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Lion Links: 10/15/18

USWNT crushes Jamaica to qualify for France, Tarek starts and wins, an amazing goal, and much more!

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Jamaica v United States: Semifinal - CONCACAF Women’s Championship Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

Merry Monday morning, Mane Landers! I’m merry because my family and I made it through Hurricane Michael relatively unscathed. Of course not everyone in the panhandle or the big bend were so lucky. If you’re able and willing to lend a hand, here is an article on relief funds and charities. It’s nice to get back to soccer, even if the Lions did lose another one. Oh well, at least we have the USWNT. Speaking of the greatest U.S. team...

USWNT Easily Secures World Cup Bid

The U.S. didn’t take very long to jump on Jamaica last night, with Tobin Heath scoring the first goal in less than two minutes, and then adding another for a first half brace in the eventual 6-0 win. The U.S. added four other goals with Megan Rapinoe, Julie Ertz, and Alex Morgan each getting one and Morgan tacking on another from a penalty kick for a brace of her own. The team completely dominated Jamaica as it has to every other team this entire tournament. The U.S. will face Canada in the CONCACAF final this Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET in the first true test for the U.S. Canada is currently ranked fifth in the world and has also made mincemeat of its competition in the tournament. The Pride’s Shelina Zadorsky and Canada defeated Panama 7-0 to make the final and also qualify for the World Cup.

Morgan spoke with FOX after the game regarding the qualification.

Tarek and Egypt Win

While he hasn’t been available for the Lions, Amro Tarek has been helping Egypt win its third match of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualification. The Pharaohs won the match 4-1 over Swaziland, and are just behind Tunisia in Group J. Tarek started the match, and was subbed off in the 66th minute, way before Egypt gave up a lone goal to Swaziland in the 85th minute. Let’s hope he stays healthier than Mohamed Salah, who returns to Liverpool after suffering a muscle injury in the match. Fortunately for Liverpool and Egypt, the injury isn’t bad.

A Glimpse of the USMNT’s Future

The USMNT is also making some news. More reports are surfacing that current Columbus Crew skipper Gregg Berhalter is the leading candidate to be the next head coach for the U.S. We’ve been told to expect a decision by Nov. 1.

Josh Sargent has been working hard to be a factor for the U.S. going forward. The 18-year old has been playing mostly for Werner Bremen’s U-23 squad, scoring six goals in 10 appearances. No matter who the next coach is, he wants to be a part of the U.S. rebuild. Kellyn Acosta is also working towards a bigger role with the U.S. The Colorado Rapids midfielder did well in the 4-2 loss to Colombia, including setting up Bobby Wood’s goal. Next up for the U.S. is a bout against Yoshimar Yotún and Peru tomorrow night at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Southgate Calls Out Premier League

Gareth Southgate took an England squad into the 2018 World Cup, and led them deeper into the tournament than anyone expected. Following their excellent run, many of the players returned to the Premier League, which according to Southgate, started way too early following the World Cup. The players from the Three Lions had only 27 days of rest before having to start play in what many consider to be the toughest league in the world. It’s an interesting observation by Southgate, though there’s not much to be done about it at this point.

Free Kicks
  • It doesn’t matter which team you support when a young 16-year-old gets a chance to start for his hometown team. Congratulations, Gilbert Fuentes.
  • If you’ve ever played soccer, or ever taken a shot on goal, you wish you hit it with this much awesomeness.
  • Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey was supposed to debut for Jamaica on Sunday, but refused to show up when his younger brother Kyle Butler wasn’t given an automatic call-up to the national team. Bailey has said that he wants to represent his country, but needs for his country to honor its agreement in regards to Butler.

That’ll do it for today. We’ve got a busy week of soccer between both national teams and a mid-week match as Orlando City hosts the Seattle Sounders on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. ET. At least one good team you can root for will be playing Wednesday. Go USA!