What's in the news ...

1. Tim Howard will retire at the end of the 2019 MLS season. The Colorado Rapids goalkeeper will turn 40 four days after the MLS season starts. He joined the Rapids in 2016 after spending 13 seasons in England with Manchester United and Everton. Howard, who began his MLS career with the MetroStars in 1998, played 121 times for the USA and started at the 2010 and 2014 World Cups. He is part-owner of USL Championship expansion team Memphis 901 FC and English non-league club Dagenham & Redbridge.

2. Montreal Impact owner Joey Saputo has stepped down as president and CEO to make room for Kevin Gilmore to run the club. Gilmore, 54, has worked for 25 years in sports, media and entertainment, serving as the chief operating officer for the Montreal Canadiens for five years (2011-16). He described overseeing a pro sports franchise as "a lifelong dream." At the end of the 2018 season, Saputo said the Impact has been losing an average of more than $8 million a year since entering MLS. Saputo's family launched the Impact in 1992.

3. Julia Ashley has snubbed her home-state Sky Blue FC to sign with Swedish club Linkopings FC. The University of North Carolina defender was taken with the No. 6 pick in 2019 NWSL College Draft. Ashley hails from Verona, New Jersey, but had expressed reluctance about joining the New Jersey team in light of negative media coverage about its working conditions. UCLA's Hailie Mace, taken by Sky Blue FC with the No. 2 pick, signed with Australia's Melbourne City for the rest of its winter campaign.
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