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Lion Links: 2/7/18

The Pride acquire a new defender, Pride players still on the hunt for a W-League title, and more on the U.S. Soccer election.

SOCCER: JUN 24 NWSL - Houston Dash at Orlando Pride Photo by Andrew Bershaw/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Greetings, friends! I am back this week after my sabbatical in London and some unexpected travel plans. But I’m here, refreshed, and with all the news that’s been going on in Orlando I feel like I’ve been playing catch up ever since. So let’s catch you up on everything you may have missed yesterday.

Pride Acquire Defender Poliana from Houston Dash

Orlando Pride Head Coach Tom Sermanni isn't done just yet in the off-season, and the NWSL trade machine continues to roll. This time he opted for a deal with the Houston Dash for Brazilian defender Poliana in exchange for the Pride’s second-round selection in the 2019 NWSL College Draft. The Pride then signed the 27-year-old (yesterday was her birthday) to a contract for the 2018 season. Per team and league policies, terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Poliana played primarily on the back line for Houston but there are positive thoughts on her versatility and the chance to push higher up the field if needed. As Monica is still overseas, Camila is out injured, and Steph Catley traded, depth on the back line is a priority and this certainly helps.

Pride Players Continue with Success Overseas...But Not Everyone

The W-League is near the tail end of the season and is in the midst of its playoffs. There is no shortage of Pride players Down Under, as Alanna Kennedy (still unsigned, FYI) and newly acquired Carson Pickett find themselves in a face-off next weekend after winning their respective first-round matches. Kennedy’s Melbourne City (fourth) and Pickett’s Brisbane Roar (first) face off Sunday at 12 a.m. ET in the second round. However, Toni Pressley and Haley Kopmeyer weren't as fortunate as their Canberra United was bounced by the aforementioned Brisbane Roar. So expect them back home very soon.

And Monica continued her winning ways with Atlético Madrid in a 2-1 victory again as they remain unbeaten for the sixth match in a row. Monica started and played 62 minutes in the match.

NASL Suing the USSF Over Fiduciary Resposnibilities

The NASL is continuing its assault on the U.S. Soccer Federation and this time it comes in the form of a lawsuit against the federation for not having the NASL’s best interests at the forefront of decision making.

On one hand, they may have a point. The NASL has had its share of issues over the past few years with D-II/D-III designations and pro/rel conversations. If USSF was really fully invested in the NASL, then things wouldn't have been so tumultuous over the past few years. Admittedly, it was probably a huge mistake challenging them in the public eye a couple years ago (apologies, I looked for the example, you’ll just have to trust me).

On the other hand, we don’t need two D-II leagues in an already convoluted and congested U.S. system. Maybe the USSF did prefer the USL, maybe the USSF sat back and waited to see who had the better sustainability, either way less confusion in the market isn't a bad thing. It’s not like the teams don’t have the ability to join the USL.

More USSF Election Details

If you didn't already know, the election is this Saturday. News is coming from all over, including our own Scott Carnevale’s take on who will win.

We start with the American Outlaws, who led a straw poll after having all the candidates engage in forums and questionnaires. While they don’t have a vote, it’s encouraging that all the candidates took the time to be available to the ones who actually spend their money to make this game profitable. But — a big but — the vote comes as no surprise with both former national team players who are also TV personalities leading the way. If you want further proof that this poll can only be trusted so far: Hope Solo is third.

Next up is COPA90 US and their Walk, Talk Football (WTF) series where they’ll be outlining four of the candidates who made themselves available on a variety of topics. They started with their usual, full-format show but will release full answers to top questions over the course of the week. Tuesday’s discussion focused in on promotion/relegation.

Free Kicks:

Well that’s it for today! Enjoy your week, and by next week we’ll have a new USSF president and will be in full swing of Champions League again (cue the music in our heads). Cheers!