"There's always the next opportunity, and your whole career as an athlete, you're like, 'I don't want to regret anything. And I think when I get to a point to be able to choose myself, when I could step away ... I do feel I could step away and be like, 'It's not because Momma can't play. Momma can play. She has just adapted [her] priorities.' And I think that just comes with age and just I feel like I've been so blessed to have the career that I've had."
-- Julie Ertz, who will play for the U.S. women's national team for the last time on Thursday when it faces South Africa in a friendly at Cincinnati's TQL Stadium, on retiring from soccer at the age of 31 to now spend time, which she described as "irreplaceable," with her family and young son Madden. (ESPN)
In 1993, three years after Nelson Mandela's 27 years of incarceration ended, South Africa played its first women's national team game. Read the whole story
Messi and Jordi Alba came off in the first half of the 4-0 win over Toronto FC but their injuries aren't considered serious. Read the whole story
Four teams -- Orlando City, Philadelphia, Columbus and St. Louis City -- clinched berths in the 2023 playoffs on Wednesday. Read the whole story
• Sergino Dest became the first American to play in the UEFA Champions League for four teams when he started in PSV's 4-0 loss at Arsenal. It was a rough evening defensively for Dest on the left side of the backline. Malik Tillman, playing for his third team in three seasons, came on in the 66th minute, while Ricardo Pepi made his European debut as a 90th-minute sub. • Brenden Aaronson entered in the 66th minute for Union Berlin, which held on at Real Madrid before conceding a 94th-minute goal and losing 1-0.
The German champion prevailed, 4-3, after responding well to Man United's spirited comeback attempt in their UCL Group A opener. Read the whole story
The Seagulls are in an unprecedented position of strength after almost crashing out of the Football League 26 years ago. Read the whole story
The settlement followed overnight negotiations over player demands for further changes at the Spanish federation. Read the whole story
• Concacaf's World Cup 2023 finalists are back to work this week with many of them dipping into the women's college ranks for call-ups. For the Olympic qualifying playoffs, Jamaica called up Kameron Simmonds (Tennessee), Jody Brown (Florida State) and Liya Brooks (Washington State) while Canada brought in Jade Rose (Harvard) and Simi Awujo (USC). For 2024 W Gold Cup qualifying, Haiti has called up Lara Larco (Georgetown), Chloe Joseph (Oklahoma State), Meghane St. Cyr (Alabama A&M) and Milan Pierre-Jerome (George Mason), who recently scored a golazo from 44 yards against Fordham. The Grenadieres open against Costa Rica, which called in UCF freshman keeper Genesis Perez.
The book covers coaches, referees and fans, but also analyses of the multiple ways that players' mental health can be affected Read the whole story