Lion Links

Lion Links: 11/18/23

U.S. plays France in U-17 World Cup. Colorado Rapids hire Chris Armas as head coach, Everton deducted 10 points, and more.



Image courtesy of Orlando City B / Mark Thor

Welcome to the weekend, Mane Landers! This past week has felt like forever and I’m looking forward to getting some needed rest and relaxation. I don’t have many plans beyond knocking out some chores and watching soccer, but that’s hardly the worst thing in the world. Before we get this Saturday started with today’s links, let’s all wish a happy 21st birthday to Orlando City B goalkeeper Javier Otero!

U.S. U-17 Team Faces France This Morning in World Cup

The United States U-17 National Team is playing France this morning in its final group stage match of the U-17 World Cup. Both teams won their first two games of the tournament and have already clinched a spot in the next round, making this match the decider for which team finishes atop the group. Orlando City academy and OCB defender Tahir Reid-Brown started for the U.S. in its 2-1 win over Burkina Faso earlier this week. The U.S. offense has been led by 15-year-old forward Nimfasha Berchimas, who has scored three goals so far this tournament. France will be a tough opponent for the U.S., as the European nation has yet to concede a goal.

Colorado Rapids Officially Hire Chris Armas

Chris Armas is officially the next head coach of the Colorado Rapids to fill the vacancy after the club parted ways with Robin Fraser in September. The 51-year-old has not been a head coach since he was at the helm of Toronto FC in 2021, a tenure that only lasted 11 games after losing eight games during that stretch. Before joining Toronto, Armas spent two years with the New York Red Bulls and won the Supporters’ Shield in 2018. He returns to MLS after stints in Europe with Manchester United and Leeds United as an assistant coach. It’s a fresh start for him and the Rapids, as the club finished last in the Western Conference this past season and neither Jack Price nor Diego Rubin will be in Colorado next year.

Darlington Nagbe Signs Contract Extension With the Columbus Crew

Columbus Crew captain Darlington Nagbe signed a contract extension that will keep him with the club through the 2025 season, with an option for 2026 as well. Nagbe is in his fourth year with the Crew after being traded to the club from Atlanta following the 2019 season. He’s played in every game for the Crew this season, recording three goals and an assist. This is Nagbe’s 13th year in the league and he’s won the MLS Cup with all three of the teams he’s played for.

“Playing in my home state the past four years and winning an MLS Cup with the Crew has been really special, and it’s a blessing to continue my career in Columbus, both for me and my family,” Nagbe, 33, said. “We have more work to do, but I’m excited about what we’ve accomplished together this season and the future direction of our club.”

Everton Deducted 10 Points for Breaching EPL Rules

Everton was handed a 10-point deduction by the English Premier League for breaking the league’s profitability and sustainability rules. An independent commission found that Everton lost $155 million over a three-year span, which exceeded the maximum number of losses allowed of $130 million. It’s the largest punishment ever given by the EPL and Everton is now in the relegation zone with just four points. However, there is plenty of the season left to be played and Everton has been no stranger to escaping relegation in recent years. Everton also pledged to appeal the punishment, so we’ll see if any of those deducted points are given back following the appeal.

Free Kicks

  • D.C. United has reportedly hired Ally Mackay as its next general manager and chief soccer manager. It’s potentially good news for the Lions if this comes to fruition, as Orlando City Technical Director and Assistant General Manager Ricardo Moreira was reportedly a finalist for the job.
  • The Concacaf Nations League quarterfinal between Jamaica and Canada was postponed until today at 10:30 a.m. due to severe weather in Kingston last night.
  • Denmark and Albania qualified for next year’s Euros after picking up wins in qualifying, while Italy’s win over North Macedonia means it clinches a spot with a draw or win against Ukraine on Monday.
  • Real Madrid revealed that Eduardo Camavinga tore a knee ligament while training with France and is expected to be out until 2024.

That’s all I have for you today. I hope you all have a wonderful Saturday!


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