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Barcelona, Bayern Munich agree deal to loan Coutinho

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Barcelona and Bayern Munich are nearing the completion of a loan deal that will see midfielder Philippe Coutinho move from Spain to Germany, according to a Barcelona spokesperson on Friday.

[ MORE: Who are the top contenders in this season’s Champions League? ]

Barcelona spokesperson Guillermo Amor confirmed the progress of negotiations on Friday:

“We can confirm that there is an agreement in principle for the loan of Coutinho to Bayern and we just have to finalize the deal”

According to Mundo Deportivo and Sport, Bayern will pay between $16 million and $22 million for this season’s loan, with an option to make the deal permanent for $133 million. Coutinho was left out of Barcelona’s squad for Friday’s La Liga opener against Athletic Bilbao.

Barcelona have spent the entire summer shopping Coutinho to most of the biggest clubs across Europe, desperate to unburden themselves of the 27-year-old Brazilian’s lucrative contract and recoup a sizable chunk of the (up to) $192 million they paid to acquire him from Liverpool barely 18 months ago. Tottenham Hotspur were briefly linked with Coutinho prior to the English transfer window closing on Aug. 8, but those reports were quickly shot down.

Without Rooney, DC United manages to outlast Galaxy (video)

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The game in 200 words (or less): D.C. United were without star Wayne Rooney, who recently announced he’ll be joining Derby County as a player-coach in January, but they managed to eek out three points, defeating the Los Angeles Galaxy 2-1 in front of a packed Audi Field. Zlatan Ibrahimovic, however, did feature in the matchup, and he was overwhelmingly occupied. The Swede posted 14 shots, setting a new MLS record for most shots in a match. When all was said and done, though, Zlatan failed to score, and the Galaxy suffered a third-straight loss. Surely, Guillermo Barros Schelotto was expecting more from new signing, Cristian Pavon. And maybe from his team’s finishing, too.

Three moments that mattered

28′ — Arriola as cool and composed as ever before —

Rooney-less, someone needed to step up for United. Arriola proved to be that someone early on with a simple, delicate finish.

48′ — Alvarez levels things out  —

What Zlatan and Pavon failed to do, Alvarez did: score. It was a well-placed ball, too.

73′ — Rodriguez saves the day for the Red-and-Black  —

The set of saves from David Bingham are a highlight in and of itself. Rodriguez’s finish, though, makes the sequence makes it all that much better, and earned D.C. United three points at home.

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Record crowd sees ATLUTD cruise past Zlatan-less Galaxy (video)

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The game in 200 words (or less): It’s tough to win on the road when you concede a pair of own goals before halftime, a lesson duly noted by the LA Galaxy as Guillermo Barros Schelotto’s side was handily beaten by defending champions Atlanta United in front of a regular-season record crowd of 72,548 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The visitors were without superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic (suspended) and managed just four shots on targets over 90 minutes (all four came inside the game’s opening 25 minutes). After starting the season slowly under new head coach Frank De Boer, have turned things around and summited the Eastern Conference standings. LA, meanwhile, have just three wins from their last eight games (five losses) and could tumble from third to fifth place in the Western Conference before the weekend is over.

[ MORE: Saturday’s transfer rumor roundup | Friday | Thursday ]

Three moments that mattered

23′ — Pity forces the own goal by Romney — Own goal no. 1.

43′ — Josef lurks and forces Gonzalez into a desperate situation — Own goal no. 2.

72′ — Martinez ties his own record with a penalty kick — Josef Martinez showed lingering effects of his tragic penalty attempt of two weeks ago.

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Man of the match: Josef Martinez

Goalscorers: Romney (23′ – OG), Gonzalez (43′ – OG), Martinez (72′ – PK)

MLS Notes: Inter Miami announces first signings

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David Beckham’s club has a name, logo, new stadium, and finally, now, players.

Inter Miami CF announced on Friday its first two official signings, and both are Argentina teenagers. First comes 19-year-old Matias Pellegrini, who joined in a transfer from Estudiantes de la Plata and is signed as a Young Designated Player. Second came Julian Carranza, who joined in a transfer from Banfield. Both players have been loaned back to their Argentine clubs until January 2020, when they join the MLS side for preseason training.

[ MORE: All of PST’s MLS coverage ]

“It’s important for us that we found young, exciting attacking players that are on the upside of their career and have the potential to be really good players in this league,” Inter Miami CF Sporting Director Paul McDonough said in a statement. “We will continue to build and add quality players that are the right fit for our Club. We started with youth, but we know it’s also important to have veteran players who come from both overseas and within the league to balance out the roster over time.

“Both Julián and Matías showed us they really wanted to take the next step of their career with Inter Miami CF. We liked that Pellegrini can play inside and out wide, has very good aerobic capacity and can cover a lot of ground, while Julián is a very grounded player with an impressive work rate. He’s the player that strives to score goals and is very good in the box.”

Both players have featured for Argentine youth national teams, and are the latest in a constant pipeline of young Argentina players heading to MLS. It’s obviously unclear and a bit too early to know exactly what to expect from the two players in MLS, but if they’re anything like Diego Rossi and other recent new Young Designated Player acquisitions, they should be players to keep an eye on moving forward.

Here are some more transfer stories from across MLS:


Report: Galaxy inch closer to $18 million Pavon transfer

Guillermo Barros Schelotto is reportedly on the verge of completing a massive transfer to bring in one of his former players.

Fox Sports Argentina reported on Friday that it would take $18 million for the LA Galaxy to sign Boca Juniors winger Cristian Pavon. According to the report, the transfer is supposed to be wrapped up in the next few hours.

The 23-year-old started for Argentina at the last World Cup and has been linked for years with a move to Europe.

While it’s a massive investment by the Galaxy, it may be one that will be hard to be recouped one day. Pavon has really struggled over the past 12 months. From struggling at the World Cup, Pavon in 2019 has mostly been used off the bench in important Copa Libertadores matches, just starting in Superliga games and becoming a bit of an afterthought.

For Boca, to sell a backup for $18 million would be a coup.

MLS weekend preview: Two big rivalries, and Atlanta meets DC

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It’s been a fun midweek for Major League Soccer, one that doesn’t even reach its conclusion until Thursday’s doubleheader ends with Orlando City and Portland meeting in Oregon.

But looking ahead to the weekend brings plenty more worthy of anticipation, beginning with Friday’s “El Trafico.”

[ MORE: De Ligt joins Juve ]

Bob Bradley and LAFC have been threatening to destroy the record books, driven by Carlos Vela’s tremendous play. The Mexican 30-year-old has 19 goals and eight assists before the calendar hits August.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic isn’t too impressed, and Guillermo Barros Schelotto’s Galaxy are 12 points behind the black and gold. They’d be thrilled to climb into second with a Friday win and a statement of local sway (especially after losing the Cali Clasico to San Jose earlier this month).

A full docket on Saturday is followed by a quadruple header of sorts on Sunday, with four matches kicking off between 4 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. ET. Two of them are beauties.

DC United and Atlanta United meet in what could be an Eastern Conference Final preview. Both are within a win Sunday and match-in-hand of holding the East in the palm of its hand, but neither has been playing particularly well (at least until the Five Stripes waxed Houston 5-0 on Wednesday).

DC plays Cincinnati on Thursday and faces a quicker turnaround than Atlanta. If the Black-and-Red can manage a win over the expansion side, it can will enter the Five Stripes’ match-up in second.

Finally, Sunday concludes with a Cascadia Cup meeting between Portland and Seattle in Washington.

So far, Vancouver leads the table with four points, but has played thrice. Seattle has the same amount of points but has played one fewer game.

Portland has only played one Cup match falling 1-0 in Vancouver, and has the advantage of playing its final two matches at home.

But first is this meeting with Seattle. The Sounders sit second in the West and will love the idea of keeping the Timbers two results back of a playoff spot (albeit with multiple matches-in-hand on the field).

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