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Lion Links: 11/17/20

Rossi wins YPOY, Blake wins best goalkeeper, USMNT thrashes Panama, and more.

Orlando City Soccer vs. Columbus Crew Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Happy Tuesday. everybody. Before we get started today, let’s wish a happy birthday to Orlando City captain Nani and Orlando Pride midfielder Chelsee Washington. There’s lots to talk about today, so let’s jump straight in.

Rossi Wins Young Player of the Year

In a result that isn’t particularly surprising, Diego Rossi has won the MLS Young Player of the Year Award. Rossi took 29.10% of the overall vote, which was just enough to edge out Brenden Aaronson, who was the next closest player with 28.87% of the vote. Orlando City’s Daryl Dike finished third, with 10.79% of the final vote. Rossi had another excellent year for LAFC. He recorded 14 goals and four assists and won the Golden Boot for scoring the most goals during the regular season. The Young Player of the Year Award was eligible for any player under the age of 22 to win and replaced the league’s Rookie of the Year.

Blake Wins Best Goalkeeper

In another result that most people probably saw coming, Andre Blake won the Goalkeeper of the Year award. Blake took the top spot with an overwhelming 44.12% of the vote, blowing Matt Turner’s 12.21% of the vote out of the water. Blake had a pretty darn good year to back up the award. The Union only conceded 20 goals on the year, with Blake posting a 0.88 goals-against average and .778 save percentage. He also had 13 wins on the year and was particularly excellent during the MLS is Back Tournament, which saw him win the Golden Glove for best goalkeeper in the tournament. OCSC’s Pedro Gallese finished fourth in the voting.

USMNT Thumps Panama

The United States Men’s National Team took care of business against Panama in resounding fashion yesterday, cruising to a 6-2 victory over its Concacaf rival. The Yanks got goals from Giovanni Reyna, Nicholas Gioacchini, Sebastian Soto, and Sebastian Lletget, with Soto and Gioacchini each bagging braces. Things got off to a less than ideal start when Jose Fajardo scored in the eighth minute. The Yanks quickly settled in though, and Reyna leveled things up with a free kick into the bottom corner 10 minutes later. Gioacchini scored his brace in just four minutes of play, and things were comfortable for the rest of the first half. Things looked to be heading for a nervy finish when Fajardo got a second goal in the 79th minute, but three goals after the 83rd minute ensured it would be a comfortable victory in the end for the young Americans.

Matarazzo’s Road to Manager

Pellegrino Matarazzo is the head coach at VFB Stuttgart in the German Bundesliga. While he’s flown a bit under the radar compared to a guy like Jesse Marsch, he took a pretty old-fashioned route to reach where he’s at now. He began 10 years ago at FC Nuremburg, where he held almost every job under the sun. His titles included reserve team assistant, fitness coach, rehab coach, and player development curriculum author. In 2017 he joined Hoffenheim as the U-17 coach but was quickly promoted by Julian Nagelsmann to be his assistant coach. Then last year he was given the Stuttgart job. He brought the team up from the 2. Bundesliga in second place, and the team are currently 8th in the Bundesliga with a penchant as a tough team to play against. He’s definitely a name for fans to keep an eye on.

Free Kicks
  • Former Lion Harrison Heath and former Orlando Pride star Kaylyn Kyle welcomed a new member to their family.

That’ll do it for me today. Y’all stay safe out there.