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Major Link Soccer: Afghanistan WNT players fear for future

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Don’t punch your own teammates; inside the disastrous launch of Inter Miami.

FBL-AFG-WOMENS Photo credit should read Aref Karimi/AFP via Getty Images

Puget Sound

USWNT and OL Reign forward Megan Rapinoe confirmed she’ll be back with the Reign this week, but doesn’t yet know what her playing future looks like. USWNT’s Megan Rapinoe ‘needs to take some time’ to think about future | ESPN

More teams are mandating proof of COVID-19 vaccination and/or masks for fans, including our neighbors to the south. Timbers & Thorns to require proof of vaccination at Providence Park - Stumptown Footy

MLS / USL

David Beckham’s MLS team has faced problems at nearly every turn, and now must overcome one of the stiffest punishments in league history. ‘We launched a brand, not a team’: Inside Inter Miami’s disastrous start in MLS – The Athletic ($)

After six straight matches without a win, it’s time to address the elephant in the room. Okay, let’s talk about it, LAFC and Bob Bradley’s contract status - Angels on Parade

Finally, we are applying soccer tracking data to its highest and best use: looking at MLS goal celebrations. We’re Gonna Celebrate and Have a Good Time — American Soccer Analysis

OCSC get $80 grand but get worse on the pitch. Orange County SC net record transfer fee for Chris Wehan - Angels on Parade

NWSL / women’s soccer

Many who cover the NWSL are not paid, do it as a part-time gig, and don’t have media training — a difference from the media for leagues like MLS or EPL. But the stories aren’t any less difficult to cover. Being NWSL Media: The Guilt That Comes With Knowing But Being Unable to Say | Backline Soccer

KC sent Smith and $150k in allocation money to Portland for Kansas native and USWNT GK Adrianna Franch. KC NWSL trades GK Abby Smith to Portland Thorns FC - The Blue Testament

Ex-Afghanistan captain Khalida Popal told BBC Sport her former colleagues in the country are fearing for their lives. Former Afghanistan women’s national team captain fears for players left behind - BBC Sport

US soccer

The USWNT star spent most of her playing days trying to prove herself against perceived adversaries. The results speak for themselves. The secret to Carli Lloyd’s brilliant career? Her magnificent fury | The Guardian

Megan Rapinoe began kneeling for the anthem in September 2016, without teammates joining her, one month after Hope Solo was kicked off the USWNT for calling opponents “cowards.” Hope Solo: Megan Rapinoe Would ‘Bully’ Teammates to Kneel for Anthem | Insider

World soccer

Striker Tammy Abraham has completed a £34m move to Italian side Roma. Roma sign striker Abraham from Chelsea for £34m on five-year deal - BBC Sport

Jorginho has overcome some big hurdles to become the king of Europe - but still wants more success. Jorginho: Chelsea and Italy star’s rise from Brazil’s beaches to Ballon d’Or contender - BBC Sport

It is the club’s own fault, but a transfer embargo and other player regulations mean the Rams can barely field a side. Rooney says he won’t make excuses but Derby are in an impossible mess | The Guardian

Juventus striker Cristiano Ronaldo responded to rumours of a move away from the Italian club. Cristiano Ronaldo says transfer rumours are ‘just talk’ - BBC Sport

Ancelotti has dismissed speculation linking Cristiano Ronaldo with a return to Real Madrid. Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti says there will be no reunion with Ronaldo - BBC Sport

Holders Algeria face former winners Ivory Coast in group stage of next year’s Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon after Tuesday’s draw. Africa Cup of Nations: Draw made for delayed 2021 event in Cameroon - BBC Sport

Bobby Kasanga set up the semi-pro club to bring a community together – it now boasts around 20 teams and a powerful ethos. How Hackney Wick FC became a safe haven from gangs and knife crime | The Guardian

Galatasaray defender Marcao was sent off on Monday after headbutting and swinging punches at his own teammate. Galatasaray defender headbutts his own teammate and is sent off - BBC Sport

What’s on TV?

It’s a soccer smörgåsbord today, with quality games kicking off all the way from noon through late evening.

12:00 PM: Benfica vs. PSV (UEFA Champions League) — TUDN / Paramount+

12:00 PM: Malmo FF vs. Ludogorets (UEFA Champions League) — Paramount+

12:00 PM: Young Boys vs. Ferencváros (UEFA Champions League) — Galavision / Paramount+

12:00 PM: West Bromwich Albion vs. Sheffield United (English Championship) — ESPN+

2:00 PM: PSG vs. Bayern Munich (Women’s Cup) — Paramount+

3:00 PM: Cuiabá vs. Grêmio (Brasilerão) — Paramount+

3:00 PM: Pittsburgh Riverhounds vs. Tampa Bay Rowdies (USL Championship) — ESPN+

4:00 PM: Loudoun United vs. Indy Eleven (USL Championship) — ESPN+

4:00 PM: New England Revolution vs. DC United (MLS) — ESPN+

4:00 PM: Atlanta United vs. Toronto FC (MLS) — ESPN+

4:30 PM: FC Cincinnati vs. CF Montreal (MLS) — ESPN+

4:30 PM: Inter Miami vs. Chicago Fire (MLS) — ESPN+

4:30 PM: Philadelphia Union vs. NYCFC (MLS) — ESPN+

4:30 PM: Racing Louisville vs. Chicago Red Stars (NWSL/Women’s Cup) — Paramount+

5:00 PM: New York Red Bulls vs. Columbus Crew (MLS) — ESPN+

5:00 PM: Cruz Azul vs. Monterrey (Liga MX) — TUDN / Univision

5:00 PM: Santos Laguna vs. Atlas (Liga MX) — ESPN Deportes

5:30 PM: FC Dallas vs. Seattle Sounders (MLS) — JOEtv / Amazon Prime / ESPN+

5:30 PM: Nashville SC vs. Orlando City SC (MLS) — ESPN+

5:30 PM: Sporting KC vs. Portland Timbers (MLS) — ESPN+

5:30 PM: Olympique Lyonnais vs. FC Barcelona (Women’s International Challenge Cup) — ESPNU / ESPN3

6:00 PM: Austin FC vs. Vancouver Whitecaps (MLS) — ESPN+

6:30 PM: New Mexico United vs. Oakland Roots (USL Championship) — ESPN+

7:00 PM: Orange County SC vs. Tacoma Defiance (USL Championship) — ESPN+

7:00 PM: Real Salt Lake vs. Houston Dynamo (MLS) — ESPN+

7:00 PM: Juárez vs. América (Liga MX) — TUDN / Univision

7:00 PM: Guadalajara vs. León (Liga MX) — Telemundo / Universo

7:30 PM: San Diego Loyal vs. Las Vegas Lights (USL Championship) — ESPN+

8:00 PM: Portland Thorns vs. Houston Dash (Women’s ICC) — ESPN2 / ESPN Deportes