To all you Mane Landers out there who celebrated Christmas, I hope you had a wonderful day with the people you love. Are you ready now for some Boxing Day soccer? When I drive to downtown Mary Margaret’s Olde Irish Tavern in St. Pete today for the Aston Villa-Chelsea match, I plan to listen to this Soccer 101 podcast about Boxing Day and why it’s such a big day for British football.
Now, let’s get to the news of the day.
Daryl Dike’s 2021 Was “Truly Incredible”
MLSsoccer.com’s Andrew Wiebe used his year-end column to spotlight one story from each MLS club that he is thankful for as 2021 comes to a close. For Wiebe, 2021 was “truly incredible” for Orlando City’s Daryl Dike.
Alex Morgan Goal Named to Top 10 List
The SBI Soccer staff reviewed all 76 of the United States Women’s National Team goals in 2021 to identify its top 10 of the year. Former Orlando Pride striker Alex Morgan’s goal in the USWNT’s 6-0 SheBelieves Cup romp over Argentina squeaked onto the list at No. 10.
Vote Early, Vote Often
Our friends at Stars and Stripes FC invite us to vote for our choice for their goal and assist of the year by USMNT players (for club and country). Two of Daryl Dike’s goals with Championship side Barnsley are nominated for club goal of the year.
Soccer Continues 24/7, 365 Days a Year
Did you miss soccer on Christmas Day? The beautiful game played on even if you were buried in wrapping paper. Turkish Süper Lig leaders Trabzonspor drew with İstanbul Başakşehir yesterday and set a new record for most points in the first half of a Süper Lig season (46 points), surpassing Fenerbahçe’s record from 2005-06 (45).
Down both its center backs and goalkeeper, an eight-man Singapore squad finally succumbed to Indonesia, 4-2, in extra time of a second-leg AFF Suzuki Cup semifinal clash.
- The first association football match was played 161 years ago today.
- The Guardian’s Jonathan Liew believes “we may come back to look on 2021 as the year when football’s silent majority finally, tentatively, discovered its voice.”
- Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira won’t block his players from competing in the African Cup of Nations, stating the competition “has to be more respected” and that it’s “as important as the European Championship.”
- Days after announcing its 100 best female footballers in the world, The Guardian published its 100 best male footballers in the world. Robert Lewandowski sits number one for the second straight year.
Major League Soccer asked yesterday “what’s the best soccer-related gift you got this year?” For me, it’s either discovering a very welcoming American Outlaws chapter in St. Pete or receiving an invitation to contribute to The Mane Land. Yeah, it’s both. What’s yours?
Enjoy the final week of 2021. Wishing all of you a fantastic 2022.