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Last Week around the Leagues

by Fran Stuchbury
September 29, 2020 - Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA)

This past week Major League Baseball announced that the Atlantic League, Frontier League and the American Association, all independent leagues, have become MLB's "Partner Leagues"; Los Angeles Sparks forward/center Candace Parker was named WNBA Defensive Player of the Year and the Indoor Football League Arizona Rattlers promoted Jeff Jarnigan to General Manager. Highlights from this week are from Major League Soccer, the National Women's Soccer League, United Soccer League Championship, United Soccer League One, Canadian Football League, ECHL, National Lacrosse League, Premier Lacrosse League, Major League Lacrosse and Major League Rugby.

BASEBALL

Atlantic League

Major League Baseball (MLB) announced that it has named the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB) its first "Partner League." As a Partner League, ALPB will meet regularly with MLB to discuss joint marketing and promotional opportunities, including the leagues' shared goal of providing baseball to communities throughout the United States. This designation expands the current agreement between the leagues which permits MLB to test experimental playing rules and equipment during Atlantic League games. The existing agreement has also been extended through the 2023 season.

American Association & Frontier League

Major League Baseball (MLB) announced that it has named both the American Association and the Frontier League as "Partner Leagues" of MLB. The American Association and the Frontier League join the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB), which was designated a Partner League earlier this week. As Partner Leagues, the Frontier League and the American Association will collaborate with MLB on initiatives to provide organized baseball to communities throughout the United States and Canada.

The Frontier League has announced the granting of an expansion membership to Ottawa, Ontario, to begin play in the 2021 season. Ottawa becomes the 15th Frontier League team and the third in Canada, joining the Quebec Capitales and Trois-Rivieres Aigles. The new Ottawa team is operated by Sam Katz and the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group (OSEG). Sam Katz has a long tenure in baseball, serving as President & CEO of the American Association's Winnipeg Goldeyes since their inception for the 1994 season.

SOCCER

Major League Soccer

Bradley Wright-Phillips Scores TWO Ridiculous Goals for LAFC

National Women's Soccer League

Orlando Pride has exercised the contract options for Head Coach Marc Skinner and Assistant Coach Carl Green, which will see both contracts extended through the 2021 NWSL regular season, the Club announced. Skinner, 37, was named the Head Coach for the Pride on Jan. 14, 2019 from Birmingham City of the FA WSL.

Ashlyn Harris made a tremendous save on a close-range effort for the NWSL Fall Series Verizon Save of the Week for Week 3.

Kealia Watt put on an sensational display with two goals and an assist in the Chicago Red Stars' victory over Sky Blue FC and earned Budweiser Woman of the Week honors.

United Soccer League Championship

The USL Championship announced the 2020 USL Championship Final is set to take place Sunday, November 1 and will be the first game in league history to air on ESPN. For a second consecutive year, the game will also be simulcast on ESPN Deportes. Kickoff is currently scheduled for 8:30 p.m. ET.

USL Championship Goal of the Week 13 - Emilio Ycaza - Reno 1846 FC

United Soccer League One

USL League One Goal of the Week 10 - Noah Pilato - Greenville Triumph

Canadian Premier League

Jeff Paulus will no longer retain his position as head coach of FC Edmonton, but will remain with the club in a new role, owners Tom Fath and Dave Fath announced. Paulus will be Manager of Player Development in charge of overseeing the club's youth academy players, with the goal of training and developing local talent into professional prospects to join the club's first team and to explore opportunities for them to play internationally.

BASKETBALL

Women's National Basketball Association

Los Angeles Sparks forward/center Candace Parker has been named the 2020 WNBA Defensive Player of the Year, the WNBA announced. This is the first WNBA Defensive Player of the Year Award for Parker, who is in her 13th WNBA season.

Candace Parker Wins 2020 Defensive Player Of The Year

Atlanta Dream forward-guard Betnijah Laney has been named the 2020 WNBA Most Improved Player. Laney averaged career highs of 17.2 points, 4.9 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 1.6 steals and 33.3 minutes while starting all 22 games for the Dream this season. Her previous career highs in each category were all set in 2019, when she averaged 5.6 points, 4.2 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.4 steals in 25.8 minutes in 34 games for the Indiana Fever.

FOOTBALL

Indoor Football League

The Tucson Sugar Skulls have come to terms with two-time Indoor Football League Coach of the Year and winner of the 2018 IFL Championship, Dixie Wooten, on a two-year agreement to remain head coach and general manager of the team for the 2021 and 2022 seasons. Prior to joining Tucson at the end of the 2019 season, Wooten had a 36-8 regular-season record in three seasons as head coach of the Iowa Barnstormers.

The six-time world champion Arizona Rattlers have appointed former Assistant General Manager Jeff Jarnigan to take over the role of General Manager in preparation for the 2021 Indoor Football League season. Jarnigan will be entering his fifth season with the Rattlers, after joining the team in 2016. Jarnigan also spent seven seasons with the San Jose Sabercats in a variety of different coaching capacities, in addition to being the defensive coordinator for the Austin Wranglers in 2004

Canadian Football League

Best in the League is back! Some of the best players in the CFL discuss who they think are the best-of-the-best. In episode 1, see who the guys think is the league's best quarterback.

HOCKEY

ECHL

On News Center Maine's "Morning Report," the Maine Mariners revealed a new third jersey that will debut during the 2020-21 season. While the blue and white jerseys will remain as the primary uniforms, these green jerseys will serve as an alternate look. The new third jersey's primary color is green, with the familiar navy blue and white color scheme scattered throughout.

Maine Mariners Third Jersey Reveal

North American Hockey League

The North American Hockey League (NAHL) has announced the release of the 2020-21 regular season schedule. Celebrating its 46th season in 2020-21, the NAHL is the oldest and largest junior hockey league of its kind in the United States and one of only two USA Hockey-certified leagues that operate under the non pay-to-play model. The regular season will commence on October 9, 2020 and end on April 25, 2021.

LACROSSE

National Lacrosse League

The first ever virtual NLL Draft is in the books and the team broadcasters are back to provide post-draft insight into the selections!

Premier Lacrosse League

Archers midfield Tom Schreiber 2020 highlights.

Major League Lacrosse

John Grant Jr. is a six-time Major League Lacrosse (MLL) champion and one of the most prolific lacrosse players to have ever picked up a stick. His presence on the field, the sideline and in the stands garners respect from teammates, opponents, coaches and fans alike. At the conclusion of 2019, his potential penultimate season playing for MLL, Grant Jr. set the all-time MLL points record with his 598th career point. In May of 2020, just two months before he would play in MLL's 20th Anniversary season, Grant Jr. was announced as the new offensive coordinator for Johns Hopkins.

Denver Outlaws attack Dan Bucaro MLL highlights Part 2. John Grant Jr. on Rookie of the Year Dan Bucaro... "He is practically unguardable."

OTHER SPORTS

Major League Rugby

MLR 2021 kicks off March 20 with 13 teams competing in 18 weeks of regular season action, followed by two weeks of the MLR Championship Series. Season 4 concludes with the MLR Championship Final on Sunday, August 1 on CBS.

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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Women's National Basketball Association Stories from September 29, 2020


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