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Lion Links: 12/9/19

Van Egmond scores, USWNT player pool expands, trouble in Manchester, and more.

W-League Rd 3 - Melbourne v Adelaide Photo by Jonathan DiMaggio/Getty Images

Merry Monday morning, Mane Landers! As I’m writing this, my wife is wondering why I’m not packing since we’re moving tomorrow. I bring that up to let you know how much you all mean to me, as we head into the present-buying season. Pander-rific! Let’s get to the links!

Pride vs. Pride in Australia

Alanna Kennedy finally got back on the pitch for Sydney FC, though it was Emily van Egmond’s Melbourne FC that won the match and jumped Sydney FC in the standings. Van Egmond put Melbourne up 1-0 in the third minute on a neat little one touch strike into the bottom left corner. Kennedy didn’t come on until the match was tied up at 1-1 in the second half, but wasn’t able to stop the Melbourne City attack as Melbourne won the match 2-1.

USWNT Pool Deepens

New United States Women’s National Team Head Coach Vlatko Andonovski gave the 23 World Cup players some time off, and is taking a look at 14 professional and 10 college players for a U.S. National Team ID camp in Bradenton. The gap between the U.S. and the rest of the world is closing, and new players are needed for the Yanks to continue being the top team in the world. This is not to say that the current roster players are going anywhere, though. With the World Cup and Olympics in back to back years, we can expect plenty of familiar faces. However, adding more young talent moving forward makes sense.

Manchester Derby Incident

Derbies are supposed to be fun matches, and usually they are. However, when supporters are making racist taunts and gestures towards the opposing team, it becomes unacceptable. Unfortunately, that was the case when Manchester City hosted Manchester United at Etihad Stadium. A 41-year-old man is being held on suspicion of a racially aggravated public order. Video of the incident is quite clear, and the supporter also threw items at the players. Both United’s Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and City boss Pep Guardiola have condemned the behavior, and it is likely the supporter will received a lifetime ban in addition to any criminal prosecution.

The Young and the Old

It’s been 16 years since Freddy Adu made history as the youngest athlete signed by an American professional sports team. In just the past year, two 14-year-olds signed with MLS teams. What was history making for Adu, is now becoming more normal, though the situations are quite different. Many MLS clubs now have academies and other development squads to help bring younger players along. The infrastructure, technology, and lessons learned have made a big difference in how clubs are able to operate.

Turning to the older generation, 38-year-old Joaquin became the oldest player to score a La Liga hat-trick in Real Betis’ 3-2 defeat of Athletic Bilbao. Scoring goals in the second, 11th, and 20th minutes, the former Spanish international did something he had never done before in his 20-year playing career and earned a place in history at the same time.

Free Kicks

That will do it for today. The next time you hear from me, I’ll be recording The Mane Land PawedCast from my new digs. Go City!