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Lion Links: 12/17/21

Alex Morgan officially traded, NWSL Expansion Draft results, USMNT prepares for friendly, and more.

SOCCER: AUG 10 NWSL - Houston Dash at Orlando Pride Photo by Joe Petro/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

How’s it going, Mane Landers? Most of my holiday shopping is wrapped up, but I’ll still be braving the stores this weekend for a few final items. Hopefully everything is going smoothly for you all this December as we get ready for Christmas next weekend. Let’s get this Friday started with some links from around the soccer world.

Orlando Pride Acquire Angharad James, Allocation Money for Morgan

With the NWSL trade window open, the Orlando Pride’s trade with San Diego Wave FC became official. The Pride will receive an NWSL record $275,000 in allocation money and midfielder Angharad James in exchange for the star forward. James is engaged to Pride defender Amy Turner and joins the team after a season with the North Carolina Courage that included a goal and 10 starts. Morgan leaves the Pride after six seasons to return to her home state of California. The Pride secured quite a bit of allocation money in this deal and will turn their attention to tomorrow’s NWSL Draft to continue their rebuild.

San Diego and Angel City FC Make Expansion Draft Choices

The Orlando Pride escaped the 2022 NWSL Expansion Draft relatively unscathed, although a trio of former Pride players are headed to Los Angeles as Angel City FC selected Dani Weatherholt, Claire Emslie, and Jasmyne Spencer with its first three picks. Emslie’s rights were held by the Pride, but she currently plays for Everton. San Diego chose Kristie Mewis from the Houston Dash and then traded the star midfielder to NJ/NY Gotham FC in exchange for $200,000 in allocation money. Wave FC added OL Reign’s Kristen McNabb and Racing Louisville FC’s Kaleigh Riehl to strengthen its defense while also passing on two of its selections.

USMNT Prepares for Friendly

The United States Men’s National Team will take on Bosnia and Herzegovina tomorrow night at 8 p.m. in the team’s final match of 2021. While the USMNT has enjoyed a strong year that included winning the Concacaf Nations League and Gold Cup, Bosnia and Herzegovina has had a rougher time. The European nation only won two of its 12 matches this year and finished behind France, Ukraine, and Finland in its World Cup qualifying group. Manager Ivaylo Petev went with a young squad to take on the U.S., with midfielder Andrej Đokanović and right winger Ajdin Nukić as players to keep an eye out for during the match.

Lindsey Horan Named U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year

Portland Thorns midfielder Lindsey Horan was voted as the 2021 U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year after a strong year for club and country. While it is Horan’s first time winning the award, she did win the U.S. Soccer Young Female Player of the Year award back in 2013. Horan claimed 36% of the vote, with Carli Lloyd finishing second with 29%, and Rose Lavelle in third with 19%.

Meanwhile, Trinity Rodman was named U.S. Soccer Young Female Player of the Year after an impressive rookie year with the Washington Spirit that included six goals and six assists. At just 19 years old, Rodman helped the Spirit win the NWSL championship and was also named Rookie of the Year. The forward earned 48% of the vote, with Lyon midfielder Catarina Macario claiming 32%, and Louisville defender Emily Fox in third with 13%.

Free Kicks
  • Rumors surfaced that former Orlando City assistant coach C.J. Brown could return to the Chicago Fire. Brown is currently the technical director and head coach of Chicago House AC.

That’s going to be it for now. I hope you all have a fantastic Friday and rest of your weekend!