Last Week around the Leagues
by Fran Stuchbury
July 28, 2020 - Major League Lacrosse (MLL)
This past week the Houston Dash won the National Women's Soccer League Challenge Cup championship, the Canadian Football League's Edmonton Eskimos announced they will discontinue using their nickname, the Boston Cannons won their first Major League Lacrosse Championship since the 2011 season and the Major League Soccer team in Charlotte revealed it will be known as Charlotte FC. Highlights from this week are from the National Women's Soccer League, Major League Soccer, Canadian Football League, Premier Lacrosse League, National Lacrosse League, Women's National Basketball Association, World TeamTennis, Major League Rugby and the International League.
National Women's Soccer League
The Houston Dash captured the first title in team history with a 2-0 win over the Chicago Red Stars in the NWSL Challenge Cup Championship presented by Budwesier. Goals in the first five minutes and the final five minutes, combined with a stout defensive performance throughout the match, were enough to see the Dash hoist the crystal trophy amid a shower of confetti at Rio Tinto Stadium.
Here are the highlights of the NWSL Challenge Cup Championship.
The National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) announced that a majority woman-founded group led by Academy Award-winning actress and activist Natalie Portman, technology venture capitalist Kara Nortman, media and gaming entrepreneur Julie Uhrman, and tech entrepreneur and venture capitalist Alexis Ohanian who led the investment through his firm Initialized Capital, has secured the exclusive right to bring a professional women's soccer team to Los Angeles to kick off in Spring 2022. While the team's official name and venue partner will be announced before the end of the year, the group has formally coined itself "Angel City" in honor of its planned home in Los Angeles.
Backed by a who's who of prominent - mostly female - owners and investors, Angel City will be the newest NWSL franchise starting spring 2022. Jaime Maggio spoke to team president and founder Julie Uhrman about the pro women's soccer team's short & long term plans as well as who helped bring this all together
Major League Soccer
Charlotte's new MLS expansion team revealed its official name, crest and colors during a live-streamed event featuring the club's supporters' group and owner David Tepper. The club is set to kick off its inaugural MLS season in 2022 and will play at Bank of America Stadium in the heart of Charlotte. The new team will be named Charlotte Football Club, or Charlotte FC. The club will also adopt CLTFC as a secondary reference.
Go behind-the-scenes to learn about all of the elements of the new Charlotte FC Crest.
San Jose Earthquakes star Chris Wondolowski joins Banter with Taylor Twellman to discuss the MLS is Back Tournament, life in the MLS bubble and his future plans. Wondolowski explains how the Earthquakes consistently bring energy to each game and says he is re-evaluating retiring after the 2020 MLS season.
Atlanta United announced the club and head coach Frank De Boer have mutually agreed to part ways, effective immediately. Also departing from the club are assistant coaches Orlando Trustfull and Bob de Klerk and video analyst Erwin Koenis. De Boer guided the club to a 2-0-0 record in 2020 before the MLS season was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Atlanta United was then knocked out of the MLS is Back tournament in Orlando finishing 0-3-0.
Canadian Football League
The Edmonton Eskimo Football Club Board of Directors has made the decision to discontinue the use of the word "Eskimo" in the team's name. Since adopting the name over 100 years ago, our Club and its predecessor organizations have celebrated the hardiness and spirit of those who live in the north. The team's values of community, integrity, respect and inclusion will not change with this decision.
Edmonton's Canadian Football League team announced it will be dropping "Eskimo" from its name following criticism by many in the Inuit community that the name was offensive. The team said it will be undergoing an engagement process to determine a new name.
Just 10 ten days removed from earning his induction into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame, Henry Burris has another reason to smile. According to Adam Jahns of The Athletic, Burris will join the training camp coaching staff of the Chicago Bears. Burris will be a part of coach Matt Nagy's staff as a part of the Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellowship, says Jahns.
National Arena League
The National Arena League is proud to announce their new partnership and expansion into Louisville, Kentucky. The Louisville Xtreme, under the ownership of Victor Cole, will be joining the NAL starting in the 2021 season. The Xtreme will play in Freedom Hall.Chris Redman, Louisville Cardinal Hall of Famer and Super Bowl XXXV champion with the Baltimore Ravens, will become a member of the Louisville Xtreme's arena football team ownership group, and has agreed to serve as team president. The head coach for the Xtreme is long time Arena Coach and former Jacksonville Sharks Head Coach Mark Stoute.
The National Arena League is proud to announce their new partnership and expansion into Tampa Bay, Florida. The Tampa Bay Tornadoes, under the ownership of Alton Walker, John Amato and Ken Nelson are joining the NAL and fielding a team starting in the 2021 season. The Tornadoes will play in Expo Hall at the Florida State Fairgrounds with just over 10,000 seating capacity.
Major League Lacrosse
In the 20th anniversary of Major League Lacrosse (MLL), the Boston Cannons are bringing the Steinfeld Trophy back to Boston for the first time since 2011. The Cannons defeated the Denver Outlaws 13-10 Sunday afternoon on a blazing hot day at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
Premier Lacrosse League
New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick on Game 1 of the PLL Championship Series.
National Lacrosse League
The National Lacrosse League, the longest running and most successful professional lacrosse league in the world, announced that their 14th franchise has been awarded to Fort Worth, Texas. Bill Cameron will be the majority owner while Greg Bibb will serve as Managing Partner of the yet to be named team. Cameron is CEO and Chairman of the Board of Cameron Enterprises, partial owner and board member of the NBA's Oklahoma City Thunder, and lead owner and chairman of the Dallas Wings of the WNBA, while Bibb is Chief Executive Officer and Partner of the WNBA's Dallas Wings. The Fort Worth team will begin play at the new Dickies Arena in Fort Worth in the 2021-22 season. It is the first time the NLL has expanded into the State of Texas in its 34-year history.
The NLL is headed to Fort Worth, and it's the talk of the town. Devan Kaney, Pat Gregoire, and Teddy Jenner dive into the League's expansion and the impact it will have.
Women's National Basketball Association
The New York Liberty of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) announced that Keia Clarke has been promoted to Chief Executive Officer. Ms. Clarke is an accomplished media and sports executive who served in a variety of senior leadership roles for the Liberty over the past 10 seasons, most recently as Chief Operating Officer.
WNBA Draft number one pick New York Liberty guard Sabrina Ionescu scores 12 points in her 2020 WNBA debut.
NBA G League
Raptors 905 announced that Courtney M. Charles has been named Vice President, Basketball and Franchise Operations. He will oversee business operations, basketball affairs and long-term strategic planning for the NBA G League affiliate of the Toronto Raptors. A Toronto native, Charles brings over 15 years of NBA experience to his new role in Mississauga. He began his career in the Raptors front office in 2006, starting as an intern, and has held a variety of roles that helped him build a strong reputation for understanding the needs of the team.
CBS Television Network's broadcast of the World TeamTennis match on July 19 (1:30-3:30 PM ET/10:30 AM-12:30 PM PT) between the Vegas Rollers and Washington Kastles delivered 484,000 viewers, the most in the league's 45-year history. The Washington Kastles, led by Venus Williams and Arina Rodionova, defeated the Vegas Rollers, led by the Bryan Brothers (Bob and Mike Bryan) and Sam Querrey, 24-18.The previous viewership record for World TeamTennis occurred on July 21, 2019, with the league's debut on CBS for a match featuring the Philadelphia Freedoms and Vegas Rollers. That telecast delivered 409,000 viewers.
Looking to make a final playoff push ahead of the World TeamTennis trade deadline, the New York Empire acquired past Grand Slam doubles winners Coco Vandeweghe and Nicole Melichar from the San Diego Aviators, the league has announced. The 28-year-old Vandeweghe, winner of the US Open doubles title in 2018, and 26-year-old 2018 Wimbledon mixed doubles champion Melichar were traded for the Empire's former world No. 1 doubles player Kveta Peschke, Sabine Lisicki and financial considerations.
New York Empire star CoCo Vandeweghe opens up about her competitiveness, dealing with injuries and how she learned to be a tennis player.
Major League Rugby
Toronto Arrows Top Five Tries from 2020 season
The Toronto Blue Jays are coming to Buffalo. The Buffalo Bisons' major league parent club announced that they will play the majority of their 2020 home games at the home of the Herd, Sahlen Field. The exact date of their first game is to be determined with July 31st against the Philadelphia Phillies or August 11th against the Miami Marlins as the two possibilities, based on the ability to get the ballpark ready for the games.
The Toronto Blue Jays are Buffalo-bound, calling Sahlen Field home for the majority of the team's home games in 2020. Sportsnet MLB Analyst Arden Zwelling joins Faizal Khamisa to break down how this decision will impact the Blue Jays as the modified MLB season gets underway.
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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Major League Lacrosse Stories from July 28, 2020
- Last Week around the Leagues - OSC Original by Fran Stuchbury
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