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Lion Links: 11/23/18

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Being thankful, Orlando transfer rumors, Champions League preview, and much more.

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

Good morning, Mane Landers. I don’t know about any of you, but I’m still suffering from a bit of a food coma after yesterday’s feast. If you plan on braving the Black Friday crowds, I wish you luck and safe travels. It’s going to be a very busy and hectic week so make sure to take the time to treat yourself to not only the latest electronics, but to some well-deserved rest and relaxation. So let’s start off on the right foot with some links!

Staying Thankful

After a disappointing season, there was little for Orlando City fans to really be thankful for other than a few players that showed some promise. However, Andrew Wiebe from, tried to find at least one thing fans should be thankful for for each MLS team. For the Lions, he believes that supporters should be thankful for each other. It’s not easy supporting a struggling team, but it’s nice not to wallow in misery alone. Orlando City fans are vocal about wanting the team to be better and hopefully 2019 will be the year fans will have a little more to be thankful for.

Orlando City Transfer Rumors

After the announcement that Seattle Sounders midfielder Osvaldo Alonso will no longer be under contract with the Sounders, reports have surfaced that Orlando City is interested in the 33-year-old. The anchor of the Sounders’ midfield for the past decade, Alonso would be a great addition to a the league’s worst defense this year. However, Orlando has plenty of defensive midfielders as it is, and these rumors may say something about the fates of Carlos Ascues or Cristian Higuita in James O’Connor’s midfield. Or maybe that’s just reading a bit too much into it, time will tell.

USMNT Look Back at Lessons Learned

Not participating in this year’s FIFA World Cup, it’s easy to say that 2018 wasn’t what the United States Men’s National Team was hoping for. However, that doesn’t mean that it was a complete waste for the program. Interim Head Coach Dave Sarachan laid some of the groundwork for whoever the future head coach is by giving playing time to some true American youngsters. Facing the likes of Italy, Portugal, and Brazil, the U.S. got to see what a confident international team can look like to learn from. If the head coach search is anything to go by, patience has been key for the USMNT as it looks to right the ship in 2019.

European Soccer: What to Watch For

Unbeaten Chelsea will take on a very hot Tottenham on Saturday in just one of the many big games this weekend in Europe. In Spain, Atletico Madrid will look to defeat FC Barcelona to move to the top spot in La Liga while a struggling Bayern Munich will hope to get back on track against Fortuna Duesseldorf.

But that’s not all. After the weekend, the Champions League continues with many teams able to qualify for the knockout stage next week. Borussia Dortmund, Inter Milan, FC Porto, Bayern, Manchester City, and Juventus are just some of the teams who will qualify with a result. But most eyes will be on the two big games with a lot on the line as Roma hosts Real Madrid and Liverpool travels to France to face a Paris Saint-Germain team that can not afford to lose.

Free Kicks
  • Alex Morgan secured a spot at the Thanksgiving Day table after a stellar 2018 year that left many United States Women’s National Team fans thankful for the Orlando Pride forward.
  • At just 22 years old, Brayan “El Cuco” Angulo has been lighting up the top flight in Ecuador with 22 goals and could be eyeing a move to MLS.
  • Women’s Premier Soccer League founder and trailblazer for the women’s game here in the U.S., Jerry Zanelli, has passed away in his Sacremento, CA home at the age of 80.
  • The folks at ESPNFC have unveiled their Ballon d’Or predictions listed below, with Christiano Ronaldo at the top.

I’ll be surprised if Modric doesn’t win, but it will be interesting to see how heavily the World Cup performances will play into this year’s award.

And that’s all from me everyone. I hope you find everything you are looking for today and enjoy what is sure to be a nice weekend.