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MLS expansion: Group reveals plan for $200M stadium in STL

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ST. LOUIS (AP) The NFL’s Rams are gone, and attention in St. Louis now turns to soccer with an ownership group pursuing a Major League Soccer expansion team.

The effort includes plans to build a $200-million stadium downtown (MORE PHOTOS/INFO) that would require millions of dollars in public funding.

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The ownership group revealed Thursday is known as SC STL. Paul Edgerley, a partner at the investment firm VantEdge Partners, is lead owner and chairman. Among his partners is Dave Peacock, former president of Anheuser-Busch and a driving force behind the effort last year to build a $1 billion riverfront stadium for the Rams.

The football stadium plan died when the NFL in January approved Rams owner Stan Kroenke’s request to move the team to Los Angeles. Since the departure of football, efforts to secure an MLS team have escalated.

MLS is already adding two new teams to expand to 24 by the end of the decade, and eventually plans to add four more, league spokesman Dan Courtemanche said. St. Louis is among eight markets that have publicly expressed interest in the four additional expansion slots, Courtemanche said. A timetable for when those cities would join the league has not been determined.

Commissioner Don Garber said in a statement that league officials have had “very productive” meetings with Edgerley and his partners.

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“With its rich soccer heritage, St. Louis has always been a market of great interest to Major League Soccer and SC STL is the ideal ownership group that will provide St. Louis the best opportunity for a future expansion team,” Garber said.

The open-air stadium would have 20,000 seats with the ability to expand to 28,500. It would sit next to St. Louis Union Station and encompass about 24 acres on land near Interstate 64 currently owned by the Missouri Department of Transportation. The city has an option to buy the site, but the value is still being appraised.

SC STL said it would fund “much” of the stadium construction cost, but St. Louis voters in April would be asked to fund a significant share, up to $80 million, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Specific details on the public portion are still being worked out, the ownership group said.

[ MORE: Top 5 PL storylines — Mourinho vs. Wenger ]

Getting it on the ballot is no sure thing. Though the NFL plan was eventually approved by city aldermen, the debate was often contentious. Alderman Sam Moore said at one meeting that some residents live in “Third World” conditions while taxpayers were paying for stadiums. Messages left for Moore on Friday were not immediately returned.

The ownership group said it also will work with the state for financial assistance related to site development and infrastructure.

The stadium would be within about a mile of two other downtown sports venues — baseball’s Busch Stadium and the Scottrade Center, home of the NHL’s Blues.

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.