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Lion Links: 10/7/16

October USWNT call-ups, the NWSL MVP is announced, senators question Don Garber on SUM and the national teams’ revenue, expansion team history, and the American Outlaws head to Cuba.

Thailand v United States Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

It’s the weekend baby! Orlando City has an off week this weekend and it could not have come at a better time. With the poor performances in the last couple of weeks, a break could be what the Lions need to finish the season on a high note. Oh, and there's a huge hurricane here, too. Hurricane Matthew is barreling down on Florida and we hope all Mane Landers stay safe.

October USWNT Call-Ups Feature Some Surprises

Jill Ellis has given her list for the call-ups for the games for this international break against Switzerland on Oct. 19 and 23. There sure are some surprises, starting with maybe the biggest, which was leaving Orlando Pride player Alex Morgan off the list. Whether this is meant to be a message to the more veteran players on the squad or the start of an overhaul to the system, Ellis’ moves could pay dividends in the future. From the Orlando Pride, only the reigning Goalkeeper of the Year in the NWSL is there, Ashlyn Harris. We’ll see how these moves work out, but I do see this as a positive development of playing the youth and seeing what they can do.

NWSL Announces the MVP

The NWSL has announced the 2016 MVP, and it’s Western New York Flash’s Lynn Williams. Williams also won the Golden Boot with 11 goals and five assists, besting Kealia Ohai, who had 11 goals but only four assists. This year marks the fourth consecutive time that the Golden Boot winner has also won MVP, and Williams joins names like Crystal Dunn and Lauren Holiday with this award. After scoring two goals in the semifinals against NWSL Shield winner Portland Thorns in an exciting extra time game, she will lead her squad on Sunday in the final against the Washington Spirit. The game will be broadcast on FS1 at 5 p.m. Eastern.

Senators Question Don Garber on SUM and National Team’s Revenue

According to Jonathan Tannenwald, some Senators have come asking questions about the inner workings of the SUM organization, which is in charge of sponsorship and marketing deals for MLS and many big events in soccer in the United States. Specifically, it asks questions on the revenue of both national teams as shown in this quote:

Two U.S. senators - Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.) and Patty Murray (D., Wash.) - wrote a letter to MLS commissioner Don Garber asking him to provide details of how much money SUM gets from the U.S. men's and women's national teams, and how that money is used by the organization.The questioning comes after the USWNT Union and their complaints of lack of equal pay and want to show it by comparing revenues to show the huge popularity and success of the team.

Expansion Team History

Total MLS took us on a journey and gave us a brief history on all expansion teams, from Chicago Fire to our beloved Orlando City. This quote sums up Orlando’s nice moves and fondness for one of our players:

...but perhaps their greatest accomplishment to date was using their first overall pick in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft to select Canadian forward Cyle Larin from the University of Connecticut, or as we at Total MLS like to call him, Canadian Messi.

It’s nice to look back on some history and with all the new teams, we forget some interesting information on the expansion club. For example, did you know Chicago Fire are the most successful club in U.S. Open Cup history? It’s true. Another one is that Houston Dynamo was the first team to earn a point in the CONCACAF Champions League in Mexico.

The American Outlaws are Headed to Cuba

That’s right, despite the news of a hurricane hitting the small Caribbean country, the game held in Havana, which was unaffected by Hurricane Matthew, will carry on as planned. Already, around 70 people have signed up for the Outlaws' adventure to the historic game. They have run into some trouble, as Miami International Airport cancelled nearly all flights on Thursday. That’s no excuse for the Outlaws though, who will fly from Tampa to the game. I am fascinated by the commitment to the cause and just want to wish all of them a safe flight there and back. Hopefully, the USMNT can pull out a win in this historic game.

That’s all folks, have a great weekend and enjoy the international break. Also, to everybody near the hurricane -- again, be safe.