Weekly Sports League and Franchise Report
by Dan Krieger
April 22, 2019 - Major League Soccer (MLS)
Carolina League: As a tribute to the craft beer brewing industry, the Salem (VA) Red Sox of the high Class-A Carolina League will play as the Salem Beer Mongers for their Thursday home games this season starting with a game on May 2, 2019.
Northwoods League: The Battle Creek Bombers of the summer-collegiate Northwoods League will play a game this summer as the Michigan Battle Cats in a tribute to the city's former low Class-A Midwest League team that played in the city from 1995 through the 2002 season. The Battle Cats became the Battle Creek Yankees for two seasons (2003-04) and then the Southwest Michigan Devil Rays for three seasons (2004-06) before moving to Midland (MI) as the Great Lakes Loons. The Northwoods League added the Battle Creek Bombers as a 2007 expansion team.
Liga Mexicana del Pacifico: Mexico's premier winter league known as the LMP, or Mexican Pacific League, has confirmed it will grow to ten teams for the 2019-20 season with the addition of expansion teams called the Sultanes de Monterrey and the Algodoneros de Guasave. The Monterrey team will be owned by the Sultanes de Monterrey team of Mexico's Triple-A level Liga Mexicana de Beisbol, or Mexican Baseball League. The LMP had a previous team called the Algodoneros de Guasave that was sold and moved to Guadalajara to become the Charros de Jalisco for the 2014 season.
Can-Am League: As the independent Can-Am League enters its 15th season, league officials expressed interest in growing beyond its current six teams to expand to other markets in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. The league will increase team rosters from 22 to 23 teams and raise the salary cap to attract new owners. Over the past few seasons, the league has added regular-season games against international teams to supplement the schedules of its six teams.
Pecos Spring League: The Pecos Spring League, which is operated by the summertime independent Pecos League, played its short 2019 season from March 23 to April 8. Teams called the Houston Apollos and Salina Stockade each played 11 games, while teams called the Houston Expos and Houston Hooks each played only one game. All games were played at a complex in the Houston area.
Women's Minor League Basketball Association: As the summertime WMLBA prepares for its third season in 2019, it announced teams called the Georgia Classic (Evans), Baton Rouge Hurricanes and the Oklahoma Tatanka (Muskogee) will be part of the 2019 season.
Global Women's Basketball Association: The GWBA is expected to play its 2019 season in June and July with five teams called the Flint Monarchs, Music City Icons (Nashville), St. Louis Surge, Topeka Shock and Wisconsin Glo (Oshkosh). The GWBA plans to expand to ten teams for the 2020 season as it grows as a professional development league.
Women's American Basketball Association: The WABA, which is affiliated with the men's American Basketball Association (ABA), announced a new St. Louis team called the Midwest Sound has been added and will be operated by the ABA's St. Louis Spirits. The league also confirmed he addition of the new San Diego Sprint team.
American Basketball Association: The semi-pro ABA, which plans to expand by 30 teams for the 2019-20 season, recently announced three additonal new teams called the San Jose Knights, Philadelphia Raiders and the Columbus-based Buckeye Show have been added as 2019-20 expansion teams.
Indoor Football League: The owner of the IFL's Cedar Rapids River Kings team announced plans to start an IFL expansion team in Oakland (CA) for the 2020 season.
Alliance of American Football: The new professional eight-team AAF, which recently suspended operations after eight weeks of a ten-week schedule, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy that will liquidate all league assets and assure the league will not return.
Legends Football League: The women's indoor LFL, formerly known as the Lingerie Football League before a rebranding in 2013, started its 2019 season earlier this month with the same eight teams as last season and each team playing a four-game schedule from April 5 to August 10, 2019. The Eastern Conference again features the Atlanta Steam (Duluth, GA), Chicago Bliss, Nashville Knights and Omaha Hearts, while the Western Conference includes the Austin Acoustic, Denver Dream (Loveland, CO), Los Angeles Temptation (Ontario, CA) and the Seattle Mist (Kent, WA).
Women's Football Alliance: The semi-pro full-contact 11-on-11 WFA started its 2019 season earlier this month with 65 teams. The WFA is aligned in 3 tiers and the Tier-I has 7 teams, the Tier-II has 18 teams and the Tier-III has 40 teams. New teams for 2019 include the New York Wolves, Comal County Camo (New Braunfels (TX), Cali War (Los Angeles) and Mississippi Lady Panthers (Jackson). The WFA also added teams called the Houston Energy, Nevada Storm (Reno) and Phoenix Phantomz from the 2018 Independent Women's Football League.
United States Women's Football League: The full-contact USWFL started its 2019 season earlier this month with eight participating teams. Three new teams called the Carolina Cardinals, DMV Knights, Keystone Assault (Harrisburg, PA), and the league's 2017 West Virginia Wildfire join the returning Fayetteville (NC) Fierce, Hampton Roads Lady Gators, Tri-Cities Thunder and Washington (DC) Prodigy for the 2019 season.
National Hockey League: The renovated arena in Seattle for the NHL's latest expansion team is expected to be ready by late spring or the summer of 2021 that should allow the team to start play for the 2021-22 season. The renovated arena will also be home to the Seattle Storm in the Women's National Basketball Association, so it is hoped the arena will be ready by the start of the WNBA season in June 2021. The Storm will play at temporary locations this season and next..
Manitoba Junior Hockey League: Canada's Junior-A level MJHL recently approved the transfer of the league's Winnipeg Blues ownership to the group that is relocating the high-level Kootenay Ice of the major-junior Western Hockey League from Cranbrook (British Columbia) to Winnipeg, where the team will become the Winnipeg Ice for the 2019-20 season.
Major League Soccer: MLS announced it will now cap its expansion at 30 teams instead of the original target of 28 teams. MLS is playing with 24 teams this season and plans to add Nashville SC and Inter Miami CF in 2020 and Austin FC in 2021. St. Louis and Sacramento are considered frontrunners for the next two expansion teams and the league has authorized advanced discussions with those ownership groups. Phoenix, Charlotte, Detroit, San Diego and Las Vegas are also interested in MLS expansion teams.
Major Arena Soccer League: The MASL announced a new team called the Mesquite (NV) Outlaws will be added for the 2019-20 season. Mesquite is in Texas.
Premier Ultimate League: The new women's PUL ultimate frisbee league started its inaugural 2019 season this weekend and it will have eight participating teams called the Atlanta Soul, Austin Torch, Nashville Nightshade, Raleigh Radiance, Indianapolis Red, New York Gridlock, Columbus (OH) Pride and the Medellin Revolution of Colombia. Each team will play five games through mid-June.
Premier Lacrosse League: The proposed new professional outdoor lacrosse PLL, which will be a six-team touring league starting in June 2019, recently announced Denver, Hamilton (Ontario) and Columbus (Ohio) have been added to the list of markets that will host events during the league's inaugural season.
Dan Krieger is the creator of the Leagues, Teams & Nicknames, which tracks the changes in league alignments, franchise movements and team nicknames in today's sports world. The publication is available for sale at www.amazon.com.
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Major League Soccer Stories from April 22, 2019
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- FC Cincinnati Weekly Update: April 22, 2019 - FC Cincinnati
- Chicago Fire Academy Goalkeeper Damian Las Called up to U-17 U.S. Men's National Team for 2019 CONCACAF U-17 Championship - Chicago Fire
- New York City FC Names Liam Manning Director of Coaching for the Academy - New York City FC
- Weekly Sports League and Franchise Report - OSC Original by Dan Krieger
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