February 11 US Paper Talk: COVID-19 helped FC Cincinnati’s pursuit of Brenner

General manager Gerard Nijkaamp says pandemic uncertainty was a major factor in trade coup; Houston Dynamo re-sign Maynor Figueroa.

SOCCER: FC Cincinnati general manager Gerard Nijkaamp said the COVID-19-depressed market made it easier for his club to sign Brenner.

FC Cincinnati made Brenner the third most expensive signing in MLS history when they picked him up from Sao Paulo, beating off competition from top European sides including ArsenalJuventus and AC Milan. (The Athletic)

SOCCER: Atlanta United are set to complete the signing of 19-year-old Venezuelan winger Darwin Matheus from Venezuelan Primera Division side Zamora FC. (Dirty South Soccer)

SOCCER: Houston's bid committee believes the city's two international airports will help swing their bid to be one of the United States' ten host cities for the 2026 World Cup. There are currently 17 US cities still in the bidding process with FIFA set to make their decision in the final quarter of 2021. (Houston Chronicle)

SOCCER: Houston Dynamo have re-signed veteran former Wigan Athletic defender Maynor Figueroa. The Honduran led the club for blocks, clearances and interceptions last season. (Houston Chronicle)

SOCCER: Vancouver Whitecaps are preparing to kick off the 2021 MLS season in Sandy, Utah, home of Real Salt Lake. (The Province)

SOCCER: Gareth Bale's fitness levels are so poor he would even struggle to make his mark in the MLS, according to former Australia goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer. (Optus Sport)

Gareth Bale's fitness has been called into question by Mark Schwarzer
Gareth Bale's fitness has been called into question by Mark Schwarzer

FOOTBALL: Washington Football Team have reached confidential settlements with the cheerleaders who appeared in lewd videos that team employees secretly produced. The videos were outtakes from the 2008 and 2010 swimsuit calendar shoots. (Washington Post)

MOTOR RACING: Pitbull, co-owner of NASCAR Cup Series team Trackhouse Racing, has revealed he became hooked on NASCAR after watching the 1990 Tom Cruise film Days of Thunder. (Various)

Pitbull, a big Days of Thunder fan
Pitbull, a big Days of Thunder fan

BASKETBALL: Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has been forced into an embarrassing U-turn by the NBA and will now allow the national anthem to be played before home games. (AP)

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