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Lion Links: 10/27/18

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Family helps Lions cope with tough season, Red Bulls not looking past Orlando City, Pride duo called up, and more.

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

The weekend is upon us, Mane Landers, and the final weekend of Major League Soccer’s regular season, to be more specific. Everyone plays tomorrow on what’s known as Decision Day but we already know what’s been decided for Orlando City SC — a fourth year without a postseason.

That’s a bummer, but we can’t change it. All we can do is hope that our lads in purple give us a good performance as they fade off into the long, dark off-season.

While we wait for tomorrow’s match, let’s link it up.

Families Provide Support in Tough OCSC Season

You only think this has been a difficult season. The players? They know it. They’ve lived it a lot more personally than any of us have. We might complain to our fellow fans, tweet out our frustrations, or go on message board tirades. Orlando City’s players have to deal with a lot more stress than we do. So how do they do it? They talk it out with their families. Mohamed El-Munir and Sacha Kljestan talked about how their loved ones help them through the tough times. El-Munir:

“I can be pissed, but I need to find a place where I can put all my problems of my job, of my soccer, away, so I can spend a good time with my family. They really help me to do that, especially my wife. She understands soccer and she understands me when I get angry when we lose. Sometimes, when I carry the weight, she understands, and she gives me space. She gives me time.”

Red Bulls Not Taking Lions for Granted

Despite being 40 points higher in the Eastern Conference standings, the New York Red Bulls say they’re a bit wary of Orlando City — poor season or not. One reason is that the Lions defeated New York back in March, albeit a heavily rotated side. Despite that, some of those players — notably Florian Valot and Vincent Bezecourt — emerged as outstanding performers in 2018 before sustaining season-ending injuries.

“We know they’re going to come real tough and they’re going to expect to win like they did last week so we know it’s going to be a big game for us,” Red Bulls midfielder Kaku said through a translator. “We just have to continue our philosophy and continue to do what we do and just try and win that game.”

Pride Duo Tapped for November European Friendlies

To absolutely no one’s surprise, Jill Ellis has called Orlando Pride striker Alex Morgan and goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris up for the USWNT’s upcoming friendlies at Portugal and Scotland. U.S. Soccer announced Ellis’ 24-player roster yesterday, including the two Pride stars. But there were a few surprises. University of North Carolina defender Emily Fox got a call, along with midfielders Danielle Colaprico (Chicago Red Stars) and Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit), and striker Jessica McDonald (North Carolina Courage). Of that quartet, Sullivan has the most caps, with 10. Colaprico hasn’t been called up since 2016 and has no caps yet and Fox has none either. McDonald has just one. Most of the rest are the usual suspects.

Houston Dynamo President Resigns

Houston Dynamo and Houston Dash President Chris Canetti announced his resignation yesterday after 13 seasons at the helm of the Texas club. The executive is leaving to take the same role with Houston’s World Cup bid committee. It’s an interesting challenge Canetti is taking on and one he’s obviously looking forward to as it’s no small step to leave a club he’s been with since its inaugural season.

Free Kicks
  • Former Orlando City striker Hadji Barry was doing Hadji Barry things for Swope Park Rangers in the USL playoffs last night. Unfortunately for Hadji, Phoenix won, 4-2, but this is still a nice goal.
  • D.C. United defender Kofi Opare is out for the rest of 2018 after foot surgery.
  • If you’re one of those people who is already looking ahead, here’s the MLS off-season calendar.
  • Those born on this date include Theodore Roosevelt (1858), poet Dylan “Do not go gentle into that goodnight” Thomas (1914), artist Roy Lichtenstein (1923), writer Sylvia Plath (1932), Monty Python’s John Cleese (1939), E Street Band bassist Garry Tallent (1949), Judas Priest guitarist K.K. Downing (1951), Duran Duran singer Simon Le Bon (1958), late Stone Temple Pilots singer Scott Weiland (1967), Almost Famous actor Patrick Fugit (1982), and basketball’s Lonzo Ball (1987).

That’s all my time for this morning. Stay tuned to The Mane Land for full coverage of tomorrow’s season finale for Orlando City and enjoy the hell out of your weekend.