Good morning, Mane Landers. I know that’s not my usual greeting, but given the news of the death of Kobe Bryant, I felt it wouldn’t be appropriate. I don’t think there’s much more for me to say, other than that the Black Mamba will be missed.
The Loss of a Legend
Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash early Sunday morning near the Southern California residential neighborhood of Calabasas. Tragically, Bryant was one of nine to die in the crash, including his 13-year-old daughter Gianna. The other people will not be publicly identified until the next of kin have been notified. Although an icon across all sports, Bryant was recently in soccer news as an investor in the BodyArmor sports drink, and was involved in the recent deal between the company and MLS. Orlando City captain Nani met Bryant when the BodyArmor deal was announced and expressed his condolences.
Kobe just 10 days ago I had the pleasure of meeting you and felt what a great human being you were. I really thank you for some of the kind words you said when we spoke. I am so sad that you are gone. Rest in peace. #rip #kobe pic.twitter.com/viUHR5F2P2— Nani (@luisnani) January 26, 2020
The MLS CBA Negotiations
With the new collective bargaining agreement looming, the idea of a salary arbitration mechanism might be a good idea. The recent trade deal between D.C. United and Atlanta United involving Julian Gressel showcased some of the problems with salary negotiations in MLS. The players are looking for fair compensation, and owners are looking to keep player expenses under club control. With opportunities available in other leagues for up-and-coming MLS players, it’s in the best interest of the league to offer mechanisms for keeping those players within the league.
Coronavirus Concerns in the Soccer World
With the coronavirus spreading in China, the Chinese Football Association has withdrawn from hosting an Olympic women’s soccer qualifying event. The event had already been moved once from Wuhan, where the outbreak started, but it has now been moved to Sydney, Australia. Sadly, more than 2,000 people have been infected, and as of now 56 people have died globally. The qualifying group is Group B and consists of Australia, China, Thailand, and Taiwan, and the event will be held Feb. 3-9.
- For the FIFA players out there, Orlando rookie Daryl Dike was added to the game.
Daryl Dike from Orlando City has been added to #FIFA20 Career Mode and is immediately the second strongest player in the game with 95 strength (after Akinfenwa with 97)— FifaCMTips (@FifaCMTips) January 26, 2020
He is only 19 years old pic.twitter.com/s0urKBdtqB
- Nantes fans paid tribute to Argentine striker Emiliano Sala, who died in a plane crash a year ago. The team also wore special blue and white jerseys in the fashion of the Argentina national team in honor of Sala.
- Racism has reared its ugly head once again. Athletic Bilbao’s Inaki Williams was upset about a 1-1 draw against Espanyol, but was even more upset with alleged racist abuse from Espanyol supporters.
- Edinson Cavani may be on his way from Paris Saint-Germain to Atletico Madrid. Cavani is out of contract at PSG in June after six and a half years, but hasn’t been in the lineup since his groin injury. The deal is expected to be completed within days.
- A pair of Liverpool supporters went to the wrong Belgian city to watch Liverpool FC in the Champions League. Let’s just say the words Gent, Ghent, and Genk were involved. Now, Genk invited the pair to a match against Gent. Love it.
- We have no details on this, but it’s definitely something to keep an eye on in the coming days.
With 2 days to go before the USWNT starts Olympic qualifying, I’m hearing Fox Sports has acquired the rights from CONCACAF to show the games in the US.— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) January 26, 2020
- Nani is feeling good, and looking good, rocking his new hairdo.
We’ll end today’s links with Nani’s pearly whites to help get this Monday started off right. I hope you all have a great day and week.