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Major Link Soccer: NYCFC hoist MLS Cup

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NYCFC claimed their first league title after besting Portland in PKs.

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SOCCER: DEC 11 MLS Cup Final - New York City FC at Portland Timbers Photo by Diego Diaz/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

There’s a new name on the list of MLS Cup winners following the dramatic penalty shootout in Portland. NYCFC opened the scoring at Providence Park, and Sean Johnson’s goalkeeping provided the foundation for the team’s victory over the Portland Timbers when the final went to PKs. Speaking of cup winners, the UW men’s team ended their historic first trip to the College Cup with a frustrating 0-2 loss to Clemson in the final. There was a flurry of trades in MLS, as the league joins NWSL in preparing for an expansion draft.

Seattle/Tacoma

Dylan Teves and the former Sounders Academy cohort at UW lost in the College Cup final, but a former Sounder still lifted the trophy. Enrique Montana III and Clemson beat the Huskies 2-0. Clemson wins 2021 NCAA men's College Cup | NCAA.com

OL Reign add another player ahead of the expansion draft, while Nicole Momiki’s loan becomes a permanent move. Farewell, Momiki, we hardly knew ye. OL Reign Acquire Sinclaire Miramontez; Transfer Momiki to Linköpings FC — OL REIGN: WE ARE THE BOLD

MLS/USL

NYCFC supporters on Twitter chip in to help pay for flight, hotel. NYCFC fans on Twitter pay for flight, hotel of English supporter to watch MLS Cup in Portland - Hudson River Blue

The two individuals who threw cans at NYCFC players after the opening goal of the final have been arrested. 2 arrested for throwing can at NYCFC player during MLS Cup | Local News | kptv.com

New York City FC won their first title, while Portland became the first Cascadia club to lose an MLS Cup Final at home. NYCFC win 2021 MLS Cup, defeat Portland Timbers in penalty kicks - Hudson River Blue

Jordan Morris will still have the opportunity to run right by him. LA Galaxy trade Daniel Steres to Houston Dynamo - LAG Confidential

Will the last player on the Galaxy turn out the lights? Nashville Soccer Club Acquires Forward Ethan Zubak from LA Galaxy | Nashville SC

Probably a way to avoid having a player taken in Expansion Draft. LAFC trade Pablo Sisniega’s MLS rights to Charlotte FC - Angels on Parade

Garth needs to check his spreadsheet for an extra the way international slots are priced these days. Nashville SC acquires General Allocation Money from FC Dallas - Broadway Sports Media

Nashville SC has acquired $500k in allocation money from Charlotte FC. Nashville SC acquires Allocation Money from Charlotte FC - Broadway Sports Media

Atlanta United receive $250,000 in GAM in 2022 and potentially up to $350,000 more in 2023. Atlanta United trades Franco Escobar to LAFC

Franco Escobar wasn’t terribly impressive in Atlanta, and hardly played in 2021 due to injury, but surely he’s the solution to LAFC’s problems. LAFC acquire defender Franco Escobar from Atlanta United - Angels on Parade

Under new owners Austin Bold FC will go on hiatus for 2022 while looking for a new home to relocate the team within Texas. Texas-Based Ownership Group Purchases Austin Bold FC

Former Colorado Rapids coach Mastroeni took RSL to the Western Conference Final as interim head coach. Mastroeni, RSL “agree in principle,” says Twellman - RSL Soapbox

NWSL/WoSo

Steve Baldwin’s still trying to pretend that he doesn’t see Y. Michele Kang is the only person left in the room, and she’s still got her hand raised to buy the club. LA billionaire Todd Boehly reportedly ends talks to buy Washington Spirit

Marta’s staying put in Orlando, at least for now, while Michelle Betos will be with a new club in 2022. Could she be coming back to Tacoma? The 2021 NWSL Waiver Wire: Who's optioned and who isn't – JWS

Arsenal have a four-point lead at the top of the WSL table after a dominant win. Arsenal Women 4-0 Leicester: Nobbs, Maanum lead Gunners to rout - The Short Fuse

USA

Though DIII workloads are comparable to DI and DII, the back-to-back scheduling of games has taken a toll. In NCAA DIII soccer, coaches are speaking out about a lack of rest days and respect – The Athletic

Jordan Morris and Cristian Roldan could both start for the US, but should they? I’d start them. Who should the USMNT start vs Bosnia & Herzegovina? - Stars and Stripes FC

World

Liverpool’s Egyptian superstar went on television in his homeland and told people to trust doctors and get the shot. Mohamed Salah Says You Should Get Vaccinated Against Covid-19 - The Liverpool Offside

Jurgen Klopp is, once again, right. Klopp Talk: Pitch Invasion ‘Needs To Stop’ - The Liverpool Offside

The kind of decline that Barcelona have experienced may be too much for a club legend like Xavi to even halt. Barcelona were once the best team in modern history - now they are a shell of a club, stripped of their finest assets – The Athletic

What’s on TV today?

11:45 AM - Roma vs Spezia (Serie A) - Paramount+

12:00 PM - Cádiz vs Granada (La Liga) - ESPN+

3:00 PM - Banfield vs Arsenal (Primera División) - Paramount+

5:00 PM - Tigres UANL vs. América (Liga MX Femenil) - TUDN USA