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Lion Links: 11/25/18

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MLS conference finals cranking up, Copa Libertadores ugliness with team bus attack, and more.

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River Plate v Boca Juniors - Copa CONMEBOL Libertadores 2018 Photo by Marcelo Endelli/Getty Images

Happy Sunday, everyone. We’re now a day away from the MLS contract option deadline and we still haven’t heard which Lions are coming back and which aren’t. It’s got to be coming today or tomorrow. I’m looking forward to seeing this news, and what the objectives will be this off-season.

It’s a big day for Major League Soccer, with both conference finals getting underway. Before that happens, let’s get to what’s going on in the world of soccer.

MLS Playoffs Resume Today

The conference finals begin today, with the New York Red Bulls traveling to Atlanta and the Portland Timbers hosting Sporting Kansas City. For all the viewing information and the top storylines from each series, ProSoccerUSA has put together this handy guide. Who do you like in the two match-ups? I’d like to see New York, obviously, but can the Red Bulls do it if Bradley Wright-Phillips’ drought continues against Atlanta? I’m not sure who I want to see emerge from the west.

Copa Libertadores Ugliness in Buenos Aires

There are passionate fans, and then there are lunkheads. The fans who attacked the Boca Juniors’ bus yesterday are clearly the latter. The team bus was attacked by unruly River Plate fans before the second leg of the Copa Libertadores. The game was rescheduled for today after the attack left broken windows and players dealing with cuts and the effects of pepper spray. Passion is one thing, but if you love your team, don’t you want the game to be played? It’s a sporting event and there’s no reason for this kind of idiocy — or for strapping flares to your child to sneak them into the match.

Tough 24 Hours for Sergio Ramos

I’ll say right up front I’m no fan of Sergio Ramos. The Real Madrid and Spain defender is talented but he’s disgustingly filthy and I’ve got no love for his type of game. It’s been a brutal couple days for Ramos, as allegations surfaced that UEFA and Real Madrid covered up a failed Ramos doping test. The club and governing body both vehemently denied the reports by Der Spiegel and Politiken. A day later, Ramos may have been openly mocked by Mo Salah after his goal for Liverpool against Watford. Salah made a similar goal celebration gesture to one used by Ramos and there is bad blood between the two players.

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That’s all my time today. Enjoy the conference final first leg matches and we’ll hopefully learn the fate of our Lions’ contracts soon!