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Lion Links: 4/17/18

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Recognition for Pride and Lions players, USMNT vs. England friendly, top 100 American goalkeepers, and more.

MLS: Portland Timbers at Orlando City SC Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Top of the morning to all you readers on this Tuesday. Another week, another Lions’ victory, and while the Pride weren’t quite as lucky, there was still lots to like about the performance of both teams. There’s a lot to talk about today, but before we get down to it, we wish a happy birthday to the Pride’s Rachel Hill, Lions defender RJ Allen.

Pride and Lions Up for Weekly Awards

Members of both of Orlando’s soccer teams are being recognized for their work over the weekend. First up is Ashlyn Harris, who has been nominated for the NWSL Save of the Week for an excellent first-half save in Orlando Pride’s 2-1 loss to Portland Thorns. Next is the duo of Sacha Kljestan and Joe Bendik. Kljestan was named to the starting 11 of the MLS Team of the Week, while Bendik made the bench. Both players were key in Orlando City’s road victory against the Philadelphia Union as Bendik made several big saves and Kljestan notched the assist for the team’s opening goal.

USMNT to Face England in Friendly?

Goal.com has reported that the U.S. Men’s National Team is wrapping up a deal to play England this November. While the fixture still has yet to be announced, it would be played during the international window, during which time the U.S. will also take on Italy. While venues for both matches are yet to be determined, neither will take place on U.S. soil. If the USMNT does indeed play England, it would be the first meeting between the two teams since the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, when the Americans fought for a 1-1 draw courtesy of a Robert Green howler.

Top 100 American Goalkeepers

Everybody Soccer has released its list of the top 100 American goalkeepers, and as one would expect there are some familiar names on the list. Orlando’s Joe Bendik comes in at No. 4, while fellow Orlando City keepers Adam Grinwis and Earl Edwards Jr. make the list at the 43rd and 50th spots, respectively. The three goalkeepers listed above Bendik are Tim Melia, Brad Guzan, and Luis Robles, with Tim Howard one spot below Joe, rounding out the top five.

The Risks of Soccer Fandom in Egypt

ProSoccerTalk has published a great article about the tumultuous state of soccer fandom in Egypt. Egyptian club Al Ahly’s Ultras have recently appealed to the country’s authorities to end years of violence associated with Egyptian soccer. In recent years there have been plenty of instances of violence surrounding the sport in Egypt, with a 2012 riot in Port Said killing over 70 people, while another clash in 2015 left 22 dead. Fans were banned from Egyptian stadiums following the Port Said incident, and a court ruling after the 2015 clash saw the Ultras branded as terrorist groups and outlawed. While the situation is undoubtedly a complicated one, hopefully this is the first step towards a peaceful resolution.

Free Kicks
  • MLS, like most soccer leagues, doesn’t take kindly to people criticizing its officiating:

That’s all I’ve got for today, I hope you all have a wonderful rest of your week. Ciao.