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Lion Links: 2/18/21

Marta agrees to a new contract, Orlando Pride players to begin SheBelieves Cup today, Crystal Dunn speaks out, and more.

SOCCER: AUG 05 NWSL - Chicago Red Stars at Orlando Pride Photo by Joe Petro/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Happy Thursday, Mane Landers. I hope the first half of your week has been a good one. It has been an eventfully, news-packed week for Orlando soccer fans. So, on that note, let’s get right into the links.

Marta, Orlando Pride Agree on New Contract

Brazilian superstar Marta has signed a new deal with Orlando Pride. The player, who turns 35 tomorrow, has put pen to paper, and in doing so, that basically means she will have a raise for the 2021 season and the club will have another option for 2022. The side’s all-time leader in goals and assists signing a new deal could be a great move for the Pride if she continues to perform to her usual, high standards — especially with the quality added to the team around her. The player has also obtained a green card recently, so she will no longer take up an international spot.

Marta is excited to sign a new deal and continue her adventure in Orlando, and the club showed its excitement with this absolute gem of a post on Twitter too.

Pride Players to Begin Play in SheBelieves Cup Today

The SheBelieves Cup proceedings are set to begin in Orlando today with Brazil scheduled to face Argentina and the USWNT to take on Canada. Amongst the list of veterans who could play important roles, according to Meg Linehan, are Orlando Pride players Marta and Alex Morgan.

Experienced veterans such as Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan and Carli Lloyd will play important roles, but so too will the upcoming generation personified by the newest member of Olympique Lyonnais, Catarina Macario. Rounding out this year’s SheBelieves Cup will be Canada, Brazil and Argentina — and while Canada’s Christine Sinclair, the all-time top scorer in international soccer, is absent due to injury, Brazil’s six-time FIFA player of the year, Marta, will feel plenty comfortable in her NWSL home town.

It’ll be interesting to see how the likes of the aforementioned, veteran duo and Jordyn Listro fare in the competition.

Crystal Dunn Will Not be Silent Any Longer

USWNT star Crystal Dunn has made it clear that she is not a fan of the left back role in which she has been shoehorned into. Dunn is ready to show the world who she really is on and off the field.

“I’ve always given a very soft answer of, ‘Yeah I don’t like playing left back, but I’m a team player,’” Dunn said. “And all of that is so true. At the end of the day, I would play whatever [position] to represent my country, if that means playing outside back, then I’m game.

“But I think it’s also important people realize what I deal with on a daily basis is very much different than most players. I transform into a different player basically when I am in this environment because I know my role is different. When I go to [my] club, I am almost feeling like more of myself.”

In the in depth interview with Goal.com, she also stated that she believes the face of women’s soccer is still a white woman. Dunn hopes to push those boundaries and wants to help to change that narrative.

“For me, it doesn’t even have to be me. But I think that I am the one to push those boundaries and say we need to change the narrative that only white women play this sport, that only white people play this sport.

“I want to be very clear that whether it is me who is ever considered a face of women’s soccer, that really isn’t my goal. My goal is for Black women coming after me, that they even have a chance to be the face of this sport.”

It’s great to see Dunn speaking out about her issues on the field, and more importantly, the ones regarding racial injustices within soccer as well.

AFC Bournemouth Show Interest in Thierry Henry

English Championship side AFC Bournemouth has reportedly targeted Arsenal legend Thierry Henry to fill its vacant managerial role. Henry just recently replaced Remi Garde at Montreal before the 2020 MLS season, but the Cherries are reportedly looking to pry him away from the Canadian side.

Bournemouth are keen on appointing Thierry Henry as their manager and the Arsenal legend is understood to be open to the role. The Championship club are ramping up their attempts to fill a position vacated by Jason Tindall a fortnight ago, with Jonathan Woodgate in interim charge.

After a 1-0 victory at home to Rotherham on Wednesday, Bournemouth sit in sixth place after 30 matches. Can the all-time top scorer for Arsenal help secure the recently relegated side promotion to the Premier league as a manager? We may find out soon enough.

Free Kicks
  • Daryl Dike came on as a substitute for Barnsley against Blackburn Rovers with the match tied at 0-0. Although he didn’t score, his side prevailed with a 2-1 victory.

That is all for this Hump Day’s sent of links. Hang in there for the remainder of the week, folks. I’ll catch you next time.