As the regular readers will know, Tuesday's Lion Links usually contain a cavalcade of MLS Team of the Week, Save of the Week, and Goal of the Week nods for your Lions and have even been the bright spark for us fans in recent weeks. However, with no goals scored in the last two matches, no Lions standing out from the crowd (when we needed them the most), and no saves by Joe Bendik to speak of, we are left looking around for news to cheer you up, so here goes with today's Lion Links.
Bob Is In
It's been a long time in coming, but eventually an American was going to manage a club in one of Europe's top four leagues. Former USMNT head coach Bob Bradley has been hired as manager of Swansea City, which fired Francesco Guidolin after he failed to deliver a win for Swansea since the opening day of the Premier League Season. The appointment of Bradley is a reward for his nearly 20-year successful career in management in MLS, Ligue 2, and Tippeligaen, where he has enjoyed great success, and it will be interesting to see what success he can muster now that he is in the big leagues.
Philadelphia Union midfielder Alejandro Bedoya has withdrawn from the USMNT roster for this Friday's international friendly at Cuba due to a rib injury that forced him out of Philadelphia's 3-2 loss to the New York Red Bulls. The withdrawal of Bedoya leaves the U.S. down to 22 players for the game and, depending on the severity of his injury, the talented winger may miss out when the Philadelphia Union take on Orlando City on Sunday, Oct. 16 at 5 p.m. ET at Talen Energy Stadium. This is potentially a big loss for the Union, which slipped to sixth in the table and are only a few points ahead of New England.
Big Sam for MLS?
After managing to lose the England job in record time, Sam Allardyce is looking for an escape from the English tabloids and could be headed stateside. Multiple outlets are linking Big Sam with the current vacant managerial position for 2017 MLS expansion side Minnesota United after Minnesota made it known that their current coach will not be making the transition. Time will tell whether or not this comes to pass, and with numerous English coaches flaming out when transitioning to MLS (yes, I am looking at you, Owen Coyle), maybe just sticking it out in old' blighty might be better.
FIFA President Wants Expanded FIFA World Cup Tournament
Discussions over expanding FIFA's flagship tournament have been in the works for a while now, and the latest idea on the table is expanding the tournament to 48 teams with, 16 teams being eliminated after the first game through a so-called play-in game (here was me, thinking that was what World Cup Qualifying was for). The concept from FIFA's perspective is more games, more revenue, but the extra logistics, cost, and infrastructure needed would surely make this a non-starter from the get go. It would also mean that almost 25% of the FIFA member associations would qualify for the tournament, which would certainly take some of the luster out of the competition in my eyes.
- Former Orlando City Academy product Noah Franke scored a golazo for Creighton against Loyola-Chicago.
- West Ham Ladies FC accuse West Ham United of sex discrimination due to lack of funding and adequate facilities.
- Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo isn't the best at all parts of the beautiful game.
- Sky Blue FC midfielder Rachel Rodriguez wins NWSL Rookie of the Year.
- Belgian FA investigates whether or not players in the Juliper Pro League bet on their own games.
That is all from me for today, folks. All roads may be closed for the Orlando City franchises, however there are still games to be played, and roster moves to be made, so make sure you keep it on The Mane Land for your Orlando City, Orlando Pride, and OCB news.