What's in the news ...

1. The NWSL's Washington Spirit hired Englishman Richie Burke as its new head coach and technical director. The former American University player has coached in the Washington, D.C., area for many years. Tom Torres, the interim coach after Jim Gabarra was fired in August, will stay on the technical staff.

2. Sporting Kansas City's field at Children's Mercy Park is being torn up in order to install an electrical heating system
, the first at an MLS stadium. It should be ready -- and come in handy -- for the first home game of the year. Sporting KC hosts Mexico's Toluca Feb. 21 in the first leg of their Concacaf Champions League series.

3. Canadian Marcel Zajac, one of the stars of Akron's 2018 NCAA Division I runner-up team, agreed to a multi-year contract with Forge FC in the new Canadian Premier League.
Zajac, who gave up his final year of eligibility with the Zips, registered 11 goals, including game-winners against Syracuse and No. 1 seed Wake Forest and two goals in the semifinal against Michigan State, and a team-high eight assists in 2018.
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