Press Association “We are close but it is not done,” he said of a move for Jimenez. “Hopefully it is going to be done today or tomorrow but he will not make the squad for Sunday, no way. But it would be good for us to get the player as soon as possible. That would be it done. Then I would be happy.” Alex Song could also yet complete a move from Barcelona following his own loan spell last season but Bilic said the rest of the transfer window would likely see players departing the club. Having replaced Sam Allardyce as manager ahead of the final season at Upton Park before their move to the Olympic Stadium, Bilic was also keen to reel in any unrealistic expectations from his first year at the helm. “I would like us to play good football, to win games,” he said when asked what would constitute a successful campaign. “It’s easy to say now before the first game. Our aim is to be mid-table, to be as high as possible, we will give everything we can – let’s say if we finish top 10 that is major success.” The Croatian confirmed he will recall all of the first-team regulars who he rested for the defeat in Romania. In addition to Valencia and Carroll, loanee Carl Jenkinson is unavailable against his parent club. Club-record signing Carroll has seen his West Ham career besieged with injuries and has been out since February with his latest problem. He was expected to be missing until October but he returned to training with the under-21 squad last week and now Bilic believes the England international could play some part against one of his former clubs – at Anfield on August 29 or against Newcastle two weeks later. “Andy Carroll is doing really well,” he said. “He will be joining the squad in terms of training with the team very soon. It is easy to predict (when he will be fit) but it is also hard – I ask the simple questions to our medical department but it is hard for them. “He has been working for a few weeks but last week he was doing individual stuff without any problems so now the injury is gone. We just have to bring him in slowly, but as soon as possible to gain fitness. “It should be, the target the medical department told me, Liverpool or Newcastle which is the fourth or fifth game of the season.” With Carroll closing in on a return, Bilic is looking to bolster his attacking options further with the loan signing of Atletico Madrid forward Raul Jimenez. The Mexico international is waiting for a work permit but Bilic does not intend to return to the transfer market for any more strikers – effectively ruling out moves for players such as Javier Hernandez or Charlie Austin, who have both been heavily linked with moves to Upton Park. Slaven Bilic is hopeful of having Andy Carroll fit in as little as three weeks – with the West Ham boss revealing the trip to Liverpool is a realistic target. The Hammers open their Premier League campaign with a tricky trip to Arsenal on Sunday, on the back of their humbling Europa League qualifying exit at the hands of Romanian side Astra Giurgiu. With both Carroll and fellow forward Enner Valencia sidelined with knee injuries, Diafra Sakho and Mauro Zarate are Bilic’s only experienced options for the game at the Emirates Stadium.
Following two road wins against Oregon and San Diego State, the Trojans are set to take on sixth-ranked Colorado on Friday at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.With an overall 11-3 record, (5-0 MPSF) the Trojans dominated their competition in last week’s contests, highlighted by a commanding offensive performance by senior attacker Michaela Michael. On the road, Michael matched her career high of seven goals in addition to six draw controls against San Diego State and six goals and 11 draw controls against Oregon. Following a solid week, she also earned her 10th career MPSF Player of the Week Award. Michael has anchored the Trojan offense throughout her senior season scoring at least four goals in eight of USC’s last nine games. Senior Cynthia Del Core has also been an instrumental component of the Trojan offense, recording her 11th career hat trick and three assists in Friday’s contest against the Ducks. In addition, freshman midfielder Kerrigan Miller had a strong performance over the weekend, demonstrating her offensive skill with three goals and her fifth career hat trick against San Diego State. With a five-game winning streak, the Trojans are gearing up to take on the Buffs this coming Friday and continue their winning ways. Colorado’s roster is highlighted by junior midfielder Darby Kiernan, top scorer on the team, who earned Player of the Week honors last week following her strong performance against Stanford. On defense, the Buffs are second in the nation in overall defense with senior goalie Paige Soenksen in the net. With a 12-1 overall record, the Buffs remain undefeated in conference play. Miller highlights the Trojan mindset of using each competition as an opportunity to improve. “What we’ve said from the beginning of the season is that we want to get better each and every game so we’re looking at Friday as another opportunity to get better -— defensively and offensively,” Miller said. With both teams exhibiting a strong defensive unit, the name of the game will be capitalizing on opportunities. “They’re a really disciplined team,” head coach Lindsey Munday said. “They play as a unit really well and have a great goalie so we’re going to have to play really disciplined on offense and make the most of the opportunities that we have and make sure to finish our shots when we do get them.”Friday’s game also holds significance as it is Senior Night for the Trojans. “I think it’s going to be a really special night,” Munday said. “This group has been with us really from the beginning and has been with us through the ups of the program and the downs of the program and have stuck through and have now stepped into this leadership role really well and really made this team their own.” In her first season at USC, Miller spoke about the senior leadership and the importance of team chemistry. “Coming in as a freshman the seniors totally took us under their wing, showed us the ropes and set the standard of what the season should be,” Miller said. “Team camaraderie is the biggest thing that we can do to have success — being with the team and having trust in your teammates is what will make us ultimately the most successful.” With a strong team chemistry, the Trojans look to continue their five-game winning streak by working together as a unit, come Friday. “The games that we’ve had so far this season have prepared us for the game on Friday,” Munday said. “We’ve gone through a lot of different situations in games —we’ve been up, we’ve been down, we’ve lost, we’ve beat teams.We’re going to have to be ready to play a full 60-minute game and battle all across the field in order to compete.”