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Nashville joins cities seeking MLS expansion team

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Some Nashville investors and supporters are making a push for Music City to be among the communities awarded expansion franchises by Major League Soccer.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverage ]

Bill Hagerty, a former state commissioner of economic and community development, and Will Alexander, the son of U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, are spearheading the effort called the Nashville MLS Organizing Committee. It includes a bipartisan group of former politicians and leaders of Nashville-area companies.

“Music City’s diverse and growing population, vibrant economy and passionate sports culture make it an ideal fit for the MLS,” Hagerty said.

While Nashville is seeking to leapfrog several other cities vying for MLS teams, Hagerty said his experience with landing major economic development projects like Under Armour and Beretta gives him hope. The sports apparel maker and the firearms manufacturer didn’t originally expect to locate facilities in the Nashville area, Hagerty said.

“We were at the bottom of the list and we were able to get in and make it happen,” he said. “So we’re accustomed to pulling our resources together in short order and demonstrating our strength.”

The Nashville proposal would include a downtown stadium, likely with some public financing.

“The stronger the role the city plays, the more competitive we are in winning a franchise,” Hagerty said. “I think the city is prepared to be a very strong partner.”

[ MORE: “This guy’s crazy, but he can play” — Jermaine Jones in his own words ]

Nashville Mayor Megan Barry called the MLS expansion push “an exciting opportunity to build on our successes and plan for Nashville’s future as a soccer destination for the Southeast.”

The mayor’s long-range capital improvement plan includes $50 million in proposed revenue bonds for a potential municipal soccer facility, but Barry has not made a formal request to the Metro Council to move the project forward.

The organizing committee includes the heads of Bridgestone Americas and Nissan North America, both of which are based in the Nashville area. Hagerty noted that the tiremaker is heavily involved in sports sponsorship around the world and that the automaker has been a major sponsor of the European Champions League and the Manchester City Football Club.

Retired Tennessee politicians supporting the effort include former Republican U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and former Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen, who led efforts to draw the NFL’s Tennessee Titans and NHL’s Nashville Predators to the city in the 1990s. The presidents of both teams are also on the MLS committee.

“Soccer is growing in popularity in our country and it would be good for Nashville to be a part of it with a major league team,” Bredesen said in an email. “Many of the organizations whose CEOs have lent their support to this current effort were very helpful to me twenty years ago and I believe it appropriate for me to return the favor here in 2016.”

Hagerty said MLS is expected to release an expansion timeline in the next several weeks. Other cities vying for teams include St. Louis; Sacramento, California; Detroit; San Diego; San Antonio and Austin, Texas; and Cincinnati.

World record-holding manager Gutendorf dies at 93

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The world record holder for most teams managed has died at the age of 93.

Rudi Gutendorf, who managed in the United States with the NASL’s St. Louis Stars (1968), last managed in 2003 when he led the Samoa national team.

[ MORE: Maguire shining for Man Utd ]

Those are two of 55 teams he led onto the pitch, 22 of which were national teams. He led teams from CONCACAF (Trinidad and Tobago), CAF (Ghana), CONMEBOL (Chile), OFC (Fiji), and AFC (Australia).

The German-born Gutendorf did a lot of his club work in Europe, leading clubs as big as Hamburg, Schalke, Real Valladolid, and Hertha Berlin.

Gutendorf managed Rwanda in the wake of the country’s dark civil war. From DW.com:

“Such hate, you cannot believe. I was able to unite these two tribes to play football, and good football,” he said in a 2013 interview of the mixed Rwandan team of Hutu and Tutsi players.

What a fascinating career Gutendorf had, and the stories he’s told.

Man Utd’s Maguire “showed what a man he is” versus Leicester

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Manchester United is still working to find its form as a team, but center back Harry Maguire continued his run of fine performances when the Red Devils beat his former team on Saturday.

United beat Leicester City 1-0 on the day, a Marcus Rashford penalty the difference, but Maguire and fellow new back Aaron Wan-Bissaka were again exceptional.

[ RECAP: Man Utd 1-0 Leicester City ]

Ashley Young has been through a few iterations of Manchester United, and the long-time club offered up lofty words to credit Maguire’s contributions to the team.

“Again he showed today what a man he is,” Young said. “You know, I think the manager’s said about him, he talks non-stop, he’s a real leader and he can play as well.”

Maguire won five aerial battles and two tackles while completing 83 percent of his passes and managing two shots against his former side (WhoScored). On the season, only Anthony Martial has consistently been more important to the team.

He also did not record a loss of possession, and seemingly was unbothered by plenty of criticism from the traveling fans. From The Manchester Evening News:

“I don’t think it bothers (Maguire) whatsoever,” said Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. “You’ve got to be that way and when you play, when you coach, when you manage, we don’t get carried away when we win a game that we maybe didn’t deserve to win, but we don’t get in the dumps when we don’t win.”

Solskjaer also loved Maguire and Victor Lindelof for their performance against pesky Leicester star Jamie Vardy.

“I’ve got loads of admiration for Vardy,” Solskjaer said. “I think he’s my type of centre forward, runs in in behind, harasses and you’ve got to be spot on with the decision-making, when to stay up, when to drop off, and both of them proved their worth today. There were a couple of races and Harry did well.”

Maguire didn’t love being on the other side of Vardy, either.

“It was tough playing against Jamie,” he said. “I’ve played with him for two years and he is a top player who can terrorize defenses when he is on his game. … We knew it was important to get the win, especially after the international break. We have to build on a solid base and we want to keep clean sheets, especially at Old Trafford. We are always going to score goals with the attacking talent we have.”

United hosts Kazakhstan’s Astana on Thursday in the Europa League before visiting West Ham United on Sept. 22.

Watch Live: Bournemouth v. Everton

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Dominic Calvert-Lewin gets the start up top as Everton looks to take down hosts Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium on Sunday (Watch live at 9 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

Alex Iwobi, Gylfi Sigurdsson, and Richarlison join Calvert-Lewin in attack for the Toffees, who can go fourth with a win.

WATCH LIVE, ONLINE, HERE

Bournemouth enters the day in 16th, a point ahead of the bottom three, but can rise into the top half with a win. Early season vibes.

LINEUPS

Bournemouth: Ramsdale, Rico, Ake, Cook, Stacey, Solanke, Billing, L. S. Cook, Wilson, King, Wilson. Subs: Boruc, Surman, Lerma, Ibe, Fraser, Simpson, Mepham.

Everton: Pickford, Digne, Mina, Keane, Coleman, Delph, Schneiderlin, Iwobi, Sigurdsson, Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin. Subs: Stekelenburg, Holgate, Walcott, Sidibe, Bernard, Davies, Kean.

USWNT legend O’Reilly scores stunner on night to honor her career

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USWNT hero and North Carolina Courage playmaker Heather O’Reilly gave her special day its just desserts.

The 34-year-old New Jersey native scored a sweet goal late in North Carolina’s 6-1 demolition of Orlando Pride on Saturday night, which just so happened to be the evening chosen to celebrate her 17-year career.

[ MORE: Fan banned from all NWSL games ]

O’Reilly dribbled down the left before cutting to the middle and slashing a shot across the goal and inside the far post.

She has 231 USWNT caps with 47 goals, a Women’s World Cup crown, three Olympic gold medals, three top-flight domestic titles, two Women’s College Cups, and an FA Cup with Arsenal Ladies.

The Courage have four matches left in the regular season and look set to again be the No. 1 seed, so O’Reilly may yet have more memorable moments left in her playing career.