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Lion Links: 11/8/19

Skinner’s 2020 vision, Andonovski era begins, Pride players abroad, and more.

SOCCER: OCT 12 NWSL - Reign FC at Orlando Pride Photo by Joe Petro/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

What’s up, Mane Landers? I hope your week has been going well as we now transition into the weekend and all of the fun that comes with it. We have more United States Women’s National Team action and the MLS Cup final on Sunday so there is plenty to look forward to. In the meantime though, enjoy these links from around the soccer world.

Marc Skinner Ready for Important 2020 Season

Despite a disappointing season, Orlando Pride Head Coach Marc Skinner was cut some slack due to the World Cup taking the club’s stronger players away and most of the team was afflicted with injuries throughout the year. Regardless of the poor performances on the field, the players seem receptive of Skinner’s approach and the team is a cohesive unit heading into next season. The 36-year-old has an entire off-season to get the team how he wants it and finally assemble a team that fits his vision. Skinner also knows what awaits him if that vision fails and the Pride disappoint once more.

“Nobody will know how much this season hurts,” Skinner said. “No words can do it justice; only actions can get it justice. Not one of those players wants to feel how they feel now. If we can’t get there, then we’ll go back to England and start again. It’s do-or-die now and we all know that.”

Andonovski Era Starts with a Win

New USWNT Head Coach Vlatko Andonovski started his tenure with a 3-2 victory over Sweden in a friendly. Carli Lloyd got the scoring started with a goal just six minutes in. She scored again to finish with a brace and Christen Press finished with a goal and an assist to give the U.S a lead at the half.

The defense faltered in the second half though, allowing Anna Anvegard to score twice for Sweden in a five-minute span. The USWNT was able to close the game out though and will next play Costa Rica in Jacksonville for a friendly in the team’s last game of 2019 on Nov. 10.

Pride Players Face Off in International Tournament

In the China Four Nations Tournament, Brazil crushed Canada 4-0 in a game that featured a pair of Pride players. Both Marta and Shelina Zadorsky started in the match and Brazil dominated the game early on, going up 3-0 before the half. Marta didn’t score in the match, but she did have an assist and Brazil will now take on China on Nov. 10. Meanwhile, Zadorsky and Canada will play their last game of 2019 against New Zealand on the same date for third place in the tournament.

More Americans Called Up for Nations League

United States Men’s National Team Head Coach Gregg Berhalter named nine European-based players to join the team’s camp as it prepares to take on Canada at Exploria Stadium on Nov. 15 for the Concacaf Nations League. Sergino Dest, Christian Pulisic, Josh Sargent, and John Brooks headline the list of players making the trip to Orlando and should be a big help for the USMNT to get revenge on its northern neighbors. The Yanks will be without goalkeeper Zack Steffen though due to tendinitis in his knee.

Free Kicks

That’s going to do it from me, folks. I hope you all have a nice end to your week and a relaxing weekend. I’ll be spending it picking up friends from the airport and stuffing my face with brunch and cocktails. Vamos Orlando!