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Investors seek NWSL or USL Super League team for Denver

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A Denver-based investor and community group is attempting to bring a women’s professional soccer team to the Mile High City.

The group, dubbing itself For Denver FC, is being spearheaded by former NWSL player and Colorado native Jordan Angeli, Parsyl Insurance CEO Ben Hubbard and experienced sports executive Tom Dunmore.

Other businesses and investors from the Denver area are augmenting the group.

For Denver FC hasn’t made its intentions known in terms of whether it will aim for an NWSL team or a franchise in the USL Super League, the latter of which will begin play in 2024.

But the primary goal is to bring a professional women’s team to the Front Range.

The group is hoping to submit an application to one of those leagues by the end of this year, with the aim of beginning play in 2026.

“As a former professional player and Lakewood product, I grew up dreaming of one day playing professional soccer at home in Colorado,” said Angeli.

“Our state consistently produces some of the best women’s soccer talent in the world. We can create a club that thrives from this pipeline and offers some of the best players in the world the opportunity to play in their home state in front of a devoted fan base and passionate women’s soccer community.”

The For Denver FC name is a placeholder at this point in time, though the FC is intended to mean “For Colorado.”

Once the team joins a league, community input will help guide the team’s eventual name and identity.

“This is an idea whose time has come,” said Hubbard. “This is about soccer, but so much more. We’re excited to engage fans, families, civic leaders and investors in laying the foundation for a community asset that will be a powerful force for good in Denver and beyond.”

Denver FC will host viewing parties during the upcoming Women’s World Cup.

The group is also engaging in activities to secure stadium and training facility sites and is seeking to attract additional investors for an expansion bid later this year to one of the two division one professional soccer leagues.

The group is attempting to ride the wave of increased investment in women’s soccer.

The latest NWSL expansion team, Bay FC, plans to invest $125 million with the help of primary investors Sixth Street Partners.

The USL Super League announced its initial list of eight markets in May, with another five poised to join if their stadium projects come to fruition.

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European Leagues

Europa League leading scorers ahead of semi-final fixtures

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Marseille’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is the leading scorer in this season’s UEFA Europa League ahead of the semi-final fixtures in May

Marseille’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is the leading scorer in this season’s UEFA Europa League ahead of the semi-final fixtures in May.

The former Arsenal captain is ahead of Roma’s Romelu Lukaku and Brighton’s João Pedro on the goal chart.

The Gabonese has ten goals to his name so far.

UEFA Europa League top scorers ahead of semi-final fixtures:

10 goals – Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Marseille)

7 goals – Romelu Lukaku (Roma)

6 goals – João Pedro (Brighton)

5 goals – Victor Boniface (Leverkusen), Michael Gregoritsch (Freiburg), Viktor Gyökeres (Sporting CP), Fotis Ioannidis (Panathinaikos), Juninho (Qarabağ), Mohammed Kudus (West Ham), Darwin Núñez (Liverpool), Mohamed Salah (Liverpool), Gianluca Scamacca (Atalanta) and Patrik Schick (Leverkusen).

Meanwhile, Marseille will face Atalanta in the semi-final stage, while Bayer Leverkusen will tackle AS Roma.

 

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Liverpool defeat Atalanta 1-0 but crash out of Europa League on aggregate

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Liverpool were knocked out of the Europa League by Atalanta with the Italian side reaching the semi-finals 3-1 on aggregate on Thursday.

Liverpool were knocked out of the Europa League by Atalanta with the Italian side reaching the semi-finals 3-1 on aggregate on Thursday.

Atalanta are in the last four of a European competition for the first time since 1988, despite Mohamed Salah’s early penalty giving Liverpool a 1-0 second leg win, thanks to their three-goal lead established in the quarter-final first leg at Anfield last week.

In what is becoming a sobering climax to the season, Liverpool have won just three of their last nine games in all competitions and again looked tired after already having played 52 games this campaign.

Jurgen Klopp may well only have the League Cup to show for his final season on Merseyside as the German’s team have been eliminated from the FA Cup and Europa League and trail Manchester City in the Premier League title race.

Gian Piero Gasperini called Thursday’s match probably the most important Atalanta had ever played and his players were hailed as heroes at the final whistle by a pulsating crowd at the Gewiss Stadium in Bergamo.

Fireworks were shot into the air from behind the stands while in the ground supporters bounced and roared at a huge victory for their team against giants of European football.

Atalanta last reached the semi-finals of a European competition in 1988 when they were knocked out of the old Cup Winners’ Cup by Mechelen.

Atalanta were then a Serie B team but the future is increasingly bright for a historically small, provincial club which has been punching well above its weight ever since Gasperini took charge in 2016.

Reaching the last four even trumps their run to 2020 Champions League quarter-finals, where they were desperately unlucky to lose to Paris Saint-Germain.

That run came at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, as Bergamo became the epicentre of a deadly global health crisis.

And Atalanta still have the opportunity to crown Gasperini’s reign with the club’s first major trophy since the Italian Cup in 1963.

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Bayer Leverkusen qualify for Europa League semis after edging West Ham

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Newly-crowned Bundesliga champions Bayer Leverkusen reached the Europa League semi-finals on Thursday and stretched their undefeated

Newly-crowned Bundesliga champions Bayer Leverkusen reached the Europa League semi-finals on Thursday and stretched their undefeated run in all competitions this season to 44 matches.

The German side drew 1-1 at West Ham in the second leg of their quarter-final tie and went through 3-1 on aggregate.

Michail Antonio put West Ham ahead on 13 minutes before Jeremie Frimpong levelled in the 89th minute for Xabi Alonso’s side.

Bayer Leverkusen will face Roma for a place in the final.

“I think we felt it in the first half, for me, it was a typical English crowd. They were pushing West Ham unbelievably. We were lucky in the first half if we’re honest,” Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Granit Xhaka told TNT Sports.

“It was a different phase in the second half, we controlled the game. We are happy we got through.

“We competed much more. If you see over 180 minutes, the better team go through.”

Last weekend, Bayer Leverkusen won the Bundesliga for the first time, ending Bayern Munich’s 11-year grip on the title.

They remain in contention for a treble trophy haul this season as they also face second-division Kaiserslautern in the German Cup final on May 25.

 

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