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Lion Links: 12/12/20

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Ali Krieger makes FIFPro list, MLS Cup final preview, Americans in action this weekend, and more.

SOCCER: JUL 01 NWSL - Chicago Red Stars at Orlando Pride Photo by Andrew Bershaw/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Hello, Mane Landers. I hope you all had a great week. I’ve been really busy working at Disney Springs as we step closer to Christmas. Don’t forget about the MLS Cup final tonight. Now, let’s get to the links.

Ali Krieger Makes List of FIFPro Nominees for World 11

FIFPro released the 55 nominees for the 2020 FIFA FIFPro Women’s World 11. The Orlando Pride’s Ali Krieger made the cut, along with 11 other United States Women’s National Team players. The club with the most players was Olympique Lyonnais with 10 representatives. The most notable names on the list include Kadeisha Buchanan, Ada Hegerberg, Amandine Henry, and Wendie Renard. As for the other USWNT players nominated, Christen Press made her debut on the list alongside Alyssa Naeher, Julie Ertz, Rose Lavelle, Carli Lloyd, and Megan Rapinoe.

MLS Cup Final Preview

The MLS Cup final is tonight at 8 p.m. and you can watch the match on FOX. The Seattle Sounders will be going for back-to-back MLS Cup championships and this will be their fourth appearance in the MLS Cup final in five years. For the Columbus Crew, this will be the first time they have made it to the MLS Cup final since 2015. Back then, Caleb Porter was coaching the Portland Timbers and led them to their first MLS Cup title at Mapfre Stadium over the Crew. Porter will have an opportunity to make it right this time in front of Crew fans to raise another trophy in Ohio.

The Crew will be without Darlington Nagbe and Pedro Santos and must slow down Jordan Morris and Nicolas Lodeiro. For the Seattle Sounders, defender Xavier Arreaga will miss tonight’s game as he is in Seattle expecting the birth of his child. The match could come down to set pieces as the Sounders are tied for second in the league in scoring from them, while the Crew are the best in the league at defending them. The Sounders are one win away from what many people believe would make them a dynasty in MLS. Who are you picking to win tonight? Let me know in the comments below.

Atlanta United Given Spot in Champions League

The fourth 2021 Concacaf Champions League MLS berth will be awarded to Atlanta United. The club was given the spot as the current U.S. Open Cup champions, even though that win came in 2019. Atlanta will be joined by tonight’s MLS Cup winner, the Portland Timbers, and the Philadelphia Union after an unusual sports year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Atlanta finished 12th in the Eastern Conference and failed to make the MLS playoffs after a 2020 season filled with struggles.

Americans in Action this Weekend

Besides the MLS Cup final, plenty of Americans are in action abroad in Europe. Yunus Musah’s Valencia side faces Athletic Bilbao at 8 a.m. and you can watch on beIN Sports as both clubs look to climb into the top half of the La Liga table. In the Bundesliga on ESPN+, there are three big matches to keep our eye on today. At 9:30 a.m., Giovanni Reyna’s Borussia Dortmund side will look to get its league campaign back on track as it hosts VfB Stuttgart. Also at 9:30 a.m., Tyler Adams and RB Leipzig host Josh Sargent’s Werder Bremen side, which hopes to snap its two-game losing streak. Chris Richards has been picking up minutes off the bench for FC Bayern Munich and the Bundesliga team will travel to face Union Berlin at 12:30 p.m. In the English Premier League, Christian Pulisic could be available to play for Chelsea as it faces Everton at 3 p.m. and you can watch that match on NBC’s Peacock app.

Tomorrow, Antonee Robinson and Fulham host Liverpool, Weston McKennie and Juventus face Genoa, and FC Barcelona and Sergino Dest hope to snap their two-game losing streak against Levante.

Free Kicks
  • Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil is open to an MLS move and D.C. United, LA Galaxy, and Inter Miami CF have expressed interest in a potential deal.
  • With its season over, Minnesota United announced its roster updates. Former Lions Jose Aja and Greg Ranjitsingh had their contract options declined, while Kevin Molino is in discussions for an extension with the club. MLS journeyman Kei Kamara also had his option declined and it will be interesting to see where the forward winds up.
  • MLS Commissioner Don Garber shared his thoughts on the possibility of a future MLS and Liga MX league via a potential North American merger.
  • PSV Eindhoven confirmed Richy Ledezma will miss the rest of the season after suffering an ACL injury in its UEFA Europa League match.
  • American Timothy Weah got a rare start for Lille in the Europa League and made it count against his former club, Celtic.

That will do it for me today, Mane Landers. Enjoy your weekend, take care of yourselves, and I’ll see you next time.