MLS ball Credit: MLS

MLS player Max Alves is being investigated by Brazilian officials for allegedly taking money to affect events in a league match last season.

Alves, a midfielder for the Colorado Rapids, has been removed from team activities. In a statement Wednesday, the team said, “We are aware of the reports regarding a Colorado Rapids player in connection w/unlawful sports gambling. … The player has been removed from all team activities while MLS conducts an investigation into the matter.”

According to MLS beat writer Gustavo Guimarães, Alves “is under investigation by the Brazilian Public Ministry for allegedly receiving R$60.000 to be booked with a yellow card in the match between his club and the LA Galaxy last season, a fact that actually happened. His name appears in a document released by the Brazilian authorities but has not been charged yet.”

R$60.000 is equivalent to around $12,000 in U.S. currency.

Brazilian authorities arrested 16 people Wednesday, including seven players, in connection with the probe. According to the Denver Post, “players were asked to perform certain actions in games, such as receiving yellow cards or conceding corner kicks, to generate profits for sports bettors.”

Alves allegedly took money in return for agreeing to pick up a yellow card in the Sept. 17, 2022 MLS match between the Rapids and the L.A. Galaxy. Alves checked in as a substitute in the second half and got a yellow card about 90 seconds later.

MLS released a statement Wednesday confirming the investigation, without naming Alves. It also noted an unidentified former MLS player is being investigated.

“The integrity of the game is critical to the league and MLS takes these allegations seriously and any contravention of the league’s integrity rules,” the statement read.

Alves, 21, joined the Rapids in January 2022, signing a four-year contract. He has scored one goal in 10 games played in 2023.

[Jeff Carlisle, ESPN]

About Arthur Weinstein

Arthur spends his free time traveling around the U.S. to sporting events, state and national parks, and in search of great restaurants off the beaten path.