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Major Link Soccer: Gareth Bale expects to return to Madrid next season

Questions abound about Angel City’s ownership vetting process; the psychological impact of playing in empty stadiums.

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Dinamo Zagreb v Tottenham Hotspur - UEFA Europa League Round Of 16 Leg Two Photo by Jurij Kodrun/Getty Images


The Black & Gold will be down one assistant coach in preseason. Columbus Crew’s Ezra Hendrickson takes medical leave of absence - Massive Report

More clubs are investing resources into analytics, but a few took a big step backward over the past year. The State of MLS Analytics Ahead of the 2021 Season — American Soccer Analysis

NWSL / women’s soccer

Still only 25 years old entering her fifth NWSL season, Ashley Hatch is excited to take on a veteran role in the Washington Spirit attack. Ashley Hatch welcomes a mentor role in the Washington Spirit’s young attack - Beautiful Game Network

Uhrman took to Instagram live to answer fan questions about how Dobrik was allowed to become an investor. Angel City president Julie Uhrman responds to David Dobrik concerns - All For XI

It’s been nearly a year since the former US Soccer-supported Girls Development Academy ended and the new Girls Academy program launched in its place. Lesle Gallimore on the Girls Academy’s creation, its first season, and plans for the future | Soccer America

The WSL’s deal with Sky Sports can create new stars, careers — on and off the pitch — and is a huge marker for the game’s health. How the WSL’s TV deal will ‘monster the whole thing up’ – The Athletic

Plus: Oliver Brown on how the Covid crisis reinstated sport’s gender gap. Revealed: the true scale of how women’s sport was left behind in lockdown | The Telegraph

Who are the best players in women’s soccer right now? Introducing the FC Women’s Rank, an ESPN FC and espnW celebration of the sport’s elite. ESPN FC Women’s Rank: The 50 best players in the game right now

Goal counts down the top 10 women’s football talents born on or after January 1, 2002 from all around the world before handing out the annual NXGN award NXGN 2021: The 10 best wonderkids in women’s football |

US soccer

OL Reign’s Megan Rapinoe was among the 23 selected by Vlatko Andonovski as he inches closer...and determining his Olympic roster. Andonovski names USWNT roster for European friendlies - Stars and Stripes FC

World soccer

Tottenham’s on-loan forward Gareth Bale says he plans to return to Real Madrid next season. Bale plans to return to Real Madrid - BBC Sport

Stretford Paddock began life as a fan TV channel but have now set up a football club and have dreams of making swift progress. The Man Utd fan TV team with lofty ambitions - BBC Sport

Highland League Brora Rangers knocked last season’s beaten finalists, Hearts, out of the Scottish Cup in a huge second-round shock. Hearts suffer shock defeat by Brora Rangers in Scottish Cup - BBC Sport

Cesare Prandelli has quit as Fiorentina manager and plans to step away from football after he says a “dark cloud” developed inside him. Fiorentina coach quits club after ‘dark cloud’ develops inside him - BBC Sport

Real Madrid’s Champions League match at home to Liverpool will not be moved abroad, after an easing of coronavirus restrictions. Real Madrid to host Liverpool in Spain after Covid policy change - BBC Sport

Victims of alleged historical racist abuse at Chelsea say they still do not know if former coach Gwyn Williams has been punished by the Football Association. Victims have ‘no faith’ in FA race investigation into former Chelsea coach Gwyn Williams - BBC Sport

Thiago Alcântara has said the lack of supporters makes it harder to keep going in the final stages of matches. Liverpool’s Thiago opens up on psychological impact of empty Anfield | The Guardian

Italian league action will have a new home for the next three years. Serie A rights are reportedly heading to CBS Sports and Paramount+ | Awful Announcing

What’s on TV?

It’s a men’s international window, so today mostly features UEFA Men’s World Cup qualifiers, along with a bit of Concacaf action for both the World Cup and Olympics, and a scattering of collegiate games.

10:00 AM: Turkey vs. Netherlands (Men’s World Cup Qualifying) — ESPN+

10:00 AM: Estonia vs. Czech Republic (Men’s World Cup Qualifying) — ESPN3

12:45 PM: Malta vs. Russia (Men’s World Cup Qualifying) — ESPN+

12:45 PM: Belgium vs. Wales (Men’s World Cup Qualifying) — ESPN+

12:45 PM: France vs. Ukraine (Men’s World Cup Qualifying) — ESPN+

12:45 PM: Cyprus vs. Slovakia (Men’s World Cup Qualifying) — ESPN+

12:45 PM: Gibraltar vs. Norway (Men’s World Cup Qualifying) — ESPN+

12:45 PM: Slovenia vs. Croatia (Men’s World Cup Qualifying) — ESPN3

12:45 PM: Latvia vs. Montenegro (Men’s World Cup Qualifying) — ESPN+

12:45 PM: Portugal vs. Azerbaijan (Men’s World Cup Qualifying) — ESPN+

12:45 PM: Serbia vs. Ireland (Men’s World Cup Qualifying) — ESPN+

12:45 PM: Finland vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina (Men’s World Cup Qualifying) — ESPN+

4:00 PM: Dominican Republic vs. Dominica (Men’s World Cup Qualifying) — Paramount+

4:00 PM: Costa Rica vs. Dominican Republic (Men’s Olympic Qualifying) — FS2

5:00 PM: Guatemala vs. Cuba (Men’s World Cup Qualifying) — Peacock / Paramount+

6:30 PM: Mexico vs. US U-23 MNT (Men’s Olympic Qualifying) — FS1

1:05 AM (3/25): Melbourne City vs. Perth Glory (W-League) — ESPN+

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