Lion Links

Lion Links: 11/24/18



Good Saturday morning, faithful readers. It’s a big day for us here at The Mane Land. On this date four years ago, our little WordPress blog made the move to SB Nation. We are still proud as hell to be here and we’ve enjoyed the progression we’ve had over the years as we were just a tiny little blog getting 200 views on a good day and then just a few months later we were part of one of the premier sports networks on the internet. Thanks to our readers and the many staff members who have contributed since 2014 for helping us get here.

Things have been fairly quiet of late but business should be picking up. The deadline to pick up contract options is fast approaching and so we should receive official word soon on which Lions are coming back, which aren’t, and which might be if they accept new deals. It’ll give us a better handle on what the club will be doing this off-season to rebuild an Orlando City team that quite frankly failed in about every measurable way in 2018. Before OCSC can defy expectations it will need to find a way to at least meet them.

So, what’s going on? I’m glad you asked.

Pareja Interviewed for USMNT Job; Berhalter Closing On a Deal

Doug McIntyre of Yahoo! Sports reported that former FC Dallas head coach Oscar Pareja interviewed for the USMNT job but Columbus Crew gaffer Gregg Berhalter is in the process of finishing up a deal to take the position.

My understanding is that Berhalter and the USSF are currently finalizing an agreement. No deal had been signed as of Wednesday, but if things go to plan the hiring would be announced late next week, a source with knowledge of the situation said. The former USMNT defender would then be formally introduced during a press conference in New York City during the first few days of December.

If the two sides fail to reach an agreement, though, U.S. Soccer would be in a tough spot. Pareja, who resigned Tuesday as FCD’s coach after five seasons, has already agreed to join Liga MX side Club Tijuana, according to’s Ives Galarcep. Berhalter and Pareja are the only people U.S. men’s national team GM Earnie Stewart has formally interviewed for the position, sources said. 

Think about that. It’s been over a year and only two candidates have been formally interviewed for the USMNT manager position. This federation may need to be burned to the ground so we can start over.

Does Giuseppe Rossi Have an MLS Future in New York?

Italian-American forward Giuseppe Rossi has been kicking (a ball) around the New York Red Bulls’ training facility in New Jersey since being let go by Serie A side Genoa in May. The 31-year-old said he’d like to sit down and talk with the New York teams about a potential MLS move to continue his career.

Conmebol Lobbies FIFA for Two-Year World Cup Cycle

Could the World Cup move from every four years to twice as often? That’s what South American confederation Conmebol President Alejandro Domínguez would like to see. Conmebol is chatting up FIFA about a World Cup every two years instead of four, which would allow many world soccer stars to appear in more than two or three during their careers.

“The proposal we have made to Fifa is to play the World Cup every two years and not every four,” Domínguez said. “Instead of having the Nations League in between we can just go ahead every two years and have a World Cup and that is for everyone.

What do you think? Should this prestigious event be bumped up to once every two years?

Zlatan: Off to Milan or Nah?

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is being a bit noncommittal about rumors about a return to AC Milan. After a sensational first season with the LA Galaxy, it would be understandable for a European team to give the big Swede another look. But is he off to Serie A or some other European location?

“I won’t say ‘no’ and I won’t say ‘yes’,” Ibrahimovic said. “We’ll see… [Gennaro] Gattuso was a great player and is a great coach.” 

Free Kicks

  • Here’s your viewing guide to USMNT players with their club teams around the world this weekend, courtesy of our friends at Stars and Stripes FC.
  • USMNT and New York Red Bulls midfielder Tyler Adams wrote a Player’s Tribune piece with some great insight into his background and a heartfelt desire to win MLS Cup.
  • The Florida State women reached the NCAA semifinals with a 1-0 win over Penn State, courtesy of this unbelievable blast from Deyna Castellanos.
  • Those born on this date include 12th U.S. President Zachary Taylor (1784), hoops legend Oscar Robertson (1938), former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue (1940), original Beatles drummer Pete Best (1941), The A Team actor Dwight Schultz (1947), Star Trek: The Next Generation actress Denise Crosby (1957), actor Garret Dillahunt (1964), actor Colin Hanks (1977), and Tampa Bay quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (1982).

That’s all for me today. Enjoy your weekend. I leave you with scenes from Jonathan Spector’s Thanksgiving holiday.


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