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Dani Alves admits Neymar persuaded him to join PSG weeks ago

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PARIS (AP) Even before joining Paris Saint-Germain, Neymar was assisting the team.

Dani Alves disclosed Saturday that Neymar said the Brazil defender should move to the French capital last month — and not to Manchester City — after being released by Juventus.

[ MORE: Saturday’s transfer rumor roundupFriday | Thursday ]

Neymar also let former Barcelona teammate Alves in on the secret that he was thinking about making the record-breaking $262 million transfer from the Camp Nou.

“I talked to him about the possibility,” Alves said. “He recommended me to come here. He suggested that I come to the club. I said I wanted to leave Juventus, and he was thinking of coming here.”

While Alves made his PSG debut on Saturday in a 2-0 victory over Amiens, Neymar is yet to play for the French capital club after his international clearance didn’t come through in time.

“There is anticipation because of the football he plays and his will to show it to the world,” said the 35-year-old Alves, who won the Spanish league, Champions League and Club World Cup alongside Neymar at Barcelona. “You take a giant step when you have a player of this level to play against the other teams. This team will get a quality leap forward.”

[ MORE: Neymar won’t make PSG debut until next week ]

Neymar’s transfer more than doubled the previous world transfer record set a year ago when Manchester United paid $116 million to sign Paul Pogba.

“We are not moved by money,” Alves said. “Few people leave their comfort zone, and we are Brazilians. Brazilians do that.”

The arrival of Neymar and Alves adds an even stronger Brazilian flavor to a squad captained by Thiago Silva, whose center back partner is compatriot Marquinhos.

“Our group is very good, people here are very close,” Alves said. “This makes the adaptation a little easier. (Neymar) is very happy and we welcomed him with open arms. I am close because I know what this is like. He came to the right place at the right time.”

[ MORE: 2017-18 Premier League season preview hub

Neymar’s move to PSG raised eyebrows because he is leaving one of soccer’s most illustrious teams for a club that has never won the Champions League.

“It isn’t only about Barcelona, about Spanish clubs,” Alves said. “There is life, challenge and football in other places. Neymar coming changes PSG’s position for sure. It inevitable that there are expectations. His greatness brings all that.”

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)

Jeff Wheeler/Star Tribune via AP
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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.