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Major Link Soccer: Protect NWSL Players

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Athletes everywhere deserve to be safe.

Max Aquino / Sounder at Heart

Plenty happened this weekend, but none of it stacks up next to the wake left in the soccer world by the public revelations around Paul Riley’s abuses and those still felt from other abusers in NWSL and around the country and world. There are lots of stories about these issues below. I encourage you to read them and better understand the horrors that many outside of the brightest lights have had to endure just to try to play soccer. If the subjects of abuse and harassment are triggering for you, there’s plenty of other stuff here as well. Protect your peace, and the peace of others.

Seattle/Tacoma

As the NWSL grapples with the fallout from allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct against former coaches, the league announced Friday that this weekend’s games would not be played “due to the gravity of the events of the last week.” Former OL Reign coach Farid Benstiti resigned after allegations of abusive comments; NWSL commissioner ousted | The Seattle Times

Alex Villanueva’s freekick wizardry wasn’t enough to undo Sacramento’s dominance. TACOMA DEFIANCE FALLS 3-1 ON THE ROAD TO SACRAMENTO REPUBLIC FC - Tacoma Defiance

The Sounders won pretty and ugly in this one, but the wins all count the same at the top of the conference. Recap: Seattle Sounders 3, Colorado Rapids 0 | MLSSoccer.com

MLS/USL

A Brian White hat trick powered Vancouver to a win in the battle below the playoff line. Recap: Vancouver Whitecaps 3, San Jose Earthquakes 0 | MLSSoccer.com

NWSL/WoSo

We are close to breaking point. What will it take for this league to do a deep cleanse and actually start to care about its players? Another day, another way that the NWSL has failed its players - All For XI

A sobering wave of NWSL allegations and dismissals has shined a spotlight on the harmful environment players must cope with. How the structure of sports protects abusers of power – The Athletic

The National Women’s Soccer League is facing a new future of prioritizing its players. That didn’t happen thanks to goodwill. It happened from good old-fashioned organizing. How Union Organizing Made An NWSL Reckoning Possible

“Recognizing that trauma, we have decided not to take the field this weekend to give everyone some space to reflect,” the statement continued. NWSL commissioner Lisa Baird, counsel ousted over Paul Riley accusations - The Athletic

The lack of real accountability or acknowledgement of mistakes or wrong-doing from those in charge in Portland is infuriating, even if it’s not surprising. Abuse Allegations Against Former Portland Thorns Coach Put Soccer Club on Defensive - Blogtown - Portland Mercury

Players in the National Women’s Soccer League are demanding the respect all female athletes deserve but rarely get. The League of Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan Deserves Respect - The New York Times

Chelsea are very good. Chelsea’s Fran Kirby helps deliver WSL revenge against Brighton | Women's Super League | The Guardian

NWSL owners are shirking responsibilities all over the place. NWSL owners entirely absent from CBA negotiations – JWS

USA

In other action, last Saturday’s Liga MX El Super Clasico averaged 1.63 million on the Univision networks — on par with last year. Liga MX continues to crush UCL numbers. Ratings: WNBA, Sunday Night Baseball and more - Sports Media Watch

Cristian Roldan is among the top-3 rated players in central/defensive midfield. USMNT player ratings in FIFA 22 - Stars and Stripes FC

World

This is potentially where we figure out if Christian Pulisic is vaxxed. Players returning to England from red list to play if jabbed

The current agent of Chelsea’s Tommy Tuchel - and former agent of Neymar who brokered his move to PSG - is in some serious trouble. Football agent Pini Zahavi indicted in Belgium as part of Mouscron inquiry | Soccer | The Guardian

What’s on TV today?

2:00 PM - Defensa y Justicia vs Talleres Córdoba (Argentina Primera División) - Paramount+

4:15 PM - Colón vs Banfield (Argentina Primera División) - Paramount+

5:00 PM - América vs Cruz Azul (Liga MX Femenil) - TUDN