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La Liga: Barcelona still unbeaten after Alcacer brace (video)

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A roundup of all of Saturday’s action in Spain’s top flight…

[ PREMIER LEAGUE: Saturday roundup | Sunday preview ]

Barcelona 2-1 Sevilla

It took a Paco Alcacer brace — not to mention, a bit of patience and resolve — but Barcelona outlasted Sevilla and picked up a 2-1 victory at the Camp Nou, thus continuing their unbeaten start (one draw) to the 2017-18 La Liga season. Alcacer scored the opener in the 23rd minute, after Sergio Escudero’s calamitous error left him one-on-one with David Soria. The 24-year-old Spaniard touched the ball around the goalkeeper for 1-0.

1-0 was the score until just before the hour mark, when Guido Pizarro rose above Gerard Pique to head home Ever Banega’s corner kick in the 59th minute.

Six minutes later, Alcacer struck again, poking home Ivan Rakitic’s menacing cross to the near post. In just is fourth league appearance this season, Saturday’s goals were the first and second of the campaign for Alcacer, who was expected to be heavily relied upon after Neymar’s departure in the summer.

Valencia 3-0 Leganes

As for the title race, Valencia have shown no signs of going quietly into the night, as Marcelino Garcia Toral’s side picked up its seventh straight win and maintaining its own unbeaten start by beating eighth-place Leganes handily.

Daniel Parejo opened the scoring after only 14 minutes. Los Che held onto that 1-0 scoreline for the next 57 minutes, until Rodrigo’s Moreno’s seventh goal of the season made it 2-0 and all but put the game to bed. Santi Mina converted from the penalty spot in the 82nd minute, and Villarreal were within a point of Barca for eight hours.

Deportivo La Coruña 0-1 Atletico Madrid

For 90-plus minutes, Atletico Madrid couldn’t find a way through Deportivo La Coruña’s disciplined defense. Diego Simeone’s side looked headed for another disappointing result — it would have been their fourth draw in five games — until Thomas Partey smashed a scripted restart sequence around the wall and into the top corner. The victory keeps Atleti perfectly paced alongside their capital rivals, Real Madrid, with the defending champions set to take on Las Palmas on Sunday.

Elsewhere in La Liga

Alaves 1-0 Espanyol

Sunday’s La Liga schedule

Levante vs. Girona — 6 a.m. ET
Celta Vigo vs. Athletic Bilbao — 10:15 a.m. ET
Real Sociedad vs. Eibar — 12:30 p.m. ET
Villarreal vs. Malaga — 12:30 p.m. ET
Real Madrid vs. Las Palmas — 2:45 p.m. ET

Mourinho bemoans ‘very bad’ preseason for Man United

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MANCHESTER, England — Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has described the team’s preseason as “very bad” because of the disruption caused by the World Cup and the absence of Alexis Sanchez for the tour of the United States.

Paul Pogba, Romelu Lukaku, Marcus Rashford, Marouane Fellaini and Phil Jones will not return to training with United until close to the start of the new season because their countries got to the semifinals of the World Cup in Russia.

Sanchez wasn’t among the United squad heading across the Atlantic because there was an issue with his visa after the Chile forward accepted a 16-month suspended sentence in Spain over a tax issue.

Mourinho said “preseason is very bad, I have to say that,” adding that “I am worried because I am not training with all my players.”

On Sanchez, Mourinho said “he’s very sad, it’s not good for him or me, not good for anyone. There is no one to blame — the club is making an effort. I have to respect the U.S. authorities in their process of selection of visas. I hope he will come to join us.”

Mourinho said he is set to start the season with Sanchez, Juan Mata and Anthony Martial as his strike force.

United flew to Los Angeles on Sunday and will play five games, including three International Champions Cup matches against Real Madrid, AC Milan and Liverpool, during its stay.

United plays its first English Premier League game of the season on Aug. 10 against Leicester at Old Trafford.

WATCH LIVE: U.S. Open Cup quarterfinals Wed. night

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The 2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open is back, with all four quarterfinal matchups set for Wednesday night.

[ MORE: USWNT names veteran team for Tournament of Nations ]

It’s a mixed bag of haves and have-nots from the 2018 MLS regular season still alive in the competition. Current holders Sporting Kansas City are still alive and have been drawn away to the Houston Dynamo (8:30 p.m. ET), in something of a grudge match for Houston after coughing up a 2-0 lead and losing to Sporting KC 3-2 last month.

Los Angeles FC host Portland Timbers (10:30 p.m. ET) in a rematch of Sunday’s league clash at Banc of California Stadium (a 0-0 draw). Philadelphia Union and Orlando City SC open the night’s action at Talen Energy Stadium (7 p.m. ET), followed by Chicago Fire taking on the only remaining lower-division team still in the competition, Louisville City (7:30 p.m. ET).

All games will be streamed live on, direct links below.


Philadelphia Union vs. Orlando City SC — WATCH
Chicago Fire vs. Louisville City — WATCH
Houston Dynamo vs. Sporting Kansas City — WATCH
Los Angeles FC vs. Portland Timbers — WATCH

Miami City Commission sends Beckham stadium to Nov. ballot

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David Beckham and his business partners, the Mas brothers, are one top closer to securing the stadium deal required to bring an MLS expansion franchise to the city of Miami — maybe, but also maybe not.

[ MORE: Transfer rumor roundup: Pogba wants Juve move, Grealish to Spurs? ]

The Miami City Commission voted on Wednesday to place a referendum on the November ballot, paving the way for Beckham and Co.’s privately-funded complex on city land currently occupied by a golf course. The final vote tally was 3-2 in favor of sending the issue to ballot. A previous Commission session was conducted, and ended, last week without a final vote taking place as the fifth and final member had yet to make up his mind.

Beckham and partners used the last week, between Commission meetings, to put a full-court press on Miami’s general public, local media and the last remaining member of the Commission.

[ MORE: PHOTOS: 2018-19 Premier League jerseys ]

The key, and most contentious, part of the proposal is (at least) $35 million worth of toxic waste which must be removed from the site. That number could very easily double or triple once clean-up begins, and Beckham’s group would be on the hook for the total cost.

The proposed stadium would seat roughly 25,000 fans and would be just one part of the 58-acre park which will also include retail, restaurants and hotels.

Sarri hopes to convince Hazard, Courtois in face-to-face meeting

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The coming days and weeks will be immensely tense times for players, coaches, directors and fans of Chelsea alike — but, for no one more so than new Blues boss Maurizio Sarri, who faces the very real prospect of losing arguably his two best players before managing his first game at Stamford Bridge.

[ MORE: Transfer rumor roundup: Pogba wants Juve move, Grealish to Spurs? ]

Forward Eden Hazard has made it pretty clear he’d prefer a move to his yet-unnamed “preferred destination,” and goalkeeper Thibut Courtois has said he’d like to continue playing with Hazard, either in west London or elsewhere. Sarri hopes he’ll have a chance to persuade the Belgian duo to stay another year, or longer, but he doesn’t plan on doing so until they return from their offseason breaks, at which point he can meet with them face to face — quotes from the Guardian:

“Clearly the players you are referring to are very high-level players and I would like to keep them. But a telephone call without looking them in the eye will not give me any certainty.

“I would like to meet these players face to face and talk to them and understand what the best thing is for everyone to do. Before that I would also like a player to come on the pitch for four or five days with me to have a clear idea of what the plan is.”

Given that the Premier League’s transfer window will close before the upcoming season’s opening weekend (Aug. 9), the period of time during which Hazard and Courtois will be available to meet with Sarri, and the amount of time to reinvest and replenish the squad should they leave, will be an extremely narrow window. After finishing third-place at the 2018 World Cup, they could very easily be away until the final 48 or 72 hours of the window.