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Lion Links: 11/11/17

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Orlando City player jersey popularity, Pride year-end awards, Kay Rawlins’ Ted Talk, and more.

NFL: Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Saturday, Orlando City Nation. And a happy Veterans Day to all of you who have served our country. We at The Mane Land thank you for your service.

Hopefully a nice, relaxing weekend lies ahead for you all. A year ago on this date we were all mourning the USMNT’s 2-1 loss to Mexico in Columbus to kick off the Hex. A year later and we see what that foretold, with the U.S. on the outside in terms of the 2018 World Cup. Alas.

The USWNT is back in action tomorrow night in California against rival Canada. Hopefully Alex Morgan will continue her hot streak for her country and maybe Chi Ubogagu will get her first cap. One can hope. It would also be nice to see Ashlyn Harris get a game out of this pair of matches.

Anyway, the day is waiting for you, so let’s get to those links.

Two Orlando City Players are Among Top MLS Jersey Sellers

Once again Kaká was among the top MLS players in terms of jersey sales, checking in at No. 8 this year. This strikes me as pretty amazing considering people have had three and a half years to buy Orlando City Kaká shirts. Of course, the new home kits were sweet this year, so I’m sure that added to the allure, even for those who had already purchased. Dom Dwyer was No. 14, splitting sales between Sporting Kansas City and Orlando.

Atlanta had five players in the top 25, which makes sense since the noobs hadn’t even unveiled their kit at this point last year (that came Nov. 15, 2016). They went from no one having Atlanta kits to a lot of people having them. We went from having a lot of people having Kaká shirts to even more people having them. Meanwhile, Christian Ramirez was the only Minnesota player in the top 25, which proves that Loons fans don’t deserve Kevin Molino.

Personally, I’m impressed with Seattle having four players in the top 11 and six in the top 25 because they’ve been in MLS a minute.

Pride Announce 2017 Golden Swans

The Orlando Pride handed out their annual season-ending awards — known as the Golden Swans — on Friday. Here’s who took home the trophies:

  • Most Valuable Player & Golden Boot: Marta.
  • Defender of the Year: Ali Krieger.
  • Newcomer of the Year: Camila.
  • Comeback Player of the Year: Aubrey Bledsoe.
  • Coaches Award: Alanna Kennedy.
  • Humanitarian of the Year: Dani Weatherholt.

And, there were five awards selected by fan vote:

  • Goal of the Year: Alanna Kennedy at NC Courage, Sept. 30.
  • Assist of the Year: Ali Krieger to Alex Morgan at Boston, Aug. 19.
  • Save of the Year: Ashlyn Harris at NC Courage, Sept. 30.
  • Game of the Year: Aug. 12 vs. Sky Blue FC.
  • Social Media Takeover-er of the Year: Toni Pressley.

Congratulations and well deserved to all!

Kay Rawlins’ Ted Talk Now Available Online

The First Lady of Soccer was at TedxOrlando to give a talk about how the Lions captured the hearts and minds of our city, built a gorgeous new soccer palace without using any public money, and became a force of strong social improvement in our community. That talk is available for you to watch on YouTube (or just click below).

Rachel Hill Finally Held Off the Score Sheet (Sort Of)

Orlando Pride forward Rachel Hill turned in a terrific rookie year and now, on loan with Perth Glory in Australia’s W-League, she’s been tearing it up. In her first two W-League matches, Hill scored five goals and assisted on another. The team took a 2-0 record into Friday’s game against Adelaide but played without Sam Kerr. Perth lost the game, 3-1, and Hill didn’t get a goal, but she did cause one with a cross deflected in for an own-goal (0:40 mark).

Hill is also completing more than 80% of her passes and created nine chances, as she continues to take Australia by storm.

Hope Solo Accuses Sepp Blatter of Sexual Assault

That’s a headline that made me do a double-take yesterday. Former USWNT goalkeeper Hope Solo said that FIFA head honcho Sepp Blatter groped her prior to walking on stage at the 2013 Ballon d’Or awards ceremony.

Expanding on the alleged incident on Friday, Solo told the Guardian that she had to compose herself immediately afterwards to concentrate on making her speech and giving the presentation to Wambach. “I was in shock and completely thrown off,” Solo said. “I had to quickly pull myself together to present my team-mate with the biggest award of her career and celebrate with her in that moment, so I completely shifted my focus to Abby.”

Blatter denied the allegation through a spokesman.

Free Kicks
  • FOX has hired former USMNT and LA Galaxy coach Bruce Arena as a studio analyst.
  • USMNT 19-year-old Weston McKennie seems like a confident fellow. I like it. The national team could use some more moxie.
  • David Beckham’s neverending Miami project may finally become a reality, “soon.”
  • Those born on this date include U.S. General George S. Patton (1885), Kurt Vonnegut (1922), actor and comedy legend Jonathan Winters (1925), legendary music producer Mutt Lange (1948), golf’s Fuzzy Zoeller (1951), XTC frontman Andy Partridge (1953), Demi Moore (1962), Leo DiCaprio (1974), Bayern Munich/Germany footballer Philipp Lahm (1983), Sounders midfielder Osvaldo Alonso (1985), and butt fumbler Mark Sanchez (1986).

That’s it for me today, folks. Have a great weekend and check back tomorrow for full coverage of the USWNT vs. Canada.