Last Week around the Leagues
by Fran Stuchbury
April 7, 2020 - Major League Soccer (MLS)
This past week more leagues either delayed or cancelled their seasons due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the ECHL Wheeling Nailers have elected not to renew head coach Mike Bavis' contract. and the United States Hockey League's Lincoln Stars named Chris Michael Interim General Manager and Head Coach. Highlights from this week are from the NBA G League, BIG3, XFL, Indoor Football League, Major League Soccer, Premier Lacrosse League and National Lacrosse League.
NBA G League
Top Blocks of March
Women's National Basketball Association
WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert released the following statement: "As developments continue to emerge around the COVID-19 pandemic, including the extension of the social distancing guidelines in the United States through April 30, the WNBA will postpone the start of its training camps and tip of the regular season originally scheduled for May 15. While the league continues to use this time to conduct scenario-planning regarding new start dates and innovative formats, our guiding principle will continue to be the health and safety of the players, fans and employees.
National Basketball League of Canada
The National Basketball League of Canada (NBL Canada) board of governors unanimously voted to cancel the remainder of the 2019/20 regular season and playoffs as a result of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic.
BIG3 Founder Ice Cube discussed more details about the quarantine tournament on ESPN's 'Get Up'
The second DC Defender has signed with an NFL team. Safety Tyree Kinnel agreed to terms with the Pittsburgh Steelers, the team announced. The signing comes shortly after tight end Khari Lee inked a deal with the Atlanta Falcons. Kinnel's return to the NFL places him back in the AFC North; he previously spent time with the Cincinnati Bengals.
Dean Blandino on the XFL kickoff rules
"The new XFL kickoff rules gave us some of the most exciting plays of the season."
Dean Blandino looks back at what made the XFL kickoff a success
Get to know Seattle Dragons running back Trey Williams
Canadian Football League
The Canadian Football League (CFL) has released the following statement regarding training camps: As of today, the opening of CFL training camps will be postponed. The ongoing global pandemic and the resulting directives issued by various governments make it unsafe to proceed with plans to gather our athletes and coaches together as scheduled. (Until today, full CFL training camps had been scheduled to open on May 17, and rookie camps had been scheduled to open as early as May 11.)
Indoor Football League
IFL Journalist Fred Shaffer sat down for a Zoom interview with Oakland Panthers Head Coach Kurt Bryan to talk about the hiatus.
National Arena League
The National Arena League is committed to playing in 2020. Due to the ever changing nature of the Coronavirus, the league is in the process of determining the new start date for the 2020 season."We continue to monitor the evolving updates from the federal government and our local authorities" said a league spokesperson. We are working with the NAL member teams and their arenas to rework the original schedule.
Major League Soccer
Major League Soccer has extended the team training moratorium through, and including, Friday, April 24. MLS training facilities remain closed to all players and staff with the exception of players requiring medical treatment or rehabilitation, under the direction of the team medical staff, that cannot be performed from the safety of their residence.
A New York rivalry... a Josef Martinez hat trick... a Bradley Wright-Phillips Bicycle! Watch the most embarrassing blowouts in league history and all the drama that took place.
National Women's Soccer League
Orlando Pride has acquired English Women's National Team midfielder Jade Moore via transfer from Reading FC Women of England's FA Women's Super League (FAWSL). Moore, 29, comes stateside from the FA WSL, England's top-flight, where she totaled 54 appearances while scoring eight goals since joining Reading in 2017.
Major League Lacrosse
Major League Lacrosse elected to suspend the start of the 2020 season, originally scheduled for May 30. This decision was made to safeguard the health of our players, fans and staff, as well as those within our MLL communities as a result of the global pandemic.
Premier Lacrosse League
Mike Rabil on the 2020 Season - State of the League
National Lacrosse League
Check out the Top 10 Games of the 2019-20 season. With highlights from Josh Byrne, Dane Dobbie, Callum Crawford, Matt Rambo, Mike Messenger, and many more.
Relive some of the most amazing highlights from the 2019-20 NLL season, with behind-the-back goals from Josh Byrne of the Buffalo Bandits, Dane Dobbie of the Calgary Roughnecks, Dylan Kinnear of the Colorado Mammoth, Keegan Bal of the Vancouver Warriors and many more.
The ECHL and its member teams mourn the loss and express their condolences to the family and friends of League co-founder, and 2008 ECHL Hall of Fame inductee Henry Brabham, who passed away at the age of 90.
The ECHL and Professional Hockey Players' Association (PHPA) have announced the development of a relief fund to assist ECHL players and their families suffering a financial hardship following the sudden and unexpected cancellation of the 2019-20 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. By working with the hockey community and anyone willing to make a contribution, the joint effort will work to raise funds for those most in need during this unprecedented period.
The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, have elected not to renew head coach Mike Bavis' contract, and he will not be returning for the 2020-21 season. The search for the 19th head coach in team history begins immediately.
United States Hockey League
The United States Hockey League (USHL) announced the Chicago Steel as Anderson Cup Champions for the 2019-20 season. The USHL's Anderson Cup is annually awarded to the team with the best regular-season point total. This season the Chicago Steel clinched their first Anderson Cup in team history after finishing with a 41-7-1-0 record through 49 games in a season shortened by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Lincoln Stars announced that Chris Michael has been named Interim General Manager and Head Coach. Michael, 38, first joined the Stars as an assistant coach during the 2017-18 season. Prior to his tenure in Lincoln, the Skokie, IL native spent four seasons with the Omaha Lancers as an assistant coach (2013-14) and associate head coach (2014-17).
Minor League Baseball
The ultimate display of athleticism: Position players pitching!
The Long Island Ducks announced the signing of infielder Steve Lombardozzi. The six-year Major League veteran enters his second season with the Ducks, third in the Atlantic League and 13th in professional baseball. Lombardozzi played in 74 games with the Ducks during the 2019 season, batting .262 and accruing a .346 on-base percentage.
Major League Rugby
The 2020 Major League Rugby season was viewed as an important growth year, and a crucial time to cement stability. There's no doubt that the 2020 MLR season will always represent unfinished business, from San Diego Legion's unbeaten record but missed opportunity to prove their reign, to the New England Free Jacks that were unable to host their inaugural home match in front of a sold-out crowd. While the season coming to an end put a brake on the building momentum, it's important to note the many milestones that were reached in 2020.
National Pro Fastpitch
The COVID-19 Pandemic and current restrictions on international travel has made it impossible to plan for a timeline of sending Australian athletes overseas to compete in the NPF competition.
The CEO of World TeamTennis Carlos Silva says the league has sent $1,000 each to about 60 players and coaches as a "gift" to help them deal with the financial hardships presented by the coronavirus pandemic.
Did we miss anything newsworthy or downright fun? Have a nomination for next week's column? Contact us today and let us know.
• Discuss this story on the Major League Soccer message board...
Major League Soccer Stories from April 7, 2020
- FC Dallas and Toyota Partner to Deliver Meals to North Texas Food Bank Volunteers - FC Dallas
- FC Dallas to Broadcast First Match in Franchise History: Dallas Burn vs San Jose Clash from 4/14/96 - FC Dallas
- Real Salt Lake Issue Statement on Workforce Reduction - Real Salt Lake
- FC Cincinnati Weekly - FC Cincinnati
- Orlando City SC Announces #ALLForORL Campaign to Support Local Small Businesses - Orlando City SC
- Fans Asked to Send Encouragement Ahead of National Nurses Week - FC Cincinnati
- Nashville SC Introduces Club's Television Broadcast Talent - Nashville SC
- Last Week around the Leagues - OSC Original by Fran Stuchbury
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer(s), and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.