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Exclusive: More Americans can name USWNT player than USMNT player (AXIOS Sports) No matter how you slice it, more Americans can name at least one player on the USWNT than on the USMNT, per a recent Axios/Momentive poll.
By the numbers: Overall, 32% of the 2,689 respondents could name at least one USWNT member, while 26% could name at least one USMNT member.

USWNT friendlies roster provides look into the team's future (AXIOS Sports) The USWNT roster for a pair of friendlies against Australia this month offers a glimpse of the future.
By the numbers: Just 10 of the 22 players headed to Australia were on the Tokyo 2020 team. The other 12 all have 10 or fewer caps.
The most notable absences are Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan, left off to give younger players more experience, plus Carli Lloyd, who retired last month.

Special report: Women's soccer stares down change (AXIOS Sports) The next few months could be among the most important in American women's soccer history, with significant change on the horizon for both the NWSL and USWNT.
The big picture: Collective bargaining agreements tend to be tedious, and lawsuits can drag on. But as 2022 approaches, that's where the action is.

NFL to settle lawsuit over Los Angeles Rams' relocation (AXIOS Sports) Driving the news: The league will pay $790 million, according to St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones, to end the four-year dispute. Rams owner Stan Kroenke is expected to reimburse the NFL "for most or all of the settlement," the New York Times reports. 

Steve Cohen’s Tweeting Doesn’t Matter, How Much He Spends On The Mets Does (Forbes SportsMoney) Wednesday morning featured another familiar pattern in the brief, stormy tenure of Steve Cohen’s Mets ownership.
The team lost — in this case, the opportunity to sign Steven Matz to a long-term deal. Instead, it was the Cardinals acquiring the free agent and former Met for four years, $44 million.
Cohen vented his displeasure over this turn of events on Twitter.
This is an unconventional approach, to say the least. The owner of the Mets had an issue with an agent — in this case, elaborating on it to the New York Post’s Joel Sherman — and went public with it. 

No Tiger Woods, But ‘DeChambeau-Koepka Feud’ Makes The Hero World Challenge Something To Watch (Forbes SportsMoney) There will be no play by Tiger Woods at the 2021 Hero World Challenge this time around. But Woods’ annual tournament held in the Bahamas will boast the usual field stack with top-flight golf talent.
Among top-ranked players on hand will be Patrick Cantlay (No. 4), Olympic gold medalist Xander Schauffele (5) as well as Justin Thomas (6) and Bryson DeChambeau (7), plus former world No. 1 Brooks Koepka, who is currently ranked at No. 16.

Why Barcelona’s $1.7 Billion Stadium Retrofit Is The Right Move (Forbes SportsMoney) The escalating cost of construction and advance of design specifications means that, if you want all the bells and whistles, a renovation can be as expensive as starting from scratch.

Why The Kansas City Chiefs Could Benefit If The Royals Move Downtown (Forbes SportsMoney) Three months ago, Kansas City Royals owner John Sherman publicly declared his baseball team was considering a move from its Kauffman Stadium home to downtown Kansas City.
Such a move by the Royals almost certainly wouldn’t occur until after their lease expires following the 2030 season.
Nonetheless, Kansas City Chiefs fans wondered whether the football team would ponder something similar to its Harry S. Truman Sports Complex neighbors. 

Italian-American Striker Giuseppe Rossi Speaks About His Return To European Soccer After MLS Stint (Forbes SportsMoney) “I’ve always wanted to come back, to feel a player again,” Rossi, 34, told me when we spoke at SPAL’s training center in Ferrara on Monday. “I got on the phone with Joe (Tacopina) when he bought the team, and just him saying ‘We want you’ kind of made it easy for me to pick up my bags and go.”

Football Your Way At St. George’s Park: England FA Aim To Make Sport More Accessible (Forbes SportsMoney) St. George’s Park is best known as the base for the England men’s senior national football team. Most of the high profile coverage from the facility, or mentioning it, is usually related to the activities of Gareth Southgate and his side.

Scoop: Red Sox owner wants to buy an NBA team (AXIOS Sports) Behind the scenes: A source close to the FSG/Penguins negotiations says that the sale price will be around $875 million, and adds that FSG would have been interested in buying the Boston Bruins were the club to have been available. The sellers are financier Ron Burkle and Penguins legend Mario Lemieux.

Premier League partnership sees Castrol strengthen soccer presence (SportsPro Insider) According to SportBusiness, the agreement is worth in the region of UK£10 million (US$13.4 million) to UK£12 million (US$16 million) per year, filling the Premier League’s seventh, and only currently open, global partnership slot.

F1’s Alfa Romeo reveal Orlen title partnership extension (SportsPro Insider) Formula One team Alfa Romeo have announced an extension to their title partnership with Polish oil refiner Orlen for the 2022 season.
As part of the new agreement, the team will race under the name ‘Alfa Romeo Orlen’ and Orlen’s branding will appear on the car, teamwear and garages.
Orlen has worked with Alfa Romeo since 2020 when the team brought in Poland’s Robert Kubica as a reserve driver.
For the duration of their partnership, Orlen has helped grow Alfa Romeo’s presence in Poland, with the pair running several brand activations and holding the 2021 car launch in Warsaw.

Betfred Super League gets UK free-to-air rights deal with Channel 4 (SportsPro Insider) Super League, the UK-based elite rugby league competition, will be shown live on British free-to-air television for the first time in 2022 after officials agreed a two-year deal with Channel 4.
The Leeds-based broadcaster will show ten matches a year, starting with Leeds Rhinos’ opening game against Warrington – Daryl Powell’s first league game in charge of his new club – on 12th February with a lunchtime kickoff.

World Rugby Approves USA Rugby for 2031 World Cup Exclusive Dialogue (SportsTravel) “This is a very positive next step for the USA as we elevate exclusive discussions with World Rugby and our stakeholders around a successful campaign for Rugby World Cup 2031,” said USA Rugby Chief Executive Ross Young. “The United States is an emerging rugby market primed with potential that we’re excited to unlock and strategically partner in the most effective way. With USA cities, commissions and stakeholders eager to support a USA-hosted Rugby World Cup, this Targeted Dialogue opens a new door for collaboration and progress, ultimately fueling an optimistic future for USA Rugby and the global game.”

FIFA Schedules Final Venue Visits to World Cup 2026 Candidate Host Cities (SportsTravel) The FIFA World Cup 2026 has moved a step closer after this week concluding its final round of inspections of the candidate host cities for what will be the first World Cup to feature 48 teams and be held across three countries: Canada, Mexico and the United States.

MLB and Adobe Expand Fan Experience Partnership (SportTechie) MLB has expanded its partnership with Adobe to increase fan engagement across the league. MLB will now use Adobe functions such as the Experience Cloud, Creative Cloud and Adobe Sign to connect more directly with fans, share content and expedite contract signing.

Bo Schembechler statue vandalized with red paint, pro-Anderson survivor message (USA TODAY) The Bo Schembechler statue on the University of Michigan's campus was vandalized overnight with red paint and a message of support for the survivors of Robert Anderson's sexual assaults.

Major League Baseball could have a work stoppage on December 2: Here's what we know now. (USA TODAY) The sport’s collective bargaining agreement expires at 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 1 and the expectation is the owners will immediately lock out the players. An offseason lockout would freeze all transactions on Major League rosters until new rules are in place and likely force the cancellation of the annual Winter Meetings (except the minor-league portion).

Odell Beckham Jr. to take new salary in Bitcoin, give $1 million of digital currency to fans (USA TODAY) The Los Angeles Rams wide receiver announced on social media this week that he will receive his new salary in Bitcoin in partnership with Square Inc.'s (SQ) Cash App. Beckham will also give away $1 million in Bitcoin to fans.

A now-bearded Aaron Judge really should challenge the Yankees' facial hair policy (USA TODAY) The Yankees are the lone big-league team to have a policy that bans beards. It's something they've done since the late George Steinbrenner instituted the policy in 1973, and the rule persisted as some long-held tribute to Steinbrenner despite changes throughout the organization. But really, it's 2021. There's a different standard now for "professional" appearances, and ignoring that makes the rule a real relic of the past.

Alex Rodriguez Appears On Hall Of Fame Ballot For First Time, And His Candidacy Is Certain To Spark Debate (Forbes SportsMoney) Alex Rodriguez appeared on ESPN’s “First Take” program in January 2019, after three of his former baseball teammates — Mike Mussina, Mariano Rivera and Edgar Martinez — had just been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. 

Qatar 2022: One year out (AXIOS Sports) Why it matters: This will be the first World Cup held in the Middle East, and the last to feature 32 teams before expanding to 48 in 2026. It's also the first World Cup held outside May, June or July to avoid Qatar's searing summertime heat.

Tottenham Hotspur Posts $107 Million Loss in Pandemic-Rocked Year (Front Office Sports) Tottenham Hotspur posted $106.9 million in pre-tax losses for the fiscal year ending June 30, reflecting a period when few Premier League fans were allowed to see games in person because of the global pandemic.

Amazon Takes Lead In Talks for NFL Media Stake (Front Office Sports) Amazon has emerged as the frontrunner to buy a minority stake in the NFL’s media properties, sources tell Front Office Sports.
The tech giant is in talks with the country’s richest sports league about acquiring up to a 49% stake in NFL Network, RedZone and NFL.com, said sources. The $10 billion league hired Goldman Sachs Group in June to negotiate a deal to sell a chunk of NFL Media.
But the deal with Amazon isn’t done and a last-minute snag could push a final agreement back by several months, warned one source.
If successful, the agreement would mark a large jump in the growing business relationship between Amazon and the NFL.

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