Thursday morning: What's in the news ...

1. MLS sponsor Bodyarmor has signed partnerships with 19 MLS clubs: 18 current teams plus Austin FC, which will begin play in 2021. The announcement was made at an MLS 25th anniversary event at LAFC’s Banc of California Stadium with Kobe Bryant, a Bodyarmor investor, and MLS players. Bodyarmor was announced in September 2019 as the official sports drink of MLS in the United States, starting in January 2020, in the largest multi-year partnership in the company's history.

2. The Tampa Bay Rowdies launched a U-23 team that will join USL League Two for the 2020 season and compete in the Southeast Division. The team will play all its home matches at Al Lang Stadium. The Rowdies are also starting a women's team in the WPSL (run in association with Pinellas County United SC), and the Tampa Bay United Rowdies Development Academy (run in association with Tampa Bay United).

3. Sacramento Republic FC made 17-year-olds Mario Penagos and Hayden Sargis its first academy players it has signed to pro contracts since it was awarded an MLS team to begin in 2022. Sac Republic had three players from its academy sign with German teams last summer after they turned 18: Quincy Butler (Hoffenheim), Roberto Hategan (Nuremberg) and Travian Sousa (Hamburg).
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