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Major Link Soccer: No NWSL Expansion

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Gulati has bad news for fans of women's pro soccer in non-NWSL markets.

No NWSL expansion for you!
No NWSL expansion for you!
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

What proved to be a pretty crazy weekend in soccer finally wrapped up on Sunday. With a total of 29 goals scored in league play over the weekend, there was no shortage of unexpected results and eyebrow-raising scorelines in MLS.

The top two teams in the league put in dominating performances, with Montreal beating Houston 5-0 and Real Salt Lake taking down Columbus 4-0 on Saturday, which may wind up putting more money in Jason Keis' pocket as contract extension talks are underway.. On Sunday, Chivas USA shocked the Red Bulls by defeating them 3-2, leading New York head coach Mike Petke to apologize for the loss. The New England Revolution completely dominated the second half on Sunday against Philadelphia, propelling them to a 5-1 win. Federal Way native Kelyn Row scored a brace in that match and was named MLS player of the week in addition to being in contention for goal of the week.

The Sounders match against Portland Sunday night registered the fourth highest attendance globally over the weekend. The overnight rating on ESPN2 was a fairly disappointing 0.3, which actually compares pretty favorably to the network's typical Sunday night programming. It's also worth noting that ESPN's ratings have been down across the board this year.

I don't typically buy magazines off the news stand, but I definitely think this week's issue of ESPN The Magazine is worth a purchase. In it, there is a piece about MLS retention funds and how it has helped the league keep some of its better players. The issue also has an illuminating article about the unconventional training methods being used by the Seahawks. There is an interesting quote in that article that relates to the Sounders:

Owner Paul Allen, no stranger to innovation, has indicated that he wants his MLS franchise, the Seattle Sounders, to follow the Seahawks' model.

As ridiculous as the price is that Real Madrid is reportedly willing to pay for Gareth Bale, leave it to Manchester United to make them look downright reasonable. Tottenham reportedly haven't agreed to a price for Bale quite yet. If Manchester United wants to sign Bale, they'll have to pay a premium to keep him in the Premier League, to the tune of $195 million.

Next weekend, one of the best rivalries in Europe will be showcased on the NBC Sports Network. The North London Derby, which is competed between Arsenal and Tottenham, is the subject of this 26 minute documentary.

The NWSL title game is set to take place between Portland and Western New York on the 31st. Despite the early success story of Portland, the rest of the league has a way to go. With that in mind, Sunil Gulati announced that there will be no expansion for NWSL next season.

TV Listings:

  • Capital One Cup: Liverpool vs. Notts County, beIN Sport 11:40 AM
  • UEFA Europa League: Basel vs. Ludogorets, Fox Soccer 11:45 AM
  • CONCACAF Champions League: Houston Dynamo vs. Árabe Unido, Fox Sports 1 5:00 PM