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Lion Links: 9/5/18

USWNT faces Chile again, Spector’s expectations, Edmonds’ ambitions, Florida Cup news, and more.

MLS: Philadelphia Union at Orlando City SC Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Hump Day, Mane Landers. Hopefully having Monday off took some of the sting out of the beginning of your week. If it didn’t. at least there are only three more days standing between you and the weekend, and some Orlando City soccer on Saturday night.

Let’s get the party started.

USWNT Dominates Chile Again, 4-0

The USWNT nearly turned in an identical 3-0 win against Chile to go along with the one it grabbed on Friday but Carli Lloyd had other ideas. Lloyd completed her second-half brace deep in stoppage time to help lift the U.S. to a 4-0 win. Orlando Pride goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris got the start in net and got one of the easiest clean sheets of her career. Alex Morgan was dangerous but couldn’t find the net, even from the penalty spot. Tobin Heath and Mallory Pugh scored before halftime for the U.S., which will head into next month’s Concacaf Championship. Injuries to Casey Short and McCall Zerboni were the only dark clouds on the final friendly of 2018.

Spector Expects Orlando City to Fight to the Finish

Orlando City sits 12 points out of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with eight matches remaining in the 2018 regular season. Things haven’t gone as planned in 2018 for the Lions, and club captain Jonathan Spector can’t predict what the standings will look like come the end of the season, but he knows what he expects from each of his Orlando City teammates from now until then:

“Fight,” he said. “Pride. Just determination to get results. We don’t know where we’ll end up at the end of the season, no one does, but I think we have to have those things in order to give ourselves the best chance of finishing as high as we possibly can and then also using that to build toward next season.”

Orlando has failed to pick up a win in any of its last seven MLS outings, which the club will look to change with a tough match-up at Sporting Kansas City this weekend. It’s disappointing to be playing for pride in early September rather than playoff seeding, but that’s the way the chips have fallen this season for Orlando.

Kristen Edmonds Wants to Watch Your Pup

Orlando Pride Swiss army knife Kristen Edmonds has a new venture away from the pitch. On Sept. 1, Edmonds officially launched P.U.P.S. — Pets Under People’s Supervision, a pet sitting and walking service. Inspired by her own troubles finding reliable pet sitters, Edmonds wants to offer help in that department to pet owners.

“I kind of struggled, finding help to watch [Jersey],” Edmonds said. “Thankfully, my teammates would help out, the ones that weren’t traveling, or family friends would help out. But they’re not always available and you can’t always rely on people just to take their time out of their day to watch your dog because it’s like having a child, essentially. They need attention and they take up a lot of your time.”

Edmonds has apparently had the idea for a couple of years, and she’s even planning to hire employees, although right now she’s in business on her own. Congrats, and keep up the entrepreneurial spirit, Kristen.

Orlando City Holds Steady in Latest MLS Power Rankings

As a reader of The Mane Land, you already know that our own Logan F. Oliver provides the best MLS Power Rankings around — stay tuned for those later this morning. In the meantime, the official site of MLS released its own batch of updated rankings, and the Lions held steady this week at No. 21 after their 2-2 draw with Philadelphia at the weekend. Only San Jose and Chicago sit between Orlando City and the bottom of the power rankings, and the Lions will face a steep challenge to improve their standing this week at SKC.

USWNT Group Set for Concacaf Women’s Championship

The U.S. Women’s National Team is set to take part in the Concacaf Women’s Championship from Oct. 4 through Oct. 17, and we now know what their Group A competition will look like. Concacaf has three automatic berths on the line for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, and the USWNT will begin its quest alongside Mexico, Panama, and Trinidad & Tobago in group play.

The groups were set on Tuesday morning in Miami, with Group B being comprised of Canada, Costa Rica, Jamaica, and Cuba. After a round-robin group play setup, the winners of the semifinal matches and the third-place match will qualify directly for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

The USWNT will play its group matches in Cary, NC at WakeMed Soccer Park. Let’s get it.

Florida Cup Lineup Finalized

We already knew that São Paulo and Ajax would be taking part in the 2019 Florida Cup in January, but on Tuesday we learned that Flamengo and Eintracht Frankfurt will be joining them, filling out the field for the 2019 edition of the Cup.

Orlando will be buzzing for the arrival of Flamengo, which is one of the most storied clubs in the Brazilian Serie A and will be making its first appearance at the Florida Cup. Eintracht is fresh off a German Cup victory, a tournament which it claimed by defeating mega-club Bayern Munich in the final.

“Our fifth edition is the most competitive and exciting Florida Cup yet. Fans will be able to enjoy top quality international football and many other attractions at the Universal Orlando Resort theme parks in a week full of entertainment for fans of all ages,” said Florida Cup CEO Ricardo Villar.

Both clubs add star power to the 2019 Cup, which will take place Jan. 8 through Jan. 13, 2019.

That’ll do it for this morning’s edition of Lion Links. Have a great day and, whatever you do, don’t work too hard.