I don't know about you, but at this time of year, the daily Lion Links are like my advent calendar for all things soccer. With only five more sleeps until Santa comes, let's get started with something better than six geese-a-layin'.
Lewis Neal Happy to Be Sticking Around
As The Mane Land reported on Thursday, Lewis Neal has been re-signed with Orlando City in a new "extended role," as a player with OCB and assistant coach with the academy program. MLSLive.com has an interview with Neal to get his take on this new development. Simon Veness even throws in a cheeky fun fact: Neal will have made three debuts for three different teams, in the same city, in six years.
Miami Has Big Plans for Its New Stadium
Although no ground has been broken, and no plans have even been designed, Miami Beckham United and the Mayor of Miami hosted a town hall forum to tell Overtown residents just how great the 25,000-seat stadium is going to be...eventually. The meeting was designed to get input from residents on the eventual construction. The stadium plans will include grass and a partial roof, so that's a start, right?
Matt Miazga Wins 2015 U.S. Soccer Young Player of the Year
On the heels of U.S. Soccer's announcement that Michael Bradley was named 2015 U.S. Men's Player of the Year, New York Red Bulls' defender Matt Miazga was deservingly awarded as the 2015 U.S. Soccer Young Player of the Year. 2015 was Miazga's third professional year, and one in which he played in the U-20 World Cup last summer and earned his first senior USMNT cap in the World Cup qualifying match against St. Vincent and the Grenadines in November. With news that the 20-year old is looking to make a move to Europe, be sure to expect many more headlines on this kid.
Coaches Go, Fans Protest
I doubt we have ever been able to squeeze Ian Fuller and Jose Mourinho into the same sentence, so I'm going to make the most out of this. Both Chelsea and Orlando City fans took to their Sharpies and poster board this week to protest the departure of their beloved coaches, although the long-overdue firing of Jose Mourinho from Chelsea came as far less of a surprise than the departure of Lions' assistant coach Ian Fuller. Fuller and Orlando City are parting ways as the club chose not to renew his contract. In any case, this is the way of soccer, as Chelsea's new replacement won his first match, and speculation continues on where Mourinho will go next.
Reading the Tea Leaves - Ronaldo to NYC?
An interesting little story popped up that CR7 is investing in a hotel chain and will be opening four hotels. The first will be built in Funchal, Madeira, the Portuguese island where he was born and houses his trophy museum. The other three are set for Lisbon, where he began his career, Madrid, where he plays now... and New York City. Anyone want to read something into this, or is just me?
What do you think? Let us know in the poll below!
Enjoy your Sunday, folks.