Happy Thursday, Lionesses and Lions. As always, I hope you overcame your hump day with ease. As usual, there has been a fair amount of happenings occurring within the soccer-sphere so let’s get right into the links.
Exploria Stadium to Host USWNT Friendlies; Harris, Krieger Called Up
Exploria Stadium is set to host some national team soccer once again with the USWNT scheduled to play against Colombia in Orlando twice. The two fixtures in the City Beautiful will be held just four days apart from each other.
“Both games will be against Colombia when the USWNT’s January camp takes place in Orlando, with matches taking place on Jan. 18 (7 p.m. on FS1) and Jan. 22 (7 p.m. on ESPN2). Spectators will be permitted but tickets will be limited to no more than 4,000 fans for these matches...”
Orlando Pride goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris and defender Ali Krieger have both been called up to the 27-player squad. Alex Morgan, however has missed out as she is isolating due to contracting COVID recently. Tickets can be found at ussoccer.com.
Kevin Molino to Sign with Columbus Crew
Former Orlando City winger Kevin Molino is set to sign with the Columbus Crew, adding even more quality to the Black & Gold’s already impressive attack. The Trinidadian stated he would not return to Minnesota United in December and the Crew look set to capitalize on the 30-year-old being a free agent.
This signing was first reported by Jeff Rueter and Sam Stejskal of The Athletic and confirmed to Massive Report by league sources. This will be a multi-year free agent deal and Columbus is expected to officially announce the signing by the end of the week.
San Antonio FC Signs Santiago Patino for 2021 Season
San Antonio FC has signed former Orlando City forward Santiago Patino for the 2021 USL Championship season. The Colombia-born striker had his option declined by Orlando on the back of the 2020 campaign. Nevertheless, the third overall pick from the 2019 MLS SuperDraft has San Antonio Head Coach Alen Marcina delighted.
“As a staff, we are delighted to welcome Santiago to the SAFC family,” said SAFC Head Coach Alen Marcina. “Santiago is a talented, powerful and explosive striker who brings MLS and international experience in his young career. He demonstrates a team-first mentality, is ultra-competitive and holds a high upside. We believe Santiago is destined to have a breakout season with SAFC.”
Best of luck to the 23-year-old in his next chapter. Forever a Lion.
NWSL Eliminates Registration Requirement
In hopes of maximizing opportunities for players and clubs during the pandemic, the NWSL has decided to eliminate the registration requirement. This will make all senior collegiate athletes eligible for the forthcoming draft.
Due to the pandemic and the resulting fall 2020 collegiate women’s soccer season being delayed until the spring of 2021, and in order to ensure that the most possible athletes have the opportunity to enter the NWSL Draft and play in the league this year, the league has waived the requirement for certain collegiate athletes to register for the draft and automatically made eligible all Division I players who exhausted three years of intercollegiate soccer eligibility prior to the 2020-2021 academic year. Clubs will hold the rights to each athlete selected in the draft for a period of time as set by the league.
The 2021 NWSL Draft will take place at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 13 and can be streamed live on Twitch.
- Former Orlando City striker Cyle Larin is currently the top scorer while also sitting on top in the division in Turkey with Besiktas. The Canadian netted four goals in his side’s 6-0 victory over Rizespor.
Cyle Larin is currently leading the Turkish Super Lig in scoring after a 4 goal - 1 assist performance today. Brings him to 10 goals 2 assists on the season. pic.twitter.com/0wXwhFdNaC— Mitchell Tierney (@mitchelltierney) January 6, 2021
- Matt Besler announced himself as an Austin FC player in a fashion that Matthew McConaughey is sure to love. Way to get in good with your new boss!
- Inter Miami has reportedly approached England Women boss Phil Neville over the head coach role. The future of Diego Alonso is still said to be “undetermined.”
- Edina Alves is set to make history. The Brazilian will become the first ever woman to officiate a professional match organized by FIFA in the Club World Cup.
- The Mesut Ozil transfer saga continues as the Arsenal man looks as if he may be Fenerbahce bound. The German midfielder has Turkish ancestors and a move to Turkey may be preferred over a D.C. United switch.
- Former New York Red Bulls and Inter Miami goalkeeper Luis Robles announced his retirement.
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.