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Lion Links: 11/17/19

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Expansion Draft protected lists revealed, Gregg Berhalter speaks, MLS unveils the 2020 match ball, and more.

MLS: Chicago Fire at Orlando City SC Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Sunday, Mane Landers. Before we get started, we here at The Mane Land want to wish Nani and Danilo Acosta happy birthdays! Acosta turns 22, while Nani is an entire decade ahead of him at 33. Make sure you take to your preferred social media and wish the Lions a happy birthday!

All right, you folks know the deal. Here’s your Sunday serving of Lion Links. Enjoy!

Expansion Draft: Who’s Protected and Who Isn’t?

MLS clubs released their protected player lists for the MLS Expansion Draft, which goes down on Tuesday, and you may be surprised at who the Lions decided to leave off of the list. The Lions who are unprotected, meaning they could be selected by another club, are Carlos Ascues, Alex De John, Adam Grinwis, Cristian Higuita, Will Johnson, Sacha Kljestan, Shane O’Neill, Dillon Powers, Greg Ranjitsingh, Robinho, Brian Rowe, Lamine Sané, and Kyle Smith. Meanwhile, our own Michael Citro has a report on those players who can and cannot be swept up by another club and what we can learn from these lists. Here’s a full list of the players who will be available in the expansion draft.

Gregg Berhalter Speaks on Win Over Canada

As we all now know, the U.S. Men’s National Team crushed Canada a few days ago here in Orlando’s Exploria Stadium, 4-1. Gregg Berhalter, the man in charge, stated that his side was ready to overcome anything.

“To me, the difference was that we were ready to overcome anything, the guys were focused and ready to overcome,” USMNT coach Gregg Berhalter said. “You saw that right from the start of the game. There were some real big criticisms of the group. It was a perceived lack of effort, a lack of heart. You couldn’t mention that today at all. The way the guys were fighting for each other, the way they had their back, the amount of effort that was put in. …To me, the difference was that we were ready to overcome anything.”

The perceived “lack of heart” from the Yanks certainly wasn’t even a thought during their convincing win over our neighbors up north, with the USMNT cruising to victory. Tougher tests are ahead, but Berhalter’s squad seems like it has overcome its past woes and is set on proving the doubters wrong. Only time will tell.

DeMarcus Beasley on Time with USMNT: No Regrets

Defender DaMarcus Beasley, a long-time favorite of the USMNT, was honored before the USMNT’s rematch with Canada, and stated that although his time with the national team seemed to go by too quickly, he has no regrets.

“No regrets, no second thoughts,” he said. “It really goes quickly. You look back at my whole career and it’s like, where’d it go? It makes you really appreciate the game.”

With 126 caps under his belt, Beasley was a seasoned veteran who always brought pace and enthusiasm to to the national team setup. With his boots hung up, he’s acknowledged that the youth movement currently occurring in the United States is crucial to the future of the program. He’s right.

“We all know it: the youth are the future. When myself, Landon, Tim were coming up, we were the future. Now it’s a new crop.”

MLS 2020 Match Ball Revealed

Major League Soccer has finally released the look of the new ball, set to be used in league play during the 2020 season. Some fun facts about the ball that you’ll probably never need to know include that it’s a design shout-out to the original ball from 1996, when the league first kicked off, the ball is made from 100% water-based materials and print colors, and it will be available to the public on Jan. 2, 2020.

Free Kicks
  • Congratulations are in order to the new world freestyle champions (even Nani thinks so)!
  • The U.S. Women’s National Team lost a strong member of the staff, Dawn Scott, to the Lionesses of England.

All right folks, that’s it for today. I’ve kept my trap shut about it up until now, but we’re in week 11 of the NFL season, and both of my fantasy teams are looking strong at 7-3. If you’re a fantasy player, I wish you the best of luck this week. It’s crunch time and wins are crucial. Good luck!