We start the soccer news with a simple point. It's easy to judge the 2018 summer transfer market by its biggest deal. Cristiano Ronaldo moves to Juventus from defending Champions League winners Real Madrid and resets the competitive balance in European soccer. Last season, it was Neymar moving from Barcelona to PSG but that wasn't the key player from the club dominating the Champions League. It's a different feeling this summer, and the disruption might not be over.
Rumors have Paul Pogba capping his World Cup winning summer by moving from Manchester United to Barcelona. It's not an inconceivable solution to his issues at United, with Barcelona still trying to at least partially rebuild at their lofty level. It's worth the reminder that following Neymar's move, Barcelona still won La Liga and the Copa del Rey. For all the talk about how the only trophy that matters to the La Liga giants is the Champions League, that's only partially accurate. La Liga is the long haul, something now former Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane stressed at points last season.
Europe's elite clubs know that the expectation is world all-star rosters. PSG paying Monaco over $200m to make Kylian Mbappe's loan move permanent gives them the same look they had last season. It still cost substantially more than what Juventus paid to get Ronaldo. Then there's Liverpool paying over $83m to Roma for goalkeeper Alisson and almost $68m to RB Leipzig for midfielder Naby Keita.
What we're seeing happen in real time is contenders in major European domestic leagues turned into selling clubs. That's most notably Monaco, following up a 2nd-place finish in Ligue 1 by also selling forward Thomas Lemar to Atletico Madrid (just under $68m) and Fabinho to Liverpool (just over $51m). Spending just under $35m for CSKA Moscow midfielder Aleksandr Golovin seems like shopping in the discount aisle considering how much money Monaco brought in this summer.
If this is the new normal for European soccer, it's the elite continuing to push away from everybody else. Adding tens of millions to transfer fees would do that, creating the kind of competitive imbalance addressed by limiting spaces in the Champions League to teams in the top domestic leagues. Or causing it for the same reasons.
The Copa MX group stage continued with Ventura Alvarado not in the squad for Necaxa's 3-1 win at UNAM Pumas. Trailing from the 10th minute, Claudio Riano equalized for Necaxa in the 34th. Daniel Lopez scored in the 38th with Martin Barragan adding a goal in the 89th minute. Jorge Villafana missed Santos Laguna's 1-1 home draw with Celaya. Aryton Preciado scored for Santos in the 13th minute with Celaya equalizing in the 57th. Joe Corona's Club America drew 0-0 at Dorados. Corona picked up a yellow card in the 44th minute.
Yahoo Sports' Doug McIntyre on potential USMNT coaches. American Soccer Now's Brian Sciaretta talks to Josh Gatt about his return to SCR Altrach in Austria. MLSsoccer.com's Payson Schwin profiles Atlanta forward Josef Martinez.
The Guardian's Dave Caldwell interviews Kyle Martino about NBC's coverage of the Premier League. Pro Soccer Talk's Nicholas Mendola questions Spurs' approach to the transfer window. ESPN's Rob Dawson with a big issue for Manchester United, the relationship between manager Jose Mourinho and star player Paul Pogba. World Soccer's Paddy Agnew looks at how Serie A is changing for the better. These Football Times' Matthew Evans tells the Reggiana story, with the former Serie A club now in Serie D.
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