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Major Link Soccer: Hoppe floats

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Mathew Hoppe, the latest in a line of Americans at Schalke and in the Bundesliga, becomes a first.

FC Schalke 04 v TSG Hoffenheim - Bundesliga Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images

It’s nearly draft season for MLS and NWSL, and NWSL has announced some incredibly frustrating rules regarding player rights and the draft. A couple of Americans had really good weekends in Europe, with Zack Steffen continuing to impress in England and Mathew Hoppe making history with Schalke. On the USL front, one club moves down a level while an MLS-bound club hits a bump in the road.

Seattle/Tacoma

Your homework’s not done, and you haven’t cleaned your room, so you’re still grounded. Puget Sound Hasn’t Hit COVID Metrics for Reopening Restaurants Yet - Eater Seattle

MLS/USL

The Black-and-Red have filled out their goalkeeping corps for 2021. D.C. United acquires goalkeeper Jon Kempin in trade with Columbus Crew - Black And Red United

MLS is providing its clubs a make-good sponsorship opportunity heading into the ‘21 season by letting them place a brand on the left sleeve of players’ jerseys, sources have confirmed. MLS Allowing Clubs To Sell Left Sleeve Sponsorships To Recoup Revenue

The incoming MLS and NWSL ownership group has missed deadlines related to their entry to MLS. Sacramento Republic missed MLS expansion fee deadline – The Athletic

Following reports that NCFC would not be participating in the 2021 USL Championship season, their move to USL1 rather than folding is certainly good news. North Carolina FC to Join USL League One

RSL are throwing their hat in the ring in pursuit of the 19 year-old defender. Report: Real Salt Lake in talks with Manchester City prospect Timi Sobowale | MLSsoccer.com

The club will involve supporters in the process. The new logo is expected to be unveiled after the 2021 season. Chicago Fire officially dumping “crown” logo, new design project underway - Hot Time In Old Town

NWSL/WoSo

Players drafted have until Jan. 22 to decide whether they will report to their NWSL team before or after their spring season. Future NWSL stars face tough decision: go pro or return for spring NCAA season - Chicago Sun-Times

An update, of sorts. Northern California NWSL team coveted, but Sacramento still holds cards - Indomitable City Soccer

Earthquakes Stadium could be involved. Report: NWSL team coming to San Jose? - Center Line Soccer

Seattle Storm star Breanna Stewart will be making an appearance. NWSL ANNOUNCES BROADCAST TALENT AND VIP GUESTS FOR 2021 NWSL DRAFT

Fran Kirby did a violence to Jess Fishlock’s Reading. Reading FCW 0-5 Chelsea FCW, WSL: Post-match reaction - We Ain't Got No History

The covid-impacted college season is serving as cover for the league while they restrict player choice and freedom of movement. New NWSL 2021 college draft rule is bad for player rights - All For XI

USA

Good news for everyone involved. Vlatko Andonovski: Rapinoe, Lloyd “ahead of” schedule on return to USWNT – Equalizer Soccer

The promising American prospect is turning pro, and it seems like she’s headed to Europe to do so. Catarina Macario is officially turning pro - All For XI

The Manchester City backup has impressed in his recent outings. Guardiola: Steffen ready to compete for Ederson’s starting job - Stars and Stripes FC

Regardless of how the rest of his career goes, Hoppe will always have this hat trick. Schalke forward Matthew Hoppe becomes first American to score Bundesliga hat trick | MLSsoccer.com

World

Yaya Toure explains his journey to a coaching career, and his new job with QPR. Born leader - The Coaches' Voice

The former LA Galaxy player is accused of sexual abuse by a woman in Argentina. Cristian Pavón is denounced for sexual abuse | TNT Sports

A nice win in a physical contest for Dortmund was marred by Witsel’s injury. Three Observations from Borussia Dortmund’s 3-1 Win Over RB Leipzig - Fear The Wall

What’s on TV today?

11:45 AM - Celtic vs Hibernian (Scottish Premiership) - ESPN+

11:45 AM - Spezia vs Sampdoria (Serie A) - ESPN+

12:00 PM - Stockport County vs West Ham United (FA Cup) - ESPN+

5:00 PM - Tigres UANL vs Pachuca (Liga MX) - TUDN