• It’s opening weekend for Gophers soccer after a successful preseason in which Minnesota defeated Creighton 1-0 and Kansas State 2-0. Improving on last year’s Big Ten title-winning season won’t be easy. The Gophers’ goal has to be a repeat title, plus an NCAA tournament run.
• Forbes published its annual list of MLS franchise valuations this week, with the Los Angeles Galaxy taking the top spot, at $315 million based on 2016 financial information. The Columbus Crew brought up the rear at $130 million. Minnesota United, which joined MLS this season, was not part of the rankings. With 13 clubs worth more than $200 million, and recent expansion teams NYC and Orlando in the top five, it’s no wonder that potential expansion ownership groups are lining up to throw money at MLS.
• Champions League fans are about to get the short end of the pay-TV stick. Turner Sports announced that when it starts televising games in 2018-19, it will relegate almost all of the games to a new pay-streaming service, with few broadcast on cable. That’s unlike Fox, the current broadcaster, which makes many more games available on TV or online. It’s part of the way sports seems to be headed these days — find something people really like, then squeeze them for a few extra dollars to keep it.