Naby Keita (Liverpool FC, EPL) Newboy Keita made his Liverpool Sunday for former Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp in their 4-0 home win over West Ham United. The 22 year-old signed with LFC almost a year ago, but played last season with RB Leipzig, helping them gain European play again. Keita scored 17 goals in his two seasons with Die Roten Bullen over 71 matches. Making the start at Anfield and playing the entire 90, Keita had one shot, one key pass, one tackle and one interception, and passed at an 88% success rate with 81 touches. Besides being the season opener for both sides, the match was a Bundesliga reunion, with former Hoffenheim striker Roberto Firmino starting and getting an assist for LFC and former Bayern Munich man Xherdan Shaqiri making his LFC debut after coming in the 81st minute. For the visiting Hammers, former Werder Bremen striker Marco Arnautovic started and had two shots, while Javier Hernandez (Bayer Leverkusen) and Andriy Yarmolenko (last season with Borussia Dortmund) came in off the bench. Goalkeeper Loris Karius (Mainz) was an unused sub for Kloppo’s side.
Ousmane Dembélé (Barcelona, La Liga) The former Dortmund man scored the 78th minute game-winner Sunday for the legendary Catalans as they overcame an early Sevilla to secure the Spanish Cup with a 1-2 victory. Stilil a teenager when he signed with Borussia Dortmund from French side Rennes, Dembélé scored 10 goals in 49 appearances for BvB during the 2016/2017 season campaign, but moreover wowed the Yellow Wall with his speed and moves. Unfortunately, his favorite status didn’t last long, as he pouted that he wanted out when Barcelona came calling, flush with cash from their sale of Neymar to PSG. After what seemed like endless wrangling, the French attacker was sold to the Catalans but had a rough season, featuring in only 17 La Liga matches, scoring but three goals. Also featuring for Barcelona in the Cup was goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen , formerly of Borussia Mönchengladbach, and former Schalke man Ivan Rakitić. Former Wolfsburg midfielder Simon Kjær was a starter for Sevilla.
Bas Dost (Sporting CP, Portuguesa Liga) What is a ‘Where are they now’ update without a Bas Dost sighting? Yes, the lanky Dutchman was up to it again, doing what he does best, which is scoring goals — which is what he did twice Sunday to lead Sporting CP to a road win in their league opener at Moreirense. Only 29, it seems like a lifetime ago that he was scoring goals for a VfL Wolfsburg side that won the Pokal and competed in the Champions League. Dost was with the Wolves from 2012 through 2016, and was almost an afterthought as he was let go by management. Not that Dost is complaining — he’s now scored 63 goals in 62 league games for the legendary Lisbon side.
Fabrice Picault (Philadelphia Union, MLS) ‘Fafa’ scored the game-winner Saturday night for the Union, converting from the spot to earn his side a 3-2 win over the New England Revolution, a big three points in the race for one of the lower playoff spots in the Eastern Conference. Born in NYC of Haitian parents, Picault was in the youth program of Italian club Cagliari before playing in the US second division for the Tampa Bay Rowdies and Fort Lauderdale Strikers. Picault spent time at AC Sparta Prague without getting playing time before raising his profile with FC St. Pauli in Germany’s 2nd division. Picault featured in 22 games with FCSP, scoring four goals, before joining the Union in 2017. He’s earned one cap for the USMNT, entering in the second half in a friendly against Puerto Rico in May, 2016 under Jurgen Klinsmann.
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