Ramirez scores twice in 1st start since trade, LAFC wins

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Christian Ramirez scored his first two goals since joining Los Angeles FC in a trade last week, helping the expansion team beat Real Salt Lake 2-0 on Wednesday night. LAFC acquired the high-scoring forward from Minnesota United on Aug. 6. The Garden Grove, California, left as the leading goal-scorer in United’s short history. He has nine goals this season. LAFC (11-7-6) ended a five-game winless stretch, including two straight losses. Salt Lake (10-10-5) has just one win in its last six games, with three draws. In…

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Goalkeeper Subasic retires from Croatia’s national team

ZAGREB, Croatia (AP) — Danijel Subasic says he is retiring from international soccer, becoming the third Croatian player that reached the World Cup final to leave the national team. The 33-year-old Subasic joins defender Vedran Corluka and striker Mario Mandzukic in calling it quits. Subasic says “the time has come to say farewell to my favorite jersey after 10 years with the national team.” He says he made the decision to retire before the World Cup, adding that playing in the final was his dream. Subasic, who plays for French…

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AEK knocks Celtic out of Champions League qualifiers

AEK Athens eliminated Scottish champion Celtic in the third round of Champions League qualifying on Tuesday. Portuguese club Benfica and Ukraine’s Dynamo Kiev were among other teams to reach the next round. AEK beat Celtic 2-1 in Greece on Tuesday thanks to goals from Rodrigo Galo and Marko Livaja, to secure a 3-2 win on aggregate. Scott Sinclair responded with a goal for Celtic. Celtic reached the Champions League group stage in the last two seasons, but the defeat continues a difficult start to the season for Brendan Rodgers’ team…

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Keep bribes quiet for 10 years, FIFA won’t punish you

LONDON (AP) — FIFA has officially eradicated corruption. All it took was pressing the delete key. Soccer officials and players who bother checking out the new code of ethics governing their conduct will find the word “corruption” missing. They also will discover how to avoid being banned for paying and receiving bribes. Corruption was scrubbed as an official misdemeanor during secret meetings where executives executed the first overhaul of the code since a wave of scandals left soccer’s governing body “clinically dead” by 2015. That was the hyperbole used by…

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SPANISH LEAGUE 2018-19: Huesca makes 1st-division debut

MADRID (AP) — The Spanish league begins this weekend with small club Huesca making its first-division debut and traditional teams Rayo Vallecano and Valladolid returning to the top flight. The three promoted clubs replace Malaga, Las Palmas and Deportivo La Coruna, which were relegated last season. Girona, Levante and Getafe — the promoted teams two years ago — are all staying in the top tier for another season. Here’s a look at the new teams in Spain’s first division this season: HUESCA After coming close to promotion two years ago,…

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Ronaldo makes Juventus fans wait only 8 minutes for 1st goal

VILLAR PEROSA, Italy (AP) — Cristiano Ronaldo made Juventus fans wait only eight minutes before scoring his first goal for the club in a traditional pre-season friendly against the team’s “B” side on Sunday. Ronaldo finished with his usual confidence and poise after latching onto a looping pass over the midfield from attacking midfelder Federico Bernardeschi. Ronaldo took one touch to cushion the ball and then casually thumped it into the left corner. Ten minutes later, he pressured Riccardo Capellini into an own-goal to make it 2-0 to the Bianconero,…

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Picault, Elliott help Union beat Revolution 3-2

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — Fabrice-Jean Picault scored on a penalty kick and Jack Elliott had his first career multi-goal game to help the Philadelphia Union beat the New England Revolution 3-2 on Saturday night. Picault converted from the spot in the 76th minute, after New England’s Antonio Delamea was called for a hand ball in the area, to give Philadelphia (9-11-3) a 3-2 lead. Elliott, a 22-year-old defender who came in with one career goal, opened the scoring in the 14th minute. After Cory Burke’s header, off a cross by…

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VAR paves way for Marseille’s 4-0 victory in season opener

PARIS (AP) — Marseille crushed Toulouse 4-0 on Friday as the French league season opened with a video assistant refereeing (VAR) decision leading to the first goal. Attacking midfielder Dimitri Payet scored in each half, with his penalty on the stroke of halftime awarded after a video review. Striker Valere Germain added a third goal, while winger Florian Thauvin struck two minutes into injury time. Alerted by VAR officials that defender Kelvin Amian had blocked a cross with his hand, Ruddy Buquet checked the images. Having initially signaled a corner,…

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Chelsea sends striker Batshuayi on loan to Valencia

LONDON (AP) — Chelsea striker Michy Batshuayi has joined Valencia on a season-long loan. The 24-year-old Belgium international spent the second half of last season on loan at Borussia Dortmund after Chelsea signed Olivier Giroud from Arsenal to compete with Alvaro Morata for a place in the starting line-up. Batshuayi scored nine goals in 14 appearances for Dortmund but his spell was cut short in April due to ankle ligament damage.

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Tim Howard and Stuart Holden join Champions League team

U.S. national team goalkeeper Tim Howard and retired midfielder Stuart Holden are joining Turner broadcasting’s coverage of the Champions League this season. Howard and Holden will serve as analysts for the B/R Football studio programming, which will include pre- and post-match, as well as halftime coverage on B/R Live and TNT. B/R Football will have studios in Los Angeles and Atlanta. Howard, 39, currently plays for Major League Soccer’s Colorado Rapids. He has made 121 appearances with the national team, most of any goalkeeper. He has played in two World…

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