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Lion Links: 11/12/18

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MLS playoffs, Krieger’s new gig, U.S. soccer news, Iranian women in the stands, and more.

Soccer: Women’s National Team Friendly-Russia vs USA Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Merry Monday morning, Mane Landers! It was a busy weekend between the MLS playoffs, the English Premier League, the first ever Orlando SeaWolves match, and NCAA games. Hopefully, you were able to watch some of it. It’s been a hectic week or so for me, but we don’t have time to get into it since it’s time to get to the links!

MLS Playoff Results

The MLS playoffs continued without Orlando City on Sunday. Surprising, I know. Sporting Kansas City advanced to the Western Conference finals with a 4-2 victory over Real Salt Lake and will now face the Portland Timbers. The win gave Sporting KC a 5-3 aggregate score over RSL.

In the Eastern Conference, Atlanta United FC held the advantage over New York City FC heading into the match, but it wasn’t really needed. Atlanta defeated New York City FC 3-1 to move on to the Eastern Conference finals. Atlanta’s opponent will be the New York Red Bulls, as the Red Bulls took down the Columbus Crew 3-0 to win 3-1 on aggregate. Now the conference finals are set.

Ali Krieger Weighs In

Orlando Pride’s own, Ali Krieger is joining the Major League Soccer broadcast crew for the MLS playoffs. This isn’t her first foray into the television scene, as she has done commenting for United States Women’s National Team and NWSL matches over the last year. I certainly hope that Ali stays on with the Orlando Pride for a while longer, but it’s nice to know she’s already getting ready for the next stage of her work life. You were going to watch anyway, but now you can enjoy it even more.

U.S. Soccer Update

It’s been over a year since Bruce Arena stepped down from the head coaching position for the United States Men’s National Team, and there is still no new permanent coach. Interim head coach Dave Sarachan has been a good steward, but there is hope for a new coach before the end of the year. Of course, the USWNT is getting ready for one final friendly against Scotland before the end of the year, hoping to stay unbeaten in 2018. Meanwhile, U-20 men’s head coach Tab Ramos is bringing in more youngsters for his U-20 World Cup qualifying roster. It’s an exciting time for U.S. Soccer.

Progress in Iran

For the first time in 37 years, women were allowed to attend a top-tier Tehran league match. Now, let’s be clear, the 500 or so women were not allowed to be in the same area as the men, but at least they were in the stadium. While I personally still find that unacceptable, progress is progress. Believe it or not, FIFA is working with Iran to end the ban on a permanent basis as this remains an ongoing struggle towards equality in the world’s game.

Free Kicks
  • It’s been a busy few weeks for the Tallahassee Soccer Club. It has joined the Gulf Coast Premier League and secured a jersey sponsor with the Tallahassee Orthopedic Clinic.
  • The 2018 MLS Best XI is out, and there are no Lions in the bunch. Though to be fair that’s not very surprising because there really weren’t any defensive midfielders to be seen and that’s about all Orlando has on any given week.

That’ll do it for this Monday. Enjoy the week, and check back with us every hour or so. Seriously, we’ll know if you don’t.