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Lion Links: 10/10/17

Jason Kreis isn’t happy with MLS, the USMNT trained on a flooded pitch, U.S. U-17s beat Ghana, the last two Florida Cup teams were announced, and more.

Panama v United States - FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Good morning everyone, today is a big day in soccer as CONCACAF, CONMEBOL, and UEFA all have their final regular round of World Cup qualifying games. Let’s get into some of the things that have taken place in the last 24 hours. But first, let’s wish Orlando Pride midfielder Camila a happy 23rd birthday. Her season ended prematurely and potentially cost the Pride in the postseason, but she had an outstanding first year in Orlando and we look for more big things from the young Brazilian in the future.

Now, Lion Links ahoy!

Kreis Less Than Pleased by MLS Ruling in FC Dallas Saga

on Friday, Major League Soccer came down with its decision regarding the controversy that followed the FC Dallas at Orlando City match on Sept. 30, docking Dallas $75,000 in general allocation money and fining the club an additional $25,000. Well, as you might expect, Orlando City Head Coach Jason Kreis wasn’t happy with the league’s ruling, and he let it be known on Monday.

Some scathing words from the gaffer, to say the least. For what it’s worth, FourFourTwo’s Paul Tenorio reported that multiple MLS GMs and coaches told him the penalty was less than they were expecting, echoing Kreis’ sentiments to a degree. However, Tenorio also indicated that it was more likely that Dallas would’ve been docked a point than Orlando being awarded two points, so it may not have provided the playoff boost Lions fans were hoping for either way, but that won’t make Kreis or the Orlando faithful feel any better about the slight from the league office.

Will Johnson Returns to Orlando City Training

Midfielder Will Johnson returned to the training pitch on Monday for the first time since his Sept. 6 arrest on a domestic violence charge. While Johnson is eligible to train with the team, there has been no decision regarding his eligibility to participate in games as his case is still open and he remains suspended after the league sidelined him pending OPD and MLS investigations last month. While Johnson’s wife, with whom he was involved in the altercation, declined the pursue charges, the details remain ugly for Johnson as the state prosecutes the Lion who has recorded two goals and three assists in 25 appearances in 2017.

USMNT Trains in a Less Than Ideal Situation

The United States Men’s National Team walked into some not-so-posh training conditions on Monday morning as they trained for Tuesday’s game against Trinidad and Tobago. A CONCACAF official has stated that FIFA doesn’t expect playing on the field to pose any problems, but why don’t you guys just take a look and decide for yourselves?

So yeah, there’s that. The Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation released a statement in response to those images, saying that the pitch would be ready by game time.

Best of luck to the boys, it’s a big one today.

U.S. U-17s Beat Ghana in U-17 FIFA World Cup

The United States Under-17 National Team recorded a 1-0 victory over Ghana in its second game of the group stage. The win puts the team on six points and places it at the top of the group, following its earlier 3-0 victory over India in their first game. U.S. U-17 Head Coach John Hackworth proved that he has a managerial touch of gold as substitute Ayo Akinola slotted home in the 75th minute. While it was a game that both teams had chances to win, the United States took theirs and is now in a strong position ahead of the third and final group game against Colombia.

Yedlin States Desire to Be a Difference Maker

USMNT fullback DeAndre Yedlin has stated his desire to be a vital, difference-making cog in the national team setup. While the back line certainly had its shaky moments in Friday’s victory over Panama, Yedlin’s pace, industry, and energy certainly stood out as some of the high points of the match for the Stars and Stripes. Yedlin spoke about wanting to use his pace to become a spark for the Red, White, and Blue and he seems to already be on his way there. While he was criticized earlier in his career for his defending in one-v-one situations, his time in the Premier League — specifically under the tutelage of Rafa Benitez — has seen him improve by leaps and bounds in that area. The Yanks will need him to be at his best if they’re to get all three points in an away game to Trinidad and Tobago that has all the makings of a trap game.

Final Two Florida Cup Teams Announced

Yesterday the final two participants in the upcoming Florida Cup were announced, with Legia Warsaw and Fluminense filling out the list.

The tournament starts on Jan. 10 and will run through Jan. 20. The Florida Cup is an annual friendly exhibition tournament played, as the name suggests, in Florida. It has been held since 2015, and this year’s edition will have one game in Ft. Lauderdale, one game in St. Pete, and all the rest in Orlando.

Free Kicks
  • Today’s birthdays include Brett Favre, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Andrew McCutchen, Xherdan Shaqiri, and David Lee Roth.

That’s all for today’s Lion Links, hopefully by this time tomorrow we’ll be celebrating another World Cup berth, while also planning appropriate sacrifices that will appease the soccer gods so that they don’t stick us in the Group of Death again. My current plan is to offer up one of those infamous Jabulani balls from South Africa 2010, and maybe a can of vanishing spray. Fingers crossed, y’all.