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Lion Links: 11/16/21

Lions up for awards, Sebastian Giovinco rumored for Toronto return, USWNT adds Imani Dorsey and more.

MLS: CF Montreal at Orlando City SC Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Tuesday, everyone. Today is an important match against Jamaica for the United States Men’s National Team, and one week from today Orlando City will take on Nashville in the first round of the MLS playoffs. There’s plenty of soccer going on at the moment and that means that there’s lots to talk about. Let’s get into it.

Gallese, Mendez Up for Awards

Pedro Gallese and Sebas Mendez have been nominated for the MLS Save of the Year and MLS Goal of the Year, respectively. For Gallese, his nomination came thanks to a point blank save on Sunusi Ibrahim which saw the Peruvian coming back across goal and making himself big to make the stop against the CF Montreal striker. While the save was unfortunately in vain as Orlando City ultimately fell 4-2 at home, it was an illuminating save and demonstrated exactly what El Pulpo is capable of.

For Mendez on the other hand, it’s pretty easy to narrow down which goal he was nominated for since it’s the only goal he’s ever scored for the Lions. You all know the one I’m talking about — the long range, half-volleyed blast that booked OCSC’s place in this year’s playoff field.

They’re up against some stiff opposition, but here’s a big congratulations on two worthy nominations!

MLS Year-End Awards Nominees

Finalists have been announced for the 2021 edition of MLS’ yearly awards. Sadly, no Lions were included as any nominees, but there’s still some intrigue around the categories. Taty Castellanos, Carles Gil, and Hany Mukhtar will be among the favorites for the MVP, while Andre Blake, Matt Turner and Joe Willis will duke it out for Goalkeeper of the Year. Tajon Buchanan and Ricardo Pepi are the frontrunners for Young Player of the Year, and Chicharito and Bruce Arena have excellent cases for Comeback Player of the Year and Coach of the Year, respectively.

Giovinco Rumored for Toronto Reunion

Toronto FC and Sebastian Giovinco are reportedly in talks to bring the Italian forward back to the Canadian club. Giovinco is apparently in Toronto discussing a return to the team with club management, although the two sides are said to still be a fair bit away from coming to an agreement. Giovinco has spent the last three years in Saudi Arabia but hasn’t quite hit the heights he did in MLS, and would reportedly need to lower his desired salary for a deal to come to fruition. It’s unclear whether or not he would return as a Designated Player, with the club already having three on the books, or whether he would be a Targeted Allocation Money signing.

USWNT Adds Dorsey

The United States Women’s National Team has added NJ/NY Gotham FC defender Imani Dorsey to its roster ahead of the team’s trip to Australia. Dorsey brings the total number of players on the roster to 23, and brings some additional depth at the fullback position. Dorsey was the 2018 NWSL Rookie of the Year at Sky Blue FC before the club rebranded. The U.S. roster now has the last three NWSL Rookie of the Year winners in Ashley Hatch, Dorsey, and Bethany Balcer. The group contains a mix of experienced veterans and younger players with little to no national team caps, and will play Australia twice during the week after Thanksgiving.

Free Kicks
  • Tickets for the NWSL championship are selling well so far.

That’s all for today. Stay safe.