This Week in Golf, Soccer, Lacrosse
⛳️Golf: The LPGA should have teed off today in South Korea, but COVID-19 nixed those plans. Instead, the Drive On Championship at Reynolds Lake Oconee — a brand new stateside tournament — will fill our golf-loving hearts.
- Danielle Kang won the OG Drive On Championship back in August, and she’s back this weekend to try to win a matching trophy. Major winner and ultimate underdog Sophia Popov, American Lexi Thompson and World No. 2 Nelly Korda’s sister Jessica (sorry, Nelly’s sitting this one out) will try to make sure that doesn’t happen. Follow the leaderboard here.
⚽️Soccer: We have a name! The NWSL’s highly anticipated new team, based in Los Angeles, will be called Angel City FC (FC stands for Football Club). The league’s 11th team, which will start competing in 2022, also named additional investors to the already star-studded ownership group: WNBA star Candace Parker (and her daughter Lailaa, so cute), Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn (and her fiancé P.K. Subban) and tennis legend Billie Jean King (and her partner Ilana Kloss). Sounds like heaven.
🥍Lacrosse: Athletes Unlimited, a collection of new pro sports leagues that highlights women’s sports and works to put the athletes first, is introducing lacrosse as its newest undertaking. Joining the already successful softball and volleyball leagues, the lax league will feature some of the top American lacrosse stars.
- Superstar Kayla Treanor and her U.S. national team teammates Megan Douty, Michelle Tumolo and Emily Parros have all committed to the month-long series, which starts July 19th, 2021. Mark your calendar!
⚽Star Power on Display in FA Women's Super League
The GIST: With the NWSL Fall Series wrapping up on Saturday, it’s time to turn your attention across the pond, where some of our favorite Olympians continue to play in the FA Women’s Super League. Let’s spill the tea.
Who’s playing?: Star players like Tobin Heath, Christen Press, Ashley Lawrence and, most recently, new mom Alex Morgan have all taken their talents overseas. The mostly short-term moves were prompted by the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic in the States but could signal a broader movement of players looking for better salary opportunities and stability.
- These players have already made a big impression, highlighted by Heath and Press jerseys outselling all Manchester United men’s jerseys in the three days after their signing. No surprises there!
- While we wait for the NWSL to announce details for the 2021 season, there’s plenty of action in the Super League to tide us over until the Olympics begin next summer.
Any other news from the league?: Glad you asked! Arsenal’s Vivianne Miedema broke a huge Super League record over the weekend, scoring her 50th goal in 50 (!!!) games to become the league’s all-time leading scorer. After breaking the record, the Dutch star knocked in two more goals just for good measure. Have yourself a day.
Skate Canada International, CANWNT Travel Plans Canceled
⛸⚽️Stop right there: It’s not just football, folks. The pandemic is now putting a stop to even more of our national pastimes. Skate Canada International, which was set for October 30th–31st in Ottawa, has officially been canceled. The event was supposed to be one of six international Grand Prix of the skating season, but now our skating stars must look ahead to January’s nationals event.
- In other relatable news, our women’s national soccer team had their travel plans kiboshed. The still-coachless team was set to head over to jolly old England this month for a pre-planned training camp, but the World No. 8 squad decided to cancel on the advice of public health officials. Way to set a good example, queens!
🎾Keep it rolling: Denis Shapovalov and Milos Raonic (pronounced MEE-LOSH RAUNITCH) missed the memo. Canada’s top tennis stars are still on the road, having traveled from the French and Italian Opens, respectively, to the St. Petersburg Open in Russia, and it seems (knock on wood) to be worth the trip. Both players are through to the round of 16 in the ATP 500 event and will play for a spot in the quarter-finals today. Follow along here.
🏒Here, there and everywhere: A few big names have found new homes since NHL free agency began last week, but luckily, some of our favorites are staying put. The Montreal Canadiens signed Brendan Gallagher to a six-year contract extension and Jake Allen to a two-year extension, and Nick Paul is sticking with the Ottawa Senators for another two years.
⚽A Whole Latte Cover Ahead of the NWSL's Fall Series
The GIST: You know what goes great with pumpkin spice lattes? The NWSL’s new Fall Series. And lucky for us all, it starts on Saturday.
What’s the set-up?: Quick refresher: the league’s nine teams will be playing in regionalized “pods” of three (to cut down on travel). Each team will play two home and two away games (against their other pod buddy teams) over the next seven weeks.
- And even though the series begins in just about 48 hours, we only have the first three weeks of the schedule, with Sky Blue FC (FC stands for Football Club) and the Washington Spirit kicking things off on Saturday at 1 p.m. ET.
- All games will be streamed globally (!!!) on Twitch, and CBS will nationally air one NWSL Game of the Week every Saturday, starting with the Sky Blue FC vs. Spirit tilt this week.
Sweet. Are all the big names playing?: Not all. Arguably the biggest name in American soccer, OL Reign star and captain Megan Rapinoe, is sitting this one out, just as she did for the Challenge Cup in July. She hasn’t given a reason, but we’ve seen her floating around the WNBA wubble lately supporting her partner Sue Bird. Couple goals.
- In fact, a pretty significant number of players won’t participate in the Fall Series. Due to the uncertainty of the league’s next steps after the Challenge Cup, over 30 players have been loaned out or transferred to European, Asian or South American clubs, including USWNT and Spirit star Rose Lavelle, who will play out 2020 with Manchester City (whose season starts on Saturday). Oh, bloody hell.
Kadeisha Buchanan Captures Fourth Straight Champions League Title
Soccer: Alphonso Davies may already be a Canadian legend, but he has nothing on Kadeisha Buchanan. Yesterday, Buchanan notched her fourth straight Champions League title after her team Olympique Lyonnais (aka Lyon) defeated Wolfsburg 3–1 in the biggest European soccer match of the year.
- Buchanan was the first Canadian, male or female, to win a Champions League title in 2017 and is now the first to do it four times. Alphonso has a lot of catching up to do.
Basketball: The NBA’s defending champions didn’t have their mojo yesterday. The Toronto Raptors dropped Game 1 of the conference semifinals to the Boston Celtics in a 112–94 blowout. The Celtics never let the Raps take the lead and held Raps star Kyle Lowry to a team-high 17 points. Let’s hope tomorrow is a better story.
Hockey: The Vancouver Canucks are the only Canadian team left in the Stanley Cup playoffs, and things are not looking so hot: they’re now down 3-1 in their series against the Vegas Golden Knights after a 5–3 loss last night. They’ll face off again in a deciding Game 5 tomorrow night to try to keep our Canadian Cup hopes alive. Cross those fingers!