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Major Link Soccer: Michele Kang officially buys Washington Spirit

Guardiola upset he wasn’t invited to party; don’t kick your pet cat.

Washington Spirit vs Chicago Red Stars: 2021 NWSL Championship Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

Puget Sound

Q&A: Running the soccer numbers with new Seattle Sounders data analytics director Tyler Cox - Estory

Who makes ESPN’s Africa Cup of Nations Dream Team following a month of thrilling football at the biennial continental showpiece? Nouhou named AFCON Best XI | ESPN

In a statement to CTV News, the provincial government said BC is in “active discussions” to put Vancouver back into consideration as a possible host city for the 2026 FIFA World Cup games. FIFA World Cup host cities: Vancouver now in ‘active discussions’ | CTV News

MLS / US men’s leagues

After looking at the East yesterday, we now turn our attention to roster-building in the West. Analyzing every Western Conference team's DP & U22 Initiative situation for 2022 | MLSSoccer.com

NWSL / women’s soccer

Former Chicago Red Stars coach Rory Dames was accused by youth players of serious misconduct decades ago, records and interviews show. He coached his way to power and prominence anyway. Soccer coach Rory Dames accused of misconduct by former Eclipse youth players - The Washington Post

The owners of the Washington Spirit have agreed on a new ownership structure. Local business leader Michele Kang will acquire the interests of other team owners Bill Lynch and Steve Baldwin. Kang will be the controlling owner, working with other investors in a new ownership group. Washington Spirit Finalize New Ownership » Washington Spirit

The Spirit’s ownership dispute is officially over. Michele Kang officially acquires controlling ownership of Washington Spirit - Black And Red United

The NWSL finally has a CBA and All For XI spoke to members of Gotham FC about it all. For the Future: players and owners celebrate CBA finalization - All For XI

The ‘visibility uncovered’ survey revealed a big rise in viewing figures and 71% of the new audience went on to watch other women’s sport. Women’s Hundred and Women’s Super League attract 11 million new viewers | The Guardian

A former head coach of both the Vancouver Whitecaps women’s team and Canadian U20 women’s soccer team has pleaded guilty to three counts of sexual assault and one count of touching a young person for a sexual purpose. Former coach of Canadian under-20 women’s soccer team pleads guilty to sexual assault | CBC News

International soccer

How Aliou Cisse, a workmanlike player who became a disciplinarian coach, led Senegal to their first Africa Cup of Nations title. Aliou Cisse’s path to Africa Cup of Nations glory - BBC Sport

The football tournament has had an unexpected impact – boosting confidence in the Covid-19 vaccine in a country where few had got the jab. Africa Cup of Nations scores new vaccine takers in Cameroon | Evening Standard

Chelsea’s Hakim Ziyech suggests he has quit international football for good after falling out with Morocco coach Vahid Halilhodzic. Hakim Ziyech: Chelsea winger quits Morocco duty aged 28 - BBC Sport

World club soccer

Troy Deeney’s goal for Watford in 2013 capped one of the most dramatic finishes to a game in the history of soccer, and it was also a part of his redemption. Black History Month: Deeney’s dramatic moment - Stars and Stripes FC

West Ham “unreservedly condemn” Kurt Zouma after a video emerged of the defender hitting his pet cat. Kurt Zouma: West Ham condemn defender as video emerges of him hitting pet cat - BBC Sport

Chelsea head off to the Fifa Club World Cup in the UAE, with a chance to be named world champions - but will it hinder them at home? Will Fifa Club World Cup hinder Chelsea’s Premier League and Champions League hopes? - BBC Sport

Aston Villa’s captain on feeling scapegoated when dropped by Dean Smith, what he did to bounce back and life under Gerrard. Tyrone Mings: ‘Steven Gerrard is pushing us to limits we didn’t know we could go to’| The Guardian

A new documentary on the former England striker highlights a guilt complex which has dogged Rooney throughout his career. Wayne Rooney desperately searches for redemption amid the wreckage at Derby | The Guardian

Pep Guardiola has said the Manchester City stars caught in a video on a night out are only in trouble because they didn’t invite him. Man City boss Guardiola jokes over Grealish, Walker, Mahrez night out: They’re fined for not inviting me | ESPN

Everton manager Frank Lampard defended new signing Dele Alli after he was criticised by former England manager Glenn Hoddle for his attire. Everton boss Frank Lampard defends Dele Alli after criticism of his attire | ESPN

Newcastle move out of the bottom three with a huge win over fellow strugglers Everton in Lampard’s first Premier League game in charge. Newcastle 3-1 Everton: Kieran Trippier puts gloss on crucial Magpies victory - BBC Sport

Manchester United are left frustrated as Jay Rodriguez’s second-half goal sees bottom club Burnley claim a battling draw at Turf Moor. Burnley 1-1 Man Utd: Jay Rodriguez goal dents United’s top-four hopes - BBC Sport

The FA has sought observations from Wayne Rooney in relation to comments by the Derby County manager in a recent interview. FA contacts Wayne Rooney over comments in interview - BBC Sport

Accrington midfielder Harry Pell went on to miss a penalty against Rotherham on Saturday after two fans “invaded the playing surface and kicked the ball off the 12-yard spot.” Two fans arrested and banned after ‘assaulting’ player before he took last-minute penalty - Irish Mirror Online

Reaching the Copa del Rey semifinals should be cause for celebration, but not at Rayo Vallecano, where fans continually clash with the club’s owner. Rayo Vallecano have never been better, but divide between owner and fans has never been greater | ESPN

Barcelona chief executive officer Ferran Reverter has resigned, with sources telling ESPN that the club’s deal with Spotify was at issue. Barcelona’s Spotify deal, Laporta disagreements behind CEO Ferran Reverter’s exit - sources | ESPN

Mohamed Salah is available for Liverpool’s game with Leicester City on Thursday, but Sadio Mane will not play. Liverpool: Mohamed Salah could face Leicester but Sadio Mane will not - BBC Sport

What’s on TV?

8:30 AM: Al Hilal vs. Chelsea (Club World Cup) — FS2

11:45 AM: Manchester City vs. Brentford (Premier League) — Peacock

11:45 AM: Norwich City vs. Crystal Palace (Premier League) — Peacock

11:45 AM: Tottenham Hotspur vs. Southampton (Premier League) — USA Network / Universo

11:45 AM: Preston North End vs. Huddersfield Town (English Championship) — ESPN+

11:45 AM: Aberdeen vs. Celtic (Scottish Premiership) — Paramount+

12:00 PM: Aston Villa vs. Leeds United (Premier League) — Peacock

12:00 PM: Rayo Vallecano vs. Real Betis (Copa del Rey) — ESPN+

5:00 PM: Juárez vs. Guadalajara (Liga MX) — TUDN / Univision