Last Week around the Leagues
by Fran Stuchbury
June 9, 2020 - National Arena League (NAL)
This past week Major League Soccer and the MLS Players Association completed a new collective bargaining agreement, the NBA G League and National Lacrosse League canceled the remainder of their seasons due to COVID-19, and Major League Rugby added an expansion team named the Dallas Jackals. Highlights from this week are from Major League Soccer, the NBA G League, National Lacrosse League, American Hockey League, National Arena League and Major League Rugby.
Major League Soccer
Major League Soccer and the MLS Players Association completed a new collective bargaining agreement after the MLSPA voted to approve a revised plan. "Thanks to the leadership of our union and the leadership of all the folks at ownership who were working hard to reach an agreement, we were fortunate to be able to finalize an agreement, as the union announced early this morning," said MLS Commissioner Don Garber during a video conference with media. The new CBA will run through 2025 and includes agreement on a plan to resume the 2020 season with a tournament in Orlando.
How Kevin Durant investing in MLS's Philadelphia Union can help the league's global reach. With NBA superstar Kevin Durant reportedly ready to purchase a minority stake in Major League Soccer club Philadelphia Union, ESPN FC's Sebastian Salazar and Herculez Gomez are joined by ESPN Deportes' Jose del Valle to react to the news. Plus, they examine why the Brooklyn Nets star would invest in the Union over a bigger MLS club.
United Soccer League Championship
The USL Championship is pleased to announce its Board of Governors voted on Thursday in favor of returning to play for the 2020 season, with a provisional start date set for July 11. While additional information on competition format, scheduling, broadcast and other important details will be made available in the coming weeks, it's important to note that the league's return to play will be conducted in strict alignment with all local and state public health guidelines.
United Soccer League One
USL League One is pleased to announce its Board of Governors voted in favor of framework for returning to play in 2020, with a provisional start date set for July 18. While additional information on competition format, scheduling, broadcast and other important details will be made available in the coming weeks, it's important to note that the league's return to play will be conducted in strict alignment with all local and state public health guidelines.
Canadian Premier League
The Canadian Premier League together with its owners, clubs and player leadership unanimously agreed on the structure and concept of a proposed strategy on the possibility of a 2020 CPL season. The CPL feels an obligation on behalf of our players, teams, supporters and partners, to get back on the pitch and that can't happen without the players input and support. The health and safety of all is the single most important issue and it is vital that appropriate health and safety protocols mandated by the local and Provincial officials are in place and agreed to by all stakeholders - players, clubs, owners, league and Canada Soccer, the CPL's governing body.
National Women's Soccer League
Megan Rapinoe will not be joining the National Women's Soccer League when it meets for the league's 25-game Challenge Cup in Utah in July, according to her new coach in Seattle, Farid Benstiti of OL Reign.
NBA G League
NBA G League President Shareef Abdur-Rahim announced that the remainder of the 2019-20 NBA G League season, which was suspended March 12, has been canceled. The NBA G League's regular season was scheduled to conclude on March 28.
NBA G League Officially Cancels Season
National Basketball League of Canada
Vice President of Business Development of the KW Titans, Melissa Melnychuk has been named the Ian Fowler Executive of the Year for the 2019-20 season. As an organization, the Titans elevated their marketing and outreach efforts under the guidance of Melynchuk this season which in turn resulted in an increase in both attendance and gross revenue per game, 24% and 33% respectively.
National Lacrosse League
The National Lacrosse League, the longest running and most successful professional lacrosse league in the world, today announced that the League is focusing its attention and efforts on preparing for the next season and has decided not to complete the 2019-20 season. The decision follows the cancellation of the regular season which was announced on April 6th after suspension of the regular season on March 12th due to COVID-19.
NLL Commissioner Nick Sakiewicz sits down with Devan Kaney to breakdown the reasons for cancelling this season's playoffs and focus on next season.
The New York Riptide announced that they have parted ways with head coach and general manager Regy Thorpe. In addition to Thorpe, the coaching staff and lacrosse operations team will also not be retained for the 2020-21 National Lacrosse League season.
American Hockey League
Josh Norris of the Belleville Senators was voted the winner of the Dudley (Red) Garrett Memorial Award as the American Hockey League's outstanding rookie for the 2019-20 season.
National Arena League
The National Arena League is excited to announce a new opportunity for football players from South America. The NAL owners have unanimously approved an international exemption to the active roster. This exemption will allow teams to increase their game day roster from 21 to 22 players. The Columbus Lions will be the first NAL team to invite a South American player to training camp.
The Columbus Lions have signed international Chilean football player Felipe Castillo.
Arena Football League
The defunct Arena Football League's remaining assets, including team equipment, memorabilia and intellectual property, will go up for sale this month as part of bankruptcy proceedings, auction overseer GA Global Partners announced.
Major League Rugby
Major League Rugby (MLR) announced the unveiling of the Dallas franchise for the 2021 MLR season. The Dallas Jackals are based in the DFW Metroplex and are set to play at Globe Life Park in Arlington, in Arlington, TX. Ownership of the Dallas Jackals is led by an investment group including Neil Leibman and Donnie Nelson. The Jackals home stadium, Globe Life Park, is the most recent home of the XFL Renegades, the USL North Texas SC, and former home of the Texas Rangers.
Draft Prospect Conner Mooneyham
West Coast League
This week the West Coast League's board of directors voted to cancel its 2020 summer collegiate season, due to pandemic-related safety guidelines and travel restrictions across Washington and Oregon. Concurrently, league members Cowlitz, Port Angeles, Ridgefield, Walla Walla, and Yakima Valley are cancelling their respective seasons. Also this week, the League set June 4 as the Opening Day for its 2021 season. Among those beginning league play on that date will be an expansion team based in Nanaimo, British Columbia.
Did we miss anything newsworthy or downright fun? Have a nomination for next week's column? Contact us today and let us know.
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National Arena League Stories from June 9, 2020
- 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.