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Cameron embraces groundbreaking role with Sporting KC

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Meghan Cameron didn’t go out looking to break barriers. Instead, Sporting Kansas City coach Peter Vermes came to her.

Cameron is settling into her job as assistant director of player personnel with Sporting, the first woman to manage player contracts, salary budget, and acquisitions for a Major League Soccer team.

Her role will move into another uncharted area for a woman in MLS: She’ll evaluate prospective players for Vermes, as well as for the Swope Park Rangers and the organization’s academy.

“Peter Vermes just called me,” the longtime MLS front office executive said about her new job’s genesis. “Obviously it’s humbling to be the first. But for me it doesn’t matter if I’m the first or the last or the 101st. Peter called me to do a job, it wasn’t because I’m a female. He knew what I could bring to the table. I do hope this opens the doors for others moving on, but I don’t consider myself a trailblazer. I’m just doing a job.”

Like all coaches, Cameron said Vermes has specific ideas about player characteristics and qualities. Cameron will be working with Director of Player Personnel Brian Bliss.

“The plan is that I’ll be learning what it is in each position that they’re looking for in players so that I can assist in the scouting side as well,” she said.

Cameron’s new job with Sporting – she started last month – comes as women are taking on greater roles in pro soccer in the United States and abroad. And not just with women’s teams.

Two women – Kathy Carter and former national team goalkeeper Hope Solo – are among the eight candidates running for president of the U.S. Soccer Federation. Only four countries – Liberia, Turks and Caicos, Burundi, and Sierra Leone – have ever elected a woman to head their soccer federation.

Chan Yuen-ting became the first female coach to lead a men’s team to a title in a top-flight league in 2016 when she guided Eastern Sports Club to the Hong Kong Premier League championship.

Corinne Diacre served as manager (coach) of a second-division French men’s team, Clermont Foot, for several years until becoming head coach of the French women’s national team in the run-up to the 2019 Women’s World Cup.

And last year the Bundesliga’s Bibiana Steinhaus became the first female referee in a top-flight European league. There were a record seven female officials at the men’s under-17 World Cup in India last year.

Carter, who is on leave from her position as president of Major League Soccer’s marketing subsidiary, Soccer United Marketing, had high praise for Cameron. Carter noted that there aren’t all that many women in the sport’s boardrooms, but they’re even rarer on the technical side of the sport.

“I think Meghan is going to get out there and build on uncharted territory, but I think she’s up to the task,” Carter said.

Cameron’s current job has been the culmination of a life in soccer. Cameron was a standout at Rutgers – Vermes is also an alum – and was on the 2002 Scarlet Knights team that reached the Sweet 16.

“I played soccer since I was 3, so it’s always been a passion of mine. It’s been kind of a piece of who I am. I played soccer at Rutgers but unfortunately my career was cut short and I only got to play three seasons because of injury,” she said. “So at that time I kind of reevaluated and thought, there’s a different way for the sport to be a part of me, and that was working in the front office.”

She worked for eight years as senior manager in player relations in the MLS league offices. Her job was to help teams manage rosters and budgets, while also approving player acquisitions and trades. But she also had a hand in non-financial duties, like youth coaching initiatives and the league’s Rookie Symposium.

“For a long time I’ve been the only female in the room. And it has never been an issue for me. I’ve had the respect of everyone around me, and I respect them. I think as long as you can handle yourself, and it doesn’t matter that you’re female, you’ll get the respect that you deserve,” she said. “As more women move through the ranks and into positions like coaches, it won’t be, `Oh, they’ve got a female coach,’ it will be, `Oh, they’ve got a new coach.”‘

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.