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Lion Links: 12/3/17

Morgan and Carrasco travel, Hill lights up W-League, Yoshi’s chances, and more!

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

Good morning, Mane Landers, I hope you’re having a good weekend as we kick off the start of December. We may be without professional soccer for a while, but it’s still game day here in Orlando. The NCAA Women’s College Cup championship game will take place today at noon ET in a Pac-12 showdown between UCLA and Stanford. If you can’t make it out to the stadium or bar, you can catch the game on ESPNU. Now, with soccer on the brain, let’s get to the Links!

Morgan and Carrasco Visit Africa

With the off-season in full swing, Orlando Pride forward Alex Morgan and former Orlando City midfielder Servando Carrasco are in Tanzania to serve as U.S. Department of State Sports Envoys. Arriving yesterday, Morgan and Carrasco will stay in the African nation until Dec. 9. While there, they will hold soccer clinics to connect with Tanzanian youth. Their particular Sports Envoy program will focus on girls and women in sports and the couple will visit two all-girls soccer programs in an effort to showcase soccer as an equal opportunity sport.

Rachel Hill Nominated for W-League Monthly Awards

Orlando Pride forward Rachel Hill has been spending her NWSL off-season in Australia and has been killing it so far. To anyone who reads links on Sunday for the W-League recap, you already know that Hill leads the Westfield W-League in goals (7), shots (23), and chances created (15). Her incredible play has not only rewarded her a Goal of the Month nomination for her hat-trick-earning strike from early November, but also a Player of the Month nomination.

Pride Players Down Under: Round 6

Normally, I just roll all the W-League news in one section but Hill deserved some sole recognition. This past weekend, she served a through ball to teammate and mentor Samantha Kerr for the lone goal of the Perth Glory’s 1-0 win over the Western Sydney Wanderers.

Meanwhile, recently loaned Pride goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe had her debut with Sydney FC in Round 6. The 2017 Pride Comeback Player of the Year recorded a clean sheet in Sydney’s 2-0 win against the Melbourne Victory. Bledsoe’s best moment came in the 31st minute when she palmed a curling free kick from Ga Eul Jeon over the bar.

As for the other Pride players plying their trade down under, Steph Catley and Alanna Kennedy of Melbourne City drew 1-1 with Adelaide United while Toni Pressley and Canberra United lost 1-0 against the Brisbane Roar.

Yoshi and Peru’s Chances at Deep World Cup Run

With the 2018 FIFA World Cup draw finished and the stage set, many fans have a better idea on how deep some of their favorite MLS stars can go in the tournament. For Orlando City fans, all eyes will be on midfielder Yoshimar Yotun and Peru. Yoshi will have a tough path to the round of 16 but if Peru can take points away from the France match and get a win over Denmark or Australia then Los Incas will be in good shape.

Jurgen Klinsmann Eyeing Australia Gig

According to a report by the Adelaide Advertiser, former USMNT manager Jurgen Klinsmann has shown interest in the Australian vacant coaching position. The Socceroos are without a manager after the surprising exit of Ange Postecoglou after qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Like with many jobs, the largest point in contention during negotiations seems to be the salary.

Free Kicks
  • I normally avoid paywalls like the plague, but The Columbus Dispatch’s Michael Arace spoke his mind about Columbus Crew owner Anthony Precourt and MLS commisioner Don Garber and it’s worth a read.
  • Real Madrid center back Sergio Ramos broke a La Liga record for most red cards (19) after being sent off yesterday. I’m starting to think the mask wasn’t for injury and just a style choice as he transitions into being a supervillain.

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That’s all I’ve got for you guys this week. Enjoy today’s college championship game at Orlando City Stadium and have a blessed Sunday!