Major Link Soccer: Sophia Smith SZN is every season

Preseason has started for MLS clubs, and Héber impressed in his first performance in front of the faithful Sounders. Elsewhere in MLS signings big and small are rolling in, or at least rumors about them are. Men’s European football is cooking, but that’s not necessarily been good for everyone. Finally, it’s awards season and Sophia Smith and Jaedyn Shaw have taken a couple of the biggest awards up for grabs.

Nikki Stanton’s home and she’s not going anywhere. OL Reign Re-Signs Midfielder Nikki Stanton Through 2023 Season — OL REIGN: WE ARE THE BOLD

Héber made a good first impression on Sounders fans at the opening day of preseason training. Sounders offseason acquisition Heber impresses MLS fans at training session | The Seattle Times

Mets owner Steve Cohen solicited input from Queens residents Saturday on how best to develop the area around Citi Field – all while preparing to potentially roll the dice on bringing a casino to the property. Steve Cohen consults Queens community on Willets Point development, including the planned NYCFC stadium

Taylor Twellman, who for nearly 13 years has been the top soccer analyst at ESPN, has announced he is leaving the network. Could he be joining Apple’s broadcasts? Taylor Twellman announces he’s leaving ESPN

The discounted deal to send Latif Blessing to the Revs was in part a resolution to the team’s grievance filed against LAFC extension for their trade involving Ismael Tajouri-Shradi from last season. Report: Latif Blessing trade drops Revolution’s grievance with LAFC – Angels on Parade

Orange County apparently continue to be the destination for young American prospects looking to turn pro. Orange County SC sign defender Joey Buckley – Angels on Parade

RSL are apparently ready to splash some real cash for the first time since the new owners came on board. Source: Real Salt Lake finalizing potential club-record deal for Colombian winger | MLSSoccer.com

Martin Ojeda joins Orlando to fill out their complement of DPs alongside Ercan Kara and Facundo Torres. Orlando City Signs Martin Ojeda as Designated Player – The Mane Land

No matter her role, Richardson is dedicated to being the best version of herself for her team, and she’s ready for her next adventure. NWSL veteran Domi Richardson on perseverance, success, and silver linings – All For XI

Having ended 2022 on a sour note, what can Australian football work towards in 2023? Samantha Lewis lists some of the game’s New Year’s Resolutions. 2023 Women’s World Cup, A-Leagues reform, and Football For Good: New Year’s Resolutions for the Australian game – ABC News

With the 2023 NWSL Draft presented by Ally rapidly approaching on Thursday, January 12, the league has already seen an impressive crop of players register for selection as they prepare to embark on their professional careers. Player Profiles: Who to Watch at the 2023 NWSL Draft Presented by Ally | National Women’s Soccer League

The 19-year old Dane becomes the second signing of January. Kathrine Kühl signs for Arsenal Women – The Short Fuse

Defender has agreed an 18-month contract with the club. Zoe Morse signs for Brighton & Hove Albion

American midfielder agrees contract until the summer of 2024. Brianna Visalli joins Brighton & Hove Albion

Smith Led the USWNT in Scoring, Was the NWSL MVP and the NWSL Championship Game MVP; Shaw Became Youngest Player to Score in NWSL Debut. Sophia Smith Voted 2022 Biosteel US Soccer Female Player Of The Year; Jaedyn Shaw Voted 2022 Chipotle US Soccer Young Female Player Of The Year

Smith’s win is the first time a woman of color has won the award in the 38-year history of the US Soccer Female Player of the Year award. USWNT, Thorns’ Sophia Smith wins US Soccer Female Player of the Year – The Athletic

Teenager had a year to remember. San Diego Wave’s Jaedyn Shaw voted US Young Female Player of the Year – LAG Confidential

In addition to being the first Black player to win this award, Smith is the youngest player since Mia Hamm at age 22. Sophia Smith Becomes First Black Woman to Win the US Player of the Year Award – 2Cents FC

I don’t want to alarm anyone, but Zinedine Zidane is almost certainly not going to manage the USMNT extension. Report: Zinedine Zidane approached by US Soccer regarding USMNT job – Stars and Stripes FC

Frank Estrada’s time in the Major Leagues was brief, but important. Frank Estrada, the first Mexican catcher in the Major Leagues

I hope this is only the beginning of a terrible experience. Yahoo Life: Cristiano Ronaldo Banned From Making Debut For Al-Nassr

Graham Potter is really not having any fun with Chelsea right now. Potter reflects on another ‘painful’ defeat as ‘second best’ Chelsea continue ‘suffering’ – We Ain’t Got No History

Things are largely bad and weird in Liverpool right now, but that doesn’t mean nothing good happens. Mohamed Salah Surpasses Kenny Dalglish On Liverpool’s All Time Goalscorers List – The Liverpool Offside

Juan Dinenno scored the winner for Pumas on a penalty, presumably trying to prove a point to the Sounders for not making an official offer for him. Pumas UNAM comeback to start season with win against FC Juarez – FMF State Of Mind

With the help of some young friends, Xavi’s Barcelona side came away with a win against Atleti. Xavi’s trust in youth pays off for Barcelona – Barca Blaugranes

8:15 AM – Saudi Arabia vs. Iraq (Gulf Cup of Nations) – ESPN+

9:30 AM – Hellas Verona vs. Cremonese (Series A) – Paramount+

11:45 AM – Bologna vs. Atalanta (Serie A) – Paramount+

12:00 PM – Athletic Club vs. Osasuna (LaLiga) – ESPN+

12:00 PM – Oxford United vs. Arsenal (FA Cup) – ESPN+

5:06 PM – Santos Laguna vs. Atletico San Luis (Liga MX Femenil) – FoxSports.com

7:10 PM – Pachuca vs. Puebla (Liga MX) – TUDN

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