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Friday morning WoSo news roundup

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Get caught up on anything you missed this week.

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Soccer: NWSL Challenge Cup-Chicago Red Stars vs Washington Spirit Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

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Hello friends, I hope you’ve had a good week and can safely do something you enjoy this weekend. It’s been a while since we’ve done a link roundup, so let’s get caught up on what’s happening around the world of women’s soccer.

Around SB Nation

Maya Hayes on climbing the coaching ladder | Stephanie Yang, All For XI

The former Sky Blue FC winger just landed an assistant coaching job at Minnesota after a stint as a graduate assistant at Auburn. She talked to Steph about what it’s like to get into coaching through the college system, rather than by getting badges and working for clubs.

Multiple players returning from ACL injuries get first minutes in Challenge Cup | Bria Felicien, All For XI

Returning to your former level of play after a serious knee injury is extremely tough, and Bria gives you a comprehensive look at what that process is like.

NWSL fans sent banners to Utah to show support from afar | Sydney Kuntz, SB Nation

Fans can’t attend games at the Challenge Cup, but they’re still finding ways to get involved.

Declarations from the Royals Court: Two more games, three points, still in fourth | RJ Allen, RSL Soapbox

The Royals have been a roller coaster team so far, and RJ looks at how they’re developing.

NWSL expansion team Racing Louisville FC unveils branding | All For XI

Lavender as a primary color, dark violet as a secondary color, and mint green as an accent make a winning combo.

News from everywhere

Behind the creation of Racing Louisville’s new identity | Meg Linehan, The Athletic

If you like the Louisville crest and colors, learn a little bit more about the people behind them.

‘Nobody makes it to this league by being mediocre’: Sharples, Davison on coming together, creating their own moment | Claire Watkins, The Equalizer

I love how the Red Stars scout and nurture local talent.

Word is spreading about Villa Women and what we are trying to achieve | Eni Aluko, The Guardian

This is essentially advertising but it’s still cool to hear from Villa’s sporting director about the direction she’s trying to take the club in.

The Issues Facing the FA WSL Transfer Window | Rich Lavery, Our Game Magazine

If you’re wondering why WSL teams have been slow to sign new players, this is a good explanation of what’s happening.

Defend the Indefensible: Midge Purce at Fullback | Charles Olney, Backline Soccer

Charles wrote this before Purce had a superb game against Houston, so perhaps he’s on to something.

Just the Beginning for Bella Bixby | Katelyn Best, Rose City Review

Bixby has been one of the Challenge Cup’s breakout stars, and the legendary Nadine Angerer offers some great insight into her development here.

Takeaways From Week 1 Of NWSL Challenge Cup: Ratings, Courage Dominates And Rose Lavelle Dazzles | Howard Megdal, Forbes

Some good insight here into the business and broadcasting implications of the Challenge Cup’s success so far.

NWSL Challenge Cup Power Rankings: Courage lock up No. 1 seed; Spirit, Thorns looking strong | Sandra Herrera, CBS

Sandra really put Chicago at No. 8, my jaw is on the floor friends.

This weekend’s Challenge Cup games

There are no Saturday matches. We’ve got two on Sunday, then two on Monday to finish off the group stage of the tournament. Your Sunday schedule:

Washington Spirit vs. Houston Dash — 12:30 p.m.

I’m expecting almost full B-teams from both of these sides. If Rose Lavelle and Rachel Daly’s respective coaches want to ensure their stars are able to go 90 in multiple knockout matches, they’ll need to rest those players on Sunday.

Chicago Red Stars vs. Utah Royals — 10 p.m.

Chicago coach Rory Dames has openly stated that he’s running two separate units for load management purposes. But he’s currently in last place, staring down a potential quarterfinal rematch with North Carolina. Does he bust out some big guns here to get on the other side of the bracket?

Both games are on CBS All Access.