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Lion Links: 10/21/17

Yotun fighting for World Cup spot, FIFA could relax rule that cap ties players, Zerboni called up to USWNT, Kerr named NWSL MVP, and more.

MLS: Columbus Crew SC at Orlando City SC Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Saturday, purveyors of purple. Tomorrow your Lions will face the Union in Philadelphia on a Decision Day, with nothing much to decide except which team will draft ahead of the other. Still, it’s a chance to watch Orlando City one more time this year and bid goodbye to an unknown number of players who will be elsewhere next season.

But that’s tomorrow. For now, enjoy your Saturday morning serving of hot links.

Yotun Named to Peru Squad Because Obviously

To no one’s surprise, Orlando City midfielder Yoshimar Yotun has been named to Peru’s squad that will face New Zealand in a home-and-home playoff to see which country goes to the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Peru is looking to reach the World Cup for the first time since 1982.

FIFA May Change Cap-Tied International Rules

Reuters writes that FIFA is considering rethinking the rule that ties a player to one nation once they’ve played in a competitive match. Currently, once a player takes the field in a competitive international contest, they’re tied to that country. But that could be changing.

Victor Montagliani, head of FIFA's stakeholders' committee, said there were issues regarding the rules, which are aimed at preventing players from switching between national teams or representing countries they have no connection with.

"There are so many issues that have popped up over the years because the world is changing, immigration is changing," said the Canadian, who is president of the North, Central America and Caribbean federation (CONCACAF).

"There are nationality issues that pop up all over the world, in Africa, there are issues in Asia and CONCACAF, so its a good time to have a look at this and see if there are solutions, without hurting the integrity of the game."

As Daniel Karell of NBC Sports points out, this could affect other countries’ player pools. The United States, for example, could lose players like Cristian Roldan, Jesse Gonzalez, or Kenny Saief under more relaxed international rules.

Pugh Out, Zerboni Called Up to USWNT

With Mallory Pugh sustaining a hamstring injury on Thursday and Andi Sullivan headed back to Stanford to rejoin her teammates, Jill Ellis has handed 30-year-old McCall Zerboni her first call-up to the USWNT. The North Carolina Courage star helped lead her club to the NWSL championship game. She could potentially get her first cap on Sunday when the United States takes on South Korea in Cary, NC, at 2 p.m.

Carroll to Retire After Facing Orlando City

Philadelphia Union midfielder Brian Carroll will call it a career after his team plays the Lions on Decision Day tomorrow. The two-time MLS Cup winner and four-time Supporters’ Shield will end his storied career that spans 15 MLS seasons. He’s currently tied for fourth in league history in appearances (370) and is sixth in minutes played (30,778), with nine career goals and 17 assists.

Kerr Named NWSL MVP

Sam Kerr had a hell of a year for Sky Blue FC. She set the NWSL record for goals in a season (17) and in a game (4) and won the league’s Golden Boot. Now she’s been named NWSL Most Valuable Player for 2017. I can’t really argue with the choice, although personally I voted for Marta. I won’t claim there isn’t an element of bias in my choice, but to me Sky Blue could have missed the playoffs with or without Kerr. Would the Pride have risen from the bottom of the table to the third spot and made the playoffs for the first time without Marta? I don’t believe so.

Free Kicks
  • Vancouver Whitecaps teenager Alphonso Davies helped save lives with a 911 call when he spotted a fire.
  • If you like catching dinner before or after an Orlando City game, well, Parramore will soon have a new upscale restaurant and pub — the pretentiously named District Gastro Bar and Social Eating House.
  • Those born on this date include poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge — writer of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, which is also an excellent Iron Maiden song —(1772), baseball’s Whitey Ford (1928), fantasy/science fiction writer Ursula K. Le Guin (1929), Manfred Mann (1940), hockey coach Mike Keenan (1949), Go-Go’s guitarist Charlotte Caffey (1953), Carrie Fisher (1956 — RIP, Princess Leia), Toto guitarist Steve Lukather (1957), Kim Kardashian (1980), Serbian/Manchester United legend Nemanja Vidic (1981), and former MLS striker Kenny Cooper (1984).

That’s all I’ve got for you today, folks. Enjoy your weekend. We’ll have full coverage of tomorrow’s USWNT and Orlando City matches.