And rightly so. The Cascadia Cup — the annual trophy given to the winner of the Portland Timbers, Seattle Sounders, Vancouver Whitecaps triumvirate — existed before the three squads moved to MLS. It was, and continues to be, awarded by the rabid supporter groups, not the league or the ownership or anyone else. It’s the fans, and the fans alone.
That said, having a corporate entity (MLS) come along and provide some legal assistance might not be the worst thing in the world. There is — or at least there could be — commercial value in the name “Cascadia Cup.” I absolutely, 100 percent agree with the suporters groups that this is their thing. Still, is trademarking the name the worst thing in the world? No, not really if it’s done in the correct way.
“With the interests of the MLS clubs in the Pacific Northwest and our fans in mind, Major League Soccer, applied for a trademark to the name ‘Cascadia Cup.’
A registered trademark would put Major League Soccer in a position to protect the brand from exploitation by parties unaffiliated with the League and its supporters. However, we understand that some of our fans have concerns about how the trademark will be managed, and we are planning to meet soon with leaders of the three teams’ supporters groups to discuss the topic together.”
As long as the league remembers who came up with the Cup, who built the rivalry, who made it all happen, we should be fine. Each group needs to have a little faith in the other one.
Elsewhere, Alexi Lalas has some smart thoughts on today’s edition of The Shot.
Should we watch Jack Jewsbury win the 2012 Cascadia Cup? Let’s do that:
Manchester City vs Inter Milan: How to watch Champions League Final, odds, predictions
For the next few months CONCACAF Nations League takes center stage, while the program is very much in transition as Anthony Hudson was in temporary charge but he has now moved on with B.J. Callaghan taking over an interim basis as the search for a new permanent head coach continues.
After both the general manager (Brian McBride) and sporting director (Earnie Stewart) left in recent months, Matt Crocker has arrived as U.S. Soccer’s new sporting director and has some huge decisions coming up as the USMNT’s talented youngsters need some guidance with a World Cup on home soil just three years away.
vs Mexico ** — June 15, 10pm ET — Las Vegas, Nevada (Nations League semifinal)
2023 Gold Cup from June 16 to July 19
vs Jamaica**** — June 24, 9:30pm ET — Chicago, Illinois
vs TBD**** — June 28, 9:30pm ET — St. Louis, Missouri
vs Nicaragua**** — July 2, 7pm ET — Charlotte, North Carolina
vs Germany* — October 14, 3pm ET — Rentschler Field, East Hartford, CT
vs Ghana* — October 17, 8:30pm ET — GEODIS Park, Nashville, TN
USMNT games in 2022
vs. Morocco* — June 1 — Win 3-0
vs. Uruguay* — June 5 — Draw 0-0
vs. Grenada** — June 10 — Win 5-0
at El Salvador** — June 14 — Draw 1-1
vs Japan* — Sept. 23 (in Dusseldorf, Germany) — Loss 2-0
vs Saudi Arabia* — Sept. 27 (in Murcia, Spain) — Draw 0-0
USMNT at 2022 World Cup
vs. Wales*** — Nov. 21, 2 pm ET — Draw 1-1
vs. England*** — Nov. 25, 2 pm ET — Draw 0-0
vs. Iran*** — Nov. 29, 2 pm ET — Win 1-0
vs. Netherlands*** — Dec. 3, 10 am ET — Loss 3-1
USMNT 2022 World Cup qualifying scores, recaps, analysis
at El Salvador — Sept. 2 — Draw 0-0
vs. Canada — Sept. 5 — Draw 1-1
at Honduras — Sept. 8 — Win 4-1
vs. Jamaica — Oct. 7 — Win 1-0
at Panama — Oct. 10 — Loss 0-1
vs. Costa Rica — Oct. 13 — Win 2-1
vs. Mexico — Nov. 12 — Win 2-0
at Jamaica — Nov. 16 — Draw 1-1
vs. El Salvador — Jan. 27 — Win 1-0
at Canada — Jan. 30 — Loss 0-2
vs. Honduras — Feb. 2 — Win 3-0
at Mexico — March 24 — Draw 0-0
vs. Panama — March 27 — Win 5-1
at Costa Rica — March 30 — Loss 0-2
Vlatko Andonovski’s side are going for a third-straight World Cup title, something which has never been achieved in the history of the men’s and women’s game.
Led by Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe and Becky Sauerbrunn, this USWNT side have so much experience but there are also exciting young talents coming through with Mallory Swanson and Trinity Rodman excelling in recent months.
Below is a closer look at the the new USWNT 2023 World Cup jerseys, with the away kit also to be worn by the USMNT.
U.S. Soccer say that the inspiration for the jerseys are “from abstract expressionism, an international art movement that started in the 1940s in New York and shifted the art epicenter from Europe to the U.S., similar to what the USA team has done for women’s soccer.”
They add there is “a custom USA ‘signature'” as the “bespoke mark is hand painted with ink on paper, and is a nod to the abstract expressionism movement, where each artist would sign their painting. Lastly, the USA’s inner pride mark celebrates the USWNT’s four Women’s World Cup championships in 1991, 1999, 2015 and 2019.”
When it comes to the home kit, U.S. Soccer say it is “an unexpected take on the tradition of wearing white at home and features a bespoke drip paint technique pattern. Highlighting the energy of the USWNT and how they are diverse players and personalities, but always united, the action painting method pattern features a distinctive placement, making every single jersey unique.”
For the blue away kit, which will be worn by both the USWNT and USMNT, there are “bespoke stars and stripe print on the sleeve cuffs – a diagonal stripe with intersecting stars – and a neckline that also features red blades, formed to look like the tip of stars.”
They add that those shapes are “subtle, patriotic nods to the hidden shapes that are inspired by abstract expressionism art.”
Here is a look at both USWNT World Cup jerseys in a little more detail, plus the USMNT showing off their new away kits.
Luton was last in the top-flight in 1992, relegated just before the top-flight was rebranded to become the Premier League, and Coventry were last in the Premier League in 2001. As of 2018, both Luton and Coventry were both in the fourth-tier of English football.
Vincent Kompany and Burnley won the EFL Championship title on April 25 after beating Blackburn Rovers, as the Clarets bounced back at the first time of asking. Sheffield United finished in second place and were promoted after two seasons down in the second tier following their relegation in 2021.
As for the playoffs, third-place Luton Town beat sixth-place Sunderland 3-2 on aggregate in the semifinals, while Coventry City edged past Middlesbrough 1-0 in a tight semifinal tie as it will be Luton against Coventry in the Championship playoff final at Wembley on Saturday, May 27.
The richest game in football saw a minnow (Luton Town) and a team which has recovered from financial turmoil multiple times (Coventry) square off for a spot in the big time. And now we know the three teams who will join 17 survivors in the 2023-24 Premier League: Clarets, Blades, and Hatters. Oh my.
Saturday, May 13
Sunderland 2-1 Luton Town (Diallo 39′, Hume 63′; Adebayo 11′)
Sunday, May 14
Coventry City 0-0 Middlesbrough
Tuesday, May 16
Luton Town 2-0 (3-2 agg.) Sunderland (Osho 10′, Lockyer 43′)
Wednesday, May 17
3pm ET: Middlesbrough 0-1 (0-1 agg.) Coventry City (Hamer 57′)
How much money is promotion to the Premier League worth?
The prize for being promoted to the Premier League is obviously all about reaching the top-flight. But there is also some serious money involved.
It is estimated that promotion from the Championship to the Premier League is worth around $210 million to each club over a three-season period.
That is due to shared TV income, increased sponsorship opportunities and a whole host of other income revenues improving, while the club also receives parachute payments over three years if they are relegated back to the Championship at the first time of asking. Those parachute payments see relegated teams receive a lower percentage of their previous income from being in the Premier League to help them recalibrate to life in the second tier.
Simply put, promotion to the Premier League for just one season significantly improves the financial health of any Championship club for several years.
How were Burnley promoted?
Vincent Kompany’s Burnley have been a complete force, scoring the Championship’s most goals and conceding the fewest in a manner that would make his old boss, Pep Guardiola, quite proud.
Burnley’s been led by Nathan Tella’s massive goal haul as the Clarets have six players with five or more goals. Josh Brownhill has also excelled in midfield.
How were Sheffield United promoted?
Sheffield United are back in the Premier League after a two-year absence and the Blades caused a fuss in the FA Cup, losing to Manchester City in the semifinals.
23-year-old Senegalese international Iliman Ndiaye led the way in attack with Oliver McBurnie and James McAtee also having fine campaigns.