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Lion Links: 11/14/18

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Pride stars lead USWNT to win, Bob Marley’s son to play Orlando City Stadium, Zlatan’s stellar shot, and more.

Scotland v USA - Women’s International Friendly Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

It’s Wednesday, everyone and we couldn’t be more in the middle of our work week than we are today. We’ll get through it, of course, but it won’t be easy. Wednesdays are the worst and I have an incredibly busy one ahead.

To help us all get through it, the following is what’s happening in the soccer world that may be of interest to you.

Morgan, Harris Push USWNT Past Scotland

The United States Women’s National Team finished off its 2018 campaign with a record of 18-0-2 thanks to the heroics of Orlando Pride Stars Alex Morgan and Ashlyn Harris yesterday. Morgan scored the game’s only goal and cleared a shot off the line to help Harris keep a clean sheet in a 1-0 road win at Scotland in friendly competition. Morgan closes the year with 98 international goals in her career and will look to get into triple digits in 2019 in the run-up to the FIFA Women’s World Cup in France. Speaking of France, that’s who the U.S. will play (on the road) on Jan. 19. Click the link above and check out Morgan’s outstanding strike. Speaking of the Pride forward, she’s in elite company:

Ky-Mani Marley to Perform at Orlando City Stadium

I’ll admit I never heard of Ky-Mani Marley before yesterday. I’ve of course heard of his father, Bob. I’ve heard of his half-brother, Ziggy. But nope, never Ky-Mani. Anyway, whether I’ve heard of him or not is irrelevant. He will be performing at Orlando City Stadium as part of the 2019 Florida Cup festivities on Jan. 10. Marley is apparently an Ajax fan, and he’ll appear at halftime of the Ajax-Flamengo match.

“It’s an honor to be invited to participate in this global event. I am excited because it’s the perfect combination of my two passions: music & football. I’m looking forward to sharing wonderful moments.”

Bob was a legend. Ziggy? Well, I did like “Tomorrow People.” If you’re familiar with Ky-Mani’s work, what should I listen to? Where should I start? I’m totally open to giving it a shot.

Zlatan Wins for Shot Heard ‘Round the World

Oh, come on! Come on! What a call and only Zlatan Ibrahimovic could elicit such a strong reaction from John Strong. Ibra’s first goal in MLS was akin to the shot heard ‘round the world — and I’ll leave it up to you as to whether I’m comparing it to the first shot of the American Revolution as immortalized in Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “Concord Hymn” or Bobby Thomson of the New York Giants smacking a homer against the Brooklyn Dodgers to win the National League pennant in 1951 — and it was also voted MLS Goal of the Year. What a way for Zlatan to introduce himself to Galaxy and MLS fans. It was the most Zlatan goal ever — a 40-yard swerving effort that will go down as one of the league’s all-time best.

Tata Martino Steals an Award

Look, I’ve got a lot of respect for what Gerardo Martino has done with Atlanta United, but despite winning the MLS Coach of the Year Award yesterday, he’s not that. Not in 2018, in my opinion. Bob Bradley did a remarkable job with LAFC, despite losing his captain midway through the season. And perhaps the best job of all was turned in by Chris Armas, who took over the New York Red Bulls and then got that team past New York City FC and Atlanta to grab the Supporters’ Shield. As we saw with the two New York teams that had mid-season coaching changes, it’s not easy to step right in and improve an already good team. Armas did that and was the most deserving candidate in my book.

Free Kicks
  • Apparently Orlando Pride star Marta got some work done on her eye. As it was on her Instagram story and therefore not something I can embed, I snatched a screen grab to share. Also, I don’t speak Portuguese, so I have no idea what she said, but the video started with her in scrubs, then preparing, and finally recovering (as shown).

Here’s to a speedy recovery, Marta!

  • Australia bounced back from a loss to Chile to get a 5-0 revenge win in the second friendly. No Pride players scored for the Matildas but it’s good to see Alanna Kennedy recovering from having her feet worked on and getting minutes again. Emily van Egmond also played.
  • Seattle’s Stefan Frei won the MLS Save of the Year.
  • Referee David McNamara has been suspended 21 days for forgetting his coin and making captains play rock, paper, scissors prior to a Women’s Super League game in October.
  • The top-selling EPL jerseys in each state are out and you’ve let me down again, Florida. It seems Liverpool sold the most shirts in the Sunshine State, no doubt fueled by car salesmen like our own Dave Rohe. They may sing “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” but you will if you try to wear one of those near me.
  • Those born on this date include steamboat inventor Robert Fulton (1765), painter Claude Monet (1840), M*A*S*H star McLean Stevenson (1927), Prince Charles (1948), Styx guitarist James “J.Y.” Young (1949), Quiet Riot drummer Frankie Banali (1951), Condoleezza Rice (1954), actor/voice actor Patrick “David Puddy from Seinfeld” Warburton (1964), former Orlando Pride forward Lisa De Vanna (1984), and Cleveland Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor (1993).

Have a fantastic day, everyone. Don’t forget the USMNT returns to action tomorrow, so at least you have that to look forward to.