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Fuel Soccer Talk: NWSL scores deal with Nike; Garber has taken MLS to the next level; USWNT doc celebrates family atmosphere

Nike believes: Company inks three-year deal with National Women’s Soccer League

The National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) and Nike today announced a three-year agreement to continue their partnership through the end of 2022. As exclusive worldwide partner of apparel and gear since the league’s inception in 2013, this sponsorship extends Nike’s commitment to the global leader in women’s professional soccer and its elite athletes.

“Having Nike’s continued support behind NWSL and our athletes demonstrates our shared commitment to elevating professional soccer in the United States,” noted NWSL President Amanda Duffy. “The relationship with Nike aligns with our goals to strengthen the level of competition, as well as to support and develop female athletes as they to continue to train and play at the highest level.”

The NWSL features some of the best soccer players in the world, such as Sam Kerr (Chicago Red Stars), NWSL’s all-time leading scorer; Christine Sinclair (Portland Thorns FC), second leading scorer in international soccer history and one of only two players to score at five World Cup competitions; and Crystal Dunn (North Carolina Courage), the youngest player to win both NWSL MVP and the Golden Boot in the same year. The league also experienced record-breaking numbers last year with more fans attending NWSL games than any other regular season in the league’s history.

“We look forward to continuing our long-standing relationship with the NWSL to create even more opportunities to champion female athletes in their pursuit of greatness,” said Michelle Lobo, GM Nike Soccer North America. “We are committed to helping to grow the game and are proud to continue the partnership, both in support of players and a growing fan base.”

What does this deal mean to the future of the NWSL?

Don Garber celebrates 20th anniversary as MLS Commissioner

It was 20 years ago that Don Garber became the Commissioner of Major League Soccer.

A league that had 12 teams in just its fourth year has grown and matured into a league that doubled to 24 teams with more expansion on the horizon. Many of those teams play in their own stadiums with the average attendance among the top 10 soccer leagues in the world, that number having grown 55 percent during Garber’s tenure.

It all started when Garber was approached by Robert Kraft and Jonathan Kraft, owners of the New England Patriots and New England Revolution, during an NFL owners meeting at the Super Bowl, about becoming MLS commissioner.

Garber was senior vice president of the NFL’s international division when he was hired.

“When Don first became commissioner and when we went through those dark days, there was always the question of: Is the league going to survive? I don’t think that’s remotely a question today,” Jonathan Kraft told the Associated Press. “So that’s a huge jump in a very short period of time.”

While there is clear upward mobility in his 20th year, there were some rocky moments early for Garber, particularly his introductory press conference in New York.

“I could remember like it was yesterday the opening press conference in New York and the reaction, much of it negative, to me taking the job,” Garber told the AP. “I expected when I took the job that the soccer community would be excited about a young, experienced sports marketing executive coming over and taking over this fledgling soccer league. I realized quickly that soccer is a unique sport and it took a while to really earn the credibility and the respect of all the constituents. I remember walking home from that press conference and saying, ‘Oh my goodness, what did I get myself into?’”

Under Garber’s guidance, there’s been a number of positive changes:

FULL ARTICLE

What has been Garber’s biggest contribution to the growing success of the MLS?

FOX documentary gets inside perspective on the U.S. 2019 World Cup run

Many times the comments on YouTube are negative, rude and even offensive. Other times, they are perfect. Here is what a commentator had to say about a very well done documentary on the 2019 U.S. Women’s National Team’s World Cup victory in France. “Yaaay, thank you so much! I didn’t have any chance how to watch this, so I am really happy you shared this with us! Awesome story, loved to hear the players and Jill talking about their thoughts and the team. Family.”

The documentary shows the real faith, trust and love the players had (have) for one another. It was a team but much more than that. “Family” is the perfect description.
This FOX documentary of the 2019 World Cup Championship run for the USWNT features the perspectives of Head Coach Jill Ellis and players Crystal Dunn, Megan Rapinoe, Alyssa Naeher, Kelley O’ Hara, Rose Lavelle, and Alex Morgan.

Here is 42  minutes, 59 seconds of what made this team so special.

LET’S TALK: OK, now you’ve read what’s on my mind…what are your thoughts on the above or any other “football” happenings?

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