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Lion Links: 12/28/21

Daryl Dike goal a highlight of 2021, Prem managers call for five subs again, transfer rumor roundup, and more.

MLS: Columbus Crew SC at Orlando City SC Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Tuesday, everyone. I hope you all had a good holiday weekend and made it home safely if you traveled. As usual, there’s lots to discuss today, so let’s jump right into the links.

Dike Goal vs. Columbus a 2021 Highlight

We previously mentioned that our friends over at SBNation’s Stars and Stripes FC recently released their list of nominations for the best goals and assists by members of the United States Men’s National team over the last year. While Orlando City’s own Daryl Dike had two goals nominated that he scored while on loan with Burnley last spring (and they are bangers), none of the ones he scored with the Lions made the cut. However, the goal he scored against the Columbus Crew back in September just missed the cut, so SSFC also collected some of those that didn’t quite make it, giving us the opportunity to re-live it. Nani won the ball in the Lions’ half and sent a long ball over the top for Dike, who turned Aboubacar Keita and bore down on goal from the right side of the box. He feinted several times before driving forward and and blasting a shot into the roof of the net past a helpless Eloy Room to put Orlando up 1-0.

Make sure you check out the two Dike goals that were nominated and cast a vote for the big fella!

Prem Managers Call for Five Subs

Jurgen Klopp has echoed Thomas Tuchel’s recent calls to bring the use of five substitutes back to the Premier League in the midst of the recent spike in COVID-19 cases. When the league restarted after a three-month pause in June, 2020 teams were allowed to use five subs until the end of the season. Things were reverted back to three for the 2021-2022 season, but Tuchel recently opined that the rule should be revisited amid the recent spike in COVID cases that has torn through the Premier League. Klopp was asked on Monday if he would be in favor of the change and replied in the affirmative, saying

“[Five subs] is the right decision especially in this moment because you bring players back after COVID infection or after an injury and then they have to play immediately.”

Transfer Rumor Roundup

The January transfer window is almost upon us, and there are a couple rumors worth keeping an eye on as Jan. 1 draws closer. First up is George Bello, who is said to have attracted the interest of Watford. Claudio Ranieri is reported to be looking to strengthen his defense and Bello is seemingly a name that has popped up.

Across the pond, Ferran Torres reportedly completed a medical at Barcelona yesterday, and may be revealed as a new player today. He wouldn’t be eligible to play for the team until after Jan. 1, but once that happens the €55 million man will be ready to roll.

Confirming a piece of news that was rumored last week, it was announced yesterday that Canadian international defender Alistair Johnston has joined CF Montreal from Nashville SC. In exchange, Nashville got a whopping $1 million in General Allocation Money, while also retaining a 10% sell-on clause for any moves that the defender makes in the future.

Big Names Speak Out Against Biennial World Cup

Kylian Mbappe is the latest high profile player to speak out against the prospect of a biennial World Cup. The French striker had the following to say on the subject,

“It’s something unique that happens every four years. Playing it every two years would become a normal competition. We already play 60 games a year. We are happy to play, but when it’s too much it is too much. If you want to have quality you have to allow the players to rest.”

Robert Lewandowski also took issue with the large amount of games that players would be asked to play. He spoke about the need for resting periods for the players, both of the physical and mental variety, with his comments later being echoed by Mbappe.

Free Kicks
  • Kingston made the rounds with his sack of toys at the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children.
  • Check out four straight minutes of USWNT goals from this year.

That does it for me today. Y’all stay safe out there.