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Lion Links 9/25/17

Pride clinch playoff spot, Orlando City visits Portland, sick kicks, and more.

Carlos Romero, The Mane Land

Greetings from London, everyone! I’m excited to be reporting from the country that brought us football (and the term soccer), cask ales (IPAs, true story), and David Beckham’s left foot — and for that matter, David Beckham’s right foot. Love that movie.

Here’s all the action from a busy Sunday:

Pride Clinch Playoff Spot After Seattle’s loss

The Orlando Pride have officially clinched a playoff spot after the Seattle Reign lost to FC Kansas City, 1-0 last night. This is the Pride’s first trip to the NWSL playoffs after finishing ninth last year in their debut season. The Chicago Red Stars also clinched a playoff spot and all that is left to be decided is the seeding. The Pride sit fourth in the standings behind third-place Chicago but a win over the North Carolina Courage (no easy task) and a Chicago loss or draw will have the Pride leapfrog the Red Stars.

Orlando City Crushed in Portland

In case you missed Orlando City’s game last night, the Lions were dismantled in Portland after a 3-0 loss. Portland’s Diego Valeri scored off a penalty just 13 minutes into the game and it was all downhill from there for the Lions. Not only did the Lions concede two more goals, but both Jonathan Spector and PC were sent off and will miss next Saturday’s match with the New England Revolution in Orlando.

And check back later for Logan Oliver’s five takeaways from the game.

Overseas Report: USMNT Back Line Continues with Setbacks

In this weekend’s Americans overseas report, the USMNT — on the verge of a make-or-break qualifier — suffered another setback to the back line as Matt Besler took an elbow to the face in the last minute of SKC’s 2-1 win against LA Galaxy.

However, another U.S. center back, Matt Miazga, featured in his winning match against Ajax, giving Vitesse a win and a third-place hold in the Eredivisie. Miazga, with injuries to Brooks, Cameron and Besler, could be added to the qualifier rosters as one of few center backs getting regular time on the pitch currently.

Custom Kicks Get Their Due This Weekend

I am a huge product nerd. For those that don't know, I work in brand marketing and am always amazed at some of the customization people take on. This one is no different than Orrovan Design’s recent anime launch which saw Bakary Sako and others featured in some of the sickest custom boots out there. I just want to know how I get my hands on that Street Fighter pair. Straight fire.

Free Kicks:

Hope everyone had a great weekend and I wish you all a great week.

To finish off I’d like to give a shout out to my team who recently won our league championship, during which we knocked out some former Orlando City players along the way!

Great job everyone! Can’t wait to go for the repeat!

Congrats to Angry Beavers as they cruise to the Tuesday Coed Championship! Well done ladies and gents! #UPSHOW #XLSOCCERORL

Posted by XL Soccer World Orlando on Tuesday, September 19, 2017