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Lion Links: 12/31/21

MLS wish lists, Dike makes another list, the NWSL’s 2021 season, FIFA gonna FIFA, and more.

SOCCER: OCT 31 MLS - Nashville SC at Orlando City SC Photo by Andrew Bershaw/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Happy New Year’s Eve, Mane Landers! It’s been quite a year for club and country, and for those of us here at The Mane Land. We greatly appreciate that you choose to read our stuff, and we look forward to bringing you all the Orlando City and Orlando Pride coverage in the new year. For now, let’s get to the last links of 2021.

MLS New Year’s Wish List

You might think that a wish list is something for a birthday or your choice of winter holiday, but it seems that a New Year’s wish list is also a thing. The people at MLS have compiled such a list for each of the clubs in the league, including Orlando City. They went with the obvious signing of some new DPs, which is indeed on my version of the list. I’m a little greedy, and I want some trophies, but one must come before the other.

As for the other teams, I wish for NYCFC to get a real soccer-specific stadium (a gift for all of us). Perhaps Austin FC can get Matthew McConaughey a different suit, or a new drum? Perhaps the Columbus Crew can get their old logo back? The point is there are tons of other ideas. Let me know some of yours in the comments.

Another Day, Another List for Dike

I don’t know if you have heard, but there is interest in Daryl Dike from European clubs. I know, I was surprised as well, but it’s true. Of course, he’s among a handful of players in MLS that may make the trip across the pond this coming year. It seems that Dike is only “more likely than not” to go. Those who listen to The Mane Land PawedCast know Michael and I think Orlando City should sign Dike to a 1-year DP contract, but I guess we don’t get to make the decisions. Other players mentioned include Taty Castellanos, Ricardo Pepi, and Rodolfo Pizarro.

2021 a Season of Woe for NWSL

The 2021 calendar year was a rough one for the National Women’s Soccer League. There was the firing of Paul Riley from the North Carolina Courage after alleged abuse of former players. Those allegations set off an avalanche of resignations and suspensions at various clubs, and the league itself. The NWSL Players Association made demands to change the culture of the league, and the league agreed. Hopefully, the league will continue to address player concerns going forward and have a better 2022.

FIFA Shenanigans

Fifa president Gianni Infantino is calling for “solidarity” in regards to the organization’s proposed changes to international football. That includes the introduction of biennial World Cups, a plan that has received plenty of criticism and push back from clubs, nations, and others. UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin pointed out that holding tournament biennially would affect the Women’s World Cup and also the Olympics in certain years. If you want to know if these changes will take effect, just remember that it is estimated it would increase revenues by $4.4 billion for FIFA. There’s your answer.

Free Kicks

We here at The Mane Land wish you all the best in the coming year. If you are heading out tonight to celebrate, please do so safely. As much as we all wish that the pandemic was over, it simply isn’t and Omicron is no joke. Vamos Orlando!