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Lion Links: 10/21/19

Marta’s focused, MLS and NWSL playoff results, Americans abroad, and more.

SOCCER: OCT 12 NWSL - Reign FC at Orlando Pride Photo by Joe Petro/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Merry Monday morning, Mane Landers. We’re knee deep in playoff action and we get to be completely stress-free while watching. At best, we get to pick and choose which teams to root for, or which teams to root against. In a way, it’s kind of nice. That being said, let’s get to the links!

Marta Looks Forward

Marta scored six goals, a quarter of the Pride’s total in 2019, despite missing plenty of matches due to the World Cup and other international play. There’s a reason she is one of the greatest of all time, and the Orlando Pride are lucky to have her contagious energy on the squad. Marta loves what she does and she loves doing it for the Pride. She is an inspiration for the younger players and makes them better both in training and matches.

MLS Playoff Results

The Philadelphia Union were on the verge of another playoff collapse when they were down 3-1 at the half against the New York Red Bulls. However, the Union roared back by scoring three goals to defeat the Red Bulls 4-3 in Talen Energy Stadium. They will now meet Atlanta in the Eastern Conference semifinals on Oct. 24.

In the Western Conference, the LA Galaxy took on Minnesota United. After a scoreless first half, Sebastian Lletget and Jonathan dos Santos scored in quick succession to give the Galaxy a lead. Jan Gregus scored for Minnesota late, but it wasn’t enough in the end as the Loons fell 2-1. The Galaxy move on to the next round to face rival LAFC in a must-watch showdown.

NWSL Final is Set

Sam Kerr scored the lone goal to help the Chicago Red Stars beat the Portland Thorns 1-0 and advance to the NWSL final. Kerr and the Red Stars will play the defending champion North Carolina Courage after the Courage defeated Reign FC 4-1 earlier in the day. While it’s another trip to the final for the Courage, this is the first time the Red Stars have advanced after four straight semifinal losses.

USMNT Players Abroad

Everyone wants to know what Christian Pulisic is doing with Chelsea. Why isn’t he starting? Will he get more minutes? The thing is, he just got there, and while he might be one of our best, he’s just one of many over there. That’s not to say Frank Lampard doesn’t value the young American. He did get a hockey assist in Chelsea’s 1-0 win over Newcastle United.

Pulisic wasn’t the only one to do well abroad this weekend, as American defender Matt Miazga scored a goal in Reading’s win over Preston North End in the Football League Championship.

Free Kicks

That will do it for today. Make sure to check back for more from The Mane Land for all of your Orlando soccer coverage.