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Lion Links: 8/25/16

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Orlando City-Toronto FC rewind, Hope Solo suspended from USWNT, NWSL targets California for expansion, and more in today’s Lion Links.

MLS: Toronto FC at Orlando City SC Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

You know what rules?

The day after an Orlando City victory also rules. But unfortunately, that didn’t happen Wednesday night. So today does not rule.

With not much to celebrate, let’s get right to the links.

Jozy is a Jerk

OK, maybe that’s harsh, but USMNT striker Jozy Altidore ruins everything. Last night he ruined a game that saw Orlando City hold a red-hot Toronto FC side to a late 1-1 score line. The Lions were just moments away from a crucial point in the Eastern Conference playoff race and then Jozy the ruiner went and ruined it. Here is all the coverage you need from last night’s match:

Be sure to stop by later this morning for Austin David’s five takeaways from the game and a photo gallery by Carlos Romero.

Hope Solo suspended by U.S. Soccer

The biggest news in the soccer world broke Wednesday evening when it was announced that USWNT goalkeeper Hope Solo is suspended from USWNT for the next six months for her comments after the Americans were knocked out of the Olympics by Sweden.

Later, U.S. Soccer announced it has terminated its contract with Solo.

If you missed it, Solo called the Swedes “a bunch of cowards” after the U.S. lost in penalty kicks. (To be fair, Sweden did choose to remain neutral during WWII, but I don’t think that’s what she meant.)

Evidently, Solo’s past conduct was a factor in the decision from U.S. Soccer.

From U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati:

“Taking into consideration the past incidents involving Hope, as well as the private conversations we’ve had requiring her to conduct herself in a manner befitting a U.S. National Team member, U.S. Soccer determined this is the appropriate disciplinary action.”

It seems that U.S. Soccer really wants to wash its hands of Solo. It should be noted Solo is the most outspoken player in the battle for fair pay. Solo has the right to appeal and probably will.

In the meantime, maybe Solo should look into joining WWE, where calling someone a coward makes for some of the best television in a decade.

Ashlyn Harris talks Pride playoff hopes

In what has felt like an underwhelming season given all of the preseason hype, the Orlando Pride are hanging on by a thread. But that hasn’t deterred goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris from thinking the club can make it to the postseason.

Harris told OrlandoCitySC.com that she and the rest of the club think they can make a late-season push for the playoffs.

“If anyone can do it, I know I can rise to the challenge and come up big for this team,” she said.

It’s good to see one of the top players on the team hasn’t given up, but it’s a tall task ahead of the Pride. The Pride are seven points out of the playoffs with five games left. Given that Harris hasn’t seen any action in almost a month, she’ll have to get in form quite quickly if she wants to help lead the Pride to the playoffs in the club’s inaugural season.

NWSL Targeting California for Expansion

Sticking with the NWSL, there’s still a chance we see the league grow in 2017. Commissioner Jeff Plush said the league is hoping to expand for a third time in its four years, hoping to add to its 10-team league.

Apparently, California is a top target. If Plush wants to add two teams to maintain an even number in the league, cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco would and should be prime candidates.

This would obviously be great for the league and the fans. The fact that there isn’t a team in California already is a bit confusing. But if the timing works out, which Plush notes will be difficult to make happen, it seems like California should be a no-brainer.

USL Player Suspended for Gay Slur Against Robbie Rogers

On Sunday afternoon, the LA Galaxy’s Robbie Rogers wrote this Facebook post, alleging that a USL player called him a gay slur throughout their match Saturday night.

Turns out that player is 31-year-old Richard Chaplow, and he will be out for the next two games because of his offensive language and verbal abuse. He was also fined an undisclosed amount.

Chaplow signed with the Orange County Blues on July 29, after spending his entire career overseas, where he either never played against a gay person, or he was allowed to be a prick. Either way, only a terrible person would use that kind of hateful language.

Props to the USL for making a statement to not stand for it. There are plenty of professional leagues that likely would have opted against any form of discipline if this happened.

Free Kicks

On Tuesday, a rumor made the rounds that the USMNT’s DeAndre Yedlin may be making a move to Newcastle from Tottenham. That move was finalized and announced Wednesday with the right back signing a five-year deal amid a reported $6.6 million transfer fee. Yedlin, 23, never made much of an impact with Tottenham and spent most of his two seasons on loan. FoxSports.com’s Ryan Rosenblatt looked at whether this change would be good for the youngster.

Another USMNT player could also be on the move. Christian Pulisic may be on his way to Stoke City after the English club offered $23 million to pry him from Borussia Dortmund.

That’s all I’ve got for you today, folks. Enjoy your Thursday as we get set for New York City FC this weekend and the return of the Pride Friday night at Camping World Stadium.