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Major Link Soccer: UEFA Champions League is back

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The group stages are starting up today!

Liverpool v SSC Napoli - Pre-Season Friendly Photo by MB Media/Getty Images

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE GROUP STAGE IS BACK!!! Too bad that these games don’t really mean that much normally in the grand scheme of things but still great to watch. More racist incidents are happening in Italy. The NWSL is drawing record crowds.

Seattle

Support A D&D Adventure That Fights Cancer In Real Life
Right now, on Indiegogo, there is a project put together by members of the D&D community to benefit Friends of Kids With Cancer. Harper’s Tale was inspired by the idea of turning a real life cancer diagnosis into something positive in the real world.

MLS/USL

The man who thinks he is a Ferrari thinks he is the best in the league. Shocker. LA Galaxy's Zlatan Ibrahimovic: “I think I'm the best-ever player in MLS” | MLSsoccer.com
After scoring three goals for LA Galaxy against Sporting Kansas City, Zlatan Ibrahimovic declared himself to be the best player in the history of MLS.

Ignore the sentence about this is in honor of Mexico’s Independence Day but after that some interesting analysis. Seltzer: Three potential Mexican recruits for MLS clubs | MLSsoccer.com
The history of Mexican players starring in MLS is long and lustrous, which ones might be the next high-profile arrivals in MLS?

I think American players would agree they should be paid more, at least they would happily take it. Rooney says U.S. players in MLS are 'underpaid'
D.C. United star Wayne Rooney has called for Major League Soccer to increase wages of American players, he told ESPN FC in an exclusive interview.

The USL with MLS2 sides isn’t perfect, but for a team like the Vancouver Whitecaps, right now they have nothing. Garber tells CSA they “need to figure out” how to engage with MLS teams for the good of Canadian player development – AFTN

MLS Commissioner Don Garber: On Politics, Youth Development & The Future Prosperity of the League - Eighty Six Forever
Reflecting on Don Garber’s 2019 Vancouver Whitecaps media roundtable.

They kind of walked back the ban but really they just made it sound like they were while still allowing them to remove anyone wearing the Iron Front symbol. Minnesota United has clarified their ban on the Iron Front Symbol - E Pluribus Loonum
Over the past week MNUFC has gone above the league’s ban and rolled back from their strict interpretation as well.

NWSL

Working smart and capitalizing on the popularity works! NWSL: How Women’s World Cup bump has helped attendance | Yahoo Sports
As expected, evidence of a World Cup bump has shown up throughout the league. But certain clubs are also just plain operating smarter now.

Second time this season Sky Blue will move a match in order to handle increased ticket demand. Sky Blue FC Moves Sept. 29 Home Finale to Red Bull Arena Due to Increased Ticket Demand - Sky Blue FC

The midfielder is on one of the most talented teams in the NWSL and has played her way to a six-and-six season so far. Debinha poised to be Brazil’s next superstar - All For XI
The NC Courage No. 10 is having a banner season for her club and, if used right, could prove to be key to Brazil’s future success.

Sky Blue isn’t the only successful team for attendance. Washington Spirit: Audi Field games draw record crowds | Pro Soccer USA
In two games at the stadium this season, the NWSL team has averaged 18,645 in attendance. The Spirit hope to play at Audi Field more often in 2020.

Could two teams work in Louisville? Yes. Louisville soccer: Here's how LouCity could coexist with an NWSL club
With talk of professional women's soccer coming to Louisville, we looked at cities with both USL and NWSL teams to see how the partnership could work.

USA

Very interesting take on the differences between American sports and European soccer. Talks about the culture, the finances, and the overall community approach to sports. Europe and the U.S.—Two Continents, Two Sporting Traditions - The Atlantic
In sports, and in life, Europe and the United States see their societies differently—just not in the ways you might expect.

World

The group stages start up today, what’s going to happen? Champions League: The key questions as 2019-20 campaign gets under way - BBC Sport
Will an English side win the Champions League again? What shape are their La Liga rivals in? Who might be this season’s surprise package?

Can they defend their title? I know a couple other SaH writers that would like this. For the record, I am not one. Liverpool: How hard is it for Champions League holders to retain title? - BBC Sport
Liverpool begin their Champions League campaign on Tuesday aiming to become only the second club to retain the trophy since its rebranding in 1992.

Finally the drawn out process is over and the Spaniard is sticking around at Old Trafford. David de Gea: Manchester United goalkeeper signs new deal at Old Trafford - BBC Sport
Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea signs a new contract to stay with the club until 2023.

Who is going to buy Ansu Fati? Or does his success mean that Luis Suarez is available? Ansu Fati: Who is Barcelona 16-year-old with 100m euro release clause? - BBC Sport
Ansu Fati was selected ahead of Luis Suarez for Barcelona on Saturday and in two hours of senior football has scored twice and added an assist. Is he destined for greatness?

Unfortunate ending for Kevin McCabe but this could create a new mega-team finance wise. Sheffield United ownership: Prince Abdullah wins court battle - BBC News
Businessman Kevin McCabe must sell his stake in the Premier League club for £5m, a high court rules.

The one above was a bit more of a quick news take on it, here is a bit more background oon what happened to get to this point with Sheffield United. McCabe v Prince Abdullah: how battle for control of Sheffield United unfolded | Football | The Guardian
A long battle to take sole charge of Sheffield United has been played out in court and on Monday the judge ruled in favour of Prince Abdullah, a Saudi royal, against Kevin McCabe

Until Tammy Abraham is cap-tied in a competitive match he can make the switch, will England call him up and ensure he plays in their next Euro Qualifier in order to stop that switch? Abraham on Nigeria call: Never say never
Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham has refused to rule out the possibility of playing for Nigeria despite earning two international caps for England.

All I can say is good he was fired. Italian football pundit sacked for racist on-air remarks about Romelu Lukaku | Football | The Guardian
An Italian TV commentator has been suspended for saying that the only way to stop Romelu Lukaku is for defenders to say ‘here are 10 bananas that you can eat’

I feel terrible saying it but I am not sure what Dzeko expected. Dzeko: Racism in Italy worse than expected
Roma striker Edin Dzeko has said there is more racism in Italian football than he expected before moving to Serie A.

The Italian Federation needs to start punishing teams and fans to stop these abuses. Kessie and Lukaku subjected to more racism in Italy – ProSoccerTalk
Kessie and Lukaku reportedly have been subjected to more racism in Italy.

What’s on Today?

9:55 AM - Inter Milan v. Slavia Praha - UEFA Champions League - TNT, B/R Live

9:55 AM - Lyon v. Zenit St. Petersburg - UEFA Champions League - B/R Live

12:00 PM - Napoli v. Liverpool - UEFA Champions League - TNT, B/R Live

12:00 PM - Chelsea v. Valencia - UEFA Champions League - B/R Live

12:00 PM - Ajax v. Lille - UEFA Champions League - B/R Live

12:00 PM - Benfica v. RB Leipzig - UEFA Champions League - B/R Live

12:00 PM - Dortmund v. Barcelona - UEFA Champions League - B/R Live

12:00 PM - RB Salzburg v. Genk - UEFA Champions League - B/R Live

4:30 PM - NC Courage v. Houston Dash - NWSL - ESPN News, ESPN+

5:00 PM - Nashville SC v. Birmingham Legion - USL Championship - ESPN+

7:00 PM - Tacoma Defiance v. Real Monarchs - USL Championship - ESPN+

12:00 PM to 5:00 PM NCAA Men’s Soccer on ESPN+