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Lion Links: 12/24/18

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MLS SuperDraft, Zlatan gets paid, Atlanta hires a coach, and more!

Orlando City SC v Los Angeles Galaxy Photo by Katharine Lotze/Getty Images

Merry Christmas Eve morning, Mane Landers! It’s very likely that you’re not having to work today (and for those that are, thank you). As such, there’s no reason not to indulge in a bit of soccer revelry via The Mane Land. For those that are wondering where the December PawedCast is, no fear you’ll have it before the end of the year. Promise or threat? That’s up to you. Let’s get to the links.

Orlando City’s SuperDraft Reminder

Given how last season went, Orlando City has the third overall pick in the 2019 MLS SuperDraft. The club also has the 27th, 38th, 59th, 75th, 94th, and 96th overall picks in the draft that takes place Jan. 11, 2019. It’s true that a lot of those picks might not come to anything, but it’s still worth keeping an eye on what happens.

Kaká No Longer on Top

Zlatan Ibrahimović will be signing a new deal with the LA Galaxy, and will become the highest paid player in MLS history, earning between $7 million and $7.5 million in 2019. This will eclipse the amount that Kaká had set when with Orlando City, with the Brazilian reportedly making $6.6 million. Evidently, the deal is big enough to keep the Swedish superstar in America despite rumors of a return to his former home at AC Milan.

Atlanta Hires New Coach

Atlanta United FC (a team way north of the Soccer Capital of the South), has hired Frank de Boer as its new coach to replace the outgoing Gerardo “Tata” Martino, who has taken the head coaching gig with Mexico. De Boer has been the head man at Ajax in the Eredivisie, and led Crystal Palace in the English Premier League during the 2017 season. It remains to be see what the new coach will have to work with from the league-winning squad going into the 2019 season. I’d say we wish him all the best, but it’s the time of the year for honesty.

PSG’s Tough Decision

Paris Saint-Germain may have to choose between Neymar and Kylian Mbappe because the club might not be in compliance with the financial fair play rules with both highly paid players on the team. What is the Ligue 1 team to do? Which player would you let go? This news comes on the heels of Mbappe scoring the winner against Monaco to put PSG 13 points clear in Ligue 1.

Free Kicks
  • The MASL has announced a television partnership with Eleven Sports for national broadcasts. Good news, everyone! The Orlando SeaWolves will be available to watch on Feb. 24, 2019. (You can always catch them via MASL.TV as well.)
  • Center back Aljaz Struna is leaving Serie B club Palermo for the Houston Dynamo, addressing a defensive need for the MLS squad.
  • In an opposite move, Sporting Kansas City forward Johnny Russell may be headed back to his native Scotland to play for Celtic.
  • The annual U.S. Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program Boys Interregional finished up this weekend. Players from all over the country participated in the ODP, allowing them to experience a high level of coaching and competition.
  • Evidently, eMLS is still a thing, and the competition has been expanded to include players from Atlanta United FC, D.C. United, and FC Cincinnati. Don’t get me wrong, I like the FIFA video game, but really?

That’s going to do it for this holiday edition of Links, ladies and gentlemen. I most sincerely hope you all have a happy holiday, no matter how you celebrate. I’ll see you all a week from now for the next holiday.