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Major Link Soccer: re-enter the Dragon

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Jess Fishlock is back, and so is Fredy Montero.

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MikeRussellFoto / Sounder at Heart

OL Reign and the Seattle Sounders have brought back plenty of players from last season, along with adding new faces. Elsewhere in MLS teams are busy negotiating for big fees for outgoing players. At the AFC Sam Kerr is demolishing teams and setting records, and the Africa Cup of Nations is only growing in entertainment value as the competition progresses.

Seattle/Puget Sound

I can’t argue with doing what’s right for you. Megan Rapinoe chooses happiness over “self-care,” and you should too

The Sounders and Santo both get to have Fredy Montero around for the next year, at least. Sounders FC Re-Signs Forward Fredy Montero | Seattle Sounders

Jess Fishlock is sticking around, which is good because otherwise my heart would shrivel up and leave my body. OL Reign Re-Signs NWSL MVP Jess Fishlock Through 2023 Season — OL REIGN: WE ARE THE BOLD

OL Reign added a former US youth national teamer to the midfield after the draft. OL Reign Inks Deal with UCLA Grad Olivia Athens — OL REIGN: WE ARE THE BOLD

Jordan Morris and Cristian Roldan are both in the squad that will face Alex Roldan’s El Salvador. Berhalter Calls 28 Players to Columbus for January World Cup Qualifying Training Camp

The OL Reign Academy’s in great hands with Amy Griffin.

MLS/USL

The former Seattle Sounders and Charlotte FC Academy director brings a wealth of experience to Columbus. Columbus Crew hires Marc Nicholls as new technical director - Massive Report

Albert Rusnák is a Sounder now, which means it’s time for a new captain in Sandy, UT. Why Damir Kreilach as RSL captain matters - RSL Soapbox

Taty Castellanos is on the way out, with South American clubs making a real run for his services. River Plate intensifies interest in NYCFC star, MLS Golden Boot winner Valentin 'Taty' Castellanos - sources

A mailbag of tactical questions from around the USL Championship. USL Tactics Sunday: Memphis in detail, power rankings, and top free agents

I’m old enough to remember SKC doing this with Gianluca Busio for years until he moved to Italy for over $6 million. Report: Wolfsburg submit offer for DC United defender Kevin Paredes | MLSSoccer.com

NWSL/WoSo

The Courage’s statements since bringing Daniels back to the team have left fans questioning their ability to continue supporting the club. North Carolina Courage leadership’s response to Jaelene Daniels backlash worsens growing disconnect with fans – The Athletic

Whether it takes a strike or not, let’s hope that the players get everything they want. NWSL players strike: How we got here and what it would mean – JWS

Absolutely no one does it like Sam Kerr. Record-breaker Sam Kerr moves out on her own after remarkable Matildas scoreline | Matildas | The Guardian

NWSL’s list of owners is about to be one crusty white dude shorter. NWSL Board of Governors approve sale of Washington Spirit shares to Y. Michele Kang - Black And Red United

The NWSL, in a unanimous vote by its board of governors, allows non-equity, non-voting investors to become shareholders — a move that could oust Steve Baldwin. NWSL vote clears way for Michelle Kang to take over ownership of Spirit - The Washington Post

It’s “f*** cancer” from everyone, even in the Spanish top-flight. WATCH: Barcelona Femeni make great gesture after Spanish Super Cup win - Barca Blaugranes

The Canadian international and PSG player is at the top of her game. Why Ashley Lawrence is the epitome of the modern fullback – Equalizer Soccer

Gotham made some questionable roster moves ahead of the 2021 season, but they’re really trying to move back into the light. Gotham re-signs Midge Purce, Ifeoma Onumonu, extends Kristie Mewis

Tobinho has a chronic case of doing it to Manchester clubs. Eidevall angry after referee’s deflection in Arsenal’s WSL draw with City | Women's Super League | The Guardian

USA

I wouldn’t claim that he didn’t “mean” to do it, but I doubt that’s exactly what he expected to happen. WATCH: Josh Sargent’s long-awaited first Premier League goal is absolutely ridiculous - Stars and Stripes FC

World

Norway’s focus on participation fosters the ‘joy of sport for all’ that helps create elite athletes. Norway’s radically different approach to sports helped it climb to the top of the Olympic podium - The Globe and Mail

In a communication sent out Sunday by Beijing 2022, it was revealed the cycle threshold (Ct) value would be dropping from 40 to 35, making it easier for participants to produce a negative test. Beijing Olympic Committee lowers threshold for producing negative COVID-19 test | CBC Sports

Jack Grealish is gone, but the show must go on. The Aston Villa Revolution Will Be Televised - The Ringer

People can argue all they want, but you shouldn’t be able to body an opposing player in your penalty area no matter what position you play. Digging Deeper Into Liverpool’s Nervy Win Over Crystal Palace - The Liverpool Offside

Manchester City’s basically uncatchable at this point, but the race for second is still hot. Tuchel praises ‘huge’ Chelsea effort in ‘important’ win over Spurs - We Ain't Got No History

The Africa Cup of Nations has a distinct lack of chill, and has no chance of getting some any time soon. Afcon last 16: Tunisia stun 10-man Nigeria after Burkina Faso beat Gabon | Africa Cup of Nations 2022 | The Guardian

What’s on TV today?

8:00 AM - Guinea vs. The Gambia (AFCON Round of 16) - Fanatiz, BeIN Sports

11:00 AM - Cameroon vs. Comoros (AFCON Round of 16) - Fanatiz, BeIN Sports

11:45 AM - Blackburn Rovers vs. Middlesborough (Championship) - ESPN+

5:00 PM - America vs. Monterrey (Liga MX Femenil) - TUDN

7:00 PM - Guadalajara vs. Toluca (Liga MX Femenil) - Telemundo Deportes en Vivo