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Lion Links: 9/6/18

Sydney Leroux speaks on rough 2018 season, Mason Stajduhar’s devotion to training, Miami announces crest and name, and more.

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Deon Cooper, The Mane Land

Hello all, and welcome to the Sept. 6, 2018 edition of Lion Links. I hope you all are enjoying your Thursday and the week so far as we approach the weekend. The Pride play their final game of the season and the Lions will play at Sporting Kansas City — both on Saturday — so let’s get right into the links for today after we wish defender Chris Schuler a happy 31st birthday.

Sydney Leroux: 2018 Toughest Season of Her Career

Sydney Leroux has had a rough 2018 NWSL season, battling an illness and a concussion as well as her club missing the playoffs. Despite missing almost all of August, Leroux is still the leading goal scorer for the Pride this season with six goals in 19 matches. The Pride only managed one point in the four matches Leroux missed, which ended up being a crushing blow to the club’s playoff hopes. Leroux had this to say to ProSoccerUSA about the season:

“Probably the hardest season of my life,” she said. “It’s was difficult. I’ve been out the entire month of August, and then coming back and getting the concussion was awful timing, especially for the playoff push. Yeah, I feel bad and I’m sad that I missed out on such an important part of the season.”

Leroux and the Pride play their final match of the season on Saturday against Sky Blue FC, and one last win could at least provide a bit of consolation.

Mason Stajduhar Did Not Let Radiation Stop Him From Training

Mason Stajduhar’s story has been amazing over the past year. The 20-year-old goalkeeper was diagnosed with bone cancer last year, but a rough commute and constant radiation treatment wouldn’t keep him away from doing what he loved, playing the sport of soccer. Stajduhar would drive from Gainesville after radiation treatment to training and than commute back to Gainesville after training to continue his treatment. His teammates and coaches knew he did not have to train, but he chose to do so anyway. He completed his cancer treatment in June and ever since, he has wanted to be back on the field. He continues to pursue his dream of appearing in his first MLS match.

MLS Miami Announces Name and Crest

MLS Miami showcased its logo and name to the world on Wednesday. The official name of the club is Club Internacional de Fútbol Miami (a.k.a. Inter Miami CF), bringing a true sense of Latin American presence to the league. The name gives Miami a diverse and unique feel that no other team in MLS currently has, along with a new crest and colors that are not present in MLS.

“This is such a proud day for myself and for the entire team. It’s an honor to announce the new name and crest to our fans,” said David Beckham, Miami MLS Owner and President of Football Operations. “We are taking another important step in establishing our club and today marks an important moment in the history of Club Internacional de Fútbol Miami.”

Miami was granted an expansion team in January and is scheduled to begin play in 2020. With the announcement of a name and crest, the team finally has an identity and can begin moving forward with other aspects of the expansion process.

USWNT Announces Timeline for New GM

With the search beginning for a new general manager for USWNT soccer, the U.S. Soccer Federation will identify candidates for the position around November of this year. With the next 10 months being busy for the USWNT, including World Cup qualifying and the actual tournament in France next summer, the new general manager will likely have no part in the team until after those proceedings. The eventual 10 candidates are expected to be interviewed for the position next year and the field will be cut down significantly before any final decisions are made by the board.

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