Hi, everyone! Hopefully you've recovered from the crazy holiday weekend just in time for a week that is featuring soccer every single day. There’s been no lull after the holiday, so here we go.
Former Lion Protecting Athletes’ Finances
Amobi Okugo, probably a name you haven't heard in quite a while, is starting something that could be truly life-changing for athletes. He’s started the financial-literacy blog called Frugal Athlete. The website is dedicated to helping athletes manage their financial situations through blog form.
Especially considering the relatively low salaries of many MLS players, this couldn't be more important. Too often, athletes are taken advantage of by investors or simply don’t have a lot of experience with a threshold of money that can be overwhelming.
Partnering with many athletes on their own experiences, Okugo hopes to inform athletes who otherwise don’t know what to do. One of my favorites aspects is the reliability of the site, notably a breakdown of the HBO show Ballers and the lessons that could be learned from the show.
Kaká Joins Copa90 to Show Off his Crossbar Skills and Give His World Cup Take
Kaká has still got it. You’ll just have to watch. But he also gives his take on the upcoming 2018 World Cup. I won't spoil it. But it’s good.
Earl Edwards Takes on the Globetrotters
The Harlem Globetrotters are world famous and are here in Orlando. So why not do some local recruitment? See if Earl Edwards Jr. has what it takes or if he should stick to his day job:
Nike Friendlies and the USMNT U-17s Kick Off Tonight
The Nike Internationals Friendlies kick off tomorrow in Bradenton, FL, and will showcase the USMNT facing off against England in a “revenge” style match as the Baby Yanks recently lost to the Three Lions in the U-20 World Cup.
Is MLS Making T&T Pay for USMNT Defeat?
We all know what happened. A loss to Trinidad & Tobago prevented the U.S. from qualifying for the 2018 World Cup. But are MLS teams factoring that into their roster decisions? Probably not, but that’s apparently what the Soca Warriors’ website folks think after some marginal MLS players didn’t have their options picked up by the likes of Atlanta United, New York City FC, Colorado Rapids, and the San Jose Earthquakes. Of course, some of them may still find their way back in the league next season. Joevin Jones, the best of those T&T players leaving, opted to jump to SV Darmstadt 98 in Germany rather than re-sign with the Seattle Sounders. For now, former Lion and current Loon Kevin Molino is the only Trinidadian MLS-based player.
Leg 2 of Eastern Conference Finals Kicks Off Tonight
Dont forget about the MLS Playoffs, which kick off after the Thanksgiving delay. The Columbus Crew travels to Toronto in a locked 0-0 aggregate. Watch on FS1 at 7:30 p.m. ET and root for the Crew to feature in the MLS Cup at home. #SaveTheCrew
- U.S. Soccer icon Michelle Akers gives her take on the current U.S. Soccer landscape, including the development of the game for both genders.
- If you haven't already, vote for Orlando Pride players Alex Morgan and Marta for Best Forward and Ali Krieger for Best Defender in CONCACAF.
- FIFA has released the official poster of the World Cup. It features a goalkeeper. I have plenty of issues with Russia, but this isn't one of them:
- The Florida Cup will feature a match via FOX 35 this January
- Our SB Nation friends recently had an interview with USSF Presidential candidate Kyle Martino. But the real question is: Will he actually be nominated at this point?
- Unranked Fordham University has unleashed havoc on the Division I NCAA Men’s Tournament. Beating powerhouses like Virginia and Duke on their way to the quarterfinals. Oh, and they had never won a tournament game before.
- FourFourTwo has started off its list for the Top 50 Women’s Soccer Players. Expect to see some Pride players as they get higher on the list.
- The Orlando City Foundation is running Purple Pops, a celebration of all that is purple featuring philharmonic orchestra and more.
- Forbes and Statista recently looked at the wage gap between the men’s and women’s leagues. It’s sad. Neymar’s contract alone dwarfs the field.
So, farewell for a little bit! I’m off to Ireland, Copenhagen, and London and will be back soon enough. But despite my vacation, I'm taking the time out to give. If you didn't know, one of the greatest men in American soccer, Tony DiCicco, passed away this year. I had many opportunities with Tony as not only was I student of his for many years as a goalkeeper but also as a coach. If you didn't participate in #GivingTuesday I urge you to check out the United Soccer Coaches’ newest fund in honor of a man who was constantly giving himself to the soccer community.
ICYMI, @UnitedCoaches launched Tony DiCicco Fund today. #GivingTuesday has gotten crazy with causes coming at you from all angles. But sometime between now and the end of the year, when you think of my father, please consider making a donation. Bless. https://t.co/S3RngOkdBX pic.twitter.com/wWi3SLBbDX— Anthony DiCicco (@DiCiccoMethod) November 28, 2017