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Lion Links: 4/29/19

Nani strikes again, Skinner wants more, alleged FIFA corruption, and more!

MLS: Orlando City SC at New York City FC Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Merry Monday morning, Mane Landers! Well, here I am back on my normal day, and hopefully you’re not sick of me from yesterday’s links. No spoilers, but if you’re one of those that watch Game of Thrones, holy mackerel! If not, then stuff happened that you don’t care about. Let’s get to the links.

Nani in the News: Part Deux

It seems that when you score five goals on 15 shots to start the season people take notice. Nani has been exactly the player that Orlando City hoped it would get when the club signed him. Orlando City is 2-1-1 since Nani started his scoring streak. Add in his four assists and it’s no wonder he’s getting the attention he deserves. James O’Connor has also found some consistency in the midfield, starting Will Johnson, Uri Rosell and Sebas Méndez. Each has played well, and it should be something O’Connor can build on. Now, Orlando City just needs Dom Dwyer to get back to his scoring ways.

Skinner Looking for More

Orlando Pride Head Coach Marc Skinner is looking for accountability from his players following their 1-0 loss to the Utah Royals. To be fair to Skinner, he’s probably expected that since he arrived, but with a 0-1-3 record it’s fair for him to reiterate his desire for the players to give more. Of course, things don’t get easier since the internationals are about to be called up, making his job even tougher.

PFA Players; Player of the Year Announced

For the second year in a row, the Professional Footballers’ Association Men’s Players’ Player of the Year is from Liverpool FC. Virgil Van Dijk was chosen for 2019, and is the first defender to win the award since John Terry did so in 2004-2005. The previous winner last year was Van Dijk’s teammate, Mohamed Salah. Van Dijk has helped transform Liverpool’s defense from one that gave up 38 goals in 2019 to only 20 this season.

Yet Another FIFA Corruption Case

I know you’ll be shocked to hear that a FIFA official is involved in a corruption scandal. Isha Johansen started her soccer career by founding a club that made a name by giving kids living on the street soccer gear and a chance to play if they would go to school. That noble beginning drew the attention of David Beckham, who visited the club. Eventually, the club made it to the top tier of Sierra Leone’s professional soccer. Now, Johansen is accused of abusing her position and misappropriating funds. To be clear, the case has not been tried as of yet and so her innocence or guilt is still in doubt. Oh, FIFA.

Free Kicks
  • A Tulsa Roughnecks midfielder had his contract terminated after racially abusing an opposing player during a USL match. I am so sick of this type of thing happening at all levels of the sport I love.
  • Evidently, a striker missing an easy goal in Los Angeles isn’t enough to shake the confidence of some front office types. Fortunately, that’s the case in Orlando too. Right?
  • It seems that rebuilding takes time if you don’t have tons of money according to Colorado Rapids Head Coach Anthony Hudson. His team lost its sixth straight in the match against Atlanta United.
  • Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa ordered his team to allow Aston Villa to score an equalizer after his team didn’t play the ball out on a foul that resulted in an on-field brawl. The decision may keep Leeds from being promoted to the Premier League. Bold move, Bielsa.

That will do it for this Monday. Enjoy the start of the week, and go Lions!