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Lion Links: 2/28/23

Jurgen Klinsmann takes South Korea job, FIFA awards results, Canadian soccer president resigns, and more.

Technical Study Group Media Briefing Photo by Mohamed Farag/Getty Images

Happy Tuesday, everyone! Orlando City got its season off to a winning start, and I had a blast being back at Exploria Stadium for the first time in quite awhile. What more could you ask for? There’s plenty of news to discuss today, so let’s get after it.

Jurgen Klinsmann Joins South Korea

Former United States Men’s National Team coach Jurgen Klinsmann has become the head coach of South Korea. Klinsmann replaces Paulo Bento, who led South Korea to a defeat against Brazil in the Round of 16 at the 2022 World Cup, and stepped down afterwards. Klinsmann has signed a contract through the 2026 World Cup. His post with South Korea is his first managerial role since he was in charge of Hertha Berlin for a mere 10 weeks from Nov. 2019 to Feb. 2020, and his first international job since he was fired as USMNT coach back in Nov. 2016.

FIFA Awards Results

Lionel Messi grabbed the big award of Best FIFA Men’s Player on Monday, edging Kylian Mbappe and Karim Benzema to do so. Fellow Argentinians Lionel Scaloni and Emiliano Martinez were named Best Manager and Best Goalkeeper, respectively. On the women’s side of things, Alexia Putellas won the Best FIFA Women’s Player, beating out Alex Morgan and Beth Mead. Putellas won for the second year in a row, and becomes the first woman to win the award more than once. Back in October she also became the first woman to win the Ballon d’Or Feminin twice, again beating out Beath Mead, as well as Sam Kerr in the process.

Canadian Soccer President Resigns

Nick Bontis announced his resignation from his post as president of the Canadian soccer federation on Monday, effective immediately. Both the men’s and women’s teams are embroiled in a labor dispute with the federation, as they have both said their budgets have been cut. The Canadian women’s team has been particularly active in the fight against the federation recently, threatening not to play in the SheBelieves Cup and then wearing shirts bearing the message “Enough is Enough” ahead of the team’s opening game against the USWNT in the tournament.

French National Federation Calls Crisis Meeting

The French national federation is set to meet today to deal with the issues of the sexual harassment faced by federation president Noel Le Graet and three women’s players who have said that they won’t go to this summer’s World Cup. Le Graet is facing a legal investigation and has been accused of propositioning two female staff members, as well as a member of the French women’s national team, even after he knew he was under investigation for allegations of sexual harassment. Le Graet will face heavy pressure to resign. Corrine Diacre, head coach of the women’s team, is also expected to resign after three French players — one of whom is captain Wendie Renard — said they will not play at the World Cup unless the environment around the team changes.

Free Kicks
  • The latest edition of the FIFPRO Men’s World XI is a bit heavy on the forwards.

That’s everything for me today. Y’all stay safe out there.