Good morning, Mane Land. As we venture further into November I can’t help but start to feel holiday cheer creep into my life, although the temperature here most definitely makes me feel otherwise. With that being said, I’m in the mood for giving, so today I’m here to give you a fresh dose of Lion Links!
MLS Moving Away from Leaning on Aging Legends Like Kaká?
Two legends are leaving Major League Soccer this year, Orlando City’s Kaká, and New York City FC’s Andrea Pirlo. ESPN.com has reported that maybe with these two leaving the league, and calling it a career (at least for Pirlo), maybe MLS will be done taking a risk on these aging stars. Personally I would have to agree with that notion, Our league has gotten to the point that we no longer need aging veterans who were a shell of their former selves out on the pitch to bring in fans. Orlando has gone long spells without Kaká, and fans still came to games, and the team actually performed better. Atlanta United took the league by storm this year, and they didn’t even bring in a single player that fit this mold that the league had become accustomed to. I think it’s whats best for the league, get the players ready when they are young, rather than overpay for them past their prime.
Yoshi Gets Ready for a Clash with New Zealand
A publication out of New Zealand is trying the let the fans know what to expect when New Zealand takes on Peru in a World Cup qualifying playoff on Saturday. Highlighting five Peruvian players to watch was none other than Orlando City’s own Yoshi Yotun, who was singled out as being the ‘heart’ of the team. He was also described as a ‘lithium battery’ because he doesn’t quit or slow down for anything. Glad this writer caught a glimpse of what Yoshi brings to the table. Dude has skills, and we hope he represents Orlando well in New Zealand this weekend.
The Landlord Honored
Earl Edwards Jr. has just been named to the USL All-League Second Team. Great news for The Landlord after an incredibly productive season with Orlando City B. After years backing Orlando City goalkeepers, it is great to see that Edwards Jr. was given a chance to shine, and lived up to and exceeded some expectations. Nine clean sheets will do that for sure. The full write-up can be found here.
Top 5 Moments for the Lions
As other teams push onward through the playoffs, we get to sit here and recollect on the year that was. And that’s just what Austin David did over at OrlandoCitySC.com! Take a look in here and see his recap of the top five moments for the Lions this past year. Thrashing New England, stoppage time stunners, and opening our new home all made the cut, but where on the list do they land? You’ll have to click to find out.
Big #SaveTheCrew News
As you all have heard by now, Anthony Precourt, owner of the Columbus Crew, has made it known that he has intentions of relocating the club to Austin, TX. SB Nation got a hold of some serious info that tells a different story than the one that Precourt keeps spewing. Precourt has gone on and on about the club’s financial struggles, however, through publicly available documents and records, they were able to get down to the nitty gritty and find out that the club really isn’t struggling that badly. In fact, it seems as though all of what is happening in Columbus right now may be a ploy for Precourt to try and get a better stadium deal worked out. Threatening to move over that? Pretty scummy if you ask me.
Landon Donovan No Longer Running for President (of U.S. Soccer)
In relatively shocking news, Landon Donovan is no longer intending to run for the post of president of U.S. Soccer in February. Jeff Carlisle reported late last night that the former LA Galaxy and USMNT attacker is withdrawing his name from consideration, stating that he wants to help improve the game at all levels, not just on the political side. This news comes less than a month after reports were stating that Donovan wanted the position. While I believe Donovan would have been a great selection who had a lot of pull, there are still many names out there who would be great for the sport in our country. I’m still all in on Kyle Martino, to be completely honest. I think he can help rejuvenate the system here from the ground up.
- If you didn’t know, former Premier League official Howard Webb is working with the Professional Referee Organization (PRO) and oversaw the launch of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) program. He thinks the roll out went well. We’re not so sure we agree with you there, Howard.
- FourFourTwo is counting down the best USMNT stars of tomorrow. Numbers 20-11 have been announced already and can be seen here. The top 10 will come out today and tomorrow, so make sure to check out where your favorites land!
- MLS announced its Rookie of the Year. This year the accolade goes to Julian Gressel from Atlanta United. Just a reminder, Cyle Larin took home the award two seasons ago.
- In local soccer news, UCF attacker Matias Pyysalo won the American Athletic Conference’s Offensive Player of the Year for the second season in a row. Congrats Matias, we look forward to seeing you in MLS soon.
Matias - The Finnish Finisher - is the back ✌️ back @American_MSoc Offensive Player of the Year— UCF Men's Soccer (@UCF_MSoccer) November 8, 2017
✔️ 7⃣ of 1⃣2⃣goals in league play
✔️ league-best 2⃣9⃣ points
✔️ ✌️ game-winning goalshttps://t.co/gGoYSoLPTL#ChargeOn pic.twitter.com/JsxQO6dIcR
- Angels on Parade, SB Nation’s blog covering LAFC, pointed out an issue with the U.S. Soccer presidential election. No women are running. This poses an issue as the U.S. women are severely underrepresented. What are your thoughts?
- England legend Alan Shearer revealed some disheartening news: heading the ball throughout his career may be leading to the development of dementia. Very sad news to hear, but what can be done to combat this in future generations? Will FIFA do anything to help? Only time will tell.
- Goal has put out their Best XI under the age of 21 in MLS from this past season. No Lions made the cut, however, the future may be very very bright for Real Salt Lake if they can hang on to their young talent.
- Something that is relatively unsurprising, LA says they want an NWSL team. Honestly, what’s more shocking is that they don’t have one already. We’re in full support of this to be honest, and a team in LA will likely demand big star power, which can only benefit the league.
That’s all for today’s Lion Links, and in some somber news, this will be my last post on The Mane Land for now. I have some personal stuff I need to work through right now and that is forcing me to take a step back. I want to thank Michael for giving me the opportunity to join the team, all the amazing writers here who have been incredibly helpful, and all of our incredible readers. Thank you all so much. I hope that you have enjoyed my writing, and, if things turn around for me, that you will welcome me back. I’m not too good at goodbyes, so I’ll just say I hope to be back soon, and I will leave you with one last bad dad joke.
If April showers bring May flowers, what do May flowers bring?— thankful dad jokes (@dadtellsjokes) November 8, 2017
(long pause for drama)..............Pilgrims