Liverpool's 2013-14 campaign simply left fans wanting more.
Fresh off a fourth consecutive finish outside the top five and featuring several new faces throughout the roster, the Reds entered the season with quite a bit of uncertainty. But that uncertainty quickly turned into optimism, then confidence.
When the season was over, Brendan Rodgers' side had scored a club-record 101 league goals, finished second on the Premier League table and produced five players who represented England at the World Cup.
Those at Anfield can't wait to see how the club will respond to one of the most enthralling campaigns in recent memory, and fortunately, that wait won't be long. The summer friendlies—and boy, are there some good ones—are quickly approaching.
Let's take a look:
|Liverpool 2014 Summer Fixtures Lists|
|Date||Time (ET)||Time (BST)||Opponent||Location|
|Wed, July 16||12 p.m.||5 p.m.||Brøndby||Brøndbyvester, Denmark|
|Sat, July 19||10 a.m.||3 p.m.||Preston||Preston, England|
|Wed, July 23||7:30 p.m.||12:30 a.m. (July 24)||Roma||Boston, United States|
|Sun, July 27||6 p.m.||11 p.m.||Olympiacos*||Chicago, United States|
|Wed, July 30||6:59 p.m.||11:59 p.m.||Man City*||New York, United States|
|Sat, Aug 2||6:30 p.m.||11:30 p.m.||Milan*||Charlotte, United States|
|Mon, Aug 4||8 p.m.||1 a.m. (Aug 5)||TBD*||Miami, United States|
|Sun, Aug 10||7:15 a.m.||12:15 p.m.||Dortmund||Liverpool, England|
|* denotes International Champions Cup. They play in the final if they win Group B|
Friendlies can sometimes be underwhelming, but if nothing else, they give the Liverpool faithful an opportunity to see the newest Reds.
A pair of Southampton studs who both made the final World Cup roster—giving Liverpool an astounding seven players on the 23-man roster for Brazil—lead the way. Rickie Lambert was one of just four EPL players to tally double-digit goals and assists last season, finishing with 13 and 10, respectively. Adam Lallana, meanwhile, piled up nine and six.
Legendary English footballer Gary Lineker praised the latter:
Lallana recently talked about his excitement in joining Liverpool:
The duo brings even more attacking prowess to one of the most potent goalscoring teams in England, but with Luis Suarez's future in doubt, reinforcements will be necessary. It is going to be interesting to see how Rodgers employs the former Southampton duo.
Of course, while those two have received much of at the attention due to their English roots and presence at the World Cup, Emre Can is undoubtedly the most compelling signing so far. Capable of dribbling past opponents, winning aerial duels and making strong tackles, the 20-year-old German can play anywhere from left-back to holding midfielder to central midfielder.
He's a tremendous talent, and fans should get a good look at him during summer friendlies.
Even if Chilean and Barcelona star Alexis Sanchez doesn't ultimately end up in Anfield, this is already a really intriguing group of incoming transfers. Moreover, potential appearances from burgeoning young stars like Jordon Ibe and Jordan Rossiter, among others, only adds to the intrigue.
Combine all the new and young talent with a variety of world-class opponents from around Europe—Man City won the EPL, Roma finished second in Serie A, Borussia Dortmund finished second in the Bundesliga and Olympiacos made noise in the Champions League—and this stands to be a tantalizing summer tour.
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