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Lion Links: 10/26/19

MLS news and updates, Sam Kerr wins NWSL MVP, Americans abroad, and more.

Chicago Red Stars v Orlando Pride Photo by Alex Menendez/Getty Images

How’s it going, Mane Landers? The weekend is here and hopefully it is a relaxing time for you all. I’m taking my parents out to brunch today and then hitting up an aquarium so I’m pretty excited for pancakes and puffer fish today. No matter what you have planned, hopefully it is smooth sailing for you. Now, let’s get to the links!

MLS Playoff Picture Clears Up

In case you missed it, Orlando City midfielder Sacha Kljestan helped recap the playoff action this week and weighed in on the final four teams remaining in the playoffs. LAFC won one of the highest scoring MLS playoff games ever in a 5-3 victory over the LA Galaxy that absolutely lived up to expectations. Carlos Vela triumphed over Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but is focused entirely on winning the MLS Cup and LAFC now faces a Seattle Sounders side that clinched a spot in the Concacaf Champions’ League and is no stranger to big games.

In the other match, the two most recent champions square off. Atlanta United Head Coach Frank De Boer believes his team is strengthening, Josef Martinez is hungry for more goals, and Pity Martinez proved his worth in Atlanta’s 2-0 win over the Philadelphia Union. Atlanta hosts a Toronto FC team that will be an underdog, but has a secret weapon in former Orlando City player Richie Laryea.

Eliminated Teams Making Moves for 2020

The Galaxy couldn’t get it done against LAFC, and now Zlatan’s future in MLS is the biggest question mark for the team and young forward Uriel Antuna could head out to Benfica. The Philadelphia Union had a strong season despite the loss and looks to stay in reach of the MLS elite next year. The Portland Timbers will sign a right winger, the Vancouver Whitecaps are on the hunt for a big signing, and Minnesota United declined five player options for 2020. Also, FC Cincinnati goalkeeper Spencer Richey will train for 10 days with Crystal Palace and General Manager Gerard Nijkamp detailed the club’s approach to the off-season.

Sam Kerr Wins NWSL MVP

Australian international and Chicago Red Stars forward Sam Kerr won her second NWSL MVP award after a dominant season. Kerr won the Golden Boot after scoring 18 goals this year and helped the Red Stars reach the NWSL Championship that takes place tomorrow against the North Carolina Courage. The 26-year-old thanked her teammates for their efforts this season and Kerr’s focus is on the upcoming match. In the match, Kerr faces off against NWSL MVP finalist Debinha, who has had an incredible year as well, but Kerr also has finalist Yuki Nagasato supporting her in the midfield.

United States Soccer Updates

U.S. Soccer will announce the new head coach for the United States Women’s National Team on Monday, Oct. 28 at 4 p.m. ET. All signs point to Reign FC Head Coach Vlatko Andonovski for the job, but the press conference should still be worth tuning in to watch.

On the men’s side of things, Gregg Berhalter weighed in on Sergino Dest’s upcoming decision and the loss to Canada. Meanwhile, Tab Ramos is officially stepping down as U.S. Men’s Youth Technical Director to coach the Houston Dynamo and the U-17 World Cup starts today with the U.S. in action tomorrow.

Also, make sure to check out this handy guide to watch your favorite American players abroad this weekend.

Free Kicks
  • Ruan, former Lion Miguel Gallardo, and others got together for a game of air soccer. I didn’t know that this game had an actual name, to be honest.

That’ll be it from me today. I hope each and every one of you have a fantastic weekend and recharge your batteries before Monday rolls back around. Now, get lost! I mean, go Orlando!