Happy Saturday, everybody. I hope you all had a good week and have a relaxing weekend ahead of you. There’s lots of news today, but before we get into it, let’s wish a happy 29th birthday to Orlando City defender Kyle Smith.
Emily van Egmond Stays with the Hammers
West Ham United announced that Orlando Pride midfielder Emily van Egmond will stay with the team through the end of the 2020-2021 Women’s Super League season. While the Hammers called it permanent, the Pride retain her NWSL league rights, leaving a possibility that she will return to Orlando early in the 2021 season. Van Egmond has been on loan in England since August of 2020 and follows Shelina Zadorsky as a Pride player who has extended her time in the WSL through the end of the current season. As far as the Pride are concerned, the team has depth at midfield and van Egmond could find herself in a more comfortable attacking role should she return.
Neville Close to Miami Job
All indications are that Phil Neville is getting closer and closer to becoming the next head coach of Inter Miami CF. Reports are that the club will finalize the appointment next week, making him Miami’s second coach in two years of MLS play. If appointed, Neville will leave his role as the coach of the England Women’s National Team, which has been his job since 2018. If appointed, it will be interesting to see the style of play Neville attempts to play with Miami as it will be his first club job since the briefest of stints as caretaker manager of Salford City FC.
MLS Not Considering Expansion in Response to Lost Income
Major League Soccer President and Deputy Commissioner Mark Abbot said that the league is not considering using expansion as a way to make up the money lost as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. While NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has said that the NBA has been considering expanding now more than before the pandemic, MLS seems to be committed to putting a pause on further expansion after it reaches 30 teams. Instead, the league is looking to generate value by paying players their full salaries this year while granting a two-year extension to the collective bargaining agreement that was reached over the summer. Abbot says the proposal would save the league between $100 million and $110 million.
Florida Tropics Continue Win Streak
In their third game of the Major Arena Soccer League season, the Florida Tropics won in overtime against the Kansas City Comets. Ian Bennet had a hat trick for the second straight game and his third goal of the match gave the Tropics an 8-7 overtime win over the Comets. The two sides will play again in Lakeland tomorrow at 3:05 p.m. as the Tropics aim to keep their win streak alive.
MLS Backup Goalkeepers Find New Clubs
MLS Cup champions Columbus Crew continued its off-season roster building by signing goalkeeper Eric Dick after picking him in the second round of the MLS Re-Entry Draft. Dick had one appearance to his name with Sporting Kansas City. He will look to take the backup slot previously occupied by Jon Kempin, who the team traded to D.C. United. In exchange, Columbus got a third-round pick in the 2021 MLS SuperDraft. Kempin is one of the more solid backup goalkeepers in the league and has good upside at only 27 years of age, so it’s a decent pickup for D.C. United.
- The Chicago Fire will re-design their very recently re-designed club crest. The current crest was heavily panned and fans can now weigh in on what they want to see from the new design.
- The NWSL announced its broadcast talent and special guests for the 2021 NWSL Draft.
- Newcastle United coach Steve Bruce thinks it’s “morally wrong” for soccer to continue being played as COVID-19 cases continue to spike.
- One of the best college soccer players in the nation is turning pro.
Catarina Macario officially announces she is leaving Stanford to turn pro. No work on a destination but she has been linked to some top clubs in Europe; would likely be No. 1 pick in #NWSL draft if it were clear she intended to play here— Dan Lauletta (@TheDanLauletta) January 8, 2021
That’ll be all for me today. Y’all stay safe out there.