Last Week around the Leagues
by Fran Stuchbury
May 23, 2023 - Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA)
This past week Major League Soccer awarded an expansion franchise to San Diego, Breanna Stewart set a New York Liberty scoring record with 45 points, and the USL Super League announced its initial markets. Highlights from this week come from Major League Soccer, the USL Super League, National Women's Soccer League, United Soccer League Championship, United Soccer League One, Women's National Basketball Association, NBA G League, United States Football League, Canadian Football League, XFL, Indoor Football League, National Arena League, American Hockey League, ECHL North American Hockey League, Western Hockey League, Ontario Hockey League, United States Hockey League, Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, National Lacrosse League, Major League Rugby and American Ultimate Disc League.
Major League Soccer
Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber officially announced that MLS has awarded its 30th team to the city of San Diego, California. The new expansion club will begin play in MLS in 2025 at Snapdragon Stadium -- the 35,000-seat venue that has already proven to be a destination for the passionate soccer fans of the region. Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber officially announced today that MLS has awarded its 30th team to the city of San Diego, California. The new expansion club will begin play in MLS in 2025 at Snapdragon Stadium -- the 35,000-seat venue that has already proven to be a destination for the passionate soccer fans of the region.
San Diego will join Major League Soccer as the 30th team
USL Super League
The USL Super League is thrilled to announce the initial group of markets that will make world-class professional women's soccer accessible for more players, more fans, and more communities across the United States. Set to kick off in August 2024, the USL Super League intends to launch as a first division league, reflecting its commitment to the highest standards in American soccer and a collective vision to be a global leader in women's soccer on and off the field. The USL Super League will follow U.S. Soccer's sanctioning process. Initial Markets for Inaugural 2024 Season (more TBA in coming months): Charlotte, N.C, Dallas/Fort Worth, TX, Lexington, KY, Phoenix, AZ, Spokane, WA., Tampa Bay, FK, Tucson, AZ, and Washington, D.C. . Initial Markets for subsequent seasons (pending completion of a stadium project): Chattanooga, TN, Indianapolis, IN, Jacksonville, FL, Madison, WI, and Oakland, CA.
New professional women's soccer league coming to Indy
USL Super League announces professional women's soccer team in Madison
National Women's Soccer League
Fastest goal in San Diego Wave FC Alex Morgan's career.
For the first time since October 2021! Marta converts from the spot to give the Orlando Pride the lead.
The USL Championship announced the Team of the Week for Week 10 of the 2023 regular season owith Memphis 901 FC's Luiz Fernando voted the Championship Player of the Week presented after scoring both goals - including a spectacular late winner - to lead 10-player 901 FC to a 2-1 victory against Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC.
USL League One
Six stunning saves by the Jamaica international - Amal Knight - USL League One Player of the Week
Women's National Basketball Association
Check out these highlights from Breanna Stewart's 45-point double-double in the New York Liberty's blowout victory over the Indiana Fever. A New York Liberty scoring record!
Breanna Stewart fields questions following her 45-point outing in the New York Liberty's 90-73 win over the Indiana Fever.
The WNBA announced that it has rescinded the Las Vegas Aces' 2025 first-round draft pick for violating league rules regarding impermissible player benefits and suspended Las Vegas head coach Becky Hammon for two games without pay for violating league and team Respect in the Workplace policies. Due to a prior trade, Las Vegas does not have a 2024 first-round draft pick. The team violation involved promises of impermissible benefits in connection with negotiations for an extension of then Aces player Dearica Hamby's player contract. The Respect in the Workplace violation was related to comments made by Hammon to Hamby in connection with Hamby's recent pregnancy.
The Las Vegas Aces head coach, Becky Hammon, spoke on the allegations of mistreatment of forward Dearica Hamby during her pregnancy. Tina Nguyen reports.
The New York Liberty has signed All-Star guard, Sabrina Ionescu, to a multi-year extension through the 2025 season. "We couldn't be more excited to announce Sabrina's multi-year extension," said Liberty General Manager Jonathan Kolb. "Her career is already off to a historic start and her will to win is truly unparalleled. Sab has quickly become synonymous with the Liberty franchise, and we look forward to her continued success in New York for many years to come." Through 69 regular season games, 65 of which were starts, Sabrina has averaged 14.9 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 6.1 assists per game-the only player in WNBA history with such career averages across the three categories.
Brittney Griner's return to WNBA court. The basketball star played in her first official game in 579 days after spending 10 months in a Russian Prison.
NBA G League
Coby Karl, head coach of the G League champion Delaware Blue Coats, joined the NBA Combine broadcast live to talk about his experience winning a title, working with the upcoming NBA Draft prospects, and more.
The BIG3, the global 3-on-3 basketball league founded by Ice Cube and Jeff Kwatinetz, announced the dates and cities for the 2023 Postseason, including the playoffs, 2023 Championship Game, and the return of the BIG3 All-Star Game. The playoffs will be held on August 19 in Washington, D.C. at Capital One Arena. The 2023 Championship Game and All-Star Game will be held on August 26 at the legendary O2 Arena in London, United Kingdom; the first time that a BIG3 game will be held outside of North America. Games will begin at 1pm ET live on CBS and Paramount +. "The BIG3 is all about bringing the best sports and entertainment experience to our fans," said BIG3 CEO and Co-founder, Ice Cube. "We have felt the love from our international fans these past five seasons and we are so excited to be taking the BIG3 global. The O2 Arena is one of the most iconic venues in the world, and with a capacity of over 20,000, it is the perfect place for the 2023 BIG3 Championship Game and our second-annual All-Star Game. To all of our fans in D.C. and Europe, get ready, because the best BIG3 postseason yet is right around the corner."
United States Football League
USFL Top 10 plays from week 6
Canadian Football League
Following an early exit from the CFL Playoffs in 2022, the Calgary Stampeders look ahead to a promising 2023 with Jake Maier entering his first full CFL season as their starting quarterback. With new additions Micah Awe and Julian Howsare filling gaps on defence left by departing free agents and Ka'Deem Carey poised once again to be one of the CFL's leading rushers, the Stampeders have their sights set on the Grey Cup in 2023.
The Saskatchewan Roughriders look to improve on a 2022 CFL season that saw them fall out of the playoff picture. New additions Trevor Harris and Jake Wieneke bolster the Roughriders roster as they seek the CFL Playoffs in 2023.
The Ottawa REDBLACKS look to bounce back from a 2022 CFL season that saw them finish at the bottom of the East Division behind newly appointed head coach Bob Dyce, quarterback Jeremiah Masoli who is returning from a season-ending leg injury last year, and 2022 CFL sack leader Lorenzo Mauldin.
The XFL announced that the XFL Rookie Draft will be held virtually on Friday, June 16, 2023, opening the door of opportunity for undrafted players who meet the following requirements: - Eligible to have been drafted in the 2023 NFL Draft - Not under contract by a professional football team. XFL personnel directors and coaches have been actively evaluating talent for its 2024 season, including players who were invited to NFL rookie minicamps but did not sign a contract. To allow for the increased number of players, XFL team rosters will be expanded from 51 to 90 players during the offseason.
The XFL announced today that it would host its XFL HBCU Showcase on Saturday, June 17, at Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta, GA. The XFL HBCU Showcase will be open exclusively to players from HBCUs. This will be the second showcase that the XFL has tailored specifically for HBCU players, having hosted a showcase at Jackson State University in the summer of 2022. 100 players from HBCUs played in the 2023 XFL season. When the XFL says it's a 'League of Opportunity,' we mean it and you can see it in the actions we take to offer equal opportunities to players across the country," said Doug Whaley, XFL Senior Vice President, Player Personnel. "This showcase at the historic Clark Atlanta University allows us to shine a spotlight on HBCU players and give them a chance to showcase their skills for our personnel evaluators."
XFL Championship Top 5 Plays
The X Factors from the 2023 XFL Championship game featuring the Arlington Renegades vs. D.C. Defenders
Indoor Football League
Plays of the Week 9
National Arena League
Albany Empire owner Antonio Brown said he will suit up and play for his National Arena League team.
American Hockey League
Coachella Valley Firebirds Ryker Evans the triple overtime hero
The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, are excited to announce that Head Coach Derek Army has signed a three-year contract extension. The deal will keep him as the team's head coach through the 2025-26 campaign. "Derek Army has done a terrific job for our organization, and we are looking forward to watching him succeed even more in these next three seasons," said Nailers Team President Brian Komorowski. "With Derek behind the bench, we were able to get a taste of our first playoff success since 2016, which is something that we are eager to see more of in the near future. Derek also understands the importance of family and community, which make him an incredible ambassador for our team."
Today's A.M. Ice clip shows the importance of staying with a play even though it might not work out at first. Idaho's Wade Murphy is unsuccessful on a breakaway on Sunday, but his next shot becomes the eventual game-winning goal in Game Two of the Western Conference final.
Being in the right place at the right time often pays off in playoff overtime. It sure did for John McCarron and the Florida Everblades on Saturday night. Today's A.M. Ice clip features the last play from Game Two of the Eastern Conference final victory for Florida.
Southern Professional Hockey League
Jim Bermingham, the former Knoxville Ice Bears coach who won a championship with the team in 2006, passed away Wednesday night. He was 51. Bermingham concluded his 11-year playing career with the Ice Bears during the team's lone season in the ACHL in 2002-03. He put up 66 points in 56 games in the organization's inaugural season. He was named the second coach in franchise history the following year and served as Knoxville's bench boss for four years. Under Bermingham, the Ice Bears went 129-85-10. Knoxville won the regular season title in 2005 and swept the regular season and President's Cup championships in 2006.
North American Hockey League
Top Plays of the Week - May 8, - May 14, 2023
Western Hockey League
Nico Myatovic's penalty shot goal early in the third period stood as the game winner and the Seattle Thunderbirds defeated the Winnipeg ICE, 3-1, at the accesso ShoWare Center in Game Five of WHL Championship Series. With the win the Thunderbirds claim their second league title and first since 2017. The Thunderbirds win the best of seven series, four games to one. They now move on to play in the Memorial Cup Tournament which gets underway next weekend in Kamloops, B.C.
Highlights from Game 5 of the 2023 WHL Championship Series presented by Nutrien between the Winnipeg ICE and Seattle Thunderbirds
Thunderbirds head coach Matt O'Dette shares his thoughts following his team's 2023 WHL Championship triumph in Game 5.
United States Hockey League
A stout defense, stellar goaltending, and one advantageous shot lifted the Youngstown Phantoms to a 1-0 win over the Fargo Force in Game 3 of the 2023 Clark Cup Final Friday night at the Covelli Centre. Youngstown swept the best-of-five series three-games-to-none, earning the first Clark Cup title in club history. "These guys deserve it," said Phantoms Head Coach Ryan Ward. "A group of kids that comes to the rink every day and has fun and works their tails off. I don't have any words. The most deserving group of kids I've ever been around. Best staff in the world. You don't want it to end, but if it was going to end, it's got to end like this."
Here are the highlights
Ontario Hockey League
Tucker Robertson's third game-winner of the OHL Championship Series was the third period difference-maker, crowning the Peterborough Petes J. Ross Robertson Cup champions for the 10th time in their history as they defeated the London Knights by a score of 2-1 in Game 6. Tucker Robertson's third game-winner of the OHL Championship Series was the third period difference-maker, crowning the Peterborough Petes J. Ross Robertson Cup champions for the 10th time in their history as they defeated the London Knights by a score of 2-1 in Game 6.
OHL Play of the Night - Tucker Robertson's OHL Championship-winning goal!
QMJHL Morning Minute - Recap of the Championship Game that the Quebec Remparts won in six games over the Halifax Mooseheads
National Lacrosse League
Las Vegas Desert Dogs CEO Mark Fine was named the National Lacrosse League's Executive of the Year in a release made by the organization. As CEO, Fine has been instrumental in laying the foundation for long-term success for the Desert Dogs since the announcement of the franchise two years ago. Fine's tireless efforts helped place the Desert Dogs fourth in the NLL in overall ticket sales revenue with over 2,000 season tickets sold, while averaging nearly 6,000 fans per game in overall attendance in its inaugural season.
The Colorado Mammoth booked their trip back to the NLL championship for a rematch with the Buffalo Bandits after this 9-7 Game 3 victory over the Calgary Roughnecks.
Minor League Baseball Plays of the Week
Major League Rugby
MLR Mental Fitness - What advice would you give your younger self?
American Ultimate Disc League
The TOP 10 plays from Week 3 of the 2023 AUDL season!
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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Women's National Basketball Association Stories from May 23, 2023
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- 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.