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Loan Report: League Champion Adrian Popa

The winger has picked up silverware ahead of his return to Berkshire.

Minnesota United FC v New York Red Bulls Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Ludogorets and Adrian Popa are champions of Bulgaria! This Friday just gone saw the last game of the campaign for the side who headed into the last fixture top of the table.

Popa was an unused substitute as Ludogorets defeated Cherno More 4-1 in a game where his team cruised to victory, clinching the title by a solitary point. This signals the end of his loan spell, and he will now return to Reading. Reports a few weeks ago suggested that Ludogorets were keen on adding Popa permanently to their squad, but over the past few days it has been reported that this is now not the case and the Romanian will not be joining the new Bulgarian champions.

There were two games against opposition from two different continents in a matter of days for Vito Mannone’s Minnesota United. Last Wednesday, German side Hertha Berlin travelled to Allianz Field for a friendly in which the Bundesliga side won 1-0. Minnesota Head Coach Adrian Heath used this opportunity to give game time to those players in the squad who have had limited chances, which meant Mannone was an unused sub for this game.

The Italian did return to action this past Sunday however as a return to the MLS schedule saw the Loons (Minnesota) host Houston Dynamo. In what was a fairly even game, the home side picked up a 1-0 victory thanks to a 20th-minute goal which sees them move up to fifth in the Western Conference of the MLS.

The topsy-turvy form of Sone Aluko’s Beijing Renhe continued this past weekend in the Chinese Super League as they were able to pick up another win; 2-1 victors against Tianjin Tada with Aluko playing the full 90 minutes but picking up a yellow card.

The bottom club took the lead after four minutes, and that was doubled just before the hour thanks to an own goal, but a penalty converted by the visitors with fourteen minutes to go was not enough to seal a comeback in a game that Renhe will feel lucky to get the win. Tianjin will feel like they let themselves down as despite having the better of the game, they had two men sent off in this game, severely limiting their chances.