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Lion Links: 4/8/19

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Rapids are unhappy, Pride win big, USWNT dominates, tragedy in Brazil, and more.

Soccer: International Friendly Wonens Soccer-Belgium at USA Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Merry Monday morning, Mane Landers! I love the Monday after a win, don’t you? The sun’s a bit brighter, the air a bit fresher, and the smiles of Orlando City supporters are just a bit bigger. It was quite a weekend of soccer between clubs and country, so let’s take a look at the links!

Controversial Calls

It’s only been a week since the whole Wayne Rooney phantom call and the non calls in that strange sequence leading to D.C.’s second goal. Now, it seems that it’s Orlando City’s opposition complaining about PRO referee’s calls and non calls.

Rapids fans felt that Nani should have been shown off for headbutting Kellyn Acosta in the noggin’. Obviously PRO didn’t see it that way, and Nani went on to score the winner on a penalty kick. PRO giveth and PRO taketh away, and no one knows that better than Orlando City fans.

Pride Crush Puerto Rico Sol

The Orlando Pride played their last preseason match on Sunday against the Puerto Rico Sol. Despite not having Alex Morgan, Ashlyn Harris, or Ali Krieger, the Pride cruised to a 5-0 win over the Sol. Head Coach Marc Skinner was pleased with the performance, and showed a little of his philosophy of movement among the players. Orlando was never really in trouble in this match, as the Sol only had one shot on goal. The Pride now focus on their season opener against the Portland Thorns next Sunday, April 14.

USWNT Defeats Belgium

In what might be the harshest troll job of all time, Jill Ellis started Ali Krieger in the 6-0 win over Belgium, potentially stranding her with 99 caps. The United States Women’s National Team had no trouble dominating the Belgium squad in Los Angeles, heading into the half with a 4-0 lead. The evening was also a remembrance of the 1999 team, with a halftime celebration and interviews galore.

The USWNT extended the lead in the second half with a goal from the Pride’s Alex Morgan in the 52nd minute. Jessica McDonald added a header in the one minute of stoppage time off a free kick from Christen Press and Pride goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris came on in the second half for some rare first-team minutes. The USWNT is back in action against South Africa on May 12.

Brazilian Tragedy Exposes Soccer’s Secrets

On Feb. 8, there was a devastating fire at the Flamengo boys soccer club. Ten young men lost their lives due to poor living conditions and safety violations. It is estimated that 12,000 to 15,000 young men are involved in Brazilian youth soccer and for many of them soccer is the only potential way out of poverty for their family. Sadly, the safety situation at Flamengo was better than it had been previously when the fire occurred. Many of these boys are chewed up and spit out of a system designed to find the next Neymar. They sell the possibilities, and downplay the evident real danger. It’s sad a tragedy like this occurred, but hopefully it will make clubs take the necessary safety improvements in the future.

Free Kicks

That will do it for your Monday links. Have a great week everyone!