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Lion Links: 4/14/18

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Orlando City visits Philadelphia, Pride players in the World Cup, USMNT set to play the Azzurri, and more!

MLS: Orlando City SC at Philadelphia Union Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning Mane Landers! It’s great to go into the weekend with three points already in pocket. The Lions decided not to leave the goals until late in the game and, hey, it all worked out. It’s nice to see the team winning and it’s even nicer when those wins lead to people making really cool things on the internet like this:

Now for some links.

Lions Win Third Straight Match

Dom Dwyer and Chris Mueller scored the goals and Joe Bendik did Joe Bendik things to keep his first clean sheet since last year. Orlando City took down the Union, 2-0, and improved to 2-0-0 in Friday the 13th games. Road points are precious and so getting three of them at once is always a good thing, especially against the kinds of teams you’re battling against to make the playoffs. We’ve got you covered if you missed the match.

And don’t miss Sean Rollins’ five takeaways later this morning. By the way, credit where it’s due. Big thanks to the Philadelphia Union and Sons of Ben for this:

Pride Players Heading to the World Cup

Australia and Japan played to a 1-1 draw yesterday. The result means that Pride players Alanna Kennedy and Emily van Egmond, as well as former Pride players Steph Catley, Laura Alleway, and Lisa De Vanna will be going to France for the 2019 Women’s World Cup. Japan led the game by a goal until none other than Sam Kerr tied the game at one for the Matildas in the 86th minute. Van Egmond was part of the buildup to Kerr’s equalizer. The goal avoided an embarrassing situation for the Matildas, who would have had to battle in a winner-take-all game to qualify.

This is Japan’s eighth World Cup in a row and the country will look to make it to the finals for the third time in a row. Meanwhile, Australia is heading to its seventh World Cup in a row, and will hope to finally make it past the quarter finals. Korea Republic also played yesterday and beat down on Vietnam, 4-0.

While this is obviously great news for Japan and Australia, Orlando will certainly miss Kennedy and van Egmond. There are a total of 11 players from both teams that play in the NWSL.

Alex Morgan: “It’s Coming Together”

The Orlando Pride go up against the defending NWSL champions on Sunday and have to quickly get back into the groove of things. International breaks have disrupted training, as 10 players were out last week and five players are still missing — Alanna Kennedy, Marta, Monica, Poliana, and Emily van Egmond.

“It’s been pretty difficult, honestly, to get a good fluidity within the team,” Morgan said. “And just knowing that we’re going to get the Brazilians and Australians back soon but not soon enough, it’s really difficult because I feel like again this year we’re going to be playing a little bit of catch-up just with those first few games not really getting the results we wanted.

Even with all the players out, the team is coming together and slowly getting towards how Tom Sermanni wants the team to look. The Pride are looking to get their first win of the season this weekend. It might help out some, too, that the Thorns are without four players from international duty and another four due to injury, including Tobin Heath.

USMNT vs. Italy Announced

The United States Men’s National Team is set to play a friendly against the Italians on Nov. 20. The venue for the game has not been announced yet but it will most likely be on neutral ground. Both the Yanks and the Azzurri are in similar circumstances. After missing the World Cup, both countries parted ways with their head coaches and presidents. There is change in the air for both as well.

The U.S., which now ranks 24th in the world, has not announced when it will be hiring a new coach, but officials say it will happen after the World Cup. This could potentially mean that the Yanks think a coach that is currently coaching a team in the World Cup will replace Bruce Arena and take the reigns from interim coach Dave Sarachan. As for Italy, Carlo Ancelotti, Roberto Mancini, and Antonio Conte are in the running to become the new coach next month.

Free Kicks
  • Marta and Monica started on the bench and Poliana got the start. Brazil thumped Bolivia, 7-0 in Copa America Femenina action on Friday.