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Lion Links: 12/9/20

Daryl Dike to miss tonight’s match, Don Garber addresses State of the League, Emily Sonnett reportedly considering offers, and more.

MLS: New York City FC at Orlando City SC Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Mane Landers! I hope the day finds you all well. Let’s go right ahead and jump into some links.

Daryl Dike Picks up an Injury

They’ve only had him a week and I really need to know how does one go about injuring Daryl Dike? I was very much looking forward to the young Lion playing tonight for the USMNT, but according to The Athletic’s Paul Tenorio, Dike picked up a slight injury during camp and won’t be available. So, there’s that.

Don Garber Addresses the State of the League

Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber gave his annual league update yesterday. Like most of the world, the MLS suffered financially during the COVID-19 pandemic. The league sustained an almost $1 billion loss and recently laid off 20% of the front office staff. The league did get creative though, pulling off the successful MLS is Back Tournament in the bubble here in Orlando before sending teams back to their home markets to finish out the season.

“Actually the impact of all this is probably deeper than what we expected, and that is concerning to us,” Don Garber said. “But our owners have been understanding this impact from the very beginning. We are concerned about what this will look like leading into 2021, and are working as I’m sure everybody can imagine on figuring out how we could manage through that. I am very very hopeful that 2021 will be way better than 2020, because I don’t think any business could sustain the kind of impact that we sustained in 2020 for two years in a row.”

Other items of note: the league is still focusing on a March 2021 start, finances will continue to be a persistent issue as MLS works to cut costs so as not to rely on outside funding, and the Real Salt Lake sale hasn’t progressed, but the league has no plans to move the club.

BPC Wins MLS Humanitarian of the Year Award

Black Players for Change (BPC) have been named the 2020 MLS WORKS Humanitarian of the Year. The organization is made up of more than 170 players, coaches, and MLS staff, and aims to advance the attention on human rights inequalities from protests to programs, partnerships and policies that address systemic racism. In recognition of their efforts this year, MLS WORKS will donate $5,000 to the organization to help advance its efforts.

BPC has had a significant impact since being announced on Juneteenth 2020. BPC organized and led a peaceful demonstration for racial equality and human rights before the opening match of the MLS is Back Tournament, worked with adidas to develop the #MLSisBlack Solidarity Top, with proceeds going to the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, announced plans to build 12 mini-pitches, and led the charge on civic engagement in this year’s elections.

Emily Sonnett Reportedly Considering Offers Abroad

USWNT and Orlando Pride defender Emily Sonnett reportedly has multiple teams in England and Germany interested in securing her services. The Athletic’s Meg Linehan said two teams have made official offers and the defender is considering her options. The Orlando Pride acquired Sonnett in January of this year when they traded the No. 1 NWSL College Draft pick to the Portland Thorns in exchange for Sonnett and and the rights to Caitlin Foord.

USMNT’s Zack Steffen on First Champions League Start

U.S. goalkeeper Zack Steffen spoke about starting in the Champions League with Manchester City in the team’s final Champions League group stage match against Marseille.

“We are already through, which is kind of nice to have in the back of your mind. But we want to go out there, we are playing at home, and we want to get a win, get a shutout. For me, I want to display my skills and kind of show everybody what I can do and prove to myself I’m here for a reason. I am looking at it just like it’s another game and to go out there and have fun,” Steffen told CBS Sports.

When asked in which areas he’d like to improve, Steffen shared he’s not fully satisfied in any aspect of his game and would like to improve in all areas.

Free Kicks
  • Win an Alex Morgan signed jersey.
  • USMNT players abroad continue making history.
  • Speaking of Americans abroad, here’s Weston McKennie’s goal for Juventus against Barcelona:
  • Women’s sports are at the top of the social media engagement list.

That’s going to do it for me this morning, everyone. Be sure to tune in to the USMNT vs. El Salvador tonight to see if Chris Mueller gets his first cap. Have a great day and stay safe!