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Lion Links: 11/3/17

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Jerseys ready for friendly, How Ubogagu got her call-up, 2017 Humanitarian of the Year, and more.

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

Another week in the off-season is complete, folks. Movember is now upon us, as is the countdown to Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and then that day all the boys and girls are looking forward to, my birthday! Without further delay, let’s get right to the most amazing tidbits from around the world wide web (in case you didn’t know, that’s what the www means in all those web addresses).

Equipment Manager Prepares for Puerto Rico

Behind the scenes of Orlando’s upcoming friendly with Puerto Rico, OCSC Equipment Manager Pedro Rosario has been hard at work. The 25-year-old Puerto Rico native has spent his time applying unique “Fuerza Puerto Rico Friendly” patches to each and every Orlando City jersey as the team gears up for its game against Puerto Rico tomorrow evening. Things have come full circle for Rosario as he does his part to support the island that raised him. You can see Rosario’s work firsthand after the friendly as each jersey will be auctioned off to further support the cause.

Ubogagu’s Versatility Earned Her Call-up

Although Orlando Pride forward Chioma Ubogagu had been lighting it up as a forward, it was her play as a left back that caught the attention of USWNT Head Coach Jill Ellis. On Aug. 5, Ubogagu lined up as a left back to fill in for Steph Catley and she effectively shut down her side of the pitch in the 1-1 draw with the Chicago Red Stars. Apparently, it was that performance that made Ellis pick up the phone and see if Chi would be willing to play on the back line. The young star-in-the-making jumped at the opportunity.

2017 AdvoCare MLS WORKS Award

Ryan Hollingshead of FC Dallas has been named the 2017 AdvoCare MLS WORKS Humanitarian of the Year. En route to help a friend who had been in a car accident, Hollingshead came upon another accident and stopped to try and help. Ryan was struck by an oncoming vehicle, breaking three vertebrae. About four months later, he returned to pitch.

No More Dreads on Beckerman

There are a few immediately recognizable figures in U.S. Soccer. Kyle Beckerman is certainly one of those figures, with his trademark dreadlocks. I am sorry to say that Beckerman, the Real Salt Lake legend and USMNT player has cut them off. I wonder just how much of a weight has been lifted from his shoulders.

Crew Make a Big Statement

If you are paying attention to the MLS playoffs, then you are undoubtedly aware of the statement that the Columbus Crew made at home in the first leg of their playoff series with NYCFC. If not, they trounced New York City FC 4-1, surrounded by some very vocal fans, who let Crew owner Anthony Precourt know exactly how they felt about his possible move of the team to Austin.

The Other Side of the Crew Coin

Austin, TX has a history with soccer. Remember those Aztex? Well, in the seemingly endless insanity of the Crew saga, it seems that there are some in Austin who were just as taken aback by Precourt’s ambition to move the Crew to Austin as those in Columbus.

Union Keeping Head Coach Curtin

As some teams begin to look within and start the off-season jockeying and the mass chaos of rebuilding, one team has come forward and offered a sign of stability in the storm. The Philadelphia Union have announced that Jim Curtin will be retained as head coach for the 2018 season. It was looking as if the Union were going to go with the nuclear option with roster turnover, but this move shores up one critical aspect of the Union plan for next season.

Free Kicks:
  • And the MLS bids for the next expansion team keep getting more and more, um, I don’t know, weird.
  • No Shave November has started, have you? I will be dropping a bit of follicle knowledge for you every Friday throughout the month. On this first Friday, just keep in mind that as you grow that lip sweater or face cardigan, remember to pay the tax man.