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Lion Links: 10/26/17

Larin ready for Europe, Marta keeps scoring, Hamid on the move to Denmark, and much more!

Soccer: Tournament of Nations - Women's Soccer-Brazil at USA
The Pride’s Marta was on the score sheet again this week with Brazil.
Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome back to The Mane Land for another fresh batch of Lion Links. It’s Thursday and here in Florida we’ve finally gotten to feel a once forgotten feeling — cool weather! Oh, and the MLS playoffs have just kicked off, so we have some stuff to talk about! Let’s dive right in.

Larin Says He’s Ready for Europe

There’s been a lot of speculation about Cyle Larin for a long time and every transfer window the big question we get is whether the Canadian international will be leaving the City Beautiful. But that would have cost the club money before the end of this season, as the sale of the club’s first ever draft pick will now be worth more to Orlando City than before, due to league rules. And now, Larin says he’s ready for that move to Europe. Of course, the club still owns his rights and will still need to get an offer management feels is worthy of the Lions’ leading goal scorer.

Also embedded in the article linked above, it seems that despite GM Niki Budalic’s desire to re-sign Dom Dwyer after 2018, the Orlando City striker isn’t feeling too confident about a deal just yet.

“I’d like to be at this club, it’s something we’re trying to figure out, but I can’t say I’m so confident at it right now,” Dwyer said Saturday. “I’ll keep training hard and we’ll finish off strong and we’ll see where it goes from there, but I think this one’s out of my hands a little bit.”

Budalic said the club has spoken with Dwyer’s agent several times since he arrived in Orlando and those conversations will continue.

With the club putting such a big investment in Dwyer this season, it will be surprising if a new deal doesn’t get done sooner or later.

MLS Playoffs Need to Chill

Steve Davis over at FourFourTwo.com wrote that MLS really needs to take a step back if the league wants to get people interested in the playoffs. Sure, supporters of the clubs are interested, but how on earth can the average fan get excited when the playoffs (which started last night), kick off just three days after the final whistle blows on the regular season? I tend to agree with Mr. Davis. I’m not saying that they need two weeks off or anything. I just think giving teams more time to game plan and recharge their batteries will give us a better product, and also give media outlets a chance to better cover the lead-up to the games. But that’s just my two cents.

Marta Keeps Scoring Goals

Though the Orlando Pride season may have ended, Brazilian star Marta is still finding her way onto the score sheet. She managed to score a goal from the spot while on international duty with Brazil the other day against China. It was Marta’s fourth goal of the Yongchuan Four Nations Tournament, which Brazil went on to win with a record of 4-0-1. Not too bad at all. We can’t wait to see Marta back in purple next year.

Bill Hamid on the Move

It was announced just before the end of the regular season, that Bill Hamid would not be returning to D.C. United next year, and would move abroad to take on a new challenge. It seems as though that new challenge has revealed itself, as Hamid has now signed with Danish Superliga team FC Midtjylland. The Wolves, as they are called, are a young club, founded only 18 years ago, but they are also very successful, as they won the Danish Superliga in 2015.

One of the more surprising bits of news here comes from Jeff Kassouf, an editor for FourFourTwo, who said Hamid was let go on a free transfer. This kind of makes you think that if D.C. had known about his desire to play abroad, shouldn’t they have sold him a while ago? In my mind, yes. The answer to that question is absolutely yes. Especially when you consider that Hamid has been one of the best goalkeepers in the league for a few years now.

USMNT Finding its Next Manager in the Premier League?

Yes, you read that right. It is being reported that West Ham manager Slaven Bilic is considering leaving his post in London to take on the task of righting the ship that is the U.S. Men’s National Team. talkSPORT is the one breaking this news, and to be honest, we wouldn’t be surprised if Bilic is looking for a job soon, as West Ham is off to yet another slow start this season. Too soon to tell if any of this is true, or where it goes, but speculation is fun. I wouldn’t expect any major announcements until after the United States’ friendly against Portugal in November.

Free Kicks
  • Orlando Pride Head Coach Tom Sermanni continues to adapt as the game changes.
  • Orlando City’s corporate partners are stepping up to provide resources for the Fuerza Puerto Rico Friendly Presented by Audi (those last three words are new).
  • The U-17 World Cup is rolling right along in India, and England knocked off Brazil rather convincingly, 3-1, to reach the final. England reaching the final makes me feel at least a little bit better about the tournament for the United States. If you’re going to lose, you might as well lose to a team that made the final.
  • More on that England youth system: Just take a look at this graphic Squawka put together. We might be on the brink of English football dominance if the Three Lions’ youths can keep these results rolling through the senior level.
  • The Carabao Cup always finds a way to give us interesting news. What’s going on this time? Manchester City and Arsenal could find themselves disqualified over an interesting substitution rule. Check it out here.
  • Serie A games are trying to find new ways to combat anti-Semitism. After an event that happened in the stands of a game between Roma and Lazio, it has been decided that passages from Anne Frank’s Diary will be read before games to promote Holocaust remembrance. Good job, Italy.
  • Ever wonder who the worst player in FIFA 18 is? Well, you can find out all about him and his 46 overall ranking here, but, spoiler alert, he’s actually not a player at all.

That’s all we have time for today. Enjoy that MLS playoff action that we have on the slate for tonight (Atlanta-Columbus, Houston-Sporting KC), and check back with us tomorrow for some more Lion Links! Before I go, here is your dad joke of the day: