Soccer

Report: NWSL to allow individual workouts at team fields starting May 6

Report: NWSL to allow individual workouts at team fields starting May 6

The National Women's Soccer League is following in the footsteps of Major League Soccer in allowing players to use team training grounds to begin practicing again, according to Steven Goff of the Washington Post. 

The important caveat here: weight rooms and locker rooms remain closed.

Goff reported last week the NWSL was planning on  reopening training camps May 16, far before the likes of other professional leagues in the U.S. and abroad. This measure is a step in that same direction. 

The thought is to maintain social distancing and all government protocols while providing a safer option for players to train rather than the local park, similar to the NBA's easing of their ban on opening team facilities in jurisdictions where it is safe to do so. Soccer leagues across the pond have also begun to allow players to train at team facilities. 

Germany's Bundesliga was the first European soccer league to reopen team facilities for restricted training sessions, with the goal to become the first major sports league to return to play following the global COVID-19 pandemic shutdown. The Korean Baseball Organization will resume competitive play at 1 a.m. Tuesday morning. 

In England, Arsenal allowed one player per pitch at a time to uphold safe social distancing at their London Colney facility on April 28. Yesterday, following Italy's easement of lockdown restrictions on team sports, it was announced Serie A clubs could begin training once again today. Clubs like Juventus could now recall international players who went home to spend the lockdown with their families, like Cristiano Ronaldo. 

Soccer leagues in Holland and France, on the other hand, have pulled the plug on their sporting seasons in accordance with their government mandates. 

While it's certainly a step in the right direction for a return to sports, considerable caution will still be needed for the gradual reopening of social distancing measures. Like all sports in the U.S., the NWSL has been out of commission since mid-March. 

Still, the supposed start date of April 18 for the league's eighth season in existence remains indefinitely suspended. Teams have told their players to be in their market cities within two weeks. 

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Washington DC launches bid to host 2026 FIFA World Cup matches

Washington DC launches bid to host 2026 FIFA World Cup matches

It’s still six years out, but Washington, D.C. is making a push to bring the 2026 FIFA World Cup to the nation’s capital.

With North America selected as the location of choice for the 2026 World Cup rather than one country in particular, D.C. officials announced Tuesday their intention to make Washington one of the 16 host cities for the 80-match tournament.

“Right now, as countries around the world continue to respond to this pandemic, the 2026 FIFA World Cup is something we can all look forward to,” D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said in a statement. “And when the tournament comes to North America, it only makes sense for DC — the Sports Capital and District of Champions — to host. We are already a city united by the game, and in 2026, we look forward to uniting the world.”

According to The Washington Post, 10 cities from the U.S. are expected to land matches for the tournament with Canada and Mexico splitting the other six. It will be the first time in World Cup history that the tournament will be shared by more than two countries.

The District established a group called DC2026, which announced a 40-member advisory board that includes D.C. United goalkeeper Bill Hamid, three-time MLS champion Eddie Pope, Washington Spirit stars Joanna Lohman and Andi Sullivan, two-time gold medalist Brianna Scurry, EventsDC chairman Max Brown, chef José Andrés and D.C. United general partner Gregory O’Dell.

“As a native Washingtonian, I am proud to be a Co-Chair of DC’s official bid committee to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup,” Hamid said in a statement. “I could not think of a more vibrant, inclusive or passionate soccer city to host FIFA World Cup matches in 2026. With our deep soccer roots and diversity, the culture of our city gives us our foundation to successfully highlight the matches and leave a lasting impact on the future of the game.”

DC2026 plans to tout D.C.’s “unparalleled roots to the sport of soccer and world-class hosting capabilities” as part of its pitch. In a three-page press release, the group laid out advantages such as the metro system and three local airports that would allow it to host the increased number of tourists.

The city last hosted the World Cup in 1994, when it made RFK Stadium one of nine U.S. venues for the tournament. It’s also held Olympic soccer games (1996) as well as the 1999 and 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

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WATCH: American Christian Pulisic nets second goal for Chelsea in as many games

WATCH: American Christian Pulisic nets second goal for Chelsea in as many games

The Premier League restart has gone as good as possible for Christian Pulisic.

The United States National Team star netted his second goal in as many games for Chelsea on Thursday, giving the Blues a 1-0 lead over Manchester City shortly before halftime.

Pulisic gained possession of the ball off of a poor City turnover, and suddenly, he was one-on-one with defender Benjamin Mendy. The American winger used a brilliant hesitation move to dribble past Mendy before curling his shot past keeper Ederson for the goal.

Pulisic's goal comes on the heels of his solid outing on Sunday, where he scored Chelsea's first goal in a 2-1 victory over Aston Villa. Thursday's finish was Pulisic's eighth goal in 25 appearances since arriving at Chelsea from German side Borussia Dortmund this past summer.

Pulisic had previously been sidelined since January 1 with an adductor injury but was close to returning before the season was paused in mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Premier League's resumption gives the American star a chance to rewrite the narrative on an otherwise incomplete first season with the Blues.

Besides Chelsea supporters, no one is happier about Pulisic's goal than Liverpool fans. Should Chelsea win or draw, Liverpool will clinch their first-ever Premier League title (and first league title in 30 years).

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