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Lion Links: 12/14/22

Daryl Dike discusses his winner for West Brom, MLS announces four-year TV deals, Argentina reaches World Cup final, and more.

Argentina v Croatia: Semi Final - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Photo by Etsuo Hara/Getty Images

Hello, Mane Landers. I hope all of you are doing well down in Florida. I’ve been very busy at work, but am looking forward to the weekend. There is plenty to cover today, so let’s get to the links.

Daryl Dike Discusses West Brom’s Comeback Win

Former Orlando City forward Daryl Dike came off the bench and played a key role in West Brom’s comeback win. He had an assist and then scored a goal to help the Baggies win 2-1 over Sunderland. Due to injuries, Dike has only made four appearances for West Brom since he joined the club from Orlando City at the start of 2022. Dike gave some insight into how he was feeling after scoring the game-winning goal.

“My emotions are through the roof,” said Dike. “These past months have been the most difficult time of my life. All I want to do is be on the pitch and support the guys.

“Finally having this chance, and coming on and making an impact, is great for me mentally,” he added. “It was good for me, over the last month, to train over and over again, to get my body used to playing football again.”

Dike returns to the attack at a good time for West Brom, which is currently on a four-match winning streak. West Brom has a packed holiday schedule, with four matches in 17 days, and its next match is this Saturday against Rotherham United.

MLS Announces New Linear Television Agreements

Major League Soccer officially agreed to four-year linear television deals with FOX Sports and TelevisaUnivision in the U.S. and TSN and RDS in Canada. FOX Sports will broadcast select regular-season matches, playoff games, Leagues Cup matches, and the MLS Cup each year. These agreements will complement the partnership between MLS and Apple that includes a subscription service to stream every match during the season starting next year.

“We are proud to continue our partnerships with FOX Sports, Univision and TSN, and we are pleased to have MLS matches on RDS in Canada,” said MLS Commissioner Don Garber. “These broadcast industry leaders continue to demonstrate their deep commitment to MLS and soccer.

“Our linear agreements, along with our partnership with Apple, are the culmination of a series of collaborative discussions to provide our fans with the most expansive and accessible lineup of programming MLS and our sport in the U.S. and Canada have ever seen – and by a significant margin.”

MLS Transfer Roundup

CF Montréal acquired defender George Campbell from Atlanta United in exchange for $400,000 in 2023 General Allocation Money (GAM) and $200,000 in 2024 GAM, with a conditional $300,000 in conditional GAM as well. The 21-year-old started in 22 games across three seasons with Atlanta. Elsewhere, FC Cincinnati reportedly rejected a $7 million bid from Liga MX’s Chivas for striker Brandon Vazquez. The Portland Timbers signed defender Zac McGraw to a contract extension through 2025, with a club option for 2026. The Colorado Rapids re-signed defender Steven Beitashour for the 2023 season with an option for the club to keep him through 2024 as well.

Messi Leads Argentina to World Cup Final

Lionel Messi put on a stellar performance as he scored a goal and added an assist in Argentina’s 3-0 win against Croatia to reach the World Cup final. The 35-year-old scored from the spot on a penalty kick in the 34th minute, making history by surpassing Gabriel Batistuta to become Argentina's all-time leading scorer at World Cup. Shortly after Messi’s goal, Julian Alvarez cruised through Croatia’s defense like a freight train and buried Argentina’s second goal before halftime. In the 69th minute, Messi found a way to beat Josko Gvardiol and slid the ball toward Alvarez in the box to finish the match with a 3-0 victory. Argentina will await the winner of today’s semifinal between France and Morocco.

Free Kicks
  • Atlanta United’s Thiago Almada also made history with Argentina. The 21-year-old became the first active MLS player to make a FIFA World Cup final.

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