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Lion Links: 10/3/19

Nani seeks club assist record, Abby Elinsky puts in the work, Mauricio Pereyra gets a makeover, and more.

MLS: New England Revolution at Orlando City SC Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Thursday, Mane Landers! I, for one, am excited to see this week on its way out. Let’s jump right into the links:

Orlando City Looking to Manage Frustrations

With the club officially out of the playoffs and a game still left to play in the regular season, James O’Connor will face balancing the emotions of the team.

“It’s trying to manage the frustration,” O’Connor said. “We’re all feeling, I mean even the coaching staff— I don’t want to use too strong of a word, but we’re frustrated. For us, it’s trying to make sure you manage that in a productive way. We can point to a number of things and go that’s better, that’s better, that’s better, but equally when you don’t make the playoffs, we’re really irritated and really frustrated, all of us. When we have time to sit and go through it, there will be a load of factors where we can see we’ve made big improvements. But now is not the time to feel that.”

The ProSoccerUSA.com story linked above reports that Cristian Higuita and João Moutinho will not play in the final match. Higuita suffered an adductor injury against Houston, while Moutinho left the match with a calf injury.

In other club updates, OCSC is partnering with City Furniture for a “Delivering Hope Pajama Party,” where 100 local youths will get to spend the day at Exploria Stadium and participate in a variety of events while there. Before leaving, each child will receive a new, twin-sized bed, mattress, pillow, sheets, and comforters.

Orlando City Braces for Chicago Fire

The game means little to a lot of fans at this point, but it would be so nice to end the season on a win at home. The club put out its “Know Your Opponent” piece to help fans better understand the Fire and the all-time series. Should Nani register an assist in the match this weekend, he will break the club record. He is currently tied at 10 with Kaká and Yoshimar Yotún.

Orlando Pride Midfielder Abby Elinsky Gets ‘A’ for Effort

Training may have ended around noon on Thursday, but Abby Elinsky didn’t stop there as she ran drills with an assistant coach critiquing her along the way. Those extra moments show the level of effort Elinsky is always willing to provide.

“She possesses a bravery that you don’t see in many players,” said Head Coach, Marc Skinner. “If you say to Abby, ‘Look, there’s a brick wall here. It’s gonna hurt, but I’d like you to run through it for the team.’ She’d do it. When you start from the basis of someone who would give everything, you can add to any other technical quality to it.”

“You’ve got to be invested in it,” Elinsky said. “I just wanted to play as much as I could. It’s not easy. I know what it takes to show up and be ready to compete. Whatever you can do that day, you have to give that. You have to develop every day just to keep up and be ready to get in.”

Makeover for Mo

In a slow news day, there was the great debate on Twitter. In screen shots captured from the ever elusive Danny Acosta, we learned that Mauricio Pereyra has changed up his look. Was it a combination of Sun-In Hair lightener and his new home in the sunshine state? Unlikely but everyone seemed to have an opinion.

USMNT Names 26-Player Roster

The U.S. Men’s National team was announced yesterday for the upcoming Concacaf Nations League matches against Cuba and Canada.

“This is competitive soccer. Any time there is a trophy on the line and in the inaugural Nations League tournament, we want to put ourselves in a position to win,” Coach Gregg Berhalter said in a statement. “One thing that’s important is we continue to bring some of the younger guys along, integrate some new players into camp, but also have a familiar base. Most of the guys have been in camp before, understand how we want to play, and we think that continuity will help in our performance.”

Defender Sergiño Dest got the call but has turned down the invitation.

USWNT Set for Korea Republic

Here are five things you should know about Korea Republic before tonight’s match. The U.S. women are riding a 16-game winning streak as they head into tonight’s game. There will be a special celebration prior to the match for Orlando Pride’s Ali Krieger to celebrate her 100th career cap that she earned in the May victory over New Zealand. Be sure to check back in later tonight as TML recaps the match.

Free Kicks

That’ll do it for me today, Mane Landers! Don’t forget to swing back by later today to check in on all things USWNT vs. Korea Republic.