Last Week around the Leagues
by Fran Stuchbury
October 27, 2020 - South Atlantic League (SAL)
This past week the NWSL Portland Thorns FC were awarded the 2020 Community Shield after going 3-0-1 in the NWSL Fall Series; the Major Arena Soccer League's Milwaukee Wave canceled playing their 37th season due to attendance restrictions arising from COVID-19; and the South Atlantic League's Lakewood BlueClaws rebranded as the Jersey Shore BlueClaws. Highlights from this week are from National Women's Soccer League, Major League Soccer, United Soccer League One, ECHL, Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, North American Hockey League, South Atlantic League, XFL, Canadian Football League, Major League Rugby, Women's National Basketball Association, Premier Lacrosse League, and Major League Lacrosse.
National Women's Soccer League
The National Women's Soccer League today announced Portland Thorns FC have won the 2020 Verizon Community Shield, after finishing 3-0-1 in the NWSL Fall Series. Houston Dash garnered second place and the Washington Spirit earned third place and finished first in the Northeast pod. As part of the Verizon Community Shield program, Verizon will provide grants to the three winning teams' community partners, which include Portland's Mimi's Fresh Tees, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Houston Branch and DC SCORES.
North Carolina Courage forward Debinha stole the show with a dazzling first half display in Orlando, earning herself Budweiser Woman of the Week honors.
Ashlyn Harris kept the comeback alive with her clutch kick save for the Orlando Pride and takes home Verizon Save of the Week honors.
Professional women's soccer team, Angel City, announced that the team has been formally welcomed into The National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) as the League's eleventh expansion team. Also, Founder and President Julie Uhrman confirmed the team's formal name as Angel City Football Club (ACFC). In celebration of the momentous occasion, ACFC unveiled the team wordmark and launched the debut collection of Angel City FC merchandise at www.angelcity.com.
ESPN's Julie Foudy talks to actress Natalie Portman to find out how she was able to bring the top women of the entertainment industry together to form a NWSL club in Los Angeles in Angel City FC. From Eva Longoria, Jennifer Garner, Becky G, as well as tennis superstar Serena Williams, Natalie and Julie talk what the ambitions are behind LA's newest soccer club and their plans to elevate women's soccer to "prime time" viewing.
The National Women's Soccer League announced a series of trades. The North Carolina Courage have traded veteran forward and U.S. Women's National Team defender Crystal Dunn to OL Reign in exchange for goalkeeper Casey Murphy and $140,000 in allocation money. In addition, OL Reign has sent Crystal Dunn to Portland Thorns FC for one international slot for the 2021 season, Portland's 2022 natural first round NWSL Draft pick and $250,000 in allocation money, $50,000 of which is conditioned upon Dunn's future NWSL playing status.
Major League Soccer
In 2020, MLS is celebrating its 25th season. In 1996, the league's first season, the legendary Pele recapped the top 10 goals of the season.
United Soccer League One
USL League One Player of the Week 14 Winner - Josh Coan - FC Tucson
USL League One Save of the Week 14 Winner - Austin Aviza - Orlando Soccer B
Major Arena Soccer League
The Milwaukee Wave, reigning MASL Indoor Soccer Champions, have announced the cancellation of their 2020-21 season. The Wave were poised to defend their championship title before last season ended early due to the emergence of COVID-19. They now find themselves unable to come to an agreement with the Wisconsin Center District that would allow for their use of the Panther Arena. "There's a lot of uncertainty as far as when and if the Milwaukee Health Department will allow attendance at live sports events, and, if so, how many people can safely share a space," noted Milwaukee Wave owner Mike Zimmerman. "So, the District can't give us a line of sight past January 1st to open the arena at capacity limits that work for us. Currently the limit is 250 and we need closer to 4,000."
The Tacoma Stars and Kansa City Comets announced that they will be teaming up to field a MASL All-Star Game set to take place on Saturday, December 5th at Cable Dahmer Arena in Independence, MO at 7:00 pm CT. It will be East vs West in a match bringing top players from around the league.
The Norfolk Admirals have announced that the team will be opting out of competition for the 2020-2021 ECHL season under the ECHL's COVID-19 Voluntary Suspension Policy. The team will return to play in the 2021-2022 ECHL season. The safety of the Admirals players, staff and the community, combined with the state's COVID-19 restrictions on limiting Norfolk Scope to a 1000-person capacity limit has led to the decision.
With Coronavirus cases back on the rise, and the team only allowed to have 1,000 spectators at Scope Arena, Norfolk Admirals owner Pat Cavanagh made the tough call not to play this upcoming hockey season.
Federal Prospect Hockey League
Commissioner Don Kirnan announced that the Federal Prospects Hockey League, (FPHL) will commence play on Friday December 18th, 2020 with eight teams playing a 46-game schedule ending the third weekend in April followed by a playoff series to determine a Champion. The Delaware Thunder and the Motor City Rockers have elected to go dormant due to COVID-19 and will resume play in the 2021-2022 season along with Bloomington, IL.
Quebec Major Junior Hockey League
QMJHL Plays of the Week
North American Hockey League
NAHL Plays of the Week
South Atlantic League
The Lakewood BlueClaws and the Jersey Shore have made great partners over the last 20 years. They officially announced a name change and re-branding to the Jersey Shore BlueClaws. The official name change announcement was made at a VIP event at Seahorse, part of Asbury Park's historic Convention Hall. As part of the re-branding, the team unveiled an entire new set of logos, on-field caps, and an all-new Jersey Shore BlueClaws home white jersey. The remainder of the uniform set will be announced at a later date.
For 20 years, the Jersey Shore has supported us, 7.7 million strong, and from now-on, your BlueClaws will be known as the Jersey Shore BlueClaws!
The Texas AirHogs, an American Association of Independent Professional Baseball club based in Grand Prairie, Texas, have terminated their membership in the league effective immediately. The AirHogs had been members of the American Association, initially as the Grand Prairie AirHogs, since 2008 and were league champions in 2011. With the exit of the AirHogs, the American Association currently sits at 11 active member clubs.
Former Dallas Renegades tight end Donald Parham caught his second touchdown pass for the Los Angeles Chargers.
Canadian Football League
The human highlight reel goes by a new name these days in the CFL, as only one man was the unanimous decision for who has the best hands in the league.
Indoor Football League
The Quad City Steamwheelers announced they have filed for dormancy with the Indoor Football League (IFL) for the 2021 season. With so much uncertainty regarding the state of Illinois and its COVID-19 policies that restrict mass indoor gatherings the Steamwheelers feel they were left with no alternative. The Steamwheelers have worked with IFL commissioner Todd Tryon during this unprecedented time and have committed to a LAA (Letter Affiliation Agreement) for the 2022 season.
The Massachusetts Pirates have signed their first running back as they gear up for a new league in the IFL. Justin Stockton (5'10", 200 lbs.) has been added to the 2021 roster. Stockton has garnered a handful of professional football experience in the past three years. He last played for the New York Guardians of the XFL this past Spring. He appeared in one game and tallied 5 rushes for 41 yards and had 1 reception for 8 yards. Before that, in 2019, Stockton played in all eight games for the Arizona Hotshots of the AAF, where he carried the ball 43 times and gathered 233 rushing yards for 1 touchdown.
Major League Rugby
We're 150 days out from the kickoff to season 4! Check in with Commissioner George Killebrew for the MLR State of the League.
Old Glory DC, greater Washington's professional rugby team, will call Segra Field its home venue for 2021. Segra Field, which is located in Leesburg, Virginia, will offer Old Glory's fans the best possible presentation of the sport of rugby, from the properly dimensioned, top-quality turf field, to the clear sight-lines, comfortable seating, and festival-like match day experience that Old Glory fans have come to expect, with tailgating, a beer garden, and kids' play zone.
Women's National Basketball Association
This season was full of clutch last-second shots. Check out some of the best buzzer beaters from the bubble!
Premier Lacrosse League
Redwoods midfield Myles Jones 2020 Highlights
Major League Lacrosse
2020 MLL Faceoff Highlights
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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- Last Week around the Leagues - OSC Original by Fran Stuchbury
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