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Lion Links: 5/12/17

Matt Besler talks Orlando, upcoming Q&A with Bruce Arena, 2019 Copa America news, and more!

MLS: Orlando City SC at Toronto FC Gerry Angus-USA TODAY Sports

Well, it’s Friday. Another work week has come and gone, and we’re all looking forward to a little weekend soccer. Let’s not waste any more time and get right to the links.

Getting Excited for the Weekend
Matt Besler talks Kaká and Cyle Larin

Ahead of the upcoming match-up tomorrow, Sporting Kansas City and United States Men’s National Team defender Matt Besler discusses Orlando City stars Kaká and Cyle Larin. The interview on the podcast is approximately 24 minutes long.

Live Q&A with Bruce Arena

USMNT Head Coach Bruce Arena will make an appearance for a live Q&A session in downtown Orlando ahead of the match against Sporting KC. It will take place tomorrow at 5 p.m. at Wall Street Plaza.

United States and Mexico Being Considered for 2019 Copa America

Both the USMNT and El Tri are reportedly among the preferred teams to be invited to the 2019 Copa in Brazil. This is the first year that the tournament will be expanded from 12 to 16 teams, and would provide both countries another chance to play against some of the top ranked international squads in the world.

NWSL TV Deal an Investment in League’s Future

The National Women’s Soccer League will be given a huge opportunity to continue its growth with its partnership with A&E Networks and Lifetime. The deal, which features a nationally televised game each week, allows more fans to watch their favorite women’s teams. The company has also purchased equity in the league, giving A&E more incentive to help it grow. The deal goes beyond simply generating ad revenue or televising a few games. It’s a company investing real dollars in the future of women’s soccer in this country.

“It’s invaluable to have a media partner, both as an equity holder in the league, and to promote and show our league on a weekly basis. It completely changes the trajectory,” Amanda Duffy, the managing director of the NWSL, told ThinkProgress.

“It gives us the human and financial resources to look further ahead. We get out of the year-to-year mode, and can start thinking three, five years down the road.”

Free Kicks
  • U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati is pleased with the approved fast-tracking of the 2026 World Cup bid. The combined bid by Canada, Mexico, and the U.S. looks likely to win, with the final decision coming on June 13, 2018 in Moscow.
  • United States international Fabian Johnson has extended his contract with German club Borussia Monchengladbach. The deal will keep the 29-year-old in Germany until 2020.
  • It appears USWNT newcomer Mallory Pugh will be heading to the Washington Spirit. The Spirit are expected to use their first pick on Pugh, who could make her first appearance as early as May 20 against FC Kansas City.

That’s all the Lion Links for today. Enjoy the weekend, and let’s go City.