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Swansea City player Leon Britton named caretaker coach

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Leon Britton will take charge of Swansea City for their huge clash with relegation rivals Crystal Palace on Saturday (Watch live, 10 a.m. ET on CNBC and online via NBCSports.com) after Paul Clement was fired on Wednesday.

Britton, 35, has been working on the coaching staff for the post few months at Swansea and the midfielder has been with the club for 15 years as a professional and has risen with them through the leagues. He is a fans favorite and will earn the respect of his players immediately.

The elegant English midfielder will take charge on a caretaker basis, with the likes of Tony Pulis, Ronald Koeman and Ryan Giggs already being ruled out of the running for the position.

Although he admitted now is not the right time for him to be given the role on a permanent basis, Britton believes he can help lift the Swansea squad and his fellow teammates in the next few weeks.

“That’s one of the reasons I agreed to take this role – because I believe I can have an effect on the team in the immediate future,” Britton said. “I am sure the fans will be behind the team on Saturday and hopefully I can help lift the players. We have to make sure we’re in the right frame of mind and hopefully that will lead to a result.”

With Swansea sitting bottom of the Premier League table with just 12 points and three wins from their first 18 games of the season, Britton and whoever comes in on a permanent basis have a huge job on their hands.

On a lighter note, let’s focus on Britton’s team talk ahead of the Palace game: “Leon. Captain. Leon. Penalty kick taker. Set pieces. Leon…” That would be amusing if it happened, but Britton confirmed he’s struggling with a calf injury and unavailable.

Joking aside, if Britton does well then it isn’t inconceivable he will be given the job on a permanent basis. Look at the Bundesliga and how well young coaches have done in tough circumstances in recent years, plus Swansea did think outside the box in the past when it came to managerial appointments as young coaches like Roberto Martinez and Garry Monk were given chances.

Since they were promoted to the PL in 2011, the Swans have been proponents of attacking, entertaining soccer with the “Swansea Way” leading them to the top 10 under Michael Laudrup, a League Cup trophy and European action.

However, the Swansea Way has become somewhat muddled in recent seasons with the South Wales side now going through three managers in the past 12 months in Francesco Guidolin, Bob Bradley and Clement. In each of the last two campaign they’ve survived relegation with a late season surge and it will be another struggle this season.

Without Gylfi Sigurdsson and Fernando Llorente, who were both sold in the summer, it is tough to see where Swansea’s goals will come from. They are the lowest scorers in the PL with just 10 goals this season and with Jordan Ayew and Wilfried Bony struggling for form, Tammy Abraham has done his best in his first season in the PL but it seems like that won’t be enough.

If Swansea lose to Crystal Palace at home this weekend, they could be as much as seven points from safety. They’ve been in worse situations than this and survived but the situation is getting pretty desperate.

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.