Short takes

• The National Women’s Soccer League and A+E Networks announced an abrupt end to their partnership, leaving the NWSL temporarily without a national TV partner. The network-league partnership went deeper than usual. A+E owned part of the league, as well as its media and sponsorship arms, but the most visible part of the deal was a Game of the Week on the Lifetime channel. In a World Cup year, the league needs to move quickly to get back on TV, and to stay in the minds of fans and sponsors.

• The first round of the CONCACAF Champions League usually includes at least one MLS team that gets embarrassed by a team from a Central American country. This year’s unfortunate team was Toronto FC. The 2017 finalists went on the road against Panamanian champions Independiente and got comprehensively hammered 4-0. Since losing in the 2017 final, Toronto has been in a downward spiral. This result won’t help stop the problems.

• Reigning MLS champion Atlanta United didn’t have a much better time in the first round, either, losing 3-1 against Costa Rica side Herediano. Atlanta, though, will still feel like it has a chance to overturn a two-goal deficit at home, certainly a better chance than Toronto.