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Lion Links: 12/24/22

Sebas Mendez leaves LAFC, Premier League Boxing Day, USMNT players rejoin clubs, and more.

Los Angeles FC v Sporting Kansas City Photo by Bill Barrett/ISI Photos/Getty Images

Merry Christmas Eve, Mane Landers! For those of you who have traveled, I hope you are staying warm. It is currently hovering around a wind chill of -20 degrees at my parents’ house in Tennessee. It really has me missing watching the annual Surfing Santas in Cocoa Beach. If you are in the area, go check it out and enjoy the beach! If you are not, it is probably time to start sorting out your Premier League Boxing Day watch party schedule for your day on the couch. Now, let’s check out some links from around the soccer world!

Sebas Mendez Joins Sao Paulo FC

Former Orlando City defensive midfielder Sebas Mendez is reportedly set to join Sao Paulo FC following his run in the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Mendez found himself traded midseason in the July window to LAFC after losing his starting spot to newcomer Cesar Araujo. It was reported that the trade included $300,000 in General Allocation Money (GAM), with the potential for another $225,000 in GAM in 2023 and $225,000 more in GAM in 2024 if contract conditions were met. Should Mendez leave the league and LAFC, the club wouldn’t see any of that additional money as those clauses would obviously not be triggered.

Premier League Boxing Day Preview

It is almost time for one of the most wonderful days of the year in the Premier League: Boxing Day. After a six-week break for the 2022 World Cup, the Premier League is back with Boxing Day 2022. But what is Boxing Day and why is it so special? Over the course of soccer history in the United Kingdom, Dec. 26 has a long tradition of being intertwined with the Premier League and festive fixtures on the marquee day, which has been a national holiday since 1871.

This year on Boxing Day in 2022, we will have seven games played across four time slots from 7:30 a.m. until past 5 p.m. Beginning at 7:30 a.m., Brentford and Tottenham Hotspur will get all the action started as the featured match. Following the early match, multiple other games will begin. Crystal Palace will take on Fulham. Everton will face Wolves for a bottom-of-the-table battle. Leicester City will host Newcastle at King Power Stadium. Finally, Brighton will visit Southampton. The day is not over yet though as Aston Villa will then play Liverpool, and Arsenal will look to hold on to the top spot in the league with their match against West Ham to finish out the day.

USMNT Players Return to Europe

For the 2022 United States Men’s National Team, the dream of lifting the World Cup is over. However, the return to the players’ clubs starts the updating of their resumes for the 2026 edition. Many current USMNT players have substantial responsibilities awaiting them at club level. A few will have something to prove or will soon be embarking on new adventures elsewhere in January.

With a goal and two assists for Chelsea in 517 combined minutes across Premier League and UEFA Champions League action, Christian Pulisic will look to raise his club up the table and build upon a successful personal World Cup campaign. USMNT captain Tyler Adams and playmaker Brenden Aaronson will continue to help Leeds United stay clear of the relegation zone at the bottom of the league. The younger Aaronson brother, Paxten Aaronson, is off to Germany from Philadelphia Union this winter, joining Eintracht Frankfurt in a deal worth $4 million with add-ons including a large sell-on percentage. He will look to make an impact immediately and prove his worth. While these are just a few, be sure to check out the full article to see what is in store for your favorite USMNT player.

U.S. House Passes Equal Pay Bill

Late Wednesday evening, the United States House passed a bill that allows equal pay for women competing at international events. All American women will receive the same financial compensation as men during tournaments such as the World Cup and the Olympics (although U.S. Soccer has already established an equal pay system). The Equal Pay for Team USA Act was previously approved unanimously by the Senate. Now that it has passed both the Senate and House, the bill will now go to President Joe Biden’s desk for final approval. Organizations such as the Olympics and Paralympic committees are required to oversee the financial aspects of the agreement, which will cross over 50 sports that the country competes in internationally. U.S. Soccer President Cindy Parlow Cone also released a statement regarding the news.

“By sending this legislation to the president, both houses have sent a clear message that this is the standard for all national teams in all sports and it underscores the importance of working with our athletes to achieve equal pay including equalizing international prize money,” Parlow Cone said.

Free Kicks
  • Former Orlando City midfielder Yoshimar Yotún has reportedly extended his stay with Peruvian club Sporting Cristal.

Well, that’s all I have for you folks today. Whether you’ll be spending the next few days watching movies, playing board games with friends, or just spending time with loved ones — I wish you and yours a very happy holidays. Maybe Santa will even bring us an official announcement on that third DP signing. Vamos Orlando!