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Lion Links: 4/3/17

Bobby Murphy’s memories, USMNT in Denver, USWNT negotiations, Lloyd vs. Morgan, Heath gets a win, and more!

MLS: Orlando City SC at Columbus Crew SC Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Merry Monday morning, Mane Landers! I know we were hoping that the loss was some April Fools’ Day prank, but alas we did indeed fall on the road to Columbus. That makes this the first Monday we need to cheer ourselves up this season, so fortunately we have a nice selection of Links to start your week off the right way.

From Bobby Murphy to Facebook Live

The last time Bobby Murphy was in Columbus, he led the Lions to a comeback draw against the Crew to steal a point. It was his last match as interim head coach for the Lions. Jason Kreis had already been hired, but hadn’t had time to truly step in, and had Murphy coach that match. Unfortunately, Orlando wasn’t able to replicate that result. More people than usual were able to watch that game as it was broadcast on Facebook Live. It wasn’t a perfect feed (buffering, anyone?), but it was certainly better than not getting to watch at all.

USMNT Rocky Mountain High

The Yanks are heading to Denver for their next World Cup qualifying match against Trinidad and Tobago. It’s a strategic move from U.S. Soccer, as the team will begin training on May 29 in the thin air at Dicks Sporting Goods Park. This will have the dual benefits of prepping them for the match on June 8, and for the match against Mexico three days later at Estadio Azteca. Dicks Sporting Goods Park sits at 5,280 feet above sea level. This should be an advantage against the Trinidad and Tobago National Team, given they are from a pair of islands. As lofty as that is, it’s still shy of the 7,280 feet above sea level that is Azteca.

Cody Cropper has National Team Dreams

Goalkeeper Cody Cropper spent his development years in England, first with Southampton in the EPL, and then with MK Dons in the second division. It was a frustrating time for Cropper, as he wasn’t able to get any consistency in his performances. That’s changed now that he’s won the starting job with the New England Revolution. However, Cropper isn’t done. He wants to play for his country. It’s a tall order given how many keepers are already playing for the USMNT, but Cropper has made his way this far, so don’t count him out.

Morgan Versus Lloyd

Orlando Pride/Lyon striker Alex Morgan will be taking on fellow USWNT member Carli Lloyd in the semifinals of the women’s UEFA Champions League competition. Or rather their respective teams, Olympique Lyonnais and Manchester City, will face off at the end of April. Of course, this means that, no matter the outcome, the USWNT will be represented in the finals.

USWNT Contract Negotiations

Representatives for U.S. Soccer and the USWNT were in talks Saturday and Sunday trying to come to a new agreement before the start of the NWSL season. The two sides have met more than 20 times over the last year. While the previous agreement technically ended at the end of 2016, the team’s previous collective bargaining agreement has remained in force. The chief sticking point has been compensation. The players want equal pay commensurate with the USMNT, and given how many World Cup wins each squad has, it’s tough to argue against that. Regardless, the two sides seemed to be getting closer to an agreement.

Minnesota United Gets First Win

The same day Orlando City got its first loss, former Lions coach Adrian Heath led his new team, Minnesota United, to its first win. The Loons won 4-2 over Real Salt Lake at TCF Bank Stadium. Minnesota fell behind 1-0, but quickly got back on the front foot with a goal from former Orlando City player Kevin Molino in the 16th minute. Christian Ramirez would add a brace, and Johan Venegas scored the final goal for Minnesota. We’re happy for Heath and Molino. Let’s just hope there’s not some weird “either Orlando or Minnesota wins, but not both” voodoo going on.

That’s going to do it for today. Keep checking back for more news here at The Mane Land.