Last Week around the Leagues
by Fran Stuchbury
October 12, 2021 - United Soccer League One (USL1)
This past week the Durham Bulls won the the Triple-A Final Stretch championship, Minnesota Allianz Field was awarded the 2022 MLS All-Star Game, the Chicago Sky and Phoenix Mercury advanced to the WNBA Finals, and USL League One announced the addition of a team in Lexington, Kentucky in 2023. Highlights from this week are from the Triple-A East League, Major League Soccer, National Women's Soccer League, United Soccer League Championship, United Soccer League One, Women's National Basketball Association, NBA G League, National Arena League, Canadian Football League, XFL ECHL, North American Hockey League, Western Hockey League, and Ontario Hockey League.
Triple-A East League
The Durham Bulls went 9-1 over the final 10 games of the season to win the Triple-A Final Stretch championship. Minor League Baseball announced on July 14 that 10 games would be added to the end of the 2021 schedule after the start of the season was delayed by nearly a month. The 10 games were dubbed the Triple-A Final Stretch and a cash award was presented to the Bulls for posting the best record over the 10-game span.
The Durham Bulls are Final Stretch Champions! We won the Southeast Division, the Triple-A East League, Triple-A National Championship AND the Final Stretch. All with the best winning percentage in franchise history. WHAT. A. TEAM.
Jayne and John Simmons, the long-time owners of the Southern Illinois Miners baseball team, have announced that they are retiring from Frontier League baseball ownership. The 2021 season was the last season the team will be playing in Marion, Illinois for the Frontier League.
Major League Soccer
Major League Soccer announced that the Twin Cities will host the 2022 MLS All-Star Game presented by Target on Aug. 10 at Allianz Field, home of Minnesota United. The league's marquee summer event returns for its 26th edition and will be broadcast on the networks of ESPN and Univision in the U.S., and TSN and TVA Sports in Canada.
Minnesota Fans 'Earn' MLS All-Star Game At Allianz Field. This will mark the eight time that a pro sports all-star game will be hosted in Minnesota.
National Women's Soccer League
It was an epic sendoff for U.S. soccer legend Carli Lloyd for her final game in the Philly region. The National Women's Soccer League game also included a moment of solidarity as the teams protested amid accusations that the the league didn't protect players from sexual abuse by a coach. NBC10's Danny Freeman has the story.
United Soccer League Championship
The USL Championship announced the Team of the Week Presented by Cleer Audio for Week 24 of the 2021 regular season with Memphis 901 FC midfielder Laurent Kissiedou being voted Player of the Week after recording two goals to help lead 901 FC to a 3-0 win on the road against FC Tulsa that ran the club's undefeated streak to four games as it pursues its first postseason berth.
United Soccer League One
The United Soccer League today announced the addition of Lexington Pro Soccer as a USL League One expansion club set to begin play in the 2023 season. The club's inaugural season will begin at a local collegiate facility, the details of which will be announced in the coming weeks. The majority owner of Lexington Pro Soccer is Tower Hill Sports, founded by Bill Shively.
It's official: A professional soccer team is coming to Lexington!
USL League One Goal of the Week - Evan Conway - Union Omaha
Major Arena Soccer League
The Major Arena Soccer League (MASL) has announced their 2021-22 regular season schedule that will feature 12 teams playing a total of 144 games over a 129 day period. The league will include three divisions, east, west, and central, with each team playing a 24 game schedule, 12 home, 12 away. The season begins on Friday, November 26th with the St. Louis Ambush hosting the Kansas City Comets. The following night the same two clubs meet in Kansas City. The regular season will end on Sunday, April 3rd, with playoffs to follow.
Women's National Basketball Association
Candace Parker honors her late College Coach, Pat Summitt after leading her hometown team, the Chicago Sky to the WNBA Finals for the first time since 2014. They defeated the Connecticut Sun, 79-69.
Chicago Sky Kahleah Copper continued her excellent postseason with 21 points vs. the Phoenix Mercury in Game 1 of the WNBA Finals.
NBA G League
Featuring several East Coast stops and a swing through the Midwest, NBA G League Ignite hits the road beginning January for a 10-game schedule featuring games against NBA G League opponents. "These 10 games are an excellent opportunity for our team to get more reps against quality G League opponents while facing hostile environments on the road," said Ignite head coach Jason Hart. "We're also thrilled to be able to showcase our young Ignite players across the country as they continue to develop in preparation for the NBA Draft."
Kelvin Davis is 62-years old and preparing for a tryout with the NBA G Leagues "Birmingham Squadron." "Don't give up on your dreams, no matter what age you are!" Those are wise words of the self-proclaimed "Oldest Rookie," Kelvin Davis. Standing tall at 62 years of age, Davis is beating the odds as he prepares for a tryout with the Birmingham Squadron's of the NBA's G-league.
Joe Johnson won his second BIG3 MVP. Johnson broke the BIG3 single season scoring record with 182 points (an average of 22.8 points per game, more than a full point ahead of second place). The MVP season from Iso Joe led the Triplets to a 6-2 regular season record.
National Arena League
The National Arena League after four successful arena football seasons announce a major change to the NAL game to take effect for their fifth season as a league and will change the shape of the sport of arena football in 2022. The Ironman system of play is one of the original formats used in football and was adopted by the Arena Football League for several exciting seasons that amplified arena stars who performed well playing multiple positions. The system means that teams will have the majority of their players playing on both sides of the ball with a limited number of speciality players per team that will be allowed to play only one position during the season.
Albany Empire Head Coach Tom Menas is here with a brief explanation about Ironman football!
The Jacksonville Sharks are excited to announce the hiring & return of Siaha Burley as head coach & the head of football operations. Burley spent three seasons as the head coach of Jacksonville from 2017-2019 winning the first-ever NAL championship in 2017 as well as the 2019 NAL championship. The Sharks decision to bring Burley back means Jacksonville returns the winniest coach in NAL history (min 30 games) as Burley has compiled an overall record of 26-8 (.760 winning pct) with his closest competitor having a 32-24 record (.570).
Indoor Football League
The Northern Arizona Wranglers have named Les Moss as their new head coach. Moss brings over 30 years of coaching experience to the one-year-old franchise and to Prescott Valley. Most recently, Moss was the Head Coach of the Iowa Barnstormers in 2021, finishing the regular season with a 6-6 record. The Barnstormers fell to the Duke City Gladiators in the first round of the IFL playoffs by a score of 34-33 on the final play of the game.
Arizona Rattlers first-year team president Kevin Guy was named 2021 Indoor Football League Executive of the Year, the IFL announced. Additionally, Arizona was awarded the Best Franchise of the Year for a fourth consecutive season. With Arizona making its second straight United Bowl appearance, the Rattlers continue to stand as a shining example in the Indoor Football League.
Canadian Football League
The Saskatchewan Roughriders signed CFL All-Star Receiver Duke Williams. Williams (6'3-225lbs) will return to the CFL in Green and White after spending the past three years with the Buffalo Bills. Williams initially signed with the Bills in January of 2019 and went on to play five regular season games making 12 receptions for 166 yards and one touchdown and earning a 13.8 yards per catch average. He also suited up for two post-season games making four receptions for 49 yards. The California native spent one season on the Los Angeles Rams practice roster in 2016 after signing as an undrafted free agent.
Bo Levi Mitchell wastes no time as he airs it out on the first play of the game for a 71 yard touchdown in the first minute of the game
XFL majority owner Dany Garcia feature
ECHL affiliations with NHL and AHL teams. A number of affiliations have changed since last season. Here's a complete list of ECHL teams' agreements with other teams for the 2021-22 season.
North American Hockey League
Top Plays of the Week
Western Hockey League
Top 10 Plays of the Week
Ontario Hockey League
Inside Tucker Tynan's long road back from the events of December 12, 2019. The Niagara IceDogs goaltender is in top form for the 2021-22 season.
Here is a save Tucker Tynan made in opening night of the OHL.
Major League Rugby
The Dallas Jackals announce the signing of Australian Michael Hodge as Head Coach. Currently Sydney University FC (SUFC) Head of High Performance, Hodge brings the knowledge, dedication, and passion needed to build the Jackals in the 2022 Inaugural Season and beyond.
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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