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Lion Links: 9/30/17

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Lions’ 100th MLS match, Pride ready for playoffs, Pulisic on 60 Minutes, Elton John, and more!

MLS: New England Revolution at Orlando City SC Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Merry match day, Mane Landers! We’ve got the MLS squad taking on FC Dallas at 4 p.m., and then the Pride travel to North Carolina to take on the Courage at 7 p.m. It’s going to be a purple Saturday, and I know I’m excited for all this soccer. So, let’s not waste any more time, and get to the links!

Lions to Play 100th MLS Match

Tonight, Orlando City will take the field for the 100th time as an MLS squad when the Lions host FC Dallas. There have been plenty of great moments through the first 99 matches. Kaká scoring the first goal for Orlando City in MLS, the stoppage time two-goal rally to start the 2016 season, and even as recently as Wednesday, when the lads scored the most goals in one game in the MLS era for the club. Despite the ups and downs, I know I’ve stuck by the club and will continue to do so for at least the next 100 matches.

MLS Disciplinary Committee is Totally Fair

Remember when the MLS Disciplinary Committee rescinded Kaká’s red card for messing around with his good friend Aurélien Collin? Or that time they rescinded the red card received by Seb Hines who tried to not get into it with a garment named Lloyd Sam, but was shown off? Yeah, neither do I. But they did see fit to rescind Xavier Kouassi’s red card he received against Orlando City. You remember, it was when Xavier decided that he didn’t like the fact that Seb had two perfectly good shins, and wanted to break one of them. Actually, that sounds exactly what I expect from the MLS Disciplinary Committee when it comes to Orlando City and their opponents. Consistency, fairness, and no favoritism whatsoever. Uh huh. Yeah. (And yes, I know the Kaká play wasn’t actually appealed.)

Tom Sermanni’s Got Decisions to Make

With the Pride a lock for the playoffs, Tom Sermanni has some decisions to make regarding who plays, who subs, who sits, and for how long tonight. He might be tempted to rest some of the usual starters for the match against the North Carolina Courage. However, if he does, it could affect the momentum that the Pride have garnered over the last stretch of matches. There are also some players that haven’t seen as much playing time, who might deserve a look in a game that could just be icing on the regular season cake. We’ll find out tonight how he plans to utilize his bevy of excellent talent.

Jasmyne Spencer Interview

With the Pride making the playoffs, it’s certain that they’re going to get some more well deserved attention. Pride forward Jasmyne Spenser sat down with The Equalizer to share her take on the playoffs, the season, and working with players like Marta and Alex Morgan. Of course, her and the team’s biggest goal is to play in the NWSL final in Orlando City Stadium. It won’t be easy, but they are certainly capable of making it happen.

Potential USMNT Shakeup

It’s no secret that the USMNT hasn’t exactly set the world on fire while trying to make it to the World Cup in 2018. That’s why it might be a good idea to make some tweaks to the lineup before it’s too late. The addition of a true number 10 like Lee Nguyen could allow Christian Pulisic a bit more freedom, as opposing teams have smartly double- and triple-teamed the young American at every chance. Perhaps Bruce Arena could switch to a 3-5-2 for the Trinidad and Tobago match. There’s plenty that can be done, but the question is, will there be any such adjustments?

Tonight on 60 Minutes...Christian Pulisic

It’s been nearly 10 years since 60 Minutes profiled a soccer player on the show. In 2008, Anderson Cooper interviewed David Beckham, and the last American was Freddy Adu in 2004, when he made his debut for D.C. United. That’s all just to say how rare it is to have an American soccer player highlighted in this manner. The interview will air on CBS at 7:30 p.m. ET following the NFL game.

Another 1% Donation

Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini is the latest to join in pledging 1% of his salary to Juan Mata’s Common Goal project. According to Mata, the Common Goal project is as follows:

The focus now is on contributions from players, but the the long-term goal is to unlock 1% of the entire football industry’s revenues for grassroots football charities that strengthen their communities through sport.

Other stars include Orlando Pride’s Alex Morgan, and fellow USWNT teammate Megan Rapinoe. Good on Chiellini for contributing to this worthwhile effort.

Free kicks
  • Today’s famous birthdays include T-Pain (31 and on a boat!), Ezra Miller (24, FLASH, ahahh), Olivier Giroud (30, Arsenal footballer), Monica Bellucci (52, Matrix Revolutions), Fran Drescher (59, what a voice), Lauren Holiday (29, former USWNT midfielder), and Barry Williams (62, Greg from The Brady Bunch).
  • In honor of it being Saturday, and as a tribute to Elton John’s exceptional performance in Kingsman: The Golden Circle, here’s one of his classics.

That will do it for today’s links. Make sure you tune in for full coverage of both the Orlando City and Orlando Pride matches. Go City! Go Pride!