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Lion Links: 10/14/19

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Dwyer looks ahead to 2020, NWSL playoff picture, USMNT-Canada looms in Concacaf Nations League, and more.

MLS: Orlando City SC at Houston Dynamo Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Merry Monday morning, Mane Landers! We’re well and truly into the off-season now, and that means the pain of the season is done, and the pain of not being able to watch our teams play has begun. That doesn’t mean there’s not still plenty of soccer for us to watch and enjoy. Let’s get to the links.

Dwyer Reflects on 2019 Season

It was not a good season for Dom Dwyer. Between injuries and an extended scoring drought, it seemed that the player who scores when he wants, didn’t want to score. As disappointed as Orlando City supporters were in the season and Dwyer’s performance, he was most likely more frustrated than anyone. There isn’t anything to be done about the 2019 season, and now Dwyer, Orlando City, and the supporters must look forward to next year. That is exactly what Dwyer is doing.

Oh, Canada

Tomorrow the United States Men’s National Team plays the first of two matches against Canada in the Concacaf Nations League Group A. The Yanks will head up to Toronto for the match and this will only be seventh time in 40 years that the two teams have played each other. Given how little history the two nations have, it’s hard to argue that the two are rivals but Canada may still give the USMNT some trouble.The second of the two matches will be played at Exploria Stadium in Orlando on Nov. 15.

NWSL Playoff Schedule is Set

The Orlando Pride might not be in the NWSL playoffs this year, but that doesn’t mean the postseason isn’t worth watching. For the second year in a row, the same teams will be competing for the championship. The No. 1 North Carolina Courage will host No. 4 Reign FC, and the No. 2 Chicago Red Stars will host the No. 3 Portland Thorns. The Courage will be the favorites after finishing five points clear at the top of the table in the regular season and both matches will be aired on ESPN2 on Oct. 20.

How the Mighty Fall

Diego Maradona was once the greatest soccer player in the world, but that was over two decades ago. At 58, the Argentinian legend has bad knees, bad ankles, and has fought drug addiction. Maradona played in his testimonial match at age 41. Testimonials are a bit of a show. They allow the player being honored to relive the glory days playing with friends and former opponents. Maradona’s testimonial was so ridiculous that goalkeeper René Higuita literally stepped out of the way of Maradona’s penalties to allow him to score. HBO captured the downfall of Maradona in the network’s documentary, which was released just a couple of weeks ago. The New Yorker has a good write-up about the documentary, simply titled Diego Maradona, here.

From One Net to Another

Petr Cech is the former goalkeeper for Chelsea and Arsenal with 20 years under his belt playing professional football. After retiring, he decided that not being a professional athlete wasn’t for him and he signed up with the Guildford Phoenix of the National Ice Hockey League 2 in England. In his first game, he was earn Man of the Match for his new team and sported a custom helmet you can check out below.

Free Kicks
  • FIFA President Gianni Infantino feels that Iran finally allowing women to watch a soccer match is a step in the right direction, and that it will eventually become the norm.
  • SIMA Gold got a huge win on the road, defeating the Clearwater Chargers 7-0. The talking point here is that OCB’s Luc Granitur scored a hat trick in the match.
  • Former Pride midfielder Christine Nairn is the first player to hit 150 appearances in the NWSL.
  • I get that he’s one of the greatest, but naming the stadium after him?

That’s all I’ve got for you today, Mane Landers. Make sure to check back with us for more Orlando soccer news and to find out who’s next in our Season in Review series.