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Last Week around the Leagues

by Fran Stuchbury
November 17, 2020 - South Atlantic League (SAL)

This past week the Rochester Red Wings found out they are no longer the International League affiliate for the Minnesota Twins; the NBA G League's Austin Spurs named Matt Nielsen its new head coach; and Racing Louisville FC stockpiled its roster by selecting 14 players in the National Women's Soccer League Expansion Draft. Highlights from this week are from International League, South Atlantic League, National Women's Soccer League, United Soccer League One, NBA G League, Women's National Basketball Association, North American Hockey League, Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, XFL and Premier Lacrosse League.


International League

The Rochester Red Wings were informed by the Minnesota Twins that their long term affiliation has most likely come to an end. The Twins and Red Wings became affiliated in September of 2002 and were together for 17 seasons. They were slated to be partners in 2020 but the season was cancelled due to the pandemic. The Red Wings hope to hear from Major League Baseball regarding a new affiliate at some point in the next few weeks.

Minnesota Twins drop Rochester Red Wings as affiliate

South Atlantic League

The Columbia Fireflies will have a new Major League affiliate from 2021 forward. The team's new affiliate will be announced at a later date. The New York Mets announced that three of their four affiliates, moving forward, will be in the state of New York (Syracuse, Binghamton and Brooklyn) and the fourth will be at their Spring Training facility in Port St. Lucie, Florida. As part of Major League Baseball's ongoing restructuring of Minor League Baseball, Major League teams have placed a heightened emphasis on the geography of their affiliates.

The Fireflies will have a new affiliation, although it's not clear which team that will be just yet

New York-Penn League

For 22 years the Staten Island Yankees have developed talent for the New York Yankees and provided affordable family entertainment for our Staten Island fans. The Staten Island Yankees learned that the team will not be offered a New York Yankees minor league affiliation moving forward. It appears that our fans will be unable to see future Yankees stars play in our Borough. Major League Baseball is making sweeping changes to the player development structure of professional baseball. Fewer teams will exist in the new system. We hoped to be a part of this new system, but the New York Yankees chose to align with the Hudson Valley Renegades located in Fishkill, NY to host their Class "A" Advanced team.


National Women's Soccer League

Racing Louisville FC bolstered its roster by making 14 selections in the 2020 NWSL Expansion Draft, headlining its haul with a pair of U.S. Women's National Team stars. The club - which will make 2021 its inaugural season in the top-tier women's soccer league - took from Portland Thorns FC the rights to forward Tobin Heath with the 13th pick. At No. 14, Racing rounded out the evening by taking forward Christen Press from Utah Royals FC.

Racing Louisville FC's haul in the 2020 National Women's Soccer League expansion draft is headlined by selecting the rights two U.S. women's national soccer team members, Tobin Heath and Christen Press.

Utah Royals FC announced on that the club has terminated the contract of Craig Harrington. The club has issued the following statement on the termination of Harrington: "Utah Royals FC is proud to represent the state of Utah nationally and across the globe. Utah Royals FC takes this responsibility seriously, and have committed to keeping the community and its fans apprised of team developments. After careful review and consideration, the Club has decided to part ways with head coach Craig Harrington. Amy LePeilbet will continue as Interim Head Coach until further notice. As Coach LePeilbet has already demonstrated, she is well-positioned to serve in this interim role and embodies the Club's dedication to the highest standards of conduct, civility, and professionalism."

United Soccer League One

Seeking a return to their former glory, the Richmond Kickers underwent an overhaul before the 2020 USL League One season. In new arrival Emiliano Terzaghi, they found the centerpiece for a return to postseason contention. On Friday, the winner of the League One Golden Boot this year added the league's Most Valuable Player award after an outstanding campaign that saw him record 10 goals and potentially start a new era of success at City Stadium.

The Richmond Kickers' Emiliano Terzaghi added the League One Most Valuable Player award to his Golden Boot after an outstanding campaign that saw him record 10 goals and potentially start a new era of success at City Stadium.


NBA G League

The Austin Spurs announced that Matt Nielsen has been named head coach of San Antonio's G League affiliate. At the same time, the team announced that Tyler Self has been promoted to general manager. Nielsen, who spent last season as an assistant coach for Austin, becomes the seventh head coach in Austin Spurs history.

Head Coach Matt Nielsen on development culture "The development culture here is amazing."

The Delaware Blue Coats, the NBA G League affiliate of the Philadelphia 76ers, announced that Jameer Nelson has joined the team's basketball operations staff as Assistant General Manager. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed. Nelson brings a lifetime of basketball experience and knowledge into his new role. The 14-year NBA veteran and former All-Star will provide valuable expertise to the 76ers' scouting efforts, while assisting Blue Coats General Manager Matt Lilly in overseeing all aspects of basketball operations for the 76ers' G League affiliate.

The NBA G League announced the additions of Amir Johnson, Bobby Brown, Reggie Hearn, Brandon Ashley and Cody Demps to NBA G League Ignite, which recently began training with head coach Brian Shaw in Walnut Creek, Calif. The five veterans bring years of valuable playing experience, both in the NBA and other professional leagues around the world, that will aid in the development of the six elite prospects highlighting the inaugural G League Ignite roster.

They went all out to become the players they are today. Now these vets are being called on to show Ignite what it takes.

National Basketball League of Canada

The National Basketball League of Canada announces the delay of its tenth season until March 2021 tentatively. After announcing that it would be resuming play in late December, NBL Canada board of directors unanimously voted to further postpone its return to a tentative start date of March 12th, 2021 as a result of ongoing safety concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The league expects to limit the number of games under a reduced schedule with limited fans inclusive of safety protocols such as physical distancing and other measures focused on minimizing the risk of transmitting the virus as much as possible.

Women's National Basketball Association

Check out some buckets from 2nd year players from this past season in the WNBA bubble.


North American Hockey League

NAHL Plays of the Week

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

QMJHL Hits of the Month - October 2020



Former Tampa Bay Vipers tight end Colin Thompson's first touch in the NFL is a touchdown for seven yards with the Carolina Panthers.

National Arena League

The National Arena League announces its newest expansion team, the Ontario Bandits. Hailing from Southern California the Ontario Bandits become the first West Coast franchise in league history. The Bandits will be led by team President Pat Johnson. Johnson is a former Super Bowl Champion wide receiver and an Olympic-caliber sprinter in both high school (Redlands, Calif.) and at track & field powerhouse University of Oregon.


Premier Lacrosse League

The Premier Lacrosse League (PLL) announced that they have named Brian Silcott the Head of Player Experience. Silcott has a deep lacrosse background, having played and coached for over 40 years. At Nazareth College, Silcott was a 2x All-American and won a National Championship before going on to play 11 seasons as a pro. After his playing career, Silcott served as the National Men's Game Director for US Lacrosse, and is currently the Director of Operations for Jamaica Lacrosse in addition to coaching in Northern California.

Archers attack Will Manny 2020 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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South Atlantic League Stories from November 17, 2020

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