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Lion Links: 10/24/18

Ascues and O’Neill salaries revealed, meet the OCSC assistants, Morgan is scoring a lot of goals, and more.

MLS: Columbus Crew at Orlando City SC Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Greetings, Mane Landers. It’s Hump Day but more importantly it is the birthday of Orlando Pride and Canadian international defender Shelina Zadorsky. Please join me in wishing Shelina a very happy 26th birthday. I’m not at all annoyed that she is almost exactly one half my age. Not bitter at all.

Anyway, it’s the final match week of the season for all of us who support Orlando City. A big road match at the New York Red Bulls awaits on Sunday and I know many of you are torn between wanting the Lions to go out winners or having them fall on their swords to try to help them beat out Atlanta for the Supporters’ Shield. Me? I always want my team to win.

Now let’s get to the news of the day, shall we?

MLS Salary Dump Reveals Cost of Ascues, O’Neill

The twice-a-year salary release from the MLS Players Association dropped yesterday, revealing who makes how much among all of the mid-season acquisitions. Orlando City added only two players in the secondary window — Carlos Ascues and Shane O’Neill. Both have played well and now we know what it’s costing the Lions to have their services. O’Neill is the bigger bargain, making a base salary of $64,999.92, while Ascues’ annual base salary is $360,000 (prorated since he’s a late arrival). The duo could make a total of $79,499.92 and $391,500, respectively, in total compensation. There are lots of interesting bits of info when you wade through the entire league, so feel free to check it out.

Meet the Assistants

The head coach of any MLS team gets all of the praise and all of the blame. On most teams, little is known about the assistant coaches. They don’t get a lot of stories written about them or a lot of TV time, so it’s always great to hear from them to learn a little more about their ideologies as well as their personalities. With that in mind, here’s a nice clip featuring Orlando City assistants Daniel Byrd and Sean McAuley.

A Look at Alex Morgan’s Blistering Scoring Rate for the USWNT

No one has to tell Orlando Pride fans that Alex Morgan is an elite talent. She may not have scored as much for the Pride in 2018 as in 2017, but that was probably a product of the entire team lacking cohesion throughout the season. Where she hasn’t been lacking is with the United States Women’s National Team. This piece on the U.S. Soccer website details her incredible run toward 100 career goals — something only six other women have accomplished for the USWNT. Let’s hope she joins Abby Wambach, Mia Hamm, Kristine Lilly, Michelle Akers, Tiffeny Milbrett and Carli Lloyd soon. Maybe next month?

USWNT Adds Friendlies, O’Hara Will Miss Them

Speaking of Morgan reaching 100 goals, she’ll have a chance to do that in November as the USWNT has added road friendlies at Portugal and Scotland on Nov. 8 and 13, respectively. It will be good to see the Yanks go on the road against some European competition as they prepare for next year’s World Cup in France.

One player who won’t make the trip is fullback Kelley O’Hara, who underwent surgery on her ankle. O’Hara had the arthroscopic procedure to remove “loose bodies” in her ankle and it should only keep her out of action for a matter of weeks. The veteran took it in her stride.

“It’s all good. These kinds of things come with the territory,” O’Hara said. “This is just the best time to get the procedure done so I’m one hundred percent heading into 2019 and physically ready to perform at the level I want to and need to. It’s a bummer that I won’t get to Europe, but the most important thing is to be healthy for next year.”

Free Kicks
  • The U-20 USMNT squad has been selected for the 2018 U-20 Concacaf Championship.
  • Those joining Shelina Zadorsky in being born on this date include Batman co-creator Bob Kane (1915), Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman (1936), actor Kevin Kline (1947), character actor BD Wong (1960), Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich (1966), former Red Bulls/Galaxy/Chivas USA forward Juan Pablo Angel (1975), D.C. United star Wayne Rooney (1985), Drake (1986), and Sounders forward Will Bruin (1989).

That’s it for me today. Enjoy your Wednesday and look for this week’s PawedCast to drop this afternoon.