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Lion Links: 10/28/17

Rachel Hill shines in W-League debut, USSF presidential race handicapped, Atlanta didn’t practice penalties, and more.

Carlos Romero, The Mane Land

Happy Saturday, people of the purple clothing. It’s nice to see you again. This should be a fantastic weekend after watching Atlanta United get gut punched out of the playoffs on Thursday night.

Anyway, before you get fully into your weekend plans or put the finishing touches on your Halloween costume, please belly up to our all-you-can-eat Lion Links buffet.

Rachel Hill’s Instant Impact Down Under

Orlando Pride striker Rachel Hill turned in a fine rookie season in the NWSL and it didn’t take long for her to make an impression on Australia’s W-League as she began her loan spell with Perth Glory. Hill scored a brace, including the game-winning goal, and added an assist in a 4-1 drubbing of Melbourne City — a team featuring Pride stars Steph Catley and Alanna Kennedy. Hill’s first goal broke a 1-1 deadlock in the 75th minute. She then assisted on Nicola Bolger’s tally in the 83rd, and then capped the performance with her second strike in the 91st. Hill even made the club’s postgame graphic on Twitter.

Handicapping the USSF Presidential Race

Jeff Carlisle over at ESPN FC did a good job breaking down the candidates for U.S. Soccer Federation president. The good news is that Carlisle only gives Sunil Gulati a 35% chance of retaining his job. The bad news is that is still the highest projected odds of any of the candidates.

Gulati is keeping something of a low profile. At last weekend's candidates forum in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, Gulati once again declined to state whether he would run for a fourth term. He also didn't take part in the candidates' forum, preferring to meet privately with regional leaders of the USASA.

That approach has -- quite understandably -- increased the ire of some members of the U.S. fan base who wish to see Gulati held accountable for the failures of the men's national team. But the reality is that the public isn't voting and, being a deft political operator, he prefers to engage with voters in smaller meetings.

Carlisle has Eric Wynalda as Gulati’s biggest challenger, giving the former USMNT player a 20% chance of winning. Bringing up the bottom: pro/rel advocate Paul LaPointe, who Carlisle says has about a 1% chance.

Chandler Out After Knee Surgery

U.S. and Eintracht Frankfurt defender Timmy Chandler is out for the remainder of 2017 after undergoing knee surgery. Chandler tore the lateral meniscus and is expected to miss two months. I’ll admit I’ve never been a big fan of Chandler with the USMNT, however, this is not something you ever want to see happen to any player. At 27 years of age, Chandler has plenty of time to bounce back from this.

Atlanta Didn’t Practice Penalties

When Atlanta United and Columbus Crew SC ended up in penalties following a 0-0 knockout round playoff match Thursday night, the home team had two saved and hit the post on one. Maybe the reason Atlanta got knocked out is because the team had done no preparation.

Asked if he’d had team work on shooting from the spot at training, Martino admitted that they “didn’t talk about penalties.”

“I think we had the expectations that if it went to penalties, we would be able to take them,” he said “But in training it’s really tough to recreate those situations, of pressure situations in games.

Free Kicks

That’s all my time for this morning. Enjoy your weekend!