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Lion Links: 12/19/19

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MLS transfer happenings, Dest stars for Ajax, Florida Cup news, another accolade for Marta, and more.

Telstar v Ajax - Dutch KNVB Beker Photo by Soccrates/Getty Images

Happy Thursday, everybody. It feels rather odd writing links for today, but sometimes change is good. There’s some interesting news nuggets to talk through today so let’s get down to it.

MLS Transfer Roundup

As always, the MLS off-season transfer wheel continues to turn, with several notable moves taking place recently. Yesterday the Montreal Impact re-signed Samuel Piette to a new three-year deal that includes a club option for 2023. Piette has been a consistent performer for the Impact since signing in 2017, and it was a deal the Canadian club was reportedly keen to get done. Elsewhere the New England Revolution signed Seth Sinovic, a former Rev who spent the last nine seasons with Sporting Kansas City. Sinovic was originally drafted by New England back in 2010 before being waived and moving on to SKC. Finally, Pity Martinez is reportedly being targeted by Gremio, meaning that his stay in the United States could end up being very short indeed.

USMNT’s Dest Stars for Ajax

Sergino Dest played a starring role in Ajax’s 4-3 win over Telstar in the KNVB Cup yesterday. The young right back scored the team’s second and fourth goals, with the latter the eventual game winner. For his first, Dest made a late run into the box and finished a pass first time into the top right corner. As impressive as the accuracy on the shot for the first goal was, his second goal was even better. The youngster picked up the ball at the top of the box, shifted it onto his right foot, opened up his body, and curled a shot into the top corner at the far post.

While Telstar plays its football in the Dutch second division, you can only beat who gets put in front of you, and Dest’s two goals were ultimately the difference in the game.

Florida Cup News

It was announced today that the Florida Cup will be once again be hosting the second edition of a much smaller competition this year. The Florida Cup Legends 5v5 will be a five-a-side tournament comprised of legendary former players from Corinthians, Palmeiras, and Atletico Nacional. Some of the more recognizable names include Rivaldo, Denilson, Rene Higuita, and Camilo Zuniga. The event schedule and format of the competition are yet to be announced, but with so many world class former players involved it’s sure to be an entertaining affair once again. Last year’s tournament saw Zico’s Flamengo team take down a Sao Paulo team that included Falcao, Lugano, and Rai.

New Arsenal Coach?

It’s been widely reported that Mikel Arteta will become the new manager of Arsenal FC. The club is said to be hoping to make the announcement today after the paperwork is finalized, and he would take charge of the team this weekend against Everton. Arteta was reportedly the only candidate that Arsenal wanted to replace former manager Unai Emery, and the club has given him a three-and-a-half-year deal. The job will be Arteta’s first as the manager of a club’s senior side, and will continue the recent tradition of premier league team’s hiring former players as managers.

Free Kicks
  • Nani’s left-footed beauty against the New England Revolution was Major League Soccer’s pick for the Lions’ best goal of the season. Here it is, as well as the best goal for every other team in MLS in 2019:

That’ll be all for me today. Christmas is now less than a week away so if you’re like me and you still have a ton of shopping to do, get it together! As always, keep it here for all your Orlando soccer news.