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Becky Sauerbrunn says USWNT, U.S. Soccer 'far apart' on CBA negotiations

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Don't expect a deal to come easily.

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The United States women's national team has finished their 2016 schedule, and is now looking ahead to next year. What next year holds is anyone's guess -- the team and U.S. Soccer do not have a collective bargaining agreement. The memorandum of understanding they signed amending and extending the previous CBA expires on Dec. 31, and the two sides don't sound like they're particularly close to a new deal.

Here's USWNT star Becky Sauerbrunn, in a piece at SI by Alexander Abnos.

"We're far apart, but I think we can get to an agreement that both sides can feel good about ... The team will vote on it. It could be anything from operating under a memorandum of understanding until a new deal comes up, or if we have to go on strike, that's a conversation that we're going to have to have. Or, who knows, maybe U.S. Soccer could lock us out! You never really know what's going to happen, so we're preparing for all those different realities."

Between the exodus of international NWSL stars to Europe and Alex Morgan considering an offer from Lyon, players don't seem particularly confident that a deal is going to get done quickly.

While there could be a strike or lockout starting on Jan. 1, that doesn't necessarily mean there will be a meaningful work stoppage. The USWNT's first big matches of 2017 would likely be the SheBelieves Cup in March, while the NWSL season starts in April.

Goal of the day

This volley by Alejandro Camargo of Universidad de Concepcion in Chile. (r/soccer)

In the news

Sergio Aguero has been handed a four-match ban, while Fernandinho was given a three-game suspension for their roles in a scuffle with Chelsea. (NBC's Pro Soccer Talk)

Chelsea and Cesc Fabregas could still be charged for the incident. (ESPN FC)

Jose Mourinho's year is getting worse. A British MP wants him investigated for potential tax evasion. (Guardian)

A St. Louis ownership group is getting closer to landing an MLS team. (MLS)

Bayer Leverkusen's Kevin Kampl will be out through the winter break. (Bild)

Real Madrid has all of their previously injured stars, save for Gareth Bale, back in training. (Marca)

The injury news is not good for Barcelona. They might be without Neymar and Gerard Pique this week. (Sport)

Senad Lulic has admitted he used a racist insult towards Antonio Rüdiger. (Football Italia)

Hector Bellerin, Per Mertesacker and Olivier Giroud are back in Arsenal training. (Mirror)

Sepp Blatter lost his appeal against his FIFA ban. (Telegraph)

You should be reading

Lee Scott on how Joshua Kimmich plays and what makes him great. (These Football Times)

Barney Ronay on Ryan Fraser and Bournemouth's incredible comeback against Liverpool. (Guardian)

Aanu Adeoye on Nigeria's 1996 men's soccer Olympic gold medalists and what they meant to the country. (The Set Pieces)

What happened this weekend

Sergio Ramos grabbed a late equalizer for Madrid in El Clásico.

Here's a recap of the Premier League action, focused on Diego Costa and Alexis Sanchez's feats.

Oh, Marouane Fellaini :( (The Busby Babe)

The Rome derby was a mess. (Chiesa di Totti)

Bayern Munich won to stay within one game of RB Leipzig. (Bavarian Football Works)

What to watch on Monday (click for listings, all times ET)

EPL: Middlesbrough vs. Hull (3 p.m. ET) -- Because the relegation battle is fun this year.

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