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Man United sign Nemanja Matic from Chelsea

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Serbian destroyer Nemanja Matic is ready to be Jose Mourinho’s hatchet man once again.

[ MORE: Christian Pulisic to Liverpool? ] 

For the second time in his career Matic has signed for Mourinho, putting pen to paper on a three-year deal with the Red Devils reportedly paying over $52.3 million to Chelsea.

Matic, 28, is of course much more than a thug in the engine room as the lanky Serbian international has won two Premier League titles in the past three seasons with Chelsea.

His elegance on the ball, timing in tackles, supreme positional sense and aerial ability has seen him develop into one of the finest holding midfielders in Europe and in Chelsea’s most recent title winning seasons he was pivotal in protecting the back four but also chipping in with telling moments in attack.

Mourinho is certainly delighted to have Matic at Old Trafford.

“Nemanja is a Manchester United player and a Jose Mourinho player. He represents everything we want in a footballer; loyalty, consistency, ambition, team player,” Mourinho said. “I would like to thank him for his desire to join us because without that, it would be impossible to have him here. I am sure our players and supporters will love him. A big welcome to our new number 31.”

So, there you have it. Once Mourinho finds players he trusts he often moves them from club to club. Paulo Ferreira, Ricardo Carvalho, Samuel Eto'o and Zlatan Ibrahimovic are just a few of the examples of Mourinho having unbridled faith in familiar faces.

That said, Matic has not had a preseason with Chelsea leaving him off their tour of the Far East with this deal in the works and his insistence to leave Chelsea for Man United was clear all summer, especially with holding midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko arriving from AS Monaco. It may take him a little way to get back up to speed and there is a lingering sense that Chelsea delayed this transfer after United won the race for Romelu Lukaku earlier this summer. Surely they wouldn’t be so petty with their former manager involved…

Matic said to work with Mourinho again “was an opportunity I couldn’t turn down” as well as thanking Chelsea for this time at the club.

With N'Golo Kante the main man in Chelsea’s engine room last season, Matic’s fine form was often overlooked. He kept Cesc Fabregas out of the starting lineup for most of the campaign and he will now line up alongside Ander Herrera to create a formidable, snappy-tackling shield for United’s defense.

Quite why Chelsea have allowed Matic to leave to a direct PL rival is beyond most people, but United have now strengthened in all the areas they needed to this summer and have a new, powerful spine in Victor Lindelof, Matic and Lukaku. In central midfield Matic and Herrera will be first choice with Paul Pogba ahead of them, while Michael Carrick and Maraoune Fellaini will also challenge for the two deeper central spots.

Mourinho wanted a new striker, center back, central midfielder and a winger in the summer window and he’s spent $190 million to get three out of the four.

This is now very much a Mourinho team and Matic is very much a quintessential Mourinho player.

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Liga MX wrap: Xolos beats Chivas as Apertura begins

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Liga MX’s Apertura season is off and running with all 18 clubs partaking in a match this weekend.

[ MORE: Marketing Pulisic with BVB ]

Club Tijuana 2-1 Chivas Guadalajara

Scoreless at the half, the weekend’s marquee match sprang to life in the final 45. Juan Martin Lucero gave TJ a 54th minute lead before Jose Van Rankin knotted it up five minutes later.

Lucero assisted Jose Rivero’s 75th minute winner, which was helped in its status when Michael Perez took a red card in the 80th.

Cruz Azul 3-0 Puebla

Elias Hernandez scored a goal and added an assist, and Milton Caraglio put one of his five shots on goal into the net. Andres Renteria also scored in the win.

Tigres 2-0 Leon

Andre-Pierre Gignac scored, and Lucas Zelarayan marked a goal and an assist in the win.

Elsewhere
Necaxa 2-1 Club America
Toluca 2-0 Morelia
Santos Laguna 2-1 Lobos BUAP
Pachuca 0-1 Monterrey
Veracruz 0-2 Pumas UNAM
Atlas 0-0 Queretaro

Report: Colorado acquires USMNT mid Acosta for Badji

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The West’s first place team is switching it up in a big way.

FC Dallas is sending Homegrown Player and USMNT midfielder Kellyn Acosta to Western foes Colorado Rapids in exchange for striker Dominique Badji, according to a report by The Dallas Morning News.

[ MORE: Pulisic rips up Liverpool ]

Acosta, 22, has 17 caps and a goal for the U.S., and is primarily a defensive midfielder. He’s also played right and left back.

He’s appeared 139 times for Dallas, scoring 13 times with nine assists, but had fallen out with head coach Oscar Pareja. He’s also struggled mightily on the field, according to WhoScored.

Badji, 25, has seven goals and three assists in 16 matches for the Rapids this season, building on an eight-goal, five-assist campaign last season.

FCD has gotten six goals out of forward Maxi Urruti, and there’s been little production from anyone else. Cristian Colman is out with an ankle injury and managed just a pair of goals in 399 minutes.

The risk of trading Acosta is mitigated by the continued speculation that he may test the waters of European soccer. Badji’s a quality player, but Colorado may’ve gotten a bargain in its push to escape the dregs of the West.

Quintero, Loons pick LAFC apart in five-star win (video)

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Minnesota United throttled LAFC on Sunday, using a Christian Ramirez brace to batter the hot expansion team 5-1 in Minnesota.

Darwin Quintero had a goal and two assists for the Loons, who took advantage of LAFC’s decision not to start dominant forward Adama Diomande and center back Walker Zimmerman.

[ MORE: Marketing Pulisic with BVB ]

Quintero ripped off seven shots, putting five on goal. He now has 10 goals and five assists since joining the Loons after scoring two and eight in 29 matches for Club America last year.

Miguel Ibarra recorded a goal and an assist, while Rasmus Schuller also scored. LAFC’s goal came courtesy Benny Feilhaber.

Minnesota’s Bobby Shuttleworth and LA’s Tyler Miller each made six saves in their goals.

LAFC fails in a bid to make up points on Western Conference first seed FC Dallas, while the Loons now can eye a playoff spot in the West.

Already-thin Liverpool center back corps loses Matip to quad injury

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Liverpool’s 3-1 loss to Borussia Dortmund featured an injury to a position with very little depth.

The Reds lost Joel Matip to what Jurgen Klopp said could possibly be a “small tear” in one of his quads.

[ MORE: Marketing Pulisic with BVB ]

If Matip, 26, needs any significant time to heal up, he’ll put a major question mark into Liverpool’s opening day center back pairing.

Virgil Van Dijk, who scored against BVB on Sunday, already won’t have Dejan Lovren as a partner thanks to a post-World Cup vacation.

That leaves Joe Gomez and Ragnar Klavan as options next to Van Dijk.

Matches at Crystal Palace and home to Brighton and Hove Albion follow the Aug. 12 visit from West Ham.