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Lion Links: 9/20/17

USWNT beats New Zealand, Australia takes down Brazil, trouble for the NASL and NWSL, and more.

Soccer: International Friendly Women's Soccer-New Zealand at USA Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to Wednesday, Mane Landers. It’s been a long week already, and it truly feels like it’s a Hump Day as there are still so many more days until the Lions take the field out in Portland. To help you get there, check out all you need to know about soccer in today’s Lion Links.

USWNT Thumps New Zealand, 5-0

Alex Morgan came on at halftime with the USWNT already up 2-0, scored on her first touch and added a second goal later to help the Yanks destroy New Zealand, 5-0. Lindsey Horan, Mallory Pugh, and Lynn Williams rounded out the scoring and Alyssa Naeher was hardly tested in keeping a clean sheet. The game took place in Cincinnati’s Nippert Stadium in front of more than 30,000 fans. Morgan and USWNT teammate Ashlyn Harris return to Orlando to prepare for the Pride’s match against the Portland Thorns on Saturday. That match opens a double-header, with OCB hosting Charleston in the nightcap.

The Matildas Beat Las Canarinhas, 3-2, in Friendly

Australia knocked off Brazil for the third game in a row yesterday, running out 3-2 winners in Newcastle, New South Wales. Both Alanna Kennedy and Steph Catley started for the Aussies, with Marta lining up and scoring a late consolation for the Brazilians. However, it was Sam Kerr that stole the limelight and continued her 2017 tear. The win for Australia gives the Matildas their fifth international win in a row (a new record) and propels them up to fifth place in the FIFA World Rankings.

NASL Files Antitrust Lawsuit

The North American Soccer League announced on Tuesday it has filed a federal antitrust lawsuit against the United States Soccer Federation. The NASL found out two weeks ago that its provisional Division 2 status would not be renewed, even though the USL was granted Division 2 status, despite also not meeting sanctioning requirements. The owners claim that USSF is colluding with MLS and USL to squeeze the NASL out of existence and therefore have been left with no choice but to file the suit. Stay tuned for what happens next.

NWSL on Shaky Ground

The NWSL may be in its record-breaking fifth season of existence, however that doesn’t mean that everything is going swimmingly. Yesterday it was reported that two-time champions FC Kansas City may have to be sold and potentially relocated after the team’s new owner (Elam Baer bought the team in January) has failed to meet basic league standards. With last season’s champions the Western New York Flash having moved this offseason and become the North Carolina Courage, expect the NWSL league office to do what they can to see a sixth season and more, even despite all the problems.

Free Kicks

That’s all from me today and for my time at The Mane Land. I have enjoyed bringing you guys links every week and covering Orlando City for the past few years, including getting to cover the friendly at the Maracanã in Brazil. Stay tuned to The Mane Land for preview coverage of the weekend’s contest against the Portland Timbers, and if you are heading out to the Pacific Northwest for the game, I will see you there.