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NWSL Challenge Cup sets viewing record, Africa Cup of Nations rescheduled, and more: Freedom Kicks for July 1, 2020

Happy Bobby Bonilla Day!

2020 NWSL Challenge Cup - Day 2 Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images

Happy Wednesday, and welcome to July. It’s Bobby Bonilla Day for baseball fans, and a happy Canada Day to our neighbors to the north. May you enjoy your day.

To start, the NWSL Challenge Cup opener between the Portland Thorns FC and North Carolina Courage set a viewing record. It was the most watched soccer game in America last week, and it was the most watched NWSL match ever.

Congrats to the league. Hopefully the numbers are ticking up on CBS All Access as well.

Africa Cup of Nations: Men’s competition moved to 2022, women’s tournament cancelled - BBC

The Africa Cup of Nations, originally set for January 2021, will now be in 2022 so that the region can have more time to do World Cup qualifying. The women’s edition of the tournament was canceled completely.

Before their match against Sky Blue FC, OL Reign FC released a powerful video in support of Black Lives Matter:

They drew Sky Blue FC 0-0, and in the early match, the Houston Dash drew Utah Royals FC 3-3, though Rachel Daly of the Dash was robbed of what would have been the game-winning goal.

USL’s Stewart: Lynn Family Stadium’s Opening ‘Hugely Significant’ - USL

This is a bad idea to have fans in the stands next weekend in a state where coronavirus cases are going up, but Louisville City will debut their new stadium on national TV with up to 50% capacity.

Major League Soccer COVID-19 Testing Update - MLS

4 more players inside the MLS is Back bubble have tested positive for COVID-19. Also, while in quarantine, players who enter the bubble will have these nice meals waiting for them:

Lionel Messi reaches 700-goal milestone for Barcelona and Argentina - ESPNFC

Lionel Messi has reached the 700 goal mark for club and country, scoring for Barcelona against Atlético Madrid in a 2-2 draw. His 630 goals for club combined with 70 for Argentina give him the hallowed mark.

Jeremy Ebobisse, Justin Morrow: Black Players Coalition has entire MLS is Back Tournament to make a statement - MLS

The Black Players Coalition of MLS is making a lot of noise, and they’re continuing to call attention to the inequality facing black players in the game today. Jeremy Ebobisse and Justin Morrow view the upcoming MLS is Back tournament as a platform they can use to bring attention to their cause and call for change.

That’s it for today. Stay safe in these streets.