Happy Wednesday, Mane Landers! Over the course of the past few days around my house, it's been all about getting Christmas lights up, decorating the tree, and otherwise getting the house ready for the upcoming holidays. Which, of course, means that the kids have been knocking decorations off the tree, hiding random nativity pieces, and pointing out my inadequacies with respect to alignment.
So, with that in mind, I compiled these links with the hope that the insightful information herein will hold their attention long enough for me to finish putting up the yard decorations.
Now I just need to teach them how to read.
King Cyle of Canada
In one of the more anticipated ballots of the year, Canada has revealed the nominees for the greatest soccer player from the Great White North, and our beloved Cyle Larin is nominated for both the top Men's National Team player and the top U-20 player. While I don't claim to be an expert on the exploits of such luminaries as Atiba Hutchinson or Fraser Aird, I've got two loonies on Larin coming home with some hardware. Which I guess is just one toonie.
Jasmyne Spencer Scores!
On loan to FC Sydney, Orlando Pride forward Jasmyne Spencer (who sports a fantastic twitter handle) scores her first goal of the season against Adelaide United, after going scoreless in her first five games. It was the only goal of the game and Sydney came away with a 1-0 victory. While Spencer gets credit for the cool finish, a nod has to go to Portland Thorns keeper Michelle Betos for the assist. Check out the goal below.
Orlando City Owner Sees Big Future for MLS
Flavio Augusto da Silva, owner of Orlando City, believes that the future is bright for MLS as he projects television revenues to top $6 billion in the next seven years. This would position the league to compete with other major soccer leagues for the world's top talent. While the prospect of the league competing against the elite is an exciting proposition, I'm sure we can all agree that the big question will be how the revenues are shared among the blogging community. No? Ok, let's move on.
Orlando City Youth Teams Have Strong Showing
While the rest of us were fattening up with turkey and stuffing, the Orlando City U-14 and U-11 teams were competing in tournaments at Disney. The U-11 team won its tournament by taking five straight against some of the nation's top teams. The U-14 team came in second in an international tournament after drawing with Borussia Dortmund and Arsenal, before defeating Baltimore Celtic Darby. Rumors that Orlando City teams received an unfair advantage due to "good ol' home cookin'" have not been verified.
Chinese Investors Buy Share of City Football Group
A group of Chinese investors purchased a 13% share of City Football Group, the parent company that owns Manchester City, NYCFC, and A-League team Melbourne City. While I could make some silly joke here about the exchange rate of under-performing soccer players, I'm kind of blown away by the price tag. The investors paid $400 million for a 13% stake, which puts the overall value of CFG at a hair over $3 billion. Just five months ago, Forbes valued Manchester City at about $1.4 billion. A couple of years earlier, NYCFC paid $100 million to enter MLS. So, either we're all undervaluing Australian soccer, or the expected growth of the sport is simply astronomical. With all due respect to the Aussies, I'm betting on the latter.
The Inspiring Story of Charlie Davies
The USA Today gives us a detailed look into the story of Charlie Davies. I'm sure we're all aware of his amazing comeback from a nearly fatal car accident in 2009, but the story preceding that tragedy is equally inspiring. Davies details the challenges he and his brother faced while growing up in a house where his father struggled with addiction and his mother with mental illness. I encourage you all to read to the end, however, where we learn that the family has repaired its relationships and is now a tightly knit group. Plus the quote from his father about Davies possibly having children is hilarious.
That will do it for today's links. Time to get back to fitting the Kaká jersey on the inflatable snowman.