Happy Monday, Mane Landers! I usually feed you on Sundays, but due to some scheduling changes, I’m here for you today. I’m sure we’re all still reeling after yet another frustrating loss for the Lions, so I’ll do my best to provide some silver linings and cheer you up. Before I jump in, I just have to acknowledge how insane the finale of UFC 229 was. If you’re not a fan (I’m really just a casual watcher, but Conor McGregror’s circus makes things fun), then you may be interested in the manner in which things went down, and how things will fall accordingly. I’ll leave it at that, maybe it’ll entice you to check it out.
Anyway, here’s your Monday serving of Lion Links!
The U.S. Women’s National Team Beats Panama, 5-0
The Stars & Stripes were back at it again last night, facing off against Panama in an important World Cup qualifier. It was a thrashing, with goals coming from Sam Mewis, a hat trick from legend Carli Lloyd, and Christen Press. The exciting result comes after last Thursday’s 6-0 destruction of Mexico, and the USWNT looked sharp with an almost completely different lineup. The team’s next match comes Wednesday againstTrinidad and Tobago.
MLS Playoffs Update
While Orlando City is officially eliminated, congratulations are in order to Los Angeles FC for clinching an MLS playoff appearance during the club’s inaugural season. The fans are quite happy, and I’m happy for them...with just a little pinch of salt. Sporting Kansas City locked its place in the playoffs after drawing with the other club in Los Angeles, 1-1, and the Philadelphia Union storm in after routing Minnesota, 5-1. Meanwhile, Toronto FC was officially mathematically eliminated after falling to the Vancouver Whitecaps, 2-1, and the Montreal Impact have kept hopes alive with a 3-0 win over the Columbus Crew. It must be nice to have hope.
With more and more talented American footballers finding minutes across the pond, it was only a matter of time for these young men to shine and make an impact for their respective clubs. Bobby Wood, Weston McKennie, and Geoff Cameron all scored for their respective teams and you can check out how they and the other Americans abroad did.
UCF Women Win Overtime Thriller, 2-1
Central Florida fell behind 1-0 in the second half, but didn’t let that stop them from rallying to overcome Cincinnati, 2-1 in overtime. The match-tying goal came in the 85th minute, and the team headed for overtime for the second consecutive match. UCF fought hard, and less than a minute into the second period of overtime, Jaida Scott picked out Stefanie Sanders at the edge of the 18-yard box, setting up Sanders for the heroics as she notched her third match-winning goal of the season.
- I’ll just leave this right here...
- Congratulations are in order to Seb Hines and the OCYS Boys Purple 1 side (see below).
Congratulations to OCYS 2009 Boys Purple 1 and Seb Hines champions at OC Cup and runners up AC Milan Academy Orlando#thefutureispurple— Orlando City Youth (@OCYouthSoccer) October 7, 2018
- Toronto FC and USMNT striker Jozy Altidore may be leaving the city of Toronto sooner rather than later. Stay tuned.
- Atlanta United FC 16-year-old George Bello notched his first MLS goal last night. Atlanta may be our rivals, but you have to give the kid a hand. The club may need him too, because Miguel Almiron picked up what seems to be a serious injury. Ezequiel Barco is expected to pick up where Almiron left off as well.
- Marky Delgado will replace McKennie during the upcoming USMNT matches against Colombia and Peru.
- Bastian Schweinsteiger has heaped praise upon his former teammate, Wayne Rooney, for having such a positive impact on D.C. United as the club fights from behind to qualify for the MLS playoffs.
- Chris Wondolowiski notched his 144th goal in MLS play, which places him just one behind the all-time leader, Landon Donovan.
- With Tallahassee being my former stomping grounds, both academically and sporting, I love the fact that the city’s new amateur club, Tallahassee Soccer Club, is promoting and partnering with the elite Florida State University’s women’s team. #ProudAlumni
- I’ll be headed to Munich in November...which, unfortunately, is a month after the fabled Oktoberfest festivities. That said, it appears that the Bavarian giants Bayern were drowning their sorrows in the global spectacle after falling 3-0 to Borussia Monchengladbach.
- Olivier Giroud is much more than just a lanky striker. He’s an acrobat. Check out this assist to help Ross Barkley open his account for the Blues. It was also the Frenchman’s 200th Premier League appearance. Quite impressive!
Ross Barkley gets his first goal for Chelsea! And there's an acrobatic assist for Olivier Giroud as well. pic.twitter.com/S2AZ3mtTOh— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) October 7, 2018
- Meanwhile, Manchester United’s board has provided some reassurance to embattled manager Jose Mourinho following the club’s win over Newcastle United. I’m a huge fan of The Special One, so I hope this is true.
Manchester United's victory over Newcastle may have eased the pressure on Jose Mourinho slightly...— Goal USA (@GoalUSA) October 7, 2018
But the manhunt against him will never end, according to the Red Devils boss himself pic.twitter.com/4eGIGte9dp
- Oh, and PSG and Kylian Mbappé are really, really good with the youngster notching four goals, helping his club set a new league mark.
- Who says goalkeepers can’t score 94th-minute equalizers at the top levels? Rafal Gikiewicz certainly hasn’t , as he did exactly that for his Bundesliga 2 side, 1. FC Union Berlin against FC Heidenheim.
- Last but not least, French legend Thierry Henry has reportedly been offered the manager’s role at Aston Villa, with John Terry tabbed to be his potential No. 2. I like it, Aston Villa. I like it.
Well, that’s just about all I’ve got for today folks. Have an excellent Monday (is that an oxymoron?) and an even better week!