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USWNT coaching search, women's college season kickoff, and more: Starting Lineup, August 17

by Jason Longshore

1- According to reports, Vlatko Andonovski has stepped down as the manager of the USWNT. The USSF has not commented on the reports yet. With the lack of success at major tournaments, it was inevitable that there would be a change in leadership of the team. My hope is that it doesn't become an idea that just a coaching change will get the program where in needs to be. In my opinion, the USSF needs to look at the overall program including player development in the same manner that the German federation did after their lack of success in the decade prior to hosting the 2006 World Cup. That was chronicled in Das Reboot, a great book from Raphael Honigstein. Not sure what this one will be called, but the federation has to look at everything from top to bottom in the program because losses in major tournaments have not been purely down to coaching decisions.

2- I had the chance last week to pick the brain of someone in the field on the growth of the women's game and the issues that the USWNT is facing going forward. Check out my conversation with Inspired XI's Gabriel Chapman on this Atlanta Soccer Tonight special:

3- The state of Georgia's D1 women's college soccer programs kick their seasons off tonight. In Atlanta, Georgia State will be hosting South Carolina State at the GSU Soccer Complex at 7pm. Mercer, picked to finish third in the Southern Conference, will be at home in Macon hosting Evansville. The Kennesaw State Owls were picked to finish fourth in the ASUN, they will start their season tonight at 5pm in Johnson City, Tennessee as they face East Tennessee State. Last year's Sun Belt regular season champions, Georgia Southern, will head to Alabama to face UAB tonight at 8pm. The Georgia Bulldogs are making the longest trip of anyone tonight, starting their season against the defending national champions UCLA in Los Angeles. Kickoff is at 10pm tonight, you can watch the match on the Pac-12 Network.

4- Australia's semifinal against England yesterday was watched by 41% of the population in Australia, making it the most watched event in Australian television history. The Matildas came up short in the match, falling 3-1 to the Lionesses, but will have one more opportunity to capture the hearts of the nation as they'll play Sweden in the third place match on Saturday.

5- Lionel Messi made the 3-man shortlist for player of the season for 2022-23 in Europe as announced by UEFA today. The winner will be announced at the Champions League draw on August 31. Sandwiched around winning the World Cup in December and being named the player of the tournament, Messi scored 30 goals and had 21 assists in 47 games for PSG in all competitions. He is competing against Manchester City teammates Erling Haaland and Kevin de Bruyne for the award.

6- Speaking of Manchester City, they added another trophy yesterday as they won the UEFA Super Cup over Sevilla in a penalty shootout. Youssef En-Nesyri's header gave the Europa League champions the lead in the 25th minute, Cole Palmer leveled the match in the 63rd minute for City. Pep Guardiola claimed his 15th trophy for Manchester City since he took over in 2016 and joined Carlo Ancelotti as the only managers to win the Super Cup four times.

7- The Seattle Sounders have added three new investors: the families of Adam Selipsky, CEO of Amazon Web Services; Rick Cantu, CEO and co-founder of Redapt, Inc.; and Jay Stein, president of Sand Capital and president of Sandor, a nationwide real estate development company. This is part of owner Adrian Hanauer six-year strategic plan to fuel growth of the club as it celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the launch of the Sounders brand next year.

8- The Serie A season kicks off this weekend and there will be some extra eyeballs on AC Milan from the United States as they've added both Christian Pulisic and Yunus Musah in their pursuit of reclaiming the league title. They finished fourth last year behind Napoli after winning the Scudetto the year before. The sale of star midfielder Sandro Tonali to Newcastle has helped fuel big-time spending to overhaul the squad. Is it enough? (Reuters)

9- The Bundesliga kicks off this weekend as well and Harry Kane could get his first start for Bayern on Friday against Werder Bremen. (AP)

10- On this date in Atlanta soccer history in 1969, Kaizer Motaung had one of the most productive days in front of goal of any Atlanta professional player. He scored all four goals in the Chiefs' win on the road against the Baltimore Bays at Memorial Stadium. It was the second match in the season that Motaung scored four goals.

11- For your song of the day, this is what topped the U.S. charts on the day that Motaung led the Chiefs to a rout in Baltimore.

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