Happy Thursday, Lionesses and Lions. As always, I hope you overcame your hump day with ease. There has been a fair amount of happenings occurring within the soccer-sphere so let’s get right into the links.
Details Announced for 2021 MLS SuperDraft
MLS has announced the official details for the forthcoming 2021 MLS SuperDraft. The draft, set for Jan. 21, will be broadcast live on MLSsoccer.com, the MLS app, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. It’ll be interesting to see what the Lions decide to do on the afternoon.
MLS SuperDraft 2021 presented by adidas will consist of three rounds of player selection. Following Austin FC’s opening pick in each round, clubs will make their selections in reverse order of the 2020 regular season standings, taking into account postseason performance in the Audi 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs. Any club that received a fourth-round pick via trade will have a compensatory pick at the conclusion of the third round.
All of the rules and procedures of the draft can be found here.
Chris Mueller Makes ESPN FC Best XI
Speaking of the SuperDraft, Chris Mueller, who was No. 6 pick in 2018, earned a spot in the ESPN FC MLS Best XI for his brilliance in 2020 by Jeff Carlisle and Austin Lindberg. Not much good came out of this horrible year, but Mueller shone bright like a diamond throughout the MLS campaign. After scoring 10 goals and managing seven assists, the recognition is well-deserved. The 24-year-old’s potency saw him earn his first ever national team call up and that was obviously followed by his incredibly fruitful debut. Mueller is being recognized for all of his hard work and determination, long may his effectiveness in front of goal and overall brilliance continue. Oh, and Carlisle and Lindberg wrote a bunch of other stuff about the 2020 season too, before adding the Best XI to the bottom of the column linked above.
Yotún Scores in Exploria Return but LAFC Advances; América Ousts Atlanta
Yoshimar Yotún returned to Exploria Stadium and put Cruz Azul up 1-0 in the first half from the penalty spot. But LAFC also converted a penalty — via Carlos Vela — and 19-year-old Kwadwo Opoku smashed home the winner for LAFC in the 70th minute to lift the MLS side into Saturday’s Concacaf Champions League semifinals. In the early match, Atlanta United also got a game winner from a 19-year-old to win. Jackson Conway scored late to lift the Five Stripes to a 1-0 victory but Atlanta lost 3-1 on aggregate to Club América. Our Michael Citro was on hand and has your recap and highlights from Wednesday’s quarterfinal action.
Former Orlando City Winger Kevin Molino Leaving Minnesota
Former, long-serving Lion Kevin Molino announced that he will be leaving Minnesota United via his Instagram. The Trinidadian had a fantastic season with the Loons under the jurisdiction of his former Orlando boss Adrian Heath, but it appears as though he is longing for new horizons now.
Molino has played for three years in Minnesota and Heath is still hoping that the 30-year-old will sign the new deal presented to him.
“The offer is there for Kev,” Heath told media. ”It’s the max deal he can get in America, so we can’t do an awful lot (more). We’re hoping. I get it if he wants to see what’s out there, I understand, but we’re hoping he accepts and decides to come back. … If he doesn’t, nothing we can do about that and it’s the player’s prerogative.”
Jose Mourinho Takes Shots at Jurgen Klopp
Jose Mourinho has been far quieter than usual, given his side’s brilliance this season, but after a loss to Liverpool, the Portuguese manager was far from a happy man. The Tottenham Hotspur manager took aim at Jurgen Klopp for his antics on the touchline and claimed if he pulled such a stunt he would have been sent off.
“I told him the best team lost and he disagreed, but that’s his opinion,” Mourinho said of Klopp. “If I behave the same way he does on the touchline, I do not stay there. That’s animated? For some reason I am different.”
The Reds now sit three points clear of Spurs and lead the Premier League table in spite of the injury crisis. Keep an eye on the English top flight this season, it is as tight as ever.
- Kamal Miller took to social media Wednesday to express his thanks to Orlando City fans after his surprise move to Montreal Tuesday.
Orlando, thank you for an amazing two years! Since I was drafted I’ve been shown nothing but love from the fans and the city. I’ve learned, grown, and matured while in purple. Thank you for all the memories #ForeverALion pic.twitter.com/OnbN2oWvU2— Kamal Miller (@KMillz_00) December 16, 2020
- Tim Weah scored this well-taken goal against Dijon after relentlessly pressing the opposition defense. That is two goals in three games for the 20-year-old American!
- A semi-pro soccer team with a Sasquatch logo arose through a college program with passion and amazing merch. Leander Schaerlaeckens said if the team is successful in its trek, the college soccer model could shift massively.
- Djordje Mihailovic is reportedly moving to the Montreal Impact for $800,000 in GAM. The 22-year-old born in Jacksonville appears set for a new challenge.
- IFAB has welcomed the trial of additional substitutes from head injuries. As most know, head trauma in soccer is an ever-present and extremely serious issue. It finally appears as if things are moving in the right direction.
That’ll do, pig. That is all for this Thursday’s set of links. Until next time, I’ll catch you on the flip side.