B-

Daryl Dike, West Bromwich 

Previous club: Orlando City SC
Type of move: Permanent transfer
Price: $9.5 million, according to according to ESPN
Analysis: He finally got his permanent move, and boy was it deserved after all he’s done in MLS and with his time last season at Barnsley in the Championship. I love this situation for him and he has a massive chance to improve his stock. While West Brom are sitting in a promotion playoff spot right now with 42 points, they are the worst attack in the top six with only 31 goals in 25 games. By comparison, Fulham have two games less played, three more points and 20 more goals. So, that shows that they need an impact forward who can work with Karlan Grant (nine goals in 24 games) and boost this attack en route to what they hope is Premier League promotion. His physical style is perfect for English soccer, and I think he’ll have a similar impact at West Brom to what he did at Barnsley (nine goals in 22 games).
Grade: A

James Sands, Rangers

Previous club: NYCFC
Type of move: 18-month loan
Price: N/A
Analysis: The leaders of the Scottish Premiership, Rangers don’t need much and even with Sands’ versatility he may struggle to get minutes. They’ve got a 16-3-1 record and are strong all over the pitch. That’s especially true in the middle with Joe Aribo and Glen Kamara getting most of the minutes, while defensively they’ve got Connor Goldson but could perhaps use some depth at CB. But at the age of 21, this does seem like a good spot for him to further develop and get rotation minutes providing depth. Now, it’s unlikely he will become a consistent starter this season, but next season very well could be his year if all goes well. Rangers view him as somebody they can play in both the middle and the back, and that flexibility should result in him getting opportunities to prove he’s ready to take on a bigger load. From MLS champ with NYCFC to a legendary club like Rangers, Sands is somebody looking to test themselves abroad and become a USMNT staple.
Grade: C



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NFL preseason Week 2 scores, highlights, updates: Packers rookie Romeo Doubs continues to impress vs. Saints

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The NFL preseason has reached the midway point with Week 2, which serves as the de facto “dress rehearsal” for starters to prepare for the beginning of the regular season — which is just three weeks away. For teams that don’t have joint practices this week, Week 2 of the preseason is critical.

The Carolina Panthers won’t play Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold against the New England Patriots Friday, yet New England will play its starters after the joint practices this week. Jordan Love will start for the Green Bay Packers against the New Orleans Saints, who will be without Jameis Winston (foot). Capping off the night will be the Houston Texans at Los Angeles Rams

Below, we will track all the must-see highlights from Friday’s action, the appetizer for the main course of games this weekend. 

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Schedule

Thursday

Bears 27, Seahawks 11 (Takeaways)

Friday

Patriots 13, Panthers 10 (fourth quarter –  Live blog)
Packers 13, Saints 10 (third quarter – Gametracker)
Texans at Rams, 10 p.m. ET (Gametracker)

Saturday

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Broncos at Bills, 1 p.m. ET (Gametracker)
Lions at Colts, 1 p.m. ET (Gametracker)
Commanders at Chiefs, 4 p.m. ET (Gametracker)
Steelers at Jaguars, 7 p.m. ET (Gametracker)
Raiders at Dolphins, 7 p.m. ET (Gametracker)
49ers at Vikings, 7 p.m. ET (Gametracker)
Buccaneers at Titans, 7 p.m. ET (Gametracker)
Cowboys at Chargers, 10 p.m. ET (Gametracker)

Sunday

Eagles at Browns, 1 p.m. ET (Gametracker)
Bengals at Giants, 7 p.m. ET (Gametracker)
Ravens at Cardinals, 8 p.m. ET (Gametracker)

Monday

Falcons at Jets, 8 p.m. ET (Gametracker)

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Chris Olave scores his first touchdown

Olave is giving Saints fans a preview of what’s to come when he lines up alongside Michael Thomas and Jarvis Landry this fall. The first-round pick connected with Ian Book on a 20-yard touchdown with 12 seconds left in the first half — his first in a Saints uniform. 

Olave had just one catch for four yards last week, but had two in the first half of this one. 

Patriots quarterback Bailey Zappe made a dangerous throw rolling to his left, and Hayes read the pass to take the ball the other way and tie the game. Zappe hasn’t been as sharp in his second outing this preseason, one in which Matt Patricia is calling plays. 

Romeo Doubs touchdown

There’s a spot for Doubs to earn snaps with the first team this year, and this touchdown catch from Jordan Love demonstrates why. Doubs came up with this impressive four-yard touchdown reception over Brian Allen to put the Packers up, 10-3, over the Saints in the second quarter. Love is starting to show trust in the fourth-round rookie. 

59-yard field goal from Wil Lutz

Lutz missed all of 2021 with a core muscle injury, as the Saints missed his reliability in the kicking department. He certainly looked like his old self with this 59-yard field goal to close out the first quarter.

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Just 13 of 23 on 50-plus yard field goals in his career, Lutz hitting this kick is very encouraging.

Romeo Doubs making his case to move up the depth chart

Doubs was one of the young wide receivers Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers criticized during the week, so he was in the spotlight with the second teamers participating in the majority of this one. A 17-yard catch on the opening drive on a Jordan Love throw makes a strong impression, even if Doubs failed to corral a third-down pass earlier. 

No longer a quarterback for the Saints, Hill has shifted his focus to tight end for the 2022 season. The No. 2 tight end in New Orleans, Hill made an early impact by catching a 10-yard pass from Ian Book. Hill adds an extra dimension to the Saints offense in his new role, and can still play wide receiver and running back in short-yardage situations. 

The Patriots averaged just 1.9 yards per play in the first quarter with just 21 yards of offense, but Nelson Agholor changed that with this 45-yard catch on an impressive throw from Mac Jones. Going against a second-team defense or not, this is what Patriots fans want to see from their new-look offense.

New England scored a touchdown — a two-yard run from Ty Montgomery — three plays later.

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Canada’s Auger-Aliassime falls to Coric in Cincinnati quarterfinals

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Felix Auger-Aliassime’s run at his first Masters 1000 title ended in the quarterfinals for the second-straight week after a 6-4, 6-4 loss to Croatia’s Borna Coric at the Western and Southern Open on Friday in Mason, Ohio.

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The Canadian, seeded seventh at the Western and Southern Open, also reached the quarterfinals in Montreal last week at the National Bank Open.

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Coric, ranked No. 152 on the ATP Tour, is the second-lowest semifinalist in the history of the Cincinnati tournament. The Croatian could rise to as high as No. 29 if he wins the tournament.

Coric won a whopping 31 of 32 points when he got his first serve in and did not face a break point.

Auger-Aliassime saved two match points in his previous contest against Jannik Sinner, but couldn’t mount a comeback against Coric, who won his final two service games without giving up a point.

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How to watch Leicester City vs. Southampton: Live stream, TV channel, start time for Saturday’s Premier League game

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The Premier League is back in action on Saturday.

Who’s Playing

  • Southampton @ Leicester City
  • Current Records: Southampton 0-1-1; Leicester City 0-1-1

Paramount+ is the only place to watch every minute of every Serie A match this season, not to mention select games in Italian. Sign up now with offer code ITALY to get a special one month free trial. A subscription also gives you access to other sports content including every UEFA Champions League and Europa League match, the NFL on CBS, and countless movies and shows. Get it all free for 1 month with promo code ITALY.

What to Know

Southampton and Leicester City are meeting up for their first leg of the season at 10 a.m. ET on Saturday at King Power Stadium. Southampton will be seeking to avenge the 4-1 loss they suffered the last time these two teams played May 22.

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This past Saturday, Southampton and Leeds United ended up with a point apiece after a 2-2 draw.

Meanwhile, Leicester came up short against Arsenal this past Saturday, falling 4-2.

After unsatisfying finishes in their previous games, both teams are out for the full three points in this fixture.

Craving even more coverage of the world’s game? Listen below and follow ¡Qué Golazo! A Daily CBS Soccer Podcast where we take you beyond the pitch and around the globe for commentary, previews, recaps and more.  

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How To Watch

  • Who: Leicester City vs. Southampton
  • When: Saturday at 10 a.m. ET
  • Where: King Power Stadium
  • Watch: USA Network
  • Stream: fuboTV (try for free)
  • Caesars Sportsbook odds: Leicester City -117; Draw +280; Southampton +300

Featured Game | Leicester City vs. Southampton

Series History

Leicester City have won five out of their last 12 games against Southampton.

  • May 22, 2022 – Leicester City 4 vs. Southampton 1
  • Dec 01, 2021 – Leicester City 2 vs. Southampton 2
  • Apr 30, 2021 – Leicester City 1 vs. Southampton 1
  • Jan 16, 2021 – Leicester City 2 vs. Southampton 0
  • Jan 11, 2020 – Southampton 2 vs. Leicester City 1
  • Oct 25, 2019 – Leicester City 9 vs. Southampton 0
  • Jan 12, 2019 – Southampton 2 vs. Leicester City 1
  • Aug 25, 2018 – Leicester City 2 vs. Southampton 1
  • Apr 19, 2018 – Southampton 0 vs. Leicester City 0
  • Dec 13, 2017 – Leicester City 4 vs. Southampton 1
  • Jan 22, 2017 – Southampton 3 vs. Leicester City 0
  • Oct 02, 2016 – Southampton 0 vs. Leicester City 0



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