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Major Link Soccer: Blackpool’s Jake Daniels comes out as gay

Jake Daniels is UK’s first active openly gay male footballer in 32 years, it’s a big deal.

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Chelsea v Blackpool - FA Youth Cup Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images

MLS

Goals, goals, goals. Who were the best young-player performers in MLS Week 11? | MLSSoccer.com

There are, perhaps, too many names below. But 28 teams are a lot of teams. And all of those teams made a lot of moves this offseason. Jackpot hit? Most influential signings from MLS’s Primary Transfer Window | MLSSoccer.com

NWSL

English defender Lucy Bronze is looking to make a move to one of the NWSL’s West Coast teams, according to Telegraph Sport. England’s Lucy Bronze considers move to NWSL – Just Women's Sports

“This is a lot of money for people,” Megan Rapinoe told Insider. “For the majority of people that play in the league, this is very meaningful money.” NWSL Challenge Cup Prize Money Increase 'Changes People's Lives'

The league is receiving a lot of interest in new teams, but new commissioner Jessica Berman is still refining the selection process. NWSL expansion is top of mind for commissioner Jessica Berman, with widespread interest from potential cities - The Athletic

Kassouf: Angel City delivers its best act yet – Equalizer Soccer

Plus, an updated look at team tiers with the regular season now fully underway. Continuing COVID-19 disruption, relentless Christen Press: This week in NWSL chaos - The Athletic

It’s early, but the league’s two newest sides have taken different paths to the top. Expansion San Diego Wave FC and Angel City FC are atop the NWSL, how have the two new sides started so hot? - CBSSports.com

Kaiya McCullough, a former Washington Spirit player, reflects on her decision to speak on the abuse she experienced and why women in sports deserve better. Kaiya McCullough Essay on Abuse In Women’s Sports | POPSUGAR Fitness

USA

USMNT midfielder Richy Ledezma scored his first goal for PSV Eindhoven, putting the visitors ahead Sunday in a season-ending 2-1 victory at Zwolle. USMNT prospect Richy Ledezma scores first goal for PSV Eindhoven

Throughout his storied, pioneering career, Clint Dempsey was never one to waste time as he climbed from little Nacogdoches, Texas to the sport’s biggest stages. So it was on Monday morning as the US soccer legend spoke to media ahead of his induction into the National Soccer Hall of Fame. “We're missing a No. 9”: Clint Dempsey analyzes USMNT before Hall of Fame induction | MLSSoccer.com

We have decided to bring some much-needed innovation to expected goals. Today is a preview of how our new models show that there’s a lot of untapped potential left in this simple foundational concept. Upgrading Expected Goals - StatsBomb | Data Champions

Nike teased a one-minute ad featuring Spike Lee’s famous character that emphasizes the brand’s history while promoting its future stars. Spike Lee Returns as Mars Blackmon for Nike's 50th Anniversary

World

This season has been a fantastic one for me on the pitch. I’ve made my first-team debut, scored 30 goals for the youth team, signed my first professional contract and shared success with my team-mates, going on a great run in the FA Youth Cup and lifting the Lancashire FA Pro-Youth Cup. But off the pitch I’ve been hiding the real me and who I really am. I’ve known my whole life that I’m gay, and I now feel that I’m ready to come out and be myself. A Message From Jake Daniels | Blackpool Football Club

Blackpool’s Jake Daniels has become the first active openly gay male footballer in the UK since 1990 after coming out on Monday. Blackpool’s Jake Daniels becomes UK’s first active openly gay male footballer in 32 years

Blackpool’s Jake Daniels says his decision to come out as the UK’s only openly gay active male professional footballer will allow him to be “free and confident”. Jake Daniels: Blackpool player says coming out will allow him to be 'free' and 'confident' - BBC Sport

Why Jake Daniels decision to publicly come out is a watershed moment for British football. Jake Daniels: Why Blackpool forward's decision is a watershed moment for British football - BBC Sport

Gary Lineker expects other footballers to follow Jake Daniels in coming out, while others point to a landmark announcement for football. Jake Daniels: Gary Lineker says forward will be ‘massively accepted’ after coming out - BBC Sport

Ashanti Gold and Inter Allies are relegated to the third tier of Ghanaian football as players and officials from both clubs are sanctioned for match-fixing. Ghana match-fixing: Ashanti Gold and Inter Allies players and officials sanctioned - BBC Sport

The creeping dread of relegation was at the door when the man who ‘feels Mallorca’ put his club’s destiny back in their hands. Silence and cheers: Mallorca back from brink after ‘inexplicable magic’ | Mallorca | The Guardian

Jordan Rhodes scored a late winner for Huddersfield to claim a 1-0 victory against Luton and advance 2-1 on aggregate to reach the Championship playoff final. Late Rhodes goal sends Huddersfield to Wembley final after win over Luton | Championship | The Guardian

The Liverpool veteran says the demands on elite players mean they rarely have enough time to savour their successes. James Milner: ‘One regret? You don’t enjoy it as much as you should’ | Liverpool | The Guardian

Mbappe’s future as his Paris Saint-Germain contract runs down has been one of the biggest topics in the sport. Kylian Mbappe transfer: Real Madrid set to secure superstar's transfer from PSG, per reports - CBSSports.com

Nkoudou, who was with Marseille and Tottenham before joining current club Beşiktaş, never played for the French senior national team and could make the change to Cameroon under FIFA rules because of his family ties. The application to FIFA was made by the Cameroonian Football Association, which is led by national team great Samuel Eto’o. FIFA clears Cameroon to pick new recruits ahead of World Cup

Real Madrid joined Barcelona and Real Sociedad right at the death. Primera Iberdrola Roundup: Champions League places confirmed - All For XI

Cruz Azul defeats Tigres 1-0, but Tigres’ win in the first leg was enough to give them the ticket to the semifinals. Liga MX 2022 Clausura Liguilla match recap: Tigres lose second leg to Cruz Azul 1-0 but still qualify to semifinals on aggregate - FMF State Of Mind

The British government has yet to approve the sale of Premier League club Chelsea to a consortium fronted by L.A. Dodgers part-owner Todd Boehly. Chelsea sale in limbo awaiting UK government approval

A stoppage-time goal from Sergej Milinkovic-Savic earned Lazio a dramatic 2-2 draw at Juventus in Serie A on Monday, a point that sealed the Rome club’s spot in next season’s Europa League and overshadowed farewells from Giorgio Chiellini and Paulo Dybala. Lazio rally to draw with Juventus as Chiellini, Dybala bid farewell in Turin

Arsenal teenager Marcelo Flores has confirmed he will represent Mexico, turning down the opportunity to play for either Canada or England. Arsenal’s Marcelo Flores picks Mexico over Canada & England

What’s on TV?

7:30 AM - Denmark U17 v. Sweden U17 - UEFA U17 European Championship - ESPN+

7:30 AM - Serbia U17 v. Belgium U17 - UEFA U17 European Championship - ESPN+

10:00 AM - Scotland U17 v. Portugal U17 - UEFA U17 European Championship - ESPN+

10:00 AM - Turkey U17 v. Spain U17 - UEFA U17 European Championship - TUDN, ESPN+

11:45 AM - Southampton v. Liverpool - Premier League - USA Network, UNIVERSO

11:45 AM - Nottingham Forest v. Sheffield United - EFL Championship - ESPN+

5:55 PM - Toluca v. Bayer Leverkusen - Friendly - TUDN