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Lion Links: 11/19/18

USMNT and Italy will be shorthanded, Atlanta prepares for New York, and plenty of NCAA action.

England v United States - International Friendly Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Merry Monday morning, Mane Landers! It’s always nice when all of your teams win on a given weekend, as they did for me. I hope you had as much good fortune as I did. Despite the international break, there was plenty of domestic soccer, especially of the college variety. It’s just a reminder that soccer is such a year-round sport, and we’re very lucky that is true.

But before we get to the links, let’s celebrate! Today marks the five-year anniversary of when Orlando City was announced as the 21st MLS franchise. Sure, it hasn’t gone as well as hoped, but being in MLS is still worth getting excited about.

Orlando City Academy Players in the NCAA

You may not have been following the NCAA Men’s Tournament, but there were several Orlando City academy players in these matches. All in all, it could have been a better weekend for the academy lads, but it is what it is.

  • Jack McCloskey and Gorka Apperibay took the field for UCF in their 1-0 loss to Lipscomb.
  • A.J. Seals, David Loera, and David Norris all took the field in N.C. State’s 2-0 loss to Maryland.
  • Landen Haig managed to get on the field for about five minutes in Wake Forest’s 1-0 win over Colgate.
  • Alejandro Pereira and the University of Portland fell 4-0 to No. 3 ranked Kentucky.
  • Lastly, Raul Aguilera and the University of North Carolina were upset 2-1 to James Madison University.
United Sates Men’s National Team Update

With the USMNT’s friendly match against Italy tomorrow, midfielders Weston McKennie, and Luca de la Torre will not be with the team. McKennie will be rehabilitating his left hamstring tendon with his Bundesliga team, Schalke. while De la Torre will remain in London to rejoin Fulham. Despite Italy missing some of its regulars as well, it might still be a challenge for a young USMNT without a new head coach or a definitive direction.

Recovering Atlanta Needs to Beat History

Atlanta United FC will take on the New York Red Bulls in the Eastern Conference finals on Sunday, followed by the second leg on Nov. 29. Unfortunately for Atlanta, history is not on its side. However, there is some good news for Atlanta, as the club seems to be getting healthy in time for the match. Jeff Larentowicz, Andrew Carleton and Brandon Vazquez are all expected back for Sunday. Additionally, Darlington Nagbe, Chris McCann and Sal Zizzo could all be back in time for the second leg.

No EPL, No Problem

There might not have been any English Premier League fixtures this weekend, but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t news. You may have heard that VAR is coming to the Premier League next season, but what would have it changed so far this season if implemented?

Meanwhile, over 200 players have called for the resignation of Gordon Taylor, the chief executive of the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA). The players feel that Taylor has not been acting in the best interest of current and former players. Finally, the transfer rumor mill has started up in the EPL, and there are some interesting potential moves being tossed around.

Free Kicks
  • The FSU women’s soccer team advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals over USC on Sunday after winning on penalty kicks following a 1-1 draw. The Seminoles will host Penn State in the NCAA quarterfinals on Friday, Nov. 23, with the time to be determined.

Here’s the PK save that helped clinch it for the Noles.

  • It seems that Liverpool is looking to add one of Jurgen Klopp’s former players from Borussia Dortmund. Kerem Demirbay could be making his way to Anfield.
  • Finally, I’d say spoilers, but if you haven’t see Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2, then I don’t know what to tell you. That being said, here’s one of my favorite scenes with a great song.

That’s going to do it for this edition of Lion Links. Never fear, there’s soccer tomorrow night. Go Yanks!