• A year ago, the Gophers soccer team lost only one Big Ten game — to Wisconsin, in overtime. This year’s conference schedule begins with the rematch (4 p.m. Saturday, no TV). Minnesota had a relatively successful nonconference run, winning four and drawing two of its seven matches. But despite being the defending conference champions, the Gophers were picked to finish fifth in the preseason Big Ten coaches’ poll.
• Minnesota businessman Elam Baer bought National Women’s Soccer League franchise FC Kansas City last offseason, but it’s been nothing but struggles for FCKC this year. Last week, on national television, FCKC drew just 963 fans, an embarrassment even though the club was already at the bottom of the attendance standings. Kansas City won’t make the playoffs, and some are starting to call for the franchise to be moved.
• Toronto FC has already clinched an MLS playoff spot, with six games to go. With three victories over the next few weeks, the Reds would finish the regular season with the most points in league history.