Thursday Kickoff: San Lorenzo in Libertadores final; Everton make record signing; and more

SanLorenzoCopaLibertadores1-Bolivar (AP)

By DAN KARELL

Argentine club San Lorenzo have booked a place in the Copa Libertadores final for the first time in history.

Visiting Bolivian side Bolivar, San Lorenzo fell, 1-0, on the evening but advanced to the final due to a 5-1 aggregate win. The match was played in the Estadio Hernando Silas, 3,600 feet above sea level in the mountains of La Paz, but Bolivar were unable to take enough advantage of the altitude.

The lone goal of the match came in the second minute of stoppage time though Bolivar substitute Gerardo Yacerotti. Fellow substitute Oscar Rodas provided the assist.

San Lorenzo will face Club Nacional of Paraguay in the final. Nacional, also a first-time finalist, will host the first leg on Aug. 6. The second leg is scheduled for Aug. 13 in San Lorenzo.

Here are some more stories to start off your Thursday:

EVERTON SIGN LUKAKU TO RECORD DEAL

Everton are forging into a new era under Roberto Martinez, with owner Bill Kenwright no longer afraid to reach deep into his pockets for new signings.

The English Premier League club announced on Wednesday evening that it has signed Belgian international forward Romelu Lukaku for a club record 28 million pound ($47.3 million) transfer fee. Lukaku signed a five-year contract with the Toffees, where he spent last season on loan from Chelsea.

“I am really excited about rejoining Everton,” Lukaku said in a statement. “I had a fantastic experience last season and a great relationship with the manager, the chairman, the staff, the players and the fans. I can’t wait to get started again and I’m looking forward to a successful season.”

The 21-year-old forward scored 15 goals last season in 31 EPL matches, more goals than any single Chelsea forward scored at his former parent club. For Chelsea, the sale was a good return on their investment, having signed Lukaku for a reported 10 million pounds in August 2011 from Anderlecht.

QUICK KICKS

UEFA will investigate crowd trouble between fans of Dnipro and FC Copenhagen during their UEFA Champions League qualifying match on Wednesday evening. (REPORT)

FIFA vice president and Argentine FA president Julio Grondona passed away at the age of 82. (REPORT)

Hamburg are set to sign Swiss international Valon Behrami from Napoli for around 5 million euros ($6.7 million). (REPORT)

Cesc Fabregas scored his first goal in Chelsea blue as the London club beat Vitesse Arnhem, 3-1, in a preseason friendly. (REPORT)

The English Premier League has approved the use of vanishing spray for the upcoming season. (REPORT)

Frenchman Herve Renard has been appointed the head coach of the Ivory Coast national team ahead of the 2015 African Cup of Nations. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? Do you see San Lorenzo defeating Nacional in the final? How big of a signing is Lukaku for Everton?

Share your thoughts below.

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30 Responses to Thursday Kickoff: San Lorenzo in Libertadores final; Everton make record signing; and more

  1. Brian I says:

    I don’t understand Chelsea. Why bring back Drogba who is on his last legs, and let a 21 yr old new (and bigger) version of Drogba go year after year?

    Great signing for Everton though, the guys is the definition of “a beast” with technical skills that are good where they are, but only getting better. Can’t believe they actually spent the money for him though haha.

    • Ian says:

      Agreed with everything you said. It boggles the mind, but Mourinho is a smart manager (read: mad genius), so he must have a plan.

      Drogba can still make magic happen. I was hoping he’d make the jump to MLS, but the huge irony is if he had, everyone would have said, “Look at MLS signing old dudes again. Retirement league!” I have a hunch no one will call the Prem a retirement league with this signing.

      In any case, I’m stoked for Everton. First Barkley, now Lukaku. Love seeing serious moves like this. Hopefully the Toffees can make a good run in Europa.

      • Brian I says:

        Yea, I’d love to see Timmy get some consistent European action throughout his last contract with Everton. Lukaku and Barkley are a young dynamic 1-2 punch that I hope they can hold on to. With these contracts though, they at least guarantee that if they go, Everton will get PAID!

        • Brian I says:

          On a side note…After Jurgen, if we were to sign another foreign coach, I’d want Roberto Martinez. Great manager and seems like a great guy who is loved by his players and as loyal as they get in these times.

    • Jay says:

      Honestly I think it’s just because Chelsea can’t be patient and let their young players if they have any grow. Chelsea, Man United, Man City, can’t slip for a second or their fans go nuts and they lose millions of dollars. So they continue to try to buy know players instead of grooming their own. That’s why Drogba gets another run and they let Lukaku go which in the long run makes no sense. Youth loses games sometimes and in the high stakes world of Champions League and the money it brings in teams like Chelsea afraid to take risks. I guess to them its better a lesser skilled Drogba and fail then go young and fail.

      • Brian I says:

        Yea, good point.

        Chelsea’s loss is Everton’s gain though (for now). Lukaku has proven he can score in the BPL, even with lesser teammates than Hazard, Oscar etc…, and in the World Cup. You’d think he has done enough to earn a fair shot. Anyways, I’m a fan of the kid and rather cheer for him, Timmy and Martinez at Everton than Chelsea.

      • Joamiq says:

        The thing is, they don’t have to wait for Lukaku to grow. He’s already a big goalscorer in the Premiership. None of this makes any sense.

  2. SD says:

    Dan, you need to get your statistics correct. The altitude in Bolivia can’t be 3,600. Denver is high than that. Please correct.

    • SD says:

      *higher

    • Nick F says:

      Yeah, that should read meters instead of feet … La Paz is at 11,900 feet

    • bodeguero says:

      I think he meant meters. But yeah … BIG difference! About 10,000 feet.

    • JosiahTheChosenOne says:

      more like 36,000 feet. Its closer to the moon then Montreal, and people still argue for MLS into Copa Lib. Anyway, I’m surprised that San Lorenzo as one of Argentina’s “big five”. You know the Pope and Viggo Mortenson will be cheering on their beloved San Lorenzo

    • bryan says:

      or even the name of the stadium, it’s Estadio Hernando Siles. i think he makes these constant mistakes on purpose to tr011 us. especially since he is apparently the “Co-Managing Editor!”

      • Joamiq says:

        He can’t get through an article without making a sloppy mistake and he’s Co-Managing Editor??

        • bryan says:

          that’s what Ives said and what Dan’s LinkedIn has listed. i thought the same thing as you.

          • Joamiq says:

            I feel bad bashing the guy, because by all accounts he’s really nice and hard working, but his writing just brings down the quality of this site.

    • another steveo says:

      Should be 3600 meters, not feet.

      • atleticodemadridfan says:

        Tres mi, seis cientos metros. METROS!
        Suck it.
        Nauseating.
        Legs feel like lead.
        Lungs burn.
        Heart pounds like it’s going to burst out of your chest.
        La altura buey.

  3. THomas says:

    Why is it called ‘vanishing spray?’ It’s just shaving cream. Call it shaving cream.

    • Marcelo Balboa's Mustache says:

      +1

    • KingGoogleyEye says:

      Because it’s not shaving cream.

      • twosevenstreet says:

        It should be shaving cream, it is another marketing opportunity

        • Brain Guy says:

          Yes! Isn’t/wasn’t Barbasol an MLS sponsor?

        • KingGoogleyEye says:

          But other products could be marketed based loosely on the properties of vanishing spray—the way Allstate Insurance piggybacks off goalkeepers.

          For example: “This vanishing spray moment brought to you by Raid. Keep pests from encroaching on your territory with Raid.”

          Or home security, erasable markers…even ZipCar (“there when you need it, gone when you don’t!”). I could imagine an investment firm playing it up from the point of view of the free kick taker. Gotta be creative.

          Besides, it doesn’t really scream “shaving cream” unless someone comes out and cuts the grass :)

    • Ian says:

      I hope Sasha Kljestan uses some vanishing spray on his upper lip before signing with the Gs.