What's in the news ...

1. Zack Steffen and Alex Mendez were named the winners of the U.S. Soccer year-end male awards. Steffen, 23, edged Tyler Adams for 2018 U.S. Soccer Male Player of the Year. He led all U.S. goalkeepers with six caps in 2018, his first season on the national team, and helped the Columbus Crew reach MLS's Eastern Conference semifinals. The Crew recently reached an agreement with Manchester City for his transfer in July 2019. Mendez, who recently signed with German club Freiburg, was named the 2018 U.S. Soccer Young Male Player of the Year. He was the top player in the Concacaf U-20 Championship in leading the USA to the regional title with eight goals and six assists.

2. The Richmond Kickers have been sold to 22 Holdings headed Rob Ukrop. The Richmond Kickers Youth Soccer Club sold the USL League One team to a group that also includes Alex Deegan, and four other members of the 1992 Davidson College final four team. Matt Spear, the 1992 Davidson captain, was recently named Kickers team president. Ukrop, the former Kickers board president, starred on the 1992 Davidson team and played the inaugural MLS season in 1996 with the New England Revolution. Ukrop's family was prominent in the grocery business for decades in Virginia and operates a baked goods business.

3. Americans Matt Polster and Andrew Gutman are on trial at Scotland's Rangers. Polster, 25, is a free agent after playing four seasons for the Chicago Fire. A knee injury suffered in March limited him to three MLS games in 2018. He began his career in midfield but mostly played at right back in recent years. Gutman, 22, starred for Indiana University and is considered one of the top players in this year's senior class. The left back's Homegrown Player rights are held by the Fire. The Rangers manager is former LA Galaxy midfielder Steven Gerrard.
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