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Lion Links: 2/6/17

Pride Players in Australia, Kaka at the Super Bowl, Deuce returns to Seattle, and more!

Real Salt Lake v Orlando City SC Photo by Alex Menendez/Getty Images

Merry Monday morning Mane Landers! Evidently, there was an important football game yesterday. That’s right, the final of the Africa Cup. Oh, and the Super Bowl. Today’s links are going to be pretty heavy with football AND football. So huddle up, and let’s do this!

Pride players abroad

Melbourne City FC punched its ticket to the Australian Westfield W-League Grand Final with a 1-0 extra time win over Canberra United. There were plenty of Orlando Pride players involved on both sides. Laura Alleway anchored the defense for Melbourne City, while Steph Catley aided the attack. On the other side of the ball, Jasmyne Spencer and Lisa De Vanna contributed to an excellent match that wasn’t decided until the 107th minute. Melbourne City FC will face Perth Glory in the final next Sunday.

MLS not good enough for USMNT

It seems not everyone is on board with the idea that MLS is going to have enough talent to take the USMNT to the next level. Since MLS was founded, it has grown substantially. Though the league has grown from 10 to 22 teams with more to come, the growth in number of teams and popularity hasn’t necessarily translated into a better pool of players for the USMNT. Of course, that doesn’t mean players in other leagues are helping on that front either. At least we can see how those playing abroad did this weekend.

Look who was at the Superbowl

Score a goal in the friendly, and then score sideline tickets for the Super Bowl. It’s good to be Kaká.

Clint Dempsey returns for Sounders

Ever since Clint Dempsey was diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat last August, he hasn’t seen the field for neither Seattle nor the USMNT. That all changed when Dempsey came on to play 30 minutes for the Sounders in a preseason match against the Portland Timbers in Arizona. The Desert Diamond Friendly ended in a 1-1 draw. The doctors wouldn’t let Dempsey play longer, but his recovery is progressing according to schedule. Welcome back, Deuce!

Two Cities, Two types of Football

Yesterday, the New England Patriots defeated the Atlanta Falcons in the Superbowl. What you may not have known about these teams is that their owner groups also have MLS franchises. The Kraft family owns both the Patriots and the New England Revolution and were founding members of MLS. On the other hand, one of the newest MLS franchises, Atlanta United FC, is owned by Arthur Blank’s AMB Sports + Entertainment group. Both of these organizations have shared resources for their different styles of football teams in the front office. It’s a nice bit of synergy for bringing together the two styles of football in the United States.

More Football and Football

Designer Noah Kline has decided to show us what every NFL team’s uniforms would look like as soccer kits. Obviously you should check out the Patriots and Falcons kits, but have fun checking out your favorite team as well. On a personal note, it might be pretty funny to see the actual players of the Patriots and the Falcons playing soccer in those kits.

Lions win the 2017 Africa Cup

In what was a bit of a shocker, Cameroon (known as the Lions) beat favorite Egypt 2-1 to win the 2017 Africa Cup. Egypt took an early lead with a goal from Arsenal midfielder Mohamed Elneny in the 21st minute. Cameroon evened the match in the 59th minute thanks to a beautiful header from Nicolas Nkoulou. The heavily Cameroon-friendly crowd was rewarded in the 88th minute when Vincent Aboubakar threaded through three Egyptian players to drive home the winning goal. The win gave Cameroon its first Africa Cup title since 2002.

We here at the Mane Land hope you’re feeling up to facing Monday after Super Bowl Sunday. Just think, only 27 days until Orlando City’s opening match against New York City FC. Vamos Orlando!