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Lion Links: 1/30/17

USMNT vs Serbia, Kljestan and Jones head home, U.S. soccer returns to war-torn Aleppo, and more!

Serbia v United States Photo by Kent Horner/Getty Images

Merry Monday Morning, Mane Landers! While there were no Orlando City games, we did get a USMNT friendly this weekend, and that’s nothing to scoff at. I’m not going to lie, this is a very USMNT-heavy links, but hey, it’s the off-season. I hope everyone had a great weekend, but now it’s time to start our week, and there’s no better way to do so than with a good dose of Lion Links!

USA vs Serbia Friendly Ends Scoreless

The USMNT hit the pitch for the first time in the latest Bruce Arena era, and while it was a better result than the last time the team played, a 0-0 draw wasn’t what the coach, the team, or the fans were hoping for. Serbia was fielding what was essentially a second team, so the result was somewhat disappointing. Fortunately, this was only a friendly and there are plenty of players that will be back for the Hex in a few months.

Sacha Kljestan and Jermaine Jones Heading Home

Sorry for the deceptive header, but it seems that Sacha Kljestan’s reason for being sent home is one of congratulations rather than worry. The man is having a second child and it was pre-arranged that he would go back to his family for the birth. Sacha isn’t the only player leaving the National Team for the moment. Jermaine Jones is headed back to the LA Galaxy. Again, none of this has anything to do with the eventual roster, but it’s fun to speculate, isn’t it?

U.S. Players Abroad

Not all the potential USMNT players were in San Diego yesterday. There are also plenty of U.S. players, both men and women, plying their trade in other leagues around the world. Emerson Hyndman led the way overseas by scoring a goal for Rangers in Scotland in the 87th minute. Hyndman is on loan from Bournemouth. The Rangers went on to beat Motherwell FC 2-0.

Soccer is Good for the Soul

Aleppo has been a place torn apart by war as it’s people dealing with a nightmare scenario. Fortunately, they were given a reprieve in the form of a soccer match. For the first time in five years, local teams Al Ittihad and Horiyah played a derby. Al Ittihad won, 2-1, but, more importantly, both teams returned a small sense of normalcy for the people that day. Here’s hoping there are more days like that to come.

Well there you have it. A very U.S.-heavy Lion Links, but we just report what’s there. I’m certain we’re all ready for the season to begin. Vamos Orlando!