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Major Link Soccer: Bienvenue á Paris, Leo Messi

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Reducing the negatives of VAR; NWSL players push for a CBA

Lionel Messi Arrives at Paris Saint-Germain Photo by Paris Saint-Germain Football/PSG via Getty Images

Puget Sound

Omitted from Team GB. Outlandishly igniting the NWSL. And in five weeks, she will begin her journey to help end Cymru Women’s 28-year wait for a place on the international stage. Jess Fishlock: Team GB’s Snub Igniting the NWSL — Welsh Football Fans

In partnership with one of Seattle’s top athletes, Seattle Sounders goalkeeper Stefan Frei, Novo Fogo will donate $100 to the Un-Endangered Forest project for each save made by Frei and his goalkeeping counterparts this season. The Art of the Keeper: Seattle Sounder Stefan Frei Partners with Novo Fogo Cachaca | Daily Blender

Paul Wulff, a college football coach, was only 12 when his mother vanished from their family home. After 41 years of searching, he finally has been able to piece together some details of a mystery that upended both his life and family. The disappearance of Dolores Wulff - A family’s suspicions and 41-year search

MLS / USL

There were some wild endings in the USL Championship’s Western Conference this weekend, and after the dust settled the playoff races in both the Mountain and Pacific Divisions look intriguing at the midway point of the season. WESTERN TALKING POINTS: El Paso Shows Consistency in Taking Points Lead | USLChampionship.com

Inside the Queensboro FC lease: How USL team is getting to build a soccer stadium on a public college campus – Field of Schemes

NWSL / women’s soccer

The NWSL players’ union is in negotiations with the league to create the first collective bargaining agreement in its history. NWSL players cite low salaries, lack of free agency in fight for labor rights - The Washington Post

The forward had put down roots in the midwest, until a sudden transaction made her a visitor in her former home stadium. Amy Rodriguez on Kansas City, trade to NC Courage – The Athletic ($)

Citing health reasons, Burke has moved away from the bench, with a role in the front office planned down the road. Richie Burke steps down as Washington Spirit head coach - Black And Red United

Burke was actually fired as head coach of the Washington Spirit, multiple sources told The Athletic, despite the club’s official release from Tuesday stating that Burke was stepping down from the role due to health reasons. Washington Spirit coach Richie Burke fired: Sources - The Athletic

The Thorns’ superb execution of their defensive game plan has been integral to their historic start to the regular season. Thorns’ once again display dominant defense against the Washington Spirit - Stumptown Footy

Here are three things to keep an eye on in the second half of the 2021 NWSL regular season. NWSL second half: Three things to watch, including Portland Thorns’ Shield pursuit - CBSSports.com

England will head into the 2022 European Championship without the services of the highly regarded physical performance expert Dawn Scott. Dawn Scott steps down from England performance manager role - BBC Sport

History-making referee Bibiana Steinhaus will take charge of match officials across the top two English women’s leagues from this season. Pioneering female referee Bibiana Steinhaus to oversee WSL and Women’s Championship officials - BBC Sport

World soccer

Infantino’s on the case — talking up the sporting case for men’s and women’s World Cups becoming biennial rather than quadrennial tournaments. Every year could soon have World Cup on Infantino’s travels | AP News

Too much of everyone’s reputation has already been invested to turn back now. Officials hope lighter touch will help stop VAR controversies | Irish Times

From bona fide stunners to retro offerings bound to trigger an existential crisis, Nick Miller rates this season’s new looks. Rated: Every home shirt for the Premier League 2021-22 season – The Athletic

Grealish said he was happy with the tag of Britain’s most expensive player as he was unveiled at the Etihad Stadium. Manchester City’s Jack Grealish relishes ‘most expensive’ tag | The Guardian

“Fear and panic” cost Rangers as they crashed out of the Champions League after losing to 10-man Malmö at a full Ibrox, says manager Steven Gerrard. Rangers 1-2 Malmo (2-4): Gerrard’s side stunned by 10-man visitors - BBC Sport

Messi has agreed to a two-year deal to join Paris St-Germain after leaving Barcelona. Lionel Messi agrees Paris St-Germain deal after Barcelona exit - BBC Sport

Even in his moment of greatest sadness there was no recrimination, only departing tears, which Barcelona then repackaged as content. Messi’s sad exit shows players are at the bottom of football’s power structure | The Guardian

The UK was by far the main origin of the “abhorrent racist abuse” on Twitter after England lost the Euro 2020 final, says the social media platform. Twitter says UK ‘by far’ main origin of abusive comments after Euro 2020 final - BBC Sport

People who racially abuse, or engage in other discriminatory behaviour, will be banned from all Premier League grounds. Racist abusers to be banned from all Premier League grounds | The Guardian

How important is a quick start in winning the Premier League title - or avoiding relegation? Premier League: Is a fast start crucial to a successful season? - BBC Sport

Culture

When it comes to the world of tabletop roleplay games, everyone knows Dungeons & Dragons and Pathfinder. However, taking a step away from the big leagues of TTRPGs opens up a world of intricate and beautiful interactive stories just waiting to be explored. 12 TTRPGs you’re not playing, but really should be | Syfy

What’s on TV?

11:45 AM: Leyton Orient vs. QPR (League Cup) — ESPN+

12:00 PM: Chelsea vs. Villareal (UEFA Super Cup) — CBSSN

3:00 PM: Pittsburgh Riverhounds vs. Miami FC (USL Championship) — ESPN+

4:30 PM: Atlanta United II vs. OKC Energy (USL Championship) — ESPN+

5:00 PM: Birmingham Legion vs. Sporting KC II (USL Championship) — ESPN+

5:00 PM: NYCFC vs. Pumas UNAM (Leagues Cup) — TUDN / ESPN+

6:00 PM: Cavalry FC vs. Pacific FC (Canadian PL) — FS2

7:00 PM: Monterrey vs. Cruz Azul (CONCACAF Champions League) — FS1 / TUDN

7:00 PM: Oakland Roots vs. Sacramento Republic (USL Championship) — ESPN+