The soccer news starts with Ligue 1's 2018-19 season beginning later today. It's tough to claim that France's topflight has been a regular destination for USMNT players. Charlie Davies, Carlos Bocanegra, and Alejandro Bedoya spent time there, but it's not a league normally associated with American player development. That could change, and at the biggest club in Ligue 1.
We're talking about Tim Weah at PSG, with the young USMNT forward fighting for place this summer. Weah scored in PSG's Trophee des Champions win last week and he played in three games with the first team in 2018. That's no small accomplishment considering he's 18 and part of a super club that won't hesitate to spend on attacking options. Playing for the biggest club in Ligue 1 is its own situation, one that Weah is navigating like a professional.
Picking any club but PSG to win Ligue 1 this season means overlooking a massive payroll disparity. After setting the transfer record last summer by spending just over $250m on Neymar, PSG did it again this summer. Making Kylian Mbappe's loan deal permanent means 2nd-place in the all-time transfer table at just over $200m. Both are forwards. Neymar had 19 goals in 20 games in his first injury-hampered season with PSG. Mbappe was good for 13 in 27 games. Scroll down the record transfers list, and Edinson Cavani comes in at 24th. PSG paid $73m for him back in 2014. He's been their regular striker ever since, scoring 28 goals in 32 games in 2017-18. Add in Angel Di Maria who scored 11 goals in 29 games.
Last season, PSG won the league by 13 points with a +79 goal differential. 3rd-place Lyon had the next highest goal difference at +44. It's an offense that's the best in France and looking to be the best in Europe. This season, PSG also added one of the game's elite goalkeepers. Gianluigi Buffon left Juventus for PSG, playing behind a backline that includes the Brazilian trio of Thiago Silva, Marquinhos, and Dani Alves. With Thomas Tuchel, Christian Pulisic's former coach at Borussia Dortmund, now running the show in Paris, he's got a world all-star rosters and options in a league his team should dominate.
Matt Miazga spent two successful seasons with Vitesse Arnhem in the Eredivisie, on loan from Chelsea. Miazga became a key part of Vitesse's first choice lineup, helping them qualify for the Europa League. Now on loan to Nantes, Miazga will have a quick adjustment to playing in Ligue 1.
Nantes finished 9th last season, down from 7th the season before. Miguel Cardoso replaces Claudio Ranieri as coach, with the team bringing in forward Majeed Waris on loan from Porto. Nantes isn't one of the clubs trying to compete with PSG, and that might work in their favor. Finishing midtable isn't necessarily a goal considering what Nantes did under Ranieri, but it's also not necessarily a problem.
Goal.com's Ives Galarcep interviews USMNT and MSV Duisberg player Joe Gyau about recovering from injury. BBC Sport on Spurs not making any signings. The Guardian's Paul Wilson on the return of the Premier League. The Austin American-Statesman's Kevin Lyttle reports on the city council meeting that postponed a decision on funding a stadium should the Crew relocate.
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