Last Week around the Leagues
by Fran Stuchbury
January 19, 2021 - National Women's Soccer League (NWSL)
This past week NFL Las Vegas Raiders owner Mark Davis agreed to purchase the WNBA's Las Vegas Aces; Trinity Rodman, at the age of 18, became the youngest player drafted in the NWSL Draft; the ECHL added expansion teams in Coralville, Iowa, and Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, for the 2021-22 season; and MLS's Montreal Impact rebranded as Club de Foot Montreal. Highlights from this week are from Women's National Basketball Association, NBA G League, Major League Soccer, National Women's Soccer League, ECHL, North American Hockey League, United States Hockey League, Texas League, Prospect League, XFL, Major League Rugby and Premier Lacrosse League
Women's National Basketball Association
Las Vegas Raiders owner Mark Davis announced he has agreed to purchase the WNBA's Las Vegas Aces. Davis moved the Raiders to Las Vegas in 2020 after the NFL team spent the previous 25 seasons in Oakland.
Las Vegas' WNBA team has sold to Raiders owner Mark Davis.
Las Vegas Aces' star player A'ja Wilson statue now has a statue at her alma mater. Wilson played for the South Carolina Gamecocks in college.
The Connecticut Sun announced that General Manager and Head Coach Curt Miller has signed a four-year contract extension through the 2024 WNBA season. Miller began coaching the Sun in 2016 and has compiled an overall regular season record of 89-69 and a postseason record of 9-8. In the past two seasons, Miller led the Sun to the 2019 WNBA Finals and the 2020 WNBA Semifinals, respectively, pushing both series to Game 5.
The Chicago Sky announced that General Manager and Head Coach James Wade has agreed to and signed a four-year contract extension with the team. Wade is now under contract with the Sky through the 2025 season. Under Wade, the Sky finished both the 2019 and 2020 regular season over .500, a milestone the team had only hit three other times in the 15 seasons since the Sky's 2006 inception.
NBA G League
The Greensboro Swarm selected Admiral Schofield (6-5, 241, Tennessee) with the first overall pick of the 2021 NBA G League Draft, which was held virtually. In 2019-20, Schofield played 33 games with the Capital City Go-Go where he averaged 16.0 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists. He also played in 33 games for the Washington Wizards.
NBA G League Draft No. 1 Pick Admiral Schofield Highlights. Admiral Schofield played in 33 games for the Washington Wizards and 33 for the Capital City Go-Go in 2019-20. he averaged 16 PPG, 5.5 RPG and 2.2 APG in the G that season.
Ignite forward Jonathan Kuminga - Part One
Ignite forward Jonathan Kuminga - Part Two
The Capital City Go-Go, the Washington Wizards' NBA G League affiliate, announced that Amber Nichols has been promoted to general manager, becoming the second female general manager in G League history. She will accompany the team's flex-affiliate players (who will play with the Erie BayHawks) at the NBA G League single site in Orlando this season.
Charlotte Hornets President of Basketball Operations & General Manager Mitch Kupchak announced that Hornets assistant coach Jay Hernandez will serve as the head coach of the Greensboro Swarm for the upcoming NBA G League bubble starting in February at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at the Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Florida. Hernandez will join the Swarm for the start of the team's training camp and will return to the Hornets bench at the conclusion of the Swarm's season.
Major League Soccer
The Montreal Impact announced a major identity change, which includes a name and brand image transformation. Club de Foot Montreal (CF Montréal, CFM or CFMTL) is, from now on, the Club's name. The new Club logo is a circular crest composed of elements that tell the story of the brand and establish the essence of Club de Foot Montréal's DNA, strongly inspired by our city.
Club de Foot Montréal - Always Forward, Droit Devant
The Best 15 INCREDIBLE Acrobatic Goal Line Clearances of 2020.
National Women's Soccer League
Expansion franchise Racing Louisville FC bolstered its roster during NWSL Draft by making six additions, highlighted by University of North Carolina defender Emily Fox's selection at No. 1 overall and University of Louisville forward Emina Ekic at No. 5.
Emily Fox, Emina Ekic and more. Racing players react to NWSL Draft
Also hear from Taylor Otto and Kirsten Davis after their names were called by Racing Louisville FC.
Trinity Rodman, a rising star on the U.S. soccer youth national teams, was selected second overall in National Women's Soccer League draft. Rodman was selected by the Washington Spirit. At 18, she is the youngest woman ever selected in the NWSL draft.
Second overall pick in the 2021 NWSL Draft Trinity Rodman talks with Spirit Media's Craig Hoffman about being selected by Washington Spirit. Rodman, who spent the fall at Washington State University but did not play due to COVID-19's postponement of the PAC12 season, talks about her decision to leave early and who guided her along the way. Plus, Rodman talks about her desire to learn as a professional, her quickly developing relationship with Richie Burke and how her Youth USWNT experience helped prepare her for the pros.
Kansas City NWSL announces its inaugural season brand, unveiling a crest, team colors and new website, all centered around the club's commitment to play "For Kansas City." The club's inaugural brand is reflective of the organization's commitment to and investment in the sport, its players, Kansas City fans and the city. The NWSL expansion team will play with the KC crest this season, while the club develops a permanent name and brand for future seasons.
Orlando Pride has appointed Ian Fleming as the team's general manager. Fleming, a veteran soccer professional with experience in law, strategy and analytics, joins the Pride from the Houston Dynamo and Dash organization where he most recently contributed to the Dash's 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup title.
World Cup Champion and three-time NWSL Champion Abby Dahlkemper has signed a contract with English side Manchester City, the club announced. The NC Courage retains Dahlkemper's NWSL rights. Since 2017, Dahlkemper has made 71 appearances with the Courage for a total of 6,420 minutes. She contributed three assists and made 237 clearances in four seasons.
United Soccer League One
The United Soccer League and Future Legends Complex announced the addition of Northern Colorado FC to USL League One. The club will begin play in the 2022 season. With the announcement, the club becomes the second addition to the league for the 2022 season alongside fellow League One entrant Central Valley Fuego FC.
North Carolina FC and head coach Dave Sarachan have parted ways. Sarachan was the head coach of NCFC for two seasons, with an overall record of 22W-9D-18L in USL Championship matches. The former U.S. Men's National Team manager guided NCFC to a seventh-place finish in the USL Championship Eastern Conference in 2019.
Major Arena Soccer League
With the January portion of the 2021 MASL schedule underway, the league has released the February slate of games which includes 16 matches amongst seven teams. During this unusual season, teams have committed to play a minimum of 12 games with a maximum of 24. Due to teams playing unbalanced schedules, playoff seeding will be determined by winning percentage as opposed to win-loss record in a regular season scheduled to end April 18.
American Hockey League
American Hockey League President and Chief Executive Officer Scott Howson announced that Hayley Moore has been named to the position of Vice President, Hockey Operations for the AHL. Moore will be responsible for overseeing the league's on-ice operations, including management of the AHL officiating program and the league's disciplinary process. Currently president of the Boston Pride of the National Women's Hockey League, Moore will begin her duties with the American Hockey League on Feb. 8, following the conclusion of the upcoming NWHL season.
The ECHL announced that the League's Board of Governors has approved expansion applications for Coralville, Iowa and Trois-Rivieres, Quebec to begin play for the 2021-22 Season. Coralville and Trois-RiviÃ¨res are both owned by Dean MacDonald through Deacon Sports and Entertainment, which also owns the Newfoundland Growlers in the league. Coralville will play out of Xtreme Arena, a 5,100 seat venue which was completed in September 2020, while Trois-Rivieres will play out of Le Nouveau Colisee, a new construction that will host 4,390 fans.
ECHL Plays of the Week
Federal Prospect Hockey League
Commissioner Don Kirnan announced that the Federal Prospects Hockey League, (FPHL) will commence play on Wednesday February 3rd, 2021 with the two New York teams playing a series of games for the right to claim the New York Empire Cup brought to you by Hilliard. When other member teams receive clearance to compete, a more inclusive schedule shall be presented.
North American Hockey League
NAHL Plays of the Week
United States Hockey League
USHL Plays of the Week
National Women's Hockey League
The National Women's Hockey League announced the game schedule for the upcoming season and 2021 Isobel Cup Playoffs taking place Jan. 23 - Feb. 5 at the 1980 Rink-Herb Brooks Arena in Lake Placid, New York. The season opens with tripleheaders starting at 1 p.m. ET on both Saturday, Jan. 23, and Sunday, Jan. 24. The first game on Saturday features the debut of the Toronto Six, the newest NWHL expansion franchise and the first Canadian team to join the league, against the Metropolitan Riveters.
The Frisco RoughRiders, the Double A affiliate of the Texas Rangers, announced today that Victor Rojas has agreed to terms on a multiyear deal to become the organization's next President & General Manager. In his role, Rojas will oversee all aspects of the team's day-to-day business & ballpark operations and will report directly to Managing Partner & CEO, Chuck Greenberg. Rojas, 52, joins the RoughRiders after spending the last 11 seasons as the television play-by-play voice of the Los Angeles Angels.
The right opportunity at the right time. RoughRiders President & GM, Victor Rojas, expressed his excitement to get started in the new role during the introductory press conference.
The St. Louis Cardinals have announced that Jose Leger has been named the new manager of the Springfield Cardinals for the 2021 season, becoming the seventh manager in the organization's history. Leger (leh-HAIR), 38, enters his fourth season with the Cardinals and his first as a manager within the organization. He has served as the St. Louis Cardinals Latin American Field & Academy Development Coordinator since 2017.
Boyd Sports, LLC has announced that they will assume the management contract of the Kingsport Mets franchise in the Appalachian League. Boyd Sports, which also owns the Tennessee Smokies, Johnson City Baseball, Greeneville Baseball, and Elizabethton Baseball will assume all business operations of Kingsport Baseball.
Gastonia Professional Baseball unveiled its club name and brand marks in a virtual press announcement via Zoom and Facebook Live. The team, which was introduced into the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB) in July 2020, will be known as the Gastonia Honey Hunters, aligning the City of Gastonia's unique brand attributes with those of the world's most fearless animal, which will be the primary element of the club's brand identity and representative mascot.
When the Burlington Bees announced their release from Minor League Baseball, they made a promise. That promise, that baseball would go on at Community Field in Burlington, Iowa, has been fulfilled. The Burlington Baseball Association has announced that the Burlington Bees are joining the Prospect League, a top collegiate wood bat baseball league with teams spanning across the Midwest and into Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
The LumberKings announced that they will be joining the Prospect League (PL) - a 16-team Collegiate Wood Bat league with teams spread across the Midwest from eastern Missouri to western Pennsylvania. The announcement comes after a final decision by Major League Baseball (MLB) to not offer the LumberKings a Professional Development League (PDL) license.
The Clinton Lumberkings and Burlington Bees both lost their Minor League Baseball affiliation, but they will continue to play ball as both clubs will join the Prospect League.
The NFL and the Tennessee Titans have teamed up to challenge the trademark filing of the XFL's Houston Roughnecks saying it looks too similar to the old Houston Oilers logo. SportsLogos.Net's Chris Creamer takes you through the beginning of what could be a lengthy trademark battle between the two football leagues.
National Arena League
Former Philadelphia Soul DB Dwayne Hollis has signed with the Jersey Flight. Hollis spent five seasons with the Soul and recorded 16 career interceptions. He was named to All-Arena four times during his career and was named AFL DB of the Year in 2017.
Major League Rugby
Chris Latham announced to his players and staff that he is stepping down as head coach of the Utah Warriors Rugby team. Latham has been with the Warriors since 2019 and has been integral in building a new team culture, a strong roster of players and one of Major League Rugby's strongest coaching staff. Latham is departing for personal reasons. With Latham's departure, the Warriors have named Shawn Pittman as the new interim head coach for the 2021 season. As assistant head coach since 2019, Pittman has been an integral part of the coaching staff.
Joining the Utah Warriors Cliven Loubser, a flyhalf and fullback for the 2021 Major League Rugby season is the golden boots from Rehoboth Namibia. Cliven Loubser brings with him 15 international cap appearances and 159 points. Loubser is here FOR THE NATION.
Premier Lacrosse League
The Premier Lacrosse League (PLL) announced the relaunch of the Boston Cannons as Cannons Lacrosse Club (Cannons LC). The club was recently announced as the PLL's 8th team, which came into the league through a merger with the 20-year incumbent Major League Lacrosse (MLL). The relaunch of Cannons LC includes a refreshed logo, marks, and brand identity plus an overhaul of Cannons LC on social media and inclusion on PLL web.
The 8th team in the PLL - Cannons Lacrosse Club
The Premier Lacrosse League (PLL) announced the official launch of its 2021 season. The announcement noted the PLL's return to a tour-based format, including 43 total games over 11 weekends spanning from June 4th through the PLL Championship on September 19th. The announcement of the 2021 season includes tentpoles of Opening Weekend, All-Star Game, and a three-weekend playoff structure: quarterfinals, semifinals, and championship. The PLL's 2021 season will be produced and distributed on the NBC Universal family of networks. This marks the third season of partnership between PLL and NBC.
2021 PLL Season Announcement
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National Women's Soccer League Stories from January 19, 2021
- International Women's Cup drawing global powers to Louisville - Racing Louisville FC
- Thorns FC Goalkeeper Britt Eckerstrom Announces Retirement - Portland Thorns FC
- Chicago Red Stars to Participate in Inaugural International Women's Cup - Chicago Red Stars
- Veteran Irish Defender Diane Caldwell Signs Contract with North Carolina Courage - North Carolina Courage
- 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.