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Lion Links: 8/29/18

El-Munir called up, the Pride on opposite sides of NWSL weekly awards, Alex Morgan back in Cali, PDS speaks, and more.

MLS: Atlanta United FC at Orlando City SC Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Greetings on this fine Wednesday, Mane Landers. I won’t be taking too much of your time today. Before we dive into the links, though, we have to wish a happy 22nd birthday to Orlando City rookie standout Chris Mueller!

El-Munir Called Up to Libya; OCSC Training Updates

Orlando City fullback/winger Mohamed El-Munir has been called up to play for Libya in a qualifier for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations on Sept. 8. El-Munir will leave after Saturday’s match against Philadelphia and will miss the match at Sporting Kansas City.

“I’m happy to go,” he said. “First of all, it’s nice to go and to represent my national team. Second thing, it’s good to see some players, some friends because some players [I haven’t] seen them for a long time. It’s a good opportunity to see them and to know what’s going on with them. I think I’m going to enjoy this time.”

In training news, Sacha Kljestan and Cristian Higuita both missed the part of training open to the media on Tuesday. Kljestan has been nursing an injury picked up against New England while Higuita’s absence was not explained by the club as of yet.

Ashlyn Harris Wins SOTW while Sam Kerr wins POTW

Ashlyn Harris has won NWSL’s Save of the Week for the seventh time this season after this fantastic 1-v-1 save on Sam Kerr:

Kerr wasn't really held down much, though, as the Chicago Red Stars forward had a brace and an assist against the Pride to end their playoff hopes and earn herself Player of the Week honors.

Alex Morgan Happy to be Back in California

Alex Morgan is preparing with the U.S. Women’s National Team for their upcoming friendlies against Chile in Southern California. Morgan, a SoCal native, is enjoying her time back home with husband and former Orlando City player, Servando Carrasco.

“I’m definitely looking forward to spending a lot of time in L.A.,” Morgan said. “Just emotionally it takes a toll on you being away from each other. Whenever me and Servando are apart for a long period of time, like we are this year, you’re either going to have your marriage suffer or your job suffer. And our marriage is very strong.”

Her job with the national team hasn't suffered at all, but if you're a Pride fan, you won’t be that surprised to hear those words from Morgan considering the struggles the Pride have had all year, especially as the forward has only scored five goals in 18 appearances for the club this season.

Pierre Da Silva Talks About His First Appearance of the Season

A fan favorite that has waited a long time to see the MLS pitch, Pierre Da Silva talked about his time with Saint Louis FC and former Orlando City B Head Coach Ant Pulis, the match, and if James O’Connor gave him the heads up.

U.S. Soccer and Donna Shalala Could Cause Issues with Lawsuit

U.S. Soccer has had its issues lately with the NASL and federal courts. But some new information has been coming out about former Independent Director and former University of Miami President, Donna Shalala. Shalala continued in office until earlier this year, right after U.S. Soccer was sued for antitrust violations in federal court by the NASL, but before she was personally sued for her role in shutting down the league.

Shalala was supposed to be an independent director, but instead she began doing public business with MLS, which included a stint as the league’s illegally unregistered lobbyist when she sought public land for a stadium deal including her former employer’s football team, the University of Miami, and a Miami MLS team. This isn’t a good look for U.S. Soccer or Carlos Cordeiro who has been under the microscope ever since he was elected into office. Hopefully this can be resolved in a way that doesn't result in a bigger mess than it already appears to be.

Free Kicks

I leave you with a fun anecdote with two of my favorite things: the business of soccer and Zlatan. Well done, LA Galaxy.

That’s it! Have a great week and see you Saturday against Philadelphia!