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Lion Links: 9/25/18

Marta named Women’s Player of the Year, Modric pips Ronaldo and Salah, Pareja a USMNT possibility, and more.

The Best FIFA Football Awards - Show Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images

Good morning, Mane Landers. Orlando City might not have won this week but at least the Lions didn’t lose either, and I’m taking what I can get at this point. There’s lots to talk about today, so on to the links.

Marta Named Best Women’s Player

For the sixth time in her career, Orlando Pride forward Marta has been named the FIFA Women’s Player of the Year. The Brazilian beat out Ada Hegerberg and Dzsenifer Marozsan, both of Lyon, to claim the award yet again, although this is her first victory since 2010. Her recognition comes as a result of helping Brazil win the Copa America, qualify for the next World Cup, and for her stellar 2017 season with the Pride. Congratulations and well done to Marta for an award she very much deserves.

Modric Named Best Men’s Player

Luka Modric has been named the FIFA Men’s Player of the Year, topping Cristiano Ronaldo and Mohamed Salah. The Croatian was the star of his team’s run to the World Cup final, and also played a vital role in yet another Real Madrid UEFA Champions League victory. Many believe the Madrid midfielder could also snap Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo’s 10-year domination of the Ballon d’Or, with one of the aforementioned two winning the award every year for the last decade. Modric’s achievements though, which include the Golden Ball at this past World Cup, could very well finally unseat the pair. The winner of that particular award will be announced later this year.

Oscar Pareja for USMNT?

While the USMNT still has yet to name a head coach, a name is now being kicked about the interwebs that is reportedly under serious consideration for the job. The name is that of Oscar Pareja, current manager of FC Dallas. Several news outlets have reported that he was interviewed by U.S. Soccer representatives last week, and is a serious contender for the gig. He has plenty of experience coaching in MLS, and was also a USMNT U-17 assistant for a year, giving him some familiarity with the setup. Furthermore, Dallas has an absolutely stellar youth academy and Pareja isn’t shy about giving minutes to young players, something that could make him even more attractive for the job. However, he apparently has yet to be interviewed by USMNT General Manager Earnie Stewart, so don’t pencil his name in just yet.

Chattanooga Announces Pro Team Name

Chattanooga has a new pro soccer team, and its name is Chattanooga Red Wolves SC. A suitably badass name, the Red Wolves will join the newly formed USL Division III in 2019. The crest and colors for the newcomers have yet to be announced, and should be coming sometime in the following weeks. The team name was sourced directly from the Chattanooga community and understandably received a large amount of support. Appropriately, the City of Chattanooga plays a large part in protecting the red wolf, which is one of the most endangered species in the world. Best of luck to the new club.

Free Kicks
  • Jonathan Spector was named on the bench in this week’s edition of the MLS Team of the Week.
  • The FIFPro World XI has been announced. Sure, it’s an impressive side, but how has the newly named Best Goalkeeper, Thibaut Courtois, managed to miss out?

That’ll do it for me. The Lions off this weekend and will travel to Texas to take on FC Dallas on Oct. 6. Dallas is currently sitting top of a pretty competitive Western Conference. At least our livers get the weekend off. Ciao.