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Major Link Soccer: NWSL expanding to Louisville

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Dest’s decision coming soon, and problematic fans in England and Brazil

Georgia Tech v Louisville Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Catch up on the latest news before a big day in UEFA Champions League and the MLS Cup playoffs. Among the highlights: Miami continues trying to build momentum for their stadium plan, Louisville gets their first top-division pro team since the 1970s, Neymar hits an ignominious milestone with PSG, and Sergino Dest plans to decide his international future very soon.

Seattle

Bow down to Washington. Men’s college soccer rankings: Washington, once unranked, is now No. 1 in the United Soccer Coaches poll | NCAA.com
There’s a new No. 1 team in the United Soccer Coaches poll. The Huskies are the first team in 2019 to hold the top spot after beginning the season outside the Top 25.

“We have to be better.” Megan Rapinoe on Women Empowerment, Self Care and Inspiring Change
US women’s soccer star and Reign FC player Megan Rapinoe on women empowerment, self care and inspiring change.

MLS

MLS Disciplinary Committee issues suspension to Nani, four fines from recent games | MLSsoccer.com
Orlando City forward Nani has been suspended for two games and fined for aggressive behavior toward a match official, while FC Dallas goalkeeper Jesse Gonzalez was fined both for hands to the face and for embellishment.

Plans are great, but plans don’t matter if you don’t have the land. David Beckham’s MLS team unveil plans for $966m stadium in Miami | The Guardian
David Beckham’s nascent MLS club have unveiled plans for their new $966m stadium ahead of their entrance to the league for the 2020 season.

We had to double-check that this was a fresh article and not one from 2018, or 2017, or 2016, or... MLS commissioner Garber calls delays in Beckham Miami project ‘frustrating’
MLS commissioner Don Garber called the ongoing delays in Inter Miami’s stadium proposal ‘frustrating’ ahead of two resolutions on the city’s agenda.

I have far less doubts about this expansion team kicking off when they promise. Sacramento mayor already starting MLS rivalry with San Jose, Los Angeles | MLSsoccer.com
It didn’t take long for Sacramento Republic to fire a few friendly, good-natured shots in the direction of the San Jose Earthquakes, LA Galaxy and LAFC.

MLS all-time leading scorer Chris Wondolowski re-signs with Earthquakes for 2020 | MLSsoccer.com
The league’s all-time leading scorer isn’t ready to hang up his cleats just yet.

I’m sure they said something dumb to upset Seattle fans. Audi 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs Conference Semifinals preview | Doyle & Warshaw | MLSsoccer.com
Matt Doyle and Bobby Warshaw preview the Audi 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs Conference Semifinals.

NWSL / Women’s soccer

The news had been rumored for a while, and Louisville will have the longest lead-up time of any team in NWSL history. NWSL will expand to Louisville in 2021 - All For XI
With Sacramento expected in 2020, Louisville would become the 11th team in 2021.

Reign FC’s Darian Jenkins was the underrated player of the match. Processing the NWSL semifinal results - All For XI
It was very exciting but also very exhausting.

Viewership numbers are finally in, and the disparity between the men’s and women’s World Cup isn’t remotely as large as you might believe from looking the disparity in prize money. We can gauge popularity of women’s football. Time to up the prize money | The Guardian
World Cup viewing figures debunk the myth that interest in the men’s game dwarfs the women’s. The ball is in FIFA’s court.

Australia has relied on domestic stars returning from NWSL to play in their league in the off-season, but some players have outgrown the league. Sam Kerr to move on from Australia but can W-League move on from her? | The Guardian
The departure of Matildas captain Sam Kerr robs the W-League of its biggest star, but it also presents a golden opportunity for the competition to start a new chapter.

US soccer

Report: Dest will announce international decision this week – ProSoccerTalk
Sergino Dest turns 19 on Nov. 3 and has two caps for the United States men’s national team but can still switch to the Netherlands.

World soccer

Haringey is the perfect place for football to take a stand against racism | The Guardian
If Haringey Borough walking off in protest at racism helps other clubs and other people who have been abused then it was worth it.

Three Chelsea fans face lifetime bans for racially abusing a fellow supporter - BBC Sport
Three Chelsea fans could face lifetime bans for racially abusing a fellow supporter at a Europa League game in April.

Of course, if no one’s going to enforce that ban, it doesn’t mean much. Red Star Belgrade fans attend Tottenham game despite Uefa ban - BBC Sport
Tottenham launch an investigation after more than 200 Red Star Belgrade fans “illegally” attended their side’s Champions League game at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Thiago Motta appointed Genoa manager after Aurelio Andreazzoli sacked - BBC Sport
Genoa appoint former Barcelona, Inter and Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Thiago Motta as their new manager, replacing Aurelio Andreazzoli.

Money well spent. Neymar has missed half of PSG’s matches through injury suspension since €222m move | ESPN
The Brazil international, who was due to return from Champions League suspension against Club Brugge in the Champions League after his ban for an outburst towards match officials during the round of 16 home defeat to Manchester United last season was shortened, was injured representing his country and will be out for up to a month.

Barcelona pay €15m for first refusal on Atletico Madrid stars
Barcelona have paid Atletico Madrid €15 million to have the first refusal on Saul Niguez, Jose Maria Gimenez and three other academy players.

Tottenham end slump with emphatic Champions League win over Red Star | ESPN
After suffering their heaviest home defeat in Europe on matchday two, a 7-2 hammering by Bayern Munich, Spurs bounced back to claim their biggest win in the Champions League.

Kane demonstrates he’s becoming Spurs’ playmaker-in-chief by picking apart Red Star Belgrade
A demolition of Red Star didn’t prove that Tottenham have turned a corner, but it did illustrate Harry Kane’s evolution from a No. 9 to a No. 10.

Asian player of the year Abdelkarim Hassan banned 5 months for ref spat | ESPN
Asia’s reigning player of the year has been banned for five months for confronting a referee in the Asian Champions League semifinals. He can still play at the Club World Cup and in domestic games, meaning he will miss just three matches overall.

Copa Libertadores: Flamengo fans arrested before Gremio semi-final - BBC Sport
Police arrest 16 Flamengo fans for “threats to kill police” before the Copa Libertadores semi-final second leg against Gremio in Brazil.

Conspiracy theories cast shadow over River Plate v Boca Juniors reunion | The Guardian
Memories of last year’s shambolic Copa Libertadores final have dominated the build-up to this season’s semi-final second leg.

What’s on TV?

9:55 AM: RB Leipzig vs. Zenit (UEFA Champions League) — Galavision

9:55 AM: Ajax vs. Chelsea (UEFA Champions League) — TUDN

11:45 AM: Huddersfield Town vs. Middlesbrough (English Championship) — ESPN+

12:00 PM: Salzburg vs. Napoli (UEFA Champions League) — B/R Live

12:00 PM: Genk vs. Liverpool (UEFA Champions League) — B/R Live

12:00 PM: Benfica vs. Olympic Lyonnais (UEFA Champions League) — B/R Live

12:00 PM: Inter vs. Borussia Dortmund (UEFA Champions League) — Galavision

12:00 PM: Slavia Praha vs. Barcelona (UEFA Champions League) — TUDN

12:00 PM: Lille vs. Valencia (UEFA Champions League) — B/R Live

4:00 PM: NYCFC vs. Toronto FC (MLS playoffs) — FS1

5:30 PM: Flamengo vs. Grêmio (Copa Libertadores) — beIN Sports

6:30 PM: Austin Bold vs. LA Galaxy II (USL Championship) — ESPN+

7:00 PM: Atlético Zacatepec vs. Pachuca (Copa MX) — ESPN Deportes

7:00 PM: Seattle Sounders FC vs. Real Salt Lake (MLS playoffs) — FS1

7:30 PM: Sacramento Republic vs. New Mexico United (USL Championship) — ESPN+

Plus nearly two-dozen NCAA men’s and women’s college soccer with kickoffs from 9:00 AM through 8:00 PM on ESPN+, ESPN3 and ESPNU.