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Lion Links: 11/29/19

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Higuita weighs in, Orlando City thankful, FIFA rankings, and more.

SOCCER: MAR 16 MLS - Montreal Impact at Orlando City SC Photo by Joe Petro/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

How’s it going, Mane Landers? I hope Thanksgiving didn’t leave you too tired as we head into a busy weekend filled with Christmas decorating and holiday shopping. Stay safe with all of your traveling as the roads are sure to be busy today and the rest of the weekend. But for now, let’s enjoy some links from around the soccer world.

Cristian Higuita Speaks About His Departure

Former Lion Cristian Higuita not only won’t be in Orlando in 2020, but the 24-year-old confirmed he won’t be in Major League Soccer next season as he doesn’t want to compete against Orlando City. He now eyes a move to Mexico or Colombia for the next step in his career and the midfielder weighed in on Orlando’s coaching struggles and what the club must do to improve in the future. While he won’t be with the Lions any time soon, Higuita does want to come back before retiring.

“I want to return one day,” he said. “My dream, as I’ve told my wife, is in a couple of years once I know that time has come, I’d like to retire here with this team and hopefully that opportunity will come.”

What Orlando Should Be Thankful For

Andrew Wiebe of MLSsoccer.com took it upon himself to decide what each MLS team should be thankful for after the 2019 season and the results were interesting. For Orlando, the club should be thankful that Club Tijuana parted ways with Oscar Pareja so that Luiz Muzzi can hire him. Even though it is not yet a done deal, the stars have really aligned for Pareja and Muzzi to reunite. I’ll be a little more thankful when the rumors become reality.

Orlando Pride Players in W-League Update

While the National Women’s Soccer League is in its off-season, the W-League down in Australia rolls on with Round 3 underway. Carson Pickett and the Brisbane Roar fell 3-1 to the Western Sydney Wanderers after North Carolina Courage forward Kristen Hamilton scored a hat trick.

Later this weekend, Camila and Canberra United travel to take on the Newcastle Jets. Claire Emslie returns from injury to join Pride teammate Emily van Egmond as Melbourne City FC hosts Adelaide United. Also coming back from injury will be Alanna Kennedy, who will lead Sydney FC into battle against the Perth Glory. Make sure to catch up on all of this round’s matches and how to watch all of the action.

U.S. Soccer Rises in FIFA Rankings

After getting revenge over Canada in a convincing 4-1 win and beating Cuba 4-0 to advance in the Concacaf Nations league, the United States Men’s National Team moved up in the FIFA Rankings to 22nd. Meanwhile, Canada drops to 73rd and is no longer one of the top six teams in the conference which could see the nation on the outside looking in when the time comes for World Cup qualifying.

In other American soccer news, nominations for Young Male, Young Female, and Player of the Year with a Disability were announced. USMNT defender Sergino Dest, Reign FC goalkeeper Casey Murphy, and 2019 Pan-American Games Golden Ball winner Michael Schmid are just a few of the players featured.

Free Kicks
  • Orlando captain Nani wished everyone a happy Thanksgiving, in case you missed it.
  • Meet Grace Bowman, a member of the community who developed a program to help children with autism through soccer.

That’s going to be it from me, Mane Landers. If you’re working today, I wish you the best of luck and hope that it isn’t too rough on you out there. Stay safe this weekend and enjoy all of the leftovers.