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Lion Links: 9/22/17

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FIFA Ratings, Adi expected to play, USWNT news and rumors, and more!

MLS: Toronto FC at Orlando City SC
Jonathan Spector and Jose Aja
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to Friday, Mane Landers! It is almost the weekend, and hopefully a weekend where all of you have finally shed the shroud of damage and power loss from Hurricane Irma. I hope life has returned back to normal and you are gearing up for a fun-filled weekend to vent from all that “adulting” we have all had to do over the past couple weeks. Without further ado, and to try to make your life just a bit easier today, here are today’s links for your reading pleasure.

Orlando City Player FIFA 18 Ratings

We linked to the few rankings that leaked a week ago in Lion Links, but now it appears that almost the entire roster has been released ahead of the game’s release. Two big takeaways from me, Jose Aja had the biggest ratings jump on the team, and Jonathan Spector is now at the highest rating in his career. Still waiting to see the updated cards for Leo Pereira, PC Giro, and Pierre Da Silva.

Adi Returns Against OCSC

Fanendo Adi, who has missed the last six matches for the Portland Timbers due to a hamstring injury, might get some minutes against us this Sunday. Timbers’ coach Caleb Porter is not expecting him to start, but is hoping to have him available on the bench. A number of other Timbers starters are questionable as well right now in the last few days before the match.

Is the USWNT Heading to a 4-3-3?

Personnel and formation go hand-in-hand, as do the debates and arguments about how to best apply each. USWNT Head Coach Jill Ellis has been dealing with just this issue and it has been noticed. Ellis showed us how she is using the talent at hand to craft a midfield of strength, size, and versatility — just what you need to do on a squad that is lacking a stand-out No. 10.

USWNT Turf Wars Heating Up

Four of the final nine matches the USWNT will play this year will be played on turf. If you don’t remember, this was one of the points of contention between U.S. Soccer and the USWNT during the recent negotiations for the new collective bargaining agreement.

Counting Can Be Hard

The Professional Referee Association (PRO) has suspended an entire USL officiating crew. In the match between Seattle Sounders FC 2 and Phoenix Rising FC on Sept. 20, Rising FC’s Victor Vasquez was cautioned in the 33rd minute, and again in the 60th minute. What is the issue then? Well, he was never shown red. In fact, he was subbed off the pitch in the 62nd. Oops.

Free Kicks
  • The Colorado Rapids are hoping to announce a new head coach by Nov. 1. Four names have leaked out of coaches that the Rapids have spoken to, but may not be the top candidates for the position.
  • The New England Revolution also find themselves in need of a new head coach. Do they have the guts (or more importantly does ownership want to invest) in a coach that could be a bold statement to MLS?
  • Some internet outlets are joining in on the Atlanta United hype train hard, and this article is one of them, but it gets bonus points for what they called the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
  • Our friends over at The Blue Testament filled us in on how a number of former Sporting KC players are doing. Why am I linking to this you may ask? Well, our history with Sporting KC goes much deeper than just Dom Dwyer. Take a look at all the familiar faces.
  • As the boys settle into the majestic views of the Pacific Northwest, I thought I would help with a little soundtrack generated by one of my personal favorite bands from that region. Warning though, this is not for the faint of heart and may awaken some deep darkness within you yearning for cold mountains, misty forests, and Cascadian dreams.

That is all for today. I hope your Friday goes by quickly and successfully, you have some amazing plans for the weekend but make sure to leave time to cheer for the Pride and OCB tomorrow and our Lions on Sunday evening. I also hope that the last Free Kick didn’t melt your face off too much.