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Lion Links: 11/20/16

Pride goalkeepers take their talents to Africa, train with Aubrey Bledsoe this week, Cincinnati entertains Don Garber, and four Florida colleges are still alive in NCAA soccer tournaments.

Welcome to Sunday’s edition of Lion Links. Hope you got to enjoy some of the European soccer action yesterday — Madrid derby, Dortmund vs. Bayern, and Manchester United vs. Arsenal. More good stuff today, too, with the Milan derby and a few Florida colleges making a run in the NCAA tournaments. Let’s get to the links.

Pride Goalkeepers Headed Overseas: Train with Bledsoe and Support Her Trip

First of all, The Mane Land would like to wish Pride goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe a happy 25th birthday, today. Bledsoe is hosting a goalkeeper clinic this Saturday, Nov. 26, at the West Orange Soccer Complex. If you know any young Orlando fans interested in the 10 a.m. to noon clinic, follow the link to make donations to sign up. Proceeds from the session will help fund Bledsoe’s December trip to North Africa.

Ashlyn Harris is also headed to Africa this off-season. USWNT Head Coach Jill Ellis will join Harris for a U.S. embassy-sponsored trip to Liberia. The pair will work with the Monrovia Football Academy to promote the women’s game in the region.

“Monrovia Football Academy is the first school in Liberia to combine academic education with football development.”

Cincinnati on a Collision Course with MLS?

Don Garber is scheduled to meet with FC Cincinnati officials and city leaders on Nov. 29. Maybe you’ve heard about Cincinnati’s soccer summer? If you haven’t, FC Cincinnati set USL attendance records in its first year, putting itself in the hunt for a coveted MLS expansion spot. The rise of Cincy through the USL seems similar to the boom that Orlando experienced as it fast tracked its way to MLS.

In his article, Dave Zeitlin notes that the number of cities in the race for expansion spots 25-28 is now at six teams with Cincinnati. And Cincinnati looks to have a pretty good shot — setting up a pretty nice in-state rivalry with Columbus. Stay tuned.

Florida Colleges in NCAA Soccer Tournament Action Today

If you are looking for some hometown soccer action to add to your weekend, the Sunshine State still has a few teams remaining in the men and women’s NCAA soccer tournaments. Follow the links below for streaming information for today’s games.

Women’s teams still alive:

In the D1 tournament, the University of Florida takes on Auburn at 2 p.m. The Gators will try to take advantage of home field advantage to overcome their SEC rivals and make it into the quarterfinals. In the D2 tournament, West Florida plays against Columbus State at 1 p.m. in a quarterfinal match.

Men’s teams still alive:

In the D1 tournament, Florida Gulf Coast battles North Carolina at 7 p.m. FGCU needed penalty kicks to knock off their Florida rivals from the University of South Florida to earn a second-round match-up with the Tar Heels. In the D2 tournament, the University of Tampa faces Wingate at 1 p.m. Tampa reached the quarterfinals after downing Florida foes Lynn University and Palm Beach Atlantic.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, Orlando fans.