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Lion Links: 10/9/18

Marta up for Women’s Ballon d’Or, the Earthquakes hire a head coach, a new(ish) USL team announced, and more.

Soccer: Tournament of Nations - Women’s Soccer-Brazil at Japan Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Tuesday, Mane Landers. Another game, another rough outing for Orlando City this past weekend. I would feign surprise and disappointment, but it’s easier to just shed a single manly tear. Let’s get to these links.

Marta Nominated For Ballon d’Or

The winner of the first ever Women’s Ballon d’Or will be announced in early December and the Orlando Pride’s Marta is one of the nominees. Only a few weeks removed from being named the FIFA Women’s Player of the year, Marta may very well be back on the award circuit in a few short months. She is one of 15 finalists for the award, and will be facing off against a handful of NWSL players who have also been nominated. According to France Football, the award will be given after considering individual and collective performances for club and country, player class, and the player’s career. Congratulations on the nomination!

Earthquakes Hire Almeyda

The San Jose Earthquakes have hired Matias Almeyda as the team’s new head coach. In the midst of an abysmal season, the club decided to fire Mikael Stahre and appoint Steve Ralston as interim head coach. Ralston will finish coaching the final two matches of the 2018 season, after which Almeyda — former Chivas de Guadalajara manager — will take the reins. Almeyda led Chivas to five trophies in three years, including the Concacaf Champions League, and also has many years of experience as a player. While only time will truly tell, the hire seems to be a good one considering Almeyda’s impressive time in charge of Chivas. Best of luck to him and the Earthquakes going into next season.

USL Announces New Team...Sort Of

Penn FC has announced that it will join USL League One in 2020 after it ceases operation for the 2019 season to pursue a new stadium. The team will also vacate its current stadium by the end of the year. USL President Jake Edwards stated that the club’s lack of a serviceable stadium is a problem that can no longer be ignored as it creates problems with scheduling and creating a good match day experience. Taking a year off is not unheard of when it comes to teams in the lower divisions, à la Orlando City B. If the Lions’ own USL League One side can come back and be successful after a one-season hiatus, then that will surely give Penn FC fans hope that their team can do the same.

Mexican Youngsters Want Martino

Hirving Lozano and Erick Gutierrez have both gone on the record saying they would like Tata Martino as the next manager of the Mexican National Team. In the wake of Juan Carlos Osorio’s decision to leave the job after the end of the 2018 World Cup, Martino has been linked to the vacant position. Lozano has said that he thinks “...he’s a great manager and hopefully he comes” while Gutierrez offered a similar sentiment. Martino doesn’t seem to have any interest in commenting on the situation, saying on Saturday that he’ll talk about it when he has something to say. Mexican fans would be wise not to get their hopes up too much though, Martino has also been linked to the currently vacant Argentina and Colombia jobs.

Free Kicks
  • Christian Pulisic is on the shortlist for the under-21 version of the Ballon d’Or award, even though Kylian Mbappe will almost certainly win it.
  • Jose Mourinho is facing an FA investigation for saying some bad words over the weekend.
  • Lionel Messi signed a Barcelona fan’s Messi back tattoo, and the man will supposedly have the Argentinian’s John Hancock inked into his back where Messi put it.

That’s all for me today. If you happen to be in an area of Florida or the southeastern U.S. that may be affected by Hurricane Michael, then please be smart as we are at Mane Land Towers. We have pizza, beer, and a Michael that won’t destroy your house with hurricane force winds, so all in all what’s not to like? Ciao.