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Lions Links: 3/28/18

City injury updates, USMNT downs Paraguay, 2026 World Cup bid book released, and more.

Paraguay v United States Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Happy Wednesday, Mane Landers! We’re only three more days away from the international break ending and Orlando City getting back on the pitch in Sacha Kljestan’s first match against his old side in 2018.

We’ve got plenty of USA-driven news with some updates for this weekend on some notable players, so let’s do this!

USMNT Nips Paraguay in Friendly, 1-0

A young U.S. squad took the pitch in Cary, NC, but looked like a veteran bunch against a young Paraguayan team. The U.S. bossed the midfield and owned possession but fashioned very few clear scoring chances, settling for Bobby Wood’s penalty to win, 1-0. The pass from Marky Delgado that set up the foul against Tyler Adams in the box was worthy of a goal and Wood calmly delivered near the end of a first half in which he sometimes struggled. Adams, Wil Trapp, and Darlington Nagbe all had strong games in the U.S. midfield.

Both Rosell and Spector Out for Saturday

My assumptions on Uri Rosell proved to be true as Orlando City Head Coach Jason Kreis finally admitted the defensive midfielder came into camp with an injury. That is why he’s been out for nearly two months training on his own.

As for Jonathan Spector, he has been announced as out for Saturday too as he’s still going through concussion protocol from the match at New York City FC.

World Cup 2026 Bid Books Officially Released

If you are a giant soccer business geek like me, then you’ll be excited to read through the USA/Mexico/Canada bid book just as I am. You can also read through Morocco’s — the only other challenger — as well.

The process will now continue with site visits and bid reviews over the next few months before the decision is made just before the 2018 World Cup. Here's a Guide to the Bidding Process for the 2026 FIFA World Cup™ in case you want to freshen up.

But the date you need to know is June 13, 2018. That’ll be the date when the vote happens to announce who will get to the host the first-ever 48-team event. Fingers crossed!

Free Kicks
  • If you’re all in for the college soccer discussion, and its relevance, this is a great piece.
  • Justin Meram got the start for Iraq in a 1-1 draw vs. Syria and showed off some skill while he was at it:
  • Former Orlando City draft pick Sidney Rivera has started a podcast.
  • The Pride were involved in the NWSL Goal of the Week. Just not in the way you wanted. But kudos to Utah Royals for a fantastic strike:

That's it for me today! Hope to see many of you out this Saturday at 1 p.m. as we get back to seeing the team in action. Cheers!