Last Week around the Leagues
by Fran Stuchbury
January 26, 2021 - NBA G League (G League)
This past week two MLS head coaching vacancies were filled with Phil Neville joining Inter Miami CF and Hernan Losada becoming the DC United head coach; The NHL Montreal Canadiens announced an affiliation with the new ECHL Trois-Rivieres club; Boston Pride forward Jillian Dempsey became the first player in National Women's Hockey League history to reach 100 career points; and the American Association's Kansas City T-Bones were renamed the Kansas City Monarchs. Highlights from this week are from Major League Soccer, the National Women's Soccer League, American Hockey League, ECHL, National Women's Hockey League, NBA G League, American Association and Premier Lacrosse League.
Major League Soccer
Inter Miami CF announced that it has named Phil Neville as its head coach ahead of the 2021 Major League Soccer season (MLS). Neville's addition to the Club is pending receipt of his work visa. Neville joins the Club following spells managing the England Women's National Team, whom he led to the 2019 SheBelieves Cup title, as well as coaching stints as an assistant with Valencia CF, Manchester United and the England Men's Under-21s. Neville also had a distinguished playing career of 20 years.
Phil Neville speaks on his appointment as new Inter Miami CF head coach, his ambitions for the Club and the importance of building culture from within.
D.C. United announced that Hernan Losada has been named as their new Head Coach. Losada has joined D.C. United from Belgian First Division side, Beerschot, where he had served as manager since 2019. Losada will become the youngest active coach of a Major League Soccer club at the age of 38. D.C. United will file for Losada's P-1 Visa and his coaching staff will be announced at a later date.
Hernan Losada on youth and balance - "We're going to find the right balance with the right players, and I will see what's the best formation."
Expansion club Austin FC made the first MLS SuperDraft selection in the club's history an historic one, selecting Daniel Pereira with the No. 1 overall selection in MLS SuperDraft '21 presented by Adidas. Pereira is the first player from Virginia Tech ever selected No. 1 overall in the MLS SuperDraft. A member of Generation adidas, Pereira's selection marked the 19th consecutive year the first selection overall was part of Generation adidas or its predecessor, and he was the first native of Venezuela ever selected first overall.
Austin FC made a big splash right away. The club selected Virginia Tech midfielder Daniel Pereira with the first pick in the MLS SuperDraft.
Who is the Greatest SuperDraft Pick of All-Time? Clint Dempsey. Michael Bradley. Nick Rimando. What do these names have in common? All these players and more came into the league through the MLS SuperDraft.
Atlanta United and the Atlanta Falcons announced both franchises will retire the No. 44 for the 2021 MLS and NFL seasons in honor of Henry "Hank" Aaron, who passed away at the age of 86.
National Women's Soccer League
A pair of National Women's Soccer League teams have signed on to play in the inaugural International Women's Cup, a first-of-its-kind event expected to bring top European clubs to Lynn Family Stadium in Louisville, Ky. NWSL expansion franchise Racing Louisville FC and league stalwart Chicago Red Stars will join two UEFA Champions League clubs to be named in the coming weeks for games on Aug. 18 and 21.
Addisyn Merrick, formerly of the North Carolina Courage, was selected No. 1 in the 2020 NWSL Expansion Draft. She's Racing Louisville FC's first out-of-town player arrival and dropped by the club's new digs.
The biggest day, the best reactions. See what your favorites did when their name was called during the 2021 NWSL Draft.
A compilation of the first round picks from the NWSL.
The North Carolina Courage have signed Elizabeth Addo to a one-year contract with a one-year option, the team announced today. Addo is the captain of the Ghana Women's National Team and played for the OL Reign (formerly Seattle Reign) during the 2018 season.
United Soccer League Championship
The USL Championship announced following the league's Board of Governors meeting that the 2021 regular season will begin on or about May 1, see the teams split in to four divisions, and will contain a 32-game slate running across 27 weeks through the end of October with playoffs scheduled for November.
United Soccer League One
John Bradford has been named the head coach of North Carolina FC as the team starts a new chapter focused on youth development in 2021. Bradford was an assistant coach under Dave Sarachan during the 2019 and 2020 USL Championship seasons and serves as the Academy Director for NCFC Youth as well as the technical director of NCFC's U-23 team. Mike McGinty has been named the team's assistant coach and Nic Platter will continue in his role as Assistant General Manager.
Central Valley Fuego Futbol Club won't take the field in USL League One until the 2022 season, but the club took a big step forward when it unveiled its crest, colors and some team merchandise for the first time. The Fuego FC crest is shaped not just as a shield, but as a spade, an homage to the farmers, fieldworkers, essential laborers and service workers who are integral to Fresno and the surrounding California communities that the club calls home.
American Hockey League
The American Hockey League released the schedule of games for the 2020-21 regular season, the league's 85th year of operation. The season begins on Friday, February 5 and concludes on Sunday, May 16. Schedules for teams in the Atlantic, North, Central and Pacific Divisions were released today; schedules for the Canadian Division's Belleville Senators, Laval Rocket, Manitoba Moose and Toronto Marlies will be forthcoming at a later date.
2021 AHL pre-season fight Hunter Drew vs Steenn Pasichnuk. San Diego Gulls vs San Jose Barracuda.
The Montreal Canadiens announced on that they have agreed on a three-year deal with the new hockey franchise in Trois-Rivieres, making it the team's official ECHL affiliate upon entry into the league for the 2021-22 season. The ECHL has been in operation since 1988 and will be entering its 34th season in 2021-22.
ECHL Plays of the Week
National Women's Hockey League
Boston Pride forward Jillian Dempsey becomes the first player in the NWHL history to reach 100 career points.
North American Hockey League
NAHL Plays of the Week
NBA G League
Ignite point guard Daishen Nix - Part One
Ignite point guard Daishen Nix - Part Two
Pacific Coast League
When the St. Paul Saints begin their first season as the Triple-A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins, the man at the helm will have a remarkably familiar last name to Minnesota baseball fans. The Twins announced that Toby Gardenhire, son of former Twins manager Ron Gardenhire, will be at the helm for the Saints in 2021. The 38-year-old Gardenhire was scheduled to manage the Twins Triple-A affiliate in Rochester last year, but never officially put on the uniform. He did, however, work with players at the alternate site at CHS Field.
The Kansas City T-Bones are now the Kansas City Monarchs.
New owners of the Kansas City T-Bones baseball club announced that beginning this season, the team will adopt the name of Kansas City Monarchs, Kansas City's storied Negro Leagues team. Fifty-six years after the Negro League's Monarchs disbanded. They played from 1920 till 1965. The Monarchs baseball team will once again take the field in Kansas City.
Florida State League
The Minnesota Twins announced that Aaron Sutton will again be the first manager of the newly rebranded Fort Myers Mighty Mussels. Sutton was tabbed to lead the Mussels for the 2020 season which was shelved due to the pandemic. Sutton replaces Toby Gardenhire, who led the Fort Myers Miracle to a First Half South Division Championship and a 74-59 overall record in 2019. Gardenhire was promoted to manage Triple-A St. Paul this season.
Champions Indoor Football
The Sioux City Bandits announce a major milestone in their long and dignified history. Long-time owner and manager, Bob Scott, finalized the sale of the Bandits to northwest Missouri businessman and entrepreneur, J.R. Bond. More changes will be coming, and we look forward to what the 2021 season will bring. A formal press conference will be held introducing Bond in the coming weeks.
Major League Rugby
The Dallas Jackals announced the club will not compete in the 2021 Major League Rugby (MLR) season. The decision, which was made in coordination with Major League Rugby, is based on a number of factors that will provide the Dallas Jackals, an expansion team, the best opportunity to succeed in its inaugural season and into the future. A dispersal draft will be held in the near future for potential redistribution of Jackals players throughout the league for the 2021 season.
Premier Lacrosse League
The Premier Lacrosse League (PLL) announced that Coach Sean Quirk will be the Head Coach of Cannons LC for the impending 2021 PLL season. Coach Quirk has been a part of the Boston Cannons organization since 2015, and most recently won the 2020 MLL Championship as the team's Head Coach. He will continue in his role under a newly branded Cannons LC, which recently joined the PLL as the league's 8th team by way of a merger with Major League Lacrosse.
Chrome attack Matt Gaudet 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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NBA G League Stories from January 26, 2021
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- Last Week around the Leagues - OSC Original by Fran Stuchbury
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