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Lion Links: 10/10/19

Toni Pressley finds comfort on the pitch, Pride looking for volunteers, USMNT’s past with Cuba, USL news, and more.

Fulham FC v Arsenal FC - Premier League Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

It’s Thursday, Mane Landers. That means it’s Friday eve and we can almost breathe again. Before we jump to the links, be sure to take a moment to wish Orlando Pride’s Camila a happy birthday!

Orlando Pride’s Toni Pressley Finds Strength on the Pitch

Pressley waited to tell her team the news of her breast cancer diagnosis, afraid to pull their focus and attention away from the game for which they were preparing. She kept it from the team for more than a month, finally announcing it on her last day of training before going in for a double mastectomy.

“I was thinking about them, because I didn’t want them to worry, I didn’t want them to be thinking of me when they need to be thinking of other things,” Pressley said. “But telling them made me realize that I had to step away from the game that I love and I didn’t know when I’d come back.”

During her recovery she felt like something was missing and turned her mind almost immediately back to soccer. With the news that she would not need to undergo chemotherapy, Pressley was cleared to return to training. In describing Pressley, Pride Head Coach Marc Skinner said:

“I would use the term unbreakable,” Skinner said. “There’s many ways that you can manufacture leadership, but when moments hit you, that’s real leadership. True leaders come back in those moments and show their true spirits.”

The players of the NWSL were inspired by Pressley and started the auction to give back to a local organization right here in Orlando. The auction closes today, so get your bids in quickly!

Orlando Pride Looking for Volunteers

During the Pride’s Breast Cancer Awareness match this Saturday, there will be a large pink ribbon on the field. The team is creating a human ribbon presented by The Cure Bowl, to be made up of 150 breast cancer survivors, families, and anyone affected by breast cancer. Volunteers will receive an #OrlandoGoesPink t-shirt and a ticket to the game. There will be a rehearsal Friday night before the event. Interested volunteers should register for the opportunity to participate.

Breast cancer can happen to anyone. The Pride’s director of performance nutrition shared her story:

USMNT Prepares for Cuba Match

The U.S. Men’s National Team will take on Cuba tomorrow night in Washington D.C. for its first match of the 2019-2020 Cancacaf Nations League. In a nostalgic run of history, U.S. Soccer shared a few tidbits from the past. First, Landon Donovan scored four goals against los Leones del Caribe in 2003 to win the match, 5-0. Check out the rest of the history of the series at the above link.

USL League One Launching new Clubs

USL League One announced yesterday that Inter Miami CF and the New England Revolution will launch USL League One clubs to begin playing in the 2020 season.

“We’re thrilled to have Inter Miami CF and the New England Revolution join League One,” said USL Senior Vice President Steven Short. “It’s exciting to watch our league as it continues to grow in both size and intensity. We’re already looking forward to our second year of competition and know that both of these clubs will be tremendous additions to our league.”

Free Kicks

That’ll do it for me this morning, Mane Landers. Hope everyone has a great day!