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Carli Lloyd has fielded NFL inquiries and ‘invites pressure’ of FG kicking

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Let’s get this out-of-the-way before getting to the quotes or ideas, because it’ll be exciting to yield the floor to those who equate the challenge of NFL place kicking with pretty much anything Carli Lloyd’s done on an international soccer pitch.

Carli Lloyd could kick American football field goals for a men’s team, even an NFL team. Whether she could do it well wouldn’t be about her gender, rather taking up a position that’s specialized by other humans from the time they take a college scholarship until they get paid to do it.

Gasp. We know.

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The USWNT legend’s belief that she could bang kicks through the uprights isn’t unfounded and would be wildly entertaining, and the interminable NFL preseason would be the perfect time to try it.

Lloyd made waves when she drilled a 55-yard field goal at Philadelphia Eagles camp, and ProFootballTalk says she’d love a shot to do it for a team and says she’s got some inquiries

“I actually invite the pressure. I love the pressure. When I have to nail something—shooting hoops, axe-throwing, kicking a field goal—that is the moment I live for and want. It comes down to the mind, training the mind.

“It’s worth having some conversations about it. With practice and someone showing me, I know I can do it. I have one of the most accurate shots in our game. Big thing would be getting used to the big boys out there. But nothing scares me. You hold yourself back if you’re afraid. What’s the worst that can happen? I don’t make the team? Let’s just say I did try. Maybe I change the landscape a lot.”

No there wasn’t an offensive line or the pressure that comes from a defensive line, but questioning whether she could hack hitting a long ball accurately under pressure is worthy of wearing all the L’s and O’s off your keyboard.

She hit from 50 yards at a World Cup Final with four defenders in her living room. I’m sure she’s worried about waiting for a whistle and a ball to be placed down on the ground for her. And oh Lord, how would she ever deal with getting used to a helmet (Sorry, AB).

If Lloyd wants to give it a try, fair play, but whether she succeeds or fails it shouldn’t matter to how we view the challenge. Kicking field goals in American football wouldn’t fit in the Top 20 pressure-packed moments in world soccer. She’d be fine. Like Tony Meola proved, however, hitting field goals takes a lot of practice.

Panthers owner David Tepper to meet with MLS about expansion

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Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper and team president Tom Glick will travel to New York next week and meet with Major League Soccer officials in an effort to convince them to bring an expansion team to Charlotte, North Carolina.

Tepper has been working to bring an MLS team to Charlotte since purchasing the Panthers last summer.

Glick believes “the region deserves it. We think the region will support it, and we are confident of that.”

[ MORE: What’s next for the USMNT? ]

He says the goal is to land an MLS team as soon as possible.

MLS will announce two expansion teams by July 31.

Glick spoke Tuesday at a news conference to announce Charlotte will host an International Champions Cup game for the next five years. Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium hosted two CONCACAF Gold Cup matches last month attracting more than 59,000 fans.

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Chattanooga FC opens up ‘true ownership’ to its supporters

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The owners of Chattanooga FC have opened up their beloved club to fan ownership in a non-cosmetic, very real way, and it is going very well.

Billing the move as the first time in America that a “soccer club offers fans true ownership,” the National Premier Soccer League club has sold over 1,800 of 8,000 available shares in its club over a 24-hour period.

For $125 a share, buyers get “one vote, a stock certificate, an owner lapel pin, a “CFC Owner” yard sign, their name on our 2019 third alternate jersey, access to exclusive owner benefits and merchandise, and invitation to annual shareholders’ meeting.”

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ProSoccerTalk spoke to CFC general manager Sheldon Grizzle about the project, and found that its deep roots stretch back to board room daydreaming and the Green Bay Packers’ selling shares of their NFL club to fans.

“In the very early days of Chattanooga Football Club, we’d sit around in the board room and talk about how cool it would be,” Grizzle said. “What if we could have that commitment and culture in Chattanooga?”

Grizzle played a pivotal role in starting the club over a decade ago before taking a break to work on some other projects. He returned last January after selling his shares in a software company, and became even more involved when CFC’s general manager departed the club to help start a USL League One side in Chattanooga. Grizzle took over the GM duties in November.

He’s always held firm faith in the project, because he says CFC was built for the soccer fans, players, and proud citizens of its region. Having an opponent across town with non-local ownership has only redoubled the club’s commitment to its city.

“The entire founding group is Chattanoogans,” Grizzle said. “This wasn’t about money or creating value to sell it to someone else. It really was about Chattanooga and planting a flag here that says this is Chattanooga’s team and we are never leaving. This is by far the best way to demonstrate that this is the case.

“It has already far exceeded our expectations. When we initially did this we were thinking, if we could get 1000 people to say I’m an owner of Chattanooga FC, that would be a really powerful thing for our community. For us it’s just an honor and an encouragement to have so many people thinking, ‘We love what you do. It’s important, and I’m willing to literally invest and take ownership of this thing which is good for our community,’.”

What broke the dam for CFC was a federal law which allows for crowdfunding across all 50 states. It took a decade-old idea and launched it into hyper speed, relatively speaking.

“We found out about this model about a year ago, maybe 18 months ago, and we’ve chipped away at it,” he said. “In the last four months, we’ve really driven hard on it. It was love of community, commitment to a place that we’re never gonna leave. Now if we ever sold the club at some point in the future — clubs transition, they have to. All of our owners are going to die at some point — and someone can take care of our baby better than us. When that happens, we don’t want there to be any chance that the club can be taken out of city.”

In doing so, Grizzle has ensured that his club will outlive him. It’s something that has driven numerous groups across the country, but CFC is implementing the most ambitious plan yet.

VIDEO: Spurs’ Kane, Dier give JPW their Super Bowl predictions

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“I enjoy an underdog.”

So says Tottenham Hotspur’s Eric Dier as he lays out the case for the Philadelphia Eagles to win the Super Bowl over teammate Harry Kane‘s beloved New England Patriots.

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Speaking with ProSoccerTalk editor Joe Prince-Wright, Dier and Kane talked about how they came to enjoy American football as well as their score predictions and the state of the NFL in Europe.

In 2015, Spurs announced a 10-year agreement to host matches at their new stadium.

Investors want MLS stadium on site of Chargers’ former home

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SAN DIEGO (AP) With the NFL’s Chargers leaving for Los Angeles, a group of private investors unveiled plans Monday to bring an MLS team to San Diego and build a stadium that can be shared with San Diego State.

In addition to the joint-use venue which could seat up to 30,000, the 166-acre Qualcomm Stadium site which has housed the Chargers would also be used for a sports and entertainment district, according to the FS Investors group’s plans. The plans also set aside acreage for a larger stadium, in case the NFL decides to return to San Diego.

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“There are a lot of people that were disappointed with that (the Chargers’ move) and understandably so,” said Nick Stone, a partner in the investors group, which would develop the property and own the MLS franchise. “But we think this is a really, really interesting time to look at the opportunity to bring soccer to San Diego. It’s a very logical market for that.

“We can bring what is the world’s most popular sport, and the fastest growing sport in the U.S.,” Stone said. “One door closed but a really great door opened.”

The Chargers announced on Jan. 12 that they would play in the Los Angeles area next season after 56 seasons in San Diego.

Stone’s group, which includes Padres lead investor Peter Seidler and former Qualcomm president Steve Altman, has the exclusive negotiating rights with the MLS. The league is expected to designate expansion cities this fall.

The investor group said it wouldn’t require taxpayer money for its plan, which includes buying the land now occupied by Qualcomm.

[ MORE: CONCACAF Champions League’s big reboot ]

“This is an exciting concept that could welcome major league soccer to San Diego without public subsidy, provide a home for Aztecs football and create a long-awaited river park,” San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer said in a statement. “I look forward to seeing the final plan.”

After five years, FS Investors said it would donate its half ownership of the stadium to San Diego State. San Diego State’s football team now plays at Qualcomm Stadium, which is also home to college football’s Holiday and Poinsettia bowls.