Colorado Rapids suspended winger Max Alves on Wednesday over allegations of illegal sports gambling, a source familiar with the situation told ESPN.
The Rapids issued a statement announcing the suspension of one player but did not identify him: “We are aware of reports of a Colorado Rapids player in connection with illegal sports gambling. We take matters of this nature very seriously and strive at all times to protect the integrity of the game.”
“The player has been removed from all team activity while MLS investigates the matter.”
MLS has also released a statement in a similar format Wednesday, adding that a current and former player was involved in illegal gambling.
Earlier Wednesday, prosecutors in the Brazilian state of Goias charged 16 people, including seven professional soccer players, with match-fixing without naming any of the players. However, five players were suspended by their clubs in Brazil on Wednesday in a similar fashion to Alves.
report from O Globo Brazilian outlet Elvis connects to investigate brazil and It shows he got $12,000 by the organization for receiving a yellow card in a match against the Los Angeles Galaxy on September 17, 2022, which he did approximately 90 seconds after entering the match as a substitute.
In addition, transcripts obtained in the O Globo report in connection with the investigation in Brazil show that Alves put the former Houston Dynamo player Zeca in contact with the organization that makes the payments and that he was supposed to be involved in match-fixing on October 8, 2022 — the day MLS decision.
Brazilian-born Alves joined Rapides from Flamengo ahead of the 2022 season and has made 31 appearances for the club in all competitions.
Alves, who started for the Rapids in Saturday’s 3-1 win over the Los Angeles Galaxy, has made 12 appearances for the team so far in 2023.
ESPN’s Jeff Carlisle contributed to this story.