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Lion Links: 11/14/17

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Pulisic praises Orlando City Stadium, Louisville City wins USL crown, a complicated MLS free agent rule, a possible buyer for the Crew, and more.

Soccer: 2018 World Cup Qualifier-Panama at USA Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning and happy Tuesday to all you loyal readers. I hope your weeks have started well. Mine certainly has. There’s some interesting soccer this week; the USMNT has a friendly against Portugal today, and the remainder of the World Cup qualifying playoffs take place over the rest of the week! But without any further ado, lets get into those Links!

Pulisic Gives Orlando a Shout Out

In a piece written for The Players Tribune, Christian Pulisic praised the atmosphere at Orlando City Stadium during the USMNT’s World Cup qualifier last month. He wrote:

“And I mean, the atmosphere that we had going on that field in Orlando, in that stadium, for our qualifier against Panama … it was unlike anything that I’d ever experienced in the U.S. before.”

The piece itself covers everything from Pulisic’s feelings about not qualifying for Russia 2018, to some of the advantages he believes made him the player is today. All in all, it’s a very well-written piece and certainly worth a read. It also doesn’t hurt that he gives our humble patch the recognition it deserves.

Louisville City Wins USL Title

When Louisville City began USL play three years ago, the club was started up with the USL rights formerly owned by the Orlando City USL ownership group. It began its run in 2015 as an affiliate of Orlando City. That all changed with the implementation of Orlando City B, but our former friends in Kentucky are celebrating this morning after Louisville City took home the USL championship with a dramatic 1-0 win over Swope Park Rangers.

Cameron Lancaster broke the scoreless tie in the 89th minute with the game’s lone goal, and it couldn’t have come at a better time for LCFC. Congrats, LouCity, enjoy this one and the inevitable midweek hangover. Totally worth it.

MLS Rule Could Make Life Tricky for Free Agents

Some of the workings of MLS can be a tad tricky, both to understand and navigate. Luckily for the average spud like me, FourFourTwo guru Paul Tenorio has been kind enough to explain a rather pesky free agency rule. In his own words, the breakdown of said rule is this:

“...when a player who makes more than the league’s maximum budget charge becomes a free agent and a team wants to sign him for more than the 2018 max charge of $504,375, the player reverts to drawing up a new contract with the MLS.”

This is an issue because the league has apparently provided no information on how it will decide if that new contract is actually fair to the player or not, which is obviously not great. Hopefully, clarification on the matter will be forthcoming, so stay tuned.

Brewery Interested in Stepping Up to #SaveTheCrew

Yes, you did read that correctly. Scottish brewing company BrewDog bases its U.S. operations in Columbus, OH, and has a vested interest in their local team, the Columbus Crew. As such, they decided to unveil a new beer appropriately named Crew Brew, with all proceeds from its sale going towards saving the boys in black and gold. They also released the following statement.

“At BrewDog, we are world leading pioneers and experts in crowd-funding and community ownership. Indeed our own business is part owned by a community of over 60,000 craft beer lovers and we have raised over $60m through crowdfunding over the last few years. We would love to facilitate and be involved in a potential purchase of the Columbus Crew from it’s current ownership structure and then immediately look to sell at least half of it back to the fans through crowdfunding”

Quite the statement of intent from BrewDog. Only time will tell if it will affect the current landscape.

USMNT to Host Bosnia and Herzegovina

The U.S. Men’s National Team will play host to Bosnia and Herzegovina to open up its 2018 schedule. The game will be held at StubHub Center on Jan. 28, and will only be the second meeting between the two nations. The first was in 2013 and was a 4-3 U.S. win that featured the debuts of John Brooks and Bobby Wood. The match will be at the end of the U.S.’s traditional January camp, and as of right now will be Dave Sarachan’s second game as caretaker manager. And speaking of the USMNT head coaching position...there’s a new candidate.

Free Kicks
  • Patrice Evra was included in Marseille’s 2017-18 team photo...which is awkward considering his contract was terminated earlier this week after trying to kick a fan during a game. Here he is in the front row, second from the right.
  • Today’s birthdays include former Lion Luis Gil, drummer Travis Barker, Charles the Prince of Wales, Colts receiver T.Y. Hilton, and baseball player Francisco Lindor.

That’s all for me today, I hope you all have a wonderful rest of your day and that the USMNT puts in a good showing against Portugal today. We’ll have full coverage of the match. Fingers crossed, everyone. Ciao.