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Lion Links: 7/1/21



It’s July! It’s crazy to me that we’re over halfway done with 2021, but alas here we are and we’ve got things on the docket. Orlando City and the Orlando Pride have games this weekend, all the while the European transfer window opens today and the Olympics are around the corner. Lots to get into, so let’s discuss.

Nani Fifth in MVP Ladder per

It’s hard not to feel like there’s an anti-Orlando bias in Major League Soccer circles sometimes. In’s MVP power rankings, Orlando City talisman and captain Nani ranked fifth, just past the honorable mentions. Antonio Carlos actually received votes — the only defender featured — so Orlando got some love, but the Nani disrespect is infuriating. The folks ranked ahead of him were, in order, Sporting Kansas City’s Dániel Sallói, Seattle’s Raul Ruidiaz, the Galaxy’s Chicharito, and New England’s Carles Gil.

Since this award is entirely stat driven, that’s a sound top five, but to have Nani fifth within that group is just wrong. Only Chicharito and Sallói have more goal contributions (goals plus assists), while Nani’s per-90 goal contributions are noticeably the best in the league. Nani is on the same or better level in terms of production, while playing for a top three team in the league, all the with 300 fewer minutes played than his contemporaries. There’s no rational reason Nani shouldn’t be top three in this ranking, and the “wearing down over the course of a season” shouldn’t apply to a here-and-now ranking. Let’s see how he does when it’s not a pandemic-condensed season trying to make up for lost months or when he’s in the second season played back-to-back consecutively.

MLS Transfer Needs

The content team at kept busy Wednesday. Aside from the suspect MVP power rankings, Tom Bogert listed transfer needs for each MLS team. For Orlando City, he noted a need at striker, assuming a potentially imminent sale of Daryl Dike. While that’s an easy narrative around Orlando, is it the most warranted? Even without Dike, Pato is set to return from injury soon while Tesho Akindele is having an excellent season thus far. Add in SuperDraft pick Derek Dodson and Orlando City has options at center forward, especially when you consider that a lot of Orlando’s offensive production comes from the wingers, not necessarily the strikers.

Morgan Criticizes IOC For Lack of Clarity Around Bringing Children to Olympics

Orlando Pride and U.S. Women’s National Team star Alex Morgan shared her frustrations around the IOC’s lack of clarity around bringing children to the Olympic Games.

While the IOC announced that nursing mothers will be able to bring their children, the specific guidelines are still hazy. Morgan is one of many Olympic stars in this state of limbo, with the potential of missing out on Olympic dreams a harsh reality for some.

European Transfer Shenanigans

The summer transfer window is nothing but chaos in the soccer world. Yesterday was particularly eventful, with a potentially massive transfer coming to fruition. Borussia Dortmund and England star Jadon Sancho is set to join Manchester United, per Fabrizio Romano.

The move has been in the works for weeks but should now be set, pending medicals. In other transfer news, Inter Milan’s Achraf Hakimi’s move to Paris Saint-Germain is now all but announced while Leicester City announced the signing of striker Patson Daka from Red Bull Salzburg.

On the managerial end, two big Premier League openings were filled, with Everton hiring former Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez, and Tottenham Hotspur turning to former Wolverhampton manager Nuno Espirito Santo.

Free Kicks

  • Orlando City’s clash with the New York Red Bulls on Saturday will feature post-game fireworks.
  • NWSL expansion side Angel City FC revealed its first club logo.
  • Austin FC announced the signing of striker Moussa Djitté from French side Grenoble Foot 38. He was brought in under the U-22 initiative and isn’t a Designated Player.

That’s all I have for today Thank you all for reading. Have a great day!


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