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Lion Links: 12/13/20

Columbus Crew win MLS Cup, Antonee Robinson likes USMNT’s trajectory, Sarah Fuller makes history again, and more.

MLS: Cup Final-Seattle Sounders FC vs Columbus Crew SC Columbus Dispatch-USA TODAY NETW

Happy Sunday, everyone. We’re now in the long, dark tea-time of the MLS off-season with the completion of last night’s MLS Cup title game. Before next season begins, we’ll have an expansion draft and the 2021 MLS SuperDraft, and several weeks of wondering when the next signing will come (followed by trying to find out more about the new players Luiz Muzzi has added to the squad), but that’s about it.

I think I’ll be covering next week’s Concacaf Champions League matches at Exploria Stadium, so at least there’s that, but that’s not really the same as covering Orlando City matches. In the meantime, let’s get to the news of the day.

Columbus Wins MLS Cup

Whether you like them or not, the Columbus Crew winning MLS Cup is a terrific story. A team that was almost stolen from its city by then-owner Anthony Precourt suffered through a terrible season a year ago and put it all together in 2020 to win MLS Cup 3-0 over the defending champion Seattle Sounders. Lucas Zelarayan scored two goals and assisted on another to win MVP in the Sigi Schmid Cup. Schmid was an essential figure in the history of both franchises and Mapfre Stadium — the league’s first soccer-specific facility — got a nice send-off, as the Crew will move into a new state-of-the-art facility during next season. Congratulations to the Crew. They might not be able to beat a 10-man Orlando City, but they earned the cup.

Antonee Robinson High on USMNT’s Chances

USMNT fullback Antonee Robinson seems optimistic about the United States Men’s National Team’s future in this piece by Yahoo! Sports writer Joe Prince-Wright. The Fulham defender is part of the U.S. youth movement that has shown the first real promise — and even good depth — for the national team in quite some time.

Robinson is now part of a young, exciting group of USMNT stars playing in Europe’s top leagues and he believes they are feeding off each other.

“It feels amazing to be part of such a good young group coming through,” Robinson smiled. “Ever since I first got called up, I’ve made friends with numerous players who are still playing now. To see how far they’ve developed, and how far I’ve developed in that time, it is amazing. To be part of a team with such a big fanbase with exciting expectations for us, it is amazing and I feel like leading up to the 2022 World Cup, the more we play together, the sky is the limit, really. I feel like we can do very, very well. Especially by that time there is going to be more players we haven’t seen yet coming through. It is a real time to be excited for our team.”

San Jose’s Almeyda Could Be Next Cruz Azul Manager

Matias Almeyda turned the Earthquakes around after a terrible start to the 2020 season. San Jose was on a record pace for goals conceded but then not only became a stingy team defensively, but also recovered enough to make the postseason. Often critical of San Jose’s willingness or ability to pay for talent, Almeyda now could be headed to Liga MX in Mexico. Per reports, he’s on the shortlist for the managerial position at Cruz Azul.

Goalkeeper a College Football Game

Vanderbilt goalkeeper Sarah Fuller made history again. Already the first woman to appear in a college football game in a Power 5 conference, Fuller added another first on Saturday, becoming the first woman to score points in a game in a Power 5 conference. Fuller converted both of her extra-point attempts for Vandy in a 42-17 Southeastern Conference loss to Tennessee. Fuller made history with 1:50 remaining in the first quarter as her parents watched from the stands.

Note: If you feel compelled to diminish this accomplishment in some way, please reevaluate your life and ask yourself why you are the way you are.

Free Kicks
  • Here’s Gio Reyna doing Gio Reyna things (although Dortmund surprisingly got blown out 5-1 by Stuttgart):
  • There are no Orlando City goals on the list, but you can vote for the greatest goal in league history. If you do vote, please vote against Luciano Acosta’s goal vs. the Lions.
  • Talk about low...someone bugled Paolo Rossi’s house during his funeral.
  • I should have taken a nap instead of watching this game yesterday.
  • Those born on this date include the first black player in the American League, Larry Doby (1923), Dick Van Dyke (1925), Christopher Plummer (1929), pro wrestling’s Junkyard Dog (1952), Steve Buscemi (1957), Jamie Foxx (1967), hockey’s Sergei Fedorov (1969), former Arsenal attacking midfielder Santi Cazorla (1984), golf’s Ricky Fowler (1988), and Taylor Swift (1989).

That’s all my time for today. Enjoy what’s left of your weekend, get your shopping done, and stay safe out there.