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Lion Links: 9/28/17

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Orlando City destroys New England, OCSC and the Pride work to kick childhood cancer, crucial selections for the USMNT, and more.

Nick Leyva, The Mane Land

It’s a Thursday at the end of September and that means a few things: autumn has just begun, it still feels as though we’re living on the surface of the sun here in Florida, and as always, we’re serving up a fresh batch of Lion Links for you on this fine morning.

Orlando City Destroys New England, 6-1

The Lions were definitely not hunting alone last night as five different players scored goals en route to the team’s most lopsided win since joining MLS. The Revolution may have been down a man but Orlando City was ruthless and clinical in putting a touchdown on the board, including the first MLS goals for Antonio Nocerino and Yoshimar Yotun.

And tune in later today for Dave Rohe’s five takeaways from the match and a photo gallery from Nick Leyva, who took our pretty picture up at the top of this article.

Orlando City and Pride Kicking Childhood Cancer

If you haven’t noticed, during the month of September, Major League Soccer works to raise funds and awareness for pediatric cancer. Yellow details on the match ball and in the net highlight the league’s support. However, Orlando City and the Pride have been doing great work with the #KickChildhoodCancer initiative. Giles Barnes took young cancer survivor Cannon on a tour of Orlando City Stadium, and City and Pride players visited the Arnold Palmer Hospital for a super hero party with the kids! This is great to see from the organization, and from Major League Soccer as well.

The Pride Focused on Playoff Run

For the first time in Orlando Pride history, the women of the city beautiful are on their way to the playoffs. Led by Head Coach Tom Sermanni, the Pride have orchestrated a remarkable comeback when you take into consideration that last year they finished towards the bottom of the pack. The team knows the hard work starts now, and they all want to make a statement. When you think that about the fact that the NWSL championship will be played in Orlando City Stadium this year, the Pride know that there is a shot at history staring them straight in the face.

Bruce Arena Not Looking for New Faces for Upcoming Qualifiers

While speaking with Ives Galarcep of Goal.com, Bruce Arena said that when it comes to bringing in fresh faces to the USMNT camp, “We don’t have the luxury of doing that.” This comment does seem relatively surprising due in part to the poor results the Yanks picked up in the September qualifiers. In some good news though, some American internationals may be returning to the squad after injury. DeAndre Yedlin is likely to be back to add pace, solid defending, and a great cross from the right wing into the team. Arena is also hopeful that Geoff Cameron will make his return from a thigh injury. With all these comments though, it does make you wonder when Dom Dwyer will earn his second stint with the USMNT. I personally felt that he deserved to stay with the roster through the entirety of the Gold Cup, as he was a great contributor, and potentially has much more to offer in these clutch scenarios.

Soccer: 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup-Nicaragua at USA
Dom Dwyer playing with the USMNT at the Gold Cup last July.
David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
U.S. Soccer Sticking to National Anthem Policy

In wake of the recent protests taking the NFL by storm, it is important to note that this same issue has come up in the world of U.S. Soccer. Last year in a friendly against Thailand, Megan Rapinoe of the USWNT took a knee during the national anthem in the name of equality for all. This was followed by a statement from U.S. Soccer which would require players to stand during the playing of the national anthem. Well, U.S. Soccer is sticking with their original stance here. Meanwhile, MLS has stated that the league would “respect and support” the choices of its players.

Free Kicks
  • In some amazing news, FOX has announced that for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, more than half of the games will be aired on the FOX over-the-air network. This means your local FOX feed will be showing you the most coverage, and will make this the most accessible World Cup ever.
  • A new coach on the horizon in Montreal? Looks that way, as reports suggest that Italian legend Alessandro Nesta is on his way to join the Impact.
  • Another American is making waves in Germany. This time it’s 19-year-old midfielder Weston McKennie, who has had his contract with Schalke extended through June 2022.
  • The funniest bit from the Diego Costa transfer saga occurred in the Champions League last night. After it had been announced he will leave Chelsea for Atletico Madrid in January, you have to see his reaction to Chelsea scoring a last-minute winner against Atletico, it’s priceless.

That does it for today’s Lion Links, be sure to check back with us daily for your roundup of all things newsworthy in the world of soccer, and don’t forget to check out the latest PawedCast!