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 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.
- As the calendar year turns, here is a list of key dates for the USMNT, the USWNT, MLS, NWSL, and all major tournaments in 2022.
- Sergino Dest (Barcelona) and Joe Scally (Borussia Moenchengladbach) have both tested positive for COVID-19 and will be held out for at least 10 days at their respective clubs.
- The Seattle Sounders are reportedly pursuing Real Salt Lake DP Albert Rusnak.
- Toronto FC is shopping Yeferson Soteldo to other clubs. Despite his only being with the club for a season, he is not happy, and it doesn’t seem to be working out for either party.
- ESPN has released its “midseason awards” for the English Premier League. No big surprises on the best player, the worst signing, and the best matches. See if you agree.
- Just in case you forgot that China is an authoritarian country, the General Administration of Sport of China has banned tattoos, and is requiring players with tattoos to either remove them or cover them up.
- As I’ve mentioned in the past, soccer is a business, so it’s no wonder that Forbes has put out its own list of what to expect in the world of soccer in 2022.
- This is a bit like closing the barn doors after the horse has already bolted.
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!