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Lion Links: 11/2/19

NWSL makes changes, MLS Cup is sold out, SeaWolves start training, and more.

SOCCER: JUN 27 NWSL - Houston Dash at Orlando Pride Photo by Joe Petro/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

How’s it going, Mane Landers? The weekend is finally upon us and it’s a great time to kick back and relax. It felt really nice outside yesterday, so hopefully we get more of the same today and tomorrow. Today is also the last day of daylight saving time, so make sure to set those clocks back an hour before you head to sleep and enjoy that extra hour.

National Women’s Soccer League Makes Changes

A few changes are coming to the NWSL in 2020, with a focus on how players are compensated and acquired. The maximum salary, minimum salary, and overall salary cap all increased and allocation money is now part of NWSL vernacular as the league hopes to bring in more world-class players. Changes to player contracts are also on the way and discovery lists will be introduced to the league as well as it grows after a strong year that included the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Orlando SeaWolves Opens Training Camp

In preparation for the upcoming season, the Orlando SeaWolves will start their training camp today at R9 Academy. The SeaWolves enter their second season in the Major Arena Soccer League with the same offensive and defensive leaders as last year, but they did add some new attacking weapons in the off-season. After Tom Traxler stepped down as head coach, General Manager Chris Kokalis will be at the helm for the SeaWolves this year and his experience should be helpful for the team to reach the playoffs this year.

“With Chris putting together this roster, we felt that he would be the ideal person to lead this team for the season,” COO Donovan Roper said, “His background in the game and knowledge of the players will be a big boost as we head into our second season.”

MLS Cup Sells Out

The 2019 MLS Cup final has officially sold out for the showdown between the Seattle Sounders and Toronto FC at CenturyLink Field on Nov. 10. With an expected attendance near 70,000, the game will likely be the largest soccer game ever in Seattle as the Sounders finally get to host an MLS Cup final for their third trip in four years. Toronto is no stranger to the moment either and hosted the Sounders in 2016 and 2017 at BMO Field. Now, the two clubs meet for a third time after splitting the previous two encounters and the coaching battle between Toronto’s Greg Vanney and Seattle’s Brian Schmetzer is sure to be great.

Young Yanks Fighting to Advance

The United States Men’s National U-17 Team must win today against the Netherlands to stay alive in the 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup. Even a win doesn’t guarantee the Baby Nats safety in the tournament as they will need Japan to not only lose, but do poorly enough that the U.S. can cover the goal differential in order to secure second in the group.

It’s a tall order considering Japan hasn’t allowed a goal in the tournament and the U.S. has yet to win. But even if the U.S. finishes third, a win may be enough to rank in the top four of the six third-place finishers. The future may be out of their hands, but the Baby Nats are far from eliminated.

Free Kicks

That’s all from me today, folks. I hope each and every one of you has a nice Saturday and weekend. Feel free to check back with us for more Orlando soccer coverage.