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Report: Ajax in negotiations to sign El Tri’s Alvarez

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One of the Mexico National Team’s brightest stars appears to be heading to Ajax, where he could potentially be the replacement for one Matthijs de Ligt.

According to a report in Voetbol International, a publication in the Netherlands, Ajax technical director Marc Overmars confirmed the club’s interest in signing Club America and El Tri defender Edson Alvarez. Club America are reportedly demanding nothing less than nearly $17 million for Alvarez, who has in just two years become a regular for El Tri.

[READ: USMNT’s Boyd signs with Besiktas]

The report states that Wolverhampton Wanderers – which has Alvarez’s El Tri teammate Raul Jimenez – and PSV Eindhoven were also interesting in signing Alvarez.

The 21-year-old made his debut for Club America as a right back under long-time Liga MX manager Ricardo La Volpe in 2016, and just a few months after his club debut, he was already playing for the national team. He was included and featured at the 2017 Gold Cup, becoming Mexico’s youngest scorer in the competition (at age 19) and he then started all four of Mexico’s games at the 2018 World Cup, including against Neymar and Brazil in the Round of 16.

Alvarez has continued his strong play over the past year and has moved into more of a centerback and holding midfielder role at times. He played as a No. 6 for Mexico in its 1-0 win over the U.S. Men’s National Team at the 2019 Gold Cup final, at times dropping into the back line to defend while providing support in the attack.

As Alvarez is still young but continues to grow, it’s a perfect time for him to join Ajax. There, he’ll face even better attackers than in Liga MX, and he’ll have a lot of responsibility on his shoulders to play for a prestigious club like Ajax. The pressure to perform will only make him better, like it’s helped countryman Hirving “Chucky” Lozano across the Netherlands at PSV Eindhoven.

Interestingly, Alvarez would be the second summer signing for Ajax with a North American connection. Defender Kik Pierie was actually born in Boston, while his father was studying at Harvard Medical School, though he’s been raised almost entirely in the Netherlands and has featured for the Oranje internationally.

Giovani dos Santos signs with Club America

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At the age of 30, Giovani dos Santos is going to play a Liga MX match for the first time.

The Barcelona youth academy product and Mexico national team centurion has signed with Club America, four months after the LA Galaxy bought out his contract.

[ MORE: Messi gets 2nd ever red card ]

Dos Santos was an MLS MVP caliber player at his best during his four seasons in MLS, which came after a career spent with Barcelona, Tottenham Hotspur, Ipswich Town, Mallorca, Galatasaray, Racing Santander, and Villarreal.

The Apertura season begins on July 19, and Club America will meet Tigres UANL in the Campeon de Campeones five days earlier.

The Monterrey-born forward has 19 goals and 23 assists in 107 caps for El Tri. He’s won three Gold Cups and an Olympic gold, last appearing for Mexico at the 2018 World Cup in Brazil.

MLS Roundup: Richards completes move to Bayern, Kaku drama continues

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Whether for marketing reasons or footballing ones, Bayern Munich and FC Dallas cemented a transfer that could begin a new pathway to Europe for MLS youngsters.

After spending the last seven months on loan with Bayern Munich’s academy, Bayern and FC Dallas made official the news that centerbach Chris Richards has completed a permanent transfer to the German giants. Goal.com reported two weeks ago that Bayern and MLS had agreed on a $1.5 million transfer fee for the 19-year-old American, with a 40 percent sell-on fee that would go back to FC Dallas.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

News of the transfer is the latest in the meteoric rise of the Alabama native, who was once rejected from the FC Dallas academy as a 16-year-old. Two years later, including after beating FC Dallas with the Texans in Houston in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy playoffs, Dallas brought him back and quickly signed him as a Homegrown player. Richards has since also cemented his place with the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team, leading the U.S. to the CONCACAF U-20 Championship title last November. He’s in line to start at the 2009 Under-20 World Cup in Poland.

However, due to MLS rules, Richards never got a chance to play for the MLS first team. Instead, he and the club took advantage of a new partnership between FC Dallas and Bayern, and he reportedly impressed enough to make the deal permanent. Richards is the second player from MLS signed to Bayern in the past six months, after the club inked a transfer for Vancouver Whitecaps youngster Alphonso Davies.

Here’s more news from around MLS:

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Liga MX: America wins at Cruz Azul to capture Apertura title

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Club America had a tall mountain to climb following their scoreless draw, at home, with Cruz Azul in the first leg of Liga MX’s Apertura final on Thursday, but climb that mountain they did with a 2-0 victory at Estadio Azteca on Sunday.

[ LA LIGA: Lionel Messi’s hat trick paces Barcelona in rout of Levante ]

Midfielder Edson Alvarez scored both goals in the game — five minutes into the second half and one minute before full-time — as America claimed their record 13th league title (first since 2014).

Cruz Azul goalkeeper Jose de Jesus Corona committed a costly error to set up Alvarez for the opener, and ultimately the winner. Alvarez’s second came courtesy of a bit of fortuitous timing, as Corona made the initial save on Cecilio Dominguez’s shot, but the rebound fell to Alvarez for a straightforward finish.

It was the second league title of manager Miguel Herrera’s career, and his first since his first stint with America, in 2013.

Cruz Azul saw their title-less streak reach 21 years, in heartbreaking fashion, after finishing top of the table in the regular season. They are now the first team in Mexican history to lose six straight finals appearances.

Liga MX wrap: Mozo magic helps Pumas win thriller vs. Necaxa (video)

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Week Two of the Apertura is nearly complete, and the soccer authorities deemed us worthy of a thriller at Olympic Stadium.

[ MORE: Mitrovic in, Rondon out at NUFC ]

Pumas 5-3 Necaxa

This game was bonkers, and featured one of the slickest nutmegs we’ve seen in some time.

More on that later, but a 1-1 halftime deadlock gave way to a half-dozen markers in a frenzied second half.

Necaxa’s Matias Fernandez saw his 53rd minute goal answered two minutes later by Carlos Gonzalez. Martin Rodriguez and Alan Mozo made it 4-2 by the 76th, but Necaxa again had a quick fire answer in the 78th through Victor Davila’s second of the night.

Gonzalez bagged his second in the 81st to effectively put the match to bed, but what a game.

Mozo’s goal was legitimately smooth.

Club America 3-0 Atlas

Guido Rodriguez’s double made sure Week 1 was just a stumble, as America came back with an inspired performance to move to 1W-1L on the Apertura.

Elsewhere
Tigres 0-0 Tijuana
Guadalajara 0-1 Cruz Azul
Morelia 3-1 Santos Laguna
Puebla 2-1 Toluca
Queretaro 1-0 Pachuca
Lobos BUAP 2-0 Veracruz
Leon 0-2 Monterrey