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Lion Links: 11/25/21

Chris Mueller says goodbye, USMNT announces next home games, MLS teams find coaches, and more.

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

Happy Thanksgiving, Mane Landers! I hope you all made it to your Thanksgiving gathering location safely and are surrounded by your loved ones. So, before you get started preparing your dish for the Thanksgiving meal, lets get into the Lions Links!

Chris Mueller Says Goodbye

After the loss against Nashville SC in the playoffs that marked the end of the 2021 campaign, many Orlando City players came out to thank the fans and say goodbye to the season. There was one player in particular who said his final goodbyes to fans and the club that he has built fond memories with over the years. Chris Mueller will be moving on and took to Twitter to express his heartfelt gratitude along with a two-minute video to the club with which he spent the past four years. Mueller will be leaving the club with many memorable moments, along with being the Lions’ regular-season appearance leader at 112 and tied for all-time assists at 23. It was great to see the young Lion, drafted by Orlando City out of the University of Wisconsin, develop into what he has become now. Here’s to a great Orlando career and a much earned transfer to Europe. Show them what you’ve got in Scotland! Forever a Lion.

USMNT Selects Qualifier Venues

U.S. Soccer has announced the location of the next two home matches for World Cup qualifying. With six matches remaining in qualifying, the USMNT will look to get the most out of its home field advantage by playing these matches up north and hoping the cold weather in late January and early February will work in their favor against these traditionally warm weather countries in El Salvador and Honduras. The selection of Lower.com Field in Columbus may also be a strategic move as the Red, White & Blue will go north to face Canada away just days after the El Salvador game, which will mean shorter travel time for the squad. If you happen to be in the area during these matches or are planning to make the trip, the site also links information for tickets since U.S. Soccer will be using a random draw system once again.

Two Coaches Find New Homes

With the coaching carousel in full effect in MLS, two vacancies have been filled. Former USMNT and LAFC head coach Bob Bradley will be joining forces once again with his son, Michael — this time north of the border with Toronto FC. The Chicago Fire also filled their void at head coach by appointing Ezra Hendrickson. Hendrickson was previously an assistant with the Columbus Crew and also has experience with the LA Galaxy and and Seattle Sounders. It will be interesting to see how the father-son dynamic will work in Toronto with the Bradleys, but the powers that be at TFC are betting it will go smoothly. As for Hendrickson, this will be his first MLS head coaching gig after stints as an assistant. Hendrickson is no stranger on the pitch as he played in MLS from 1997-2008.

A Biennial World Cup Could Be Costly

There have been discussions recently of a biennial World Cup after a recent proposal was made to change the tournament from its traditional four-year cycle, down to every two. This change has been met with strong opposition mainly from UEFA and its leagues as it stands to lose the most in revenue due to it being the most followed globally. A recent report published by Reuters added more fuel for the argument against the change. In the report, a two-year World Cup could cost domestic leagues up to $9 billion annually combined. In addition to UEFA leagues, this report also included MLS along with leagues in Mexico, Japan, and South Africa. Although a World Cup may be fun on paper, player breaks, continental tournaments, and television interest from fans must also be taken into account.

Free Kicks

Thats all for me, Mane Landers! Have a great Thanksgiving and make sure to eat as much as you can while in the company of those who mean the most to you. Enjoy!