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Lion Links: 1/2/20

MLS players of the decade for each team, 2020 soccer almanac, predictions for 2020, and more.

MLS: Orlando City SC at Atlanta United FC John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Mane Landers! I hope the first day of the new year was kind to everyone. Holidays tend to be light on news, but let’s jump into the links.

MLS Players of the Decade

We already shared TML’s Player of the Decade with Kaká coming in as the readers’ choice while the staff selected Kevin Molino. In another twist, MLSSoccer.com, which selected a player for each MLS team, has named Cyle Larin as Player of the Decade for Orlando City. Larin scored 44 times in 89 Orlando City appearances, winning the 2015 Rookie of the Year award and was a consistent offensive presence for the Lions in his time with Orlando.

Sports Illustrated’s Soccer Predictions

The number one prediction of interest to Orlando Pride fans for Sports Illustrated’s annual predictions for 2020 is that Grant Wahl says there will be legitimate controversy over whether Alex Morgan or Carli Lloyd should be the starting center forward for the USWNT in the 2020 Olympics. Morgan is due with her first child three months before the Tokyo 2020 games begin, which could just be enough time for her to be ready for the tournament. Carli Lloyd has already made it clear that she’s tired of being written off.

2020 Soccer Almanac

MLS put together a guide of some important dates for North American soccer. The detailed list outlines what we can look forward to this winter, spring, summer and fall. Tomorrow is the MAC Hermann Trophy ceremony, the highest individual prize in college soccer. Next week the USMNT will hold camp in Doha, Qatar while the USWNT will have January camp in Tampa, and on Jan. 9 adidas will present the MLS SuperDraft.

USMNT Hopes and Expectations

Matthew Lichenstadter from The Yanks are Coming takes a look at what is (hopefully) in store for the USMNT. His hope is that the organization makes progress towards making the culture healthy and fun again. In the article, he states that head coach, Gregg Berhalter needs to decide on his style of play and formation, identifying the backbone of the team, and cleaning up the toxicity surrounding the men’s team. Can the team work hard enough to bring supporters back into the stands?

Free Kicks

That’ll do it for me this morning, Mane Landers. Have a great day and stay safe!