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Lion Links: 12/2/19

Top MLS player moves so far, Alanna Kennedy out of action, beach soccer, and more.

W-League Semi Final - Brisbane v Sydney Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images

Merry Monday morning, Mane Landers! We’re one month closer to the 2020 MLS season, though there’s still so much that needs to happen before then. Maybe Orlando City will get a coach and a few players this holiday season. While we wait, let’s occupy our time with other news from the soccer world. But before we hop into the links, let’s all wish a big happy 23rd birthday to goalkeeper Mason Stajduhar!

MLS’ Biggest Off-Season Moves

Yes, Orlando City re-signed Ruan, Uri Rosell, Alex De John and Stajduhar, but the club hasn’t brought in any new players yet. However, there have been plenty of big moves by other clubs in MLS to improve before the 2020 season. Dax McCarty went to Nashville FC, Darlington Nagbe heads to the Columbus Crew, and Darwin Quintero is now with the Houston Dynamo. MLSSoccer.com has now ranked the top 10 of those moves so far. More big names are sure to be on the move with the LA Galaxy. Inter Miami, and D.C. United hunting for star power. The latest player considering a move to MLS is popular Mexican striker Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, who has been linked to MLS teams for many years.

No Kennedy, No Problem?

Orlando Pride midfielder Alanna Kennedy also plays for Sydney FC in the Australian W-League. Or at least she should play at some point, as she hasn’t been on the field for Sydney FC this season. Her latest absence was in Sydney’s 3-1 win over the Perth Glory even though she was expected to feature in the match in the week leading up to it.

Only time will tell if she suits up for undefeated Sydney’s big game in Round 4 against Melbourne City, which features Pride teammates Claire Emslie and Emily van Egmond. That won’t be the only battle between Pride players this week, with Camila and Canberra United taking on Carson Pickett and the Brisbane Roar.

FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Final

Portugal defeated Italy 6-4 in the final of the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup on Sunday. In the earlier semifinals, Italy defeated Russia 8-7 in extra time to reach the final, and Portugal beat Japan on penalties to advance. Portugal is now a two-time world champion in beach soccer. Meanwhile, Russia came from behind to defeat Japan 5-4 and earn third place.

English Premier League Results

Liverpool won 2-1 against Brighton to maintain its eight-point lead in the English Premier League over Leicester City, and 11+ points over the remainder of the table. Leicester City kept pace with a win over Everton while Manchester United drew with Aston Villa. Manchester City made its title defense even harder after drawing 2-2 with Newcastle.

Free Kicks
  • Orlando City midfielder Chris Mueller reached one of his childhood goals.
  • FIFA officials and the Local Organising Committee (LOC) delegation visited D.Y. Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai to assess the progress of the preparations for the 2020 FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup. Things are coming along smoothly according to them.
  • Wayne Rooney signed an 18-month contract as a player/coach for Derby County in the EFL Championship and made his debut on the bench for the club in their 1-1 draw against Geoff Cameron and Queens Park Rangers this weekend. Rooney received a very long ovation from the Derby County supporters.
  • The FIFA Awards are coming, and the usual suspects are there. Lionel Messi is a favorite for the Ballon d’Or once again, though truth be told perhaps it’s time for a defender like Virgil Van Dijk to win the prize. On the women’s side, the USWNT’s Megan Rapinoe is favored to win, though the Pride’s Alex Morgan is a contender.

That will be it for today, Mane Landers. Good luck with the start of your week, hopefully this Monday goes smoothly for you.