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Premier League 2017-18 preview – Brighton and Hove Albion

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Just 116 years old, Brighton and Hove Albion is back in England’s top flight for the first time since 1983. Chris Hughton was and is their guide, a man who has now ushered two teams into the Premier League (Newcastle United).

Top scorer Glenn Murray‘s a bit used to the league as well, and he brings a 23-goal season into Falmer Stadium. Along with star wing Anthony Knockaert (more on him later), attacker Tomer Hemed, backs Lewis Dunk and Bruno, and new import Pascal Gross, the Gulls will look to find survival in Year One of their new Premier League life.

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Best, worst case scenario – The ceiling for Brighton this year is to advance deep into a Cup competition while quickly getting to midtable and avoiding the relegation battle. The worst case scenario is stumbling out of the gates and never getting a foothold en route to relegation and the Football League Championship.


Best possible XI is… 

Ryan

Bruno — Dunk — Duffy — Suttner

 Stephens — Gross — Kayal

Knockaert — Hemed — Brown


[ MORE: 2017-18 PL season preview hub ] 

Transfers In: Pascal Gross (Ingolstadt), Izzy Brown (loan, Chelsea), Josh Kerr (Celtic), Mathew Ryan (Valencia), Markus Suttner (Ingolstadt), Mathias Normann (Bodo/Glimt), Steven Alzate (Leyton Orient).

Transfers Out: David Stockdale (Birmingham City), Rob Hunt (Oldham Athletic).

Last season:

Promoted with weeks to spare
— Fell behind Newcastle United on the last day of the Championship season to finish second in earning an automatic promotion spot. — —- Dropped out of the League Cup and FA Cup tournaments at the third round.

Star player: Anthony Knockaert, right win. The 25-year-old Frenchman didn’t get much of a chance to star for Leicester after helping in their promotion run, refinding his mojo at Standard Liege before exploding for 15 goals and nine assists in a Championship Player of the Year performance.

Coaches’ Corner: Hughton is a gem. In addition to guiding Newcastle and Brighton to promotion, he shepherded Norwich City to an 11th place finish in the PL. A two-time LMA Manager of the Year, including a year his side didn’t get promoted, Hughton has won 50 percent of his matches at Brighton.

PST predicts: Brighton just survives, getting by on the wiles of Hughton and a crucial January addition or two.

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.