Welcome to the Saturday edition of Lion Links! Quite a lot this weekend, so let's get right to it!
Brek's National Team Return; Larin Called Up by Canada
Brek Shea has been called up by Jurgen Klinsmann for two FIFA World Cup qualifier matches against St. Vincent and the Grenadines on Nov. 13 and Trinidad and Tobago on Nov. 17. The remainder of the USMNT roster for those qualifier matches has been announced. Interesting to note that Klinsmann has gone with a somewhat younger roster, including Darlington Nagbe and Matt Miazga, but leaving off Clint Dempsey. It also seems that Fabian Johnson has made it back into his good graces.
Oh, and speaking of call-ups for World Cup qualifiers, Cyle Larin will represent his native Canada again. Larin is full of confidence, and not just in his own abilities. Canada is grouped with Mexico, El Salvador, and Honduras for World Cup qualifiers. Larin has said that Canada is the second best team in that group.
Orlando City Academy Players Called Up
Shea isn't the only Orlando City player getting U.S. National Team attention. Three Orlando City Academy players have been called up for the U.S. U-15 Boys' National Team's domestic training camp Nov. 1-8. Mario Licor, Allen Seals, and Alejandro Pereira were called up by Coach John Hackworth.
MLS Fair Play Awards
Not only has Darlington Nagbe been called up to the USMNT, he also won the 2015 MLS Fair Play Award for the second time in three years. No surprise, seeing as he only committed 11 fouls all season, with no yellow or red cards. Philadelphia Union won the 2015 Team Fair Play Award with a league low 374 fouls.
Houston Dynamo Trade Rumors
Since the Houston Dynamo didn't have the season they were hoping, trade rumors have started up. Despite these rumors, Dynamo President Chris Canetti says that such news regarding striker Erick "Cubo" Torres is overstated. Canetti was also cagey when addressing the rumors surrounding team captain Brad Davis. Davis was rumored to be in a possible trade to Sporting Kansas City. If there is any substance to these trades, Canetti isn't letting on.
Canada NWSL Expansion?
As we well know, the NWSL is expanding (Go Pride!). Canada Soccer President Victor Montagliani is hoping that expansion includes the Great White North. NWSL Commissioner Jeff Plush has stated that dozens of markets are under consideration, and that includes markets in Canada. Given the state of soccer in Canada following the Women's World Cup, it would be a welcome development.
FIFA Puskas Award
The 2015 FIFA Puskas Award is given to a player judged to have scored the "most beautiful" goal. This year, Carli Lloyd's midfield strike during the Women's World Cup final is one of the nominees. That goal was one third of a hat trick for Lloyd in that match. Barcelona's Lionel Messi is also in contention with his near-post goal against Athletic Bilbao, amongst many others.
Bradley to Le Harve
Former USMNT coach Bob Bradley is reported to have an agreement to coach French Ligue 2 team, Le Havre. Bradley has been at Norway's Stabaek, where he has guided the club to a Europa League place, and could finish as high as second this year.
Premier League Weekend
Plenty of excitement in Premier League play this weekend. Chelsea is without their manager, Jose Mourinho, but will that help or hurt against Stoke City. Chelsea has lost three of their last four. In Anfield, Jurgen Klopp is undefeated since taking over as Liverpool manager. Can he maintain that record as Liverpool hosts Crystal Palace?
Sepp is sick
Well sick may be a bit much. Suspended FIFA President Sepp Blatter is stressed, and it's causing some health concerns. I know we all feel bad for him.
May the Force be with Soccer
Holy combination of geekdom and soccer, Batman! It doesn't matter who you support, these kits are strong with the Force.
That should keep you busy until tomorrow. As always, Go Lions!