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Lion Links: 8/25/21

MLS All-Star game tonight, Tajon Buchanan transferred to Club Brugge, Real Madrid makes a bid for Kylian Mbappe, and more.

MLS: MLS All-Star Skills Challenge Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Hello, Mane Landers. I hope everyone is doing well and staying safe down in Florida. I’ve had another busy week up here in Chicago, but am looking forward to seeing what fall brings. There is plenty to cover today, so let’s get to the links!

MLS All-Stars Take On Liga MX Tonight

The MLS-All Star game is tonight at 9:30 p.m. in Los Angeles as the best of MLS face off against the top players from Liga MX. Orlando City’s Nani and Pedro Gallese are both there for the match and are joined by other stars such as Raul Ruidiaz, Daniel Salloi, Gustavo Bou, and captain Cristian Roldan. The Liga MX All-Stars will be headlined by Rogelio Funes Mori, Nahuel Guzman, and Jonathan Rodriguez. LAFC Head Coach Bob Bradley will manage the MLS All-Stars and discussed this clash between the two leagues.

“The idea of putting the best of MLS versus the best of Liga MX is fantastic,” Bradley told media on Monday as festivities ramp up. “It’s all about the fans. It’s about having really good players on the field in a great atmosphere and letting the fans enjoy it.” But – and of course there’s a but – it means something more. “Anything that goes on between Mexico and the US is a rivalry,” Bradley said.

Liga MX came out on top in the All-Star Skills Challenge, with Rodriguez hitting the crossbar from 40 yards out. Nani did well in the crossbar challenge, but it wasn’t enough to best Liga MX. In the other events, FC Dallas forward Ricardo Pepi and Columbus Crew midfielder Lucas Zelarayan were both lethal in front of goal. All in all, it was a fun event for all involved and is shaping up to be a great tradition for future years.

Tajon Buchanan Will Move to Europe After MLS Season

New England Revolution midfielder Tajon Buchanan will head to Belgium’s Club Brugge once the MLS season is over. The transfer fee was undisclosed and New England will retain a percentage of Buchanan’s future sell-on rights. Buchanan will remain with the Revolution on loan until the end of the 2021 MLS season and the 22-year-old shared his thoughts on this next challenge.

“I am excited to take this next step in my career and am grateful for the New England Revolution for giving me the opportunity to grow as a player and showcase my abilities,” said Buchanan. “I will continue to give my all to the Revolution this season and hope to end my time in MLS by lifting a trophy with my teammates.”

The Canadian has six goals and four assists so far this season. Buchanan was also named to the 2021 Gold Cup Best XI this summer and won the Best Young Player Award at the tournament as Canada reached the semifinals.

EPL Won’t Release Players to Red-Listed Countries

English Premier League clubs announced that they won’t release any player to a country that is on England’s red list so that the players won’t have to quarantine for 10 days when they return. This decision affects roughly 60 players, mostly from South American countries. Brazil’s Thiago Silva, Fred, and Gabriel Jesus are just a few players who could be blocked from playing in crucial World Cup qualifying matches next month. La Liga released a similar statement saying it would support Spanish clubs that did not want to release its players for international duty. However, these leagues and clubs could face sanctions from FIFA.

Real Madrid’s Bid for Kylian Mbappe is Rejected

Real Madrid’s $188 million bid to acquire Paris Saint-Germain superstar Kylian Mbappe was reportedly rejected immediately. With the transfer window set to close on Aug. 31, Real Madrid will need to increase the offer if it wants to convince PSG to part ways with Mbappe before his contract expires next summer. With the recent arrival of Lionel Messi from FC Barcelona, PSG could persuade Mbappe to re-sign over the course of the season. However, the 23-year-old has made it clear he doesn’t intend to renew his contract with the French club.

Free Kicks
  • Orlando City SC moved up two spots to sixth place in this week’s MLS power rankings after its 1-0 win over the Chicago Fire and 1-1 draw on the road against Nashville SC.
  • United States Men’s National Team forward Josh Sargent scored twice as Norwich City crushed AFC Bournemouth 6-0 in the Carabao Cup.
  • The Professional Referee Organization decided not to recognize the Professional Soccer Referees Association as a union for NWSL and USL referees.
  • FIFA was ruled to be a victim of its own corruption scandal and will receive a share of the compensation.

That will do it for me, Mane Landers. Enjoy your Wednesday and I’ll see you next time.