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Lion Links: 12/29/20

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Mark McKenzie draws more European interest, Cristian Pavon may not be done in LA, Austin signs a goalkeeper, and more.

Soccer: International Soccer-El Salvador at USA Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Tuesday, everybody. The end of the year is right around the corner and I hope you all enjoyed your holidays. As usual there’s lots to talk about today, with plenty of Major League Soccer news to discuss. Let’s get to it.

Another European Team Interested in Mark McKenzie

Philadelphia Union defender Mark McKenzie continues to draw interest from a variety of European teams, as you can now add Belgian club KRC Genk to the list of clubs looking to secure his services. It had already been reported that Scottish team Celtic FC had interest in signing the 21-year-old center back, and now Union Sporting Director Ernest Tanner has also said that McKenzie has teams from the Bundesliga and English Premier League interested in acquiring his services. McKenzie made the Best XI for the 2020 season and would help fill a need along Genk’s back line.

Pavon Could Stay with Galaxy as Negotiations Continue

Following reports in South America that the LA Galaxy’s Cristian Pavon would be returning to Boca Juniors in Argentina, it has now been reported that negotiations are still ongoing between the two clubs. The Galaxy are keen to make Pavon’s loan permanent given that he has been their best player by a country mile since joining in 2019. However, that has proven difficult, with the Galaxy reluctant to pay a $20 million buyout fee in order to seal his return. If the two clubs cannot come to an agreement soon, Pavon will have to report back to Boca Juniors by Jan. 1.

Austin Adds NYFC’s Backup Goalkeeper

Austin FC continues to fill out its inaugural Major League Soccer roster ahead of beginning play in 2021, with the club announcing the signing of goalkeeper Brad Stuver. Stuver becomes the third goalkeeper on Austin’s roster, joining Andrew Tarbell and Brady Scott. Stuver has been in MLS for seven seasons, but has not had a starting job yet. He spent the last three years with New York City FC and his first four with the Columbus Crew. Austin now has 15 players under contract, with four each of forwards, midfielders, and defenders alongside the three goalkeepers.

Man City vs. Everton Postponed Due to COVID-19 Concerns

Yesterday’s English Premier League match between Everton and Manchester City was postponed after Man City returned a number of positive COVID-19 tests. The new positive tests are in addition to four positive cases that were already reported on Christmas Day. City has also closed its training ground for an “indeterminate period” and further testing will be required before training is allowed to resume. Gabriel Jesus, Kyle Walker, and two staff members made up the four positive tests last week. The postponement is the second to occur in the Premier League this season. For its part, Everton says it wants a clearer picture of why the decision was made to postpone the match.

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