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Lion Links: 10/11/18

Orlando City is fresh out of strikers, USWNT completes Group A Concacaf play, a possible North American super league, and more.

Soccer: 2018 CONCACAF Women’s Championship-Trinidad and Tobago at USA Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Thursday, everyone. We’re two days away from getting to see if Orlando City remembers how to score goals. It’s been quite a while since we’ve gotten to celebrate one of those so hopefully the boys will get us at least one on Saturday. It won’t be easy though, and I have more on that below.

The USWNT was in action last night (again, more on that below), and the men take their turn tonight, as the USMNT takes on Colombia over in Tampa. Our Scott Carnevale should be on hand to cover that one for you.

With all of that said, let’s get your day started.

Lions Have Zero Strikers

That’s not a critique of the team. Orlando City literally has no strikers for Saturday’s match at New England. Dom Dwyer is on yellow card suspension and Stefano Pinho has picked up a knock with a quad injury that will keep him out of action for 10 days or so. Having Dwyer and Pinho both out illustrates one of the critiques we had of the club before the season even began, and it’s something that James O’Connor says will be addressed.

“I think, when you look at that, there’s maybe bigger things that we need to look at,” O’Connor said. “The balance of the squad needs to be a little bit different, I think, next year where we don’t have two players for such a key position. That presents a different challenge for us as a coaching staff this week.”

Josué Colmán is a candidate to take the striker spot on Saturday, though he’s not a pure forward. To make matters worse, Orlando will be without Yoshimar Yotún, Amro Tarek, and Mohamed El-Munir, who will all be on international duty. Meanwhile, Jonathan Spector, Pierre Da Silva, and Uri Rosell are all dealing with injuries and could be unavailable. If you know an exorcist or a witch doctor, please send them to Orlando to fix this club’s luck.

USWNT Destroys T&T, 7-0

Alex Morgan hit every part of the goal, including the inside of it twice. Morgan’s brace and another by Rose Lavelle led the way to the USWNT’s 7-0 thrashing of Trinidad & Tobago in the final Group A game at the 2018 Concacaf Women’s Championship last night. The U.S. will head to Frisco, TX, to take on the Group B runner-up (to be determined today) on Sunday. A win in that game would clinch a 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup berth. Morgan scored the first goal, then hit the woodwork three times and had a couple of shots saved before she put her second goal in off the right post. Check the link above for all the highlights (there are a lot).

USMNT Still Coach-less a Year after T&T Debacle

It’s been just over a full calendar year since the United States Men’s National Team crashed and burned in Couva, Trinidad, missing the 2018 World Cup. As Joe Tansey over at Soccer By Ives writes, not a lot has been fixed in the last 366 days.

Steps have been taken in the right direction by hiring a general manager in Earnie Stewart and playing young talent in friendlies, but neither of those are significant developments until a head coach is chosen.

In order to make a true push toward 2022, one that starts with next summer’s Gold Cup, the USMNT needs to have a proper direction.

Until Stewart hires a head coach, which hopefully is sooner rather than later, there’s not much to be excited about regarding the USMNT.

It’s hard to get too excited about the USMNT right now. I still watch, obviously, but we really don’t know what direction this team is going to take. Hopefully we’ll have a coach soon.

North American Super League Coming?

The success of the U.S., Canada, and Mexico to band together to land a World Cup bid could have a deeper impact in the future. According to this ESPN FC story, Liga MX and MLS could team up again as it has with the Campeones Cup, but on a much larger scale. Liga MX President Enrique Bonilla recently discussed the possibility of a North American league or cup competition.

“If we can make a World Cup then we can make a North American league or a North American Cup. The main idea is that we have to grow together to compete. If not, there is only going to be the rich guys in Europe and the rest of the world.

”We think this opportunity with the World Cup in 2026 opens the door for us to make a lot of things different and better.”

Can you imagine MLS and Liga MX merging? That would be pretty darn cool, in my opinion, and it could accelerate North America’s pursuit of the top European leagues if done correctly.

Free Kicks
  • Jurgen Klinsmann wants to get back into coaching but is only interested in the top jobs. In related news, I would like to win money in the lottery but I’m only interested in the full Powerball jackpot with no other winning tickets being sold.
  • Majority ownership in the Washington Spirit might be up for sale.
  • The Utah Royals are being sued by the Kansas City Royals. The baseball club has issues with the soccer club’s trademark. It’s an even more awkward situation when you recall that the Utah Royals essentially used to be FC Kansas City.
  • Those born on this date include former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt (1884), novelist Elmore Leonard (1925), Manchester United legend Sir Bobby Charlton (1937), singer/songwriter Daryl Hall (1946), former NFL quarterback Steve Young (1961), 30 Rock and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt actress Jane Krakowski (1968), Bones actress Emily Deschanel (1976), Real Salt Lake fullback Tony Beltran (1987), and USMNT defender Omar Gonzalez (1988).

That’s all my time for today. Check back later today for coverage of the USMNT’s match against Colombia and have a great Thursday.