The playoffs kick off with the semifinals on Sunday: defending champion North Carolina Courage vs. Reign FC and Chicago vs. Portland. Read the whole story
"If someone shows up with a flat mentality, I'll kick their ass. You should've been prepared from the time our first game against New England ended. Whoever messes with my job, I'll kick them.
Nobody plays with my money or my family. I'm here to win. I'm here to demonstrate who we are. No one can relax. You can relax after Nov. 14."
-- Atlanta United star Josef Martinez on whether the MLS defending champions have the potential to come out flat on Saturday against the New England Revolution in their Round One game. (The Athletic)
Total global audience (watched 1+ minutes)
Russia 2018: 3.572 billion. France 2019: 1.12 billion.
Global in-home TV audience (watched 1+ minutes)
Russia 2018: 3.262 billion (+2%). France 2019: 993.5 million (+30%).
Digital/out-of-home only audience (watched 1+ minutes)
Russia 2018: 309.7 million. France 2019: 123.9 million.
Average live audience (per game)
Russia 2018: 191 million (+2.1%). France 2019: 17.3 million (+106%).
Average live audience (final)
Russia 2018: 516.6 million (-5.1%). France 2019: 82.2 million (+56%).
Average live audience (group stage)
Russia 2018: 162 million (+3.8%). France 2019: 11.9 million (+124%).
FIFA summary: Russia 2018 | France 2019
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1. MLS reinstated LAFC forward Adama Diomande for the 2019 playoffs. The Norwegian international voluntarily entered MLS's Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health
program on Sept. 20 and was assessed by doctors. He has been cleared to resume all team activities, including competition. The Los Angeles Times reported that Diomande, who has eight
goals and seven assists in 25 appearances in 2019, entered the program to deal with "personal issues" and had no health problems.
2. Facebook is partnering with Man v. Food star Adam Richman on a soccer-related series. Matchday Meals is one of 23 new shows it is launching with European digital publishers. The weekly show explores in eight-minute segments top places to eat near soccer stadiums around the world. It is one of three shows produced by English-based soccer website Copa90 for Facebook. The others: The Edge, an educational and nutritional format starring soccer freestyler Lisa Freestyle, and Sunday Football Roast, in which comedians roast each other about their favorite teams.
3. The Portland Thorns signed what is believed to be the first partnership with a CBD brand, announcing an agreement with Social CBD, which has a shelf presence at over 10,000 retail locations. Its sports-related products include Muscle Rub and Foot Renewal Cream.
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