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Lion Links: 6/17/19

Kljestan and the Open Cup, USWNT and Sweden advance, Mexico in the U.S., and more.

MLS: Orlando City SC at Seattle Sounders FC Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Merry Monday morning, Mane Landers! We are knee deep in the 2019 World Cup and the U.S. Women’s National Team has looked strong against weaker competition. Regardless, it’s a good start and I’m enjoying it. There’s nothing quite like watching your nation win on Father’s Day with the kids watching and cheering with you. There’s plenty of soccer to be watched this week, but for now, let’s get to today’s links!

Kljestan Loves the U.S. Open Cup

Orlando City defeated Memphis 901 FC by a score of 3-1 to begin its U.S. Open Cup competition. Sacha Kljestan was a big part of that win, scoring a brace in the game. Kljestan loves the 106-year-old Open Cup. As far back as his college playing days at Seton Hall, he listened to stories from his coach Manfred Schellscheidt, a man who had twice won the Open Cup in the 1970s. Now, Kljestan has the opportunity once again to fulfill his dream of winning the competition with the Lions. Let’s hope it happens for him this time.

USWNT Rolls On

Carli Lloyd scored in her sixth straight World Cup match, netting her ninth and 10th World Cup goals, as the USWNT defeated Chile 3-0. Julie Ertz scored the other goal for the U.S. on a powerful header in the 26th minute. The Yanks had plenty of other opportunities to score, but Chile’s keeper Christiane Endler stood on her head to keep the score relatively close. The win advances the U.S. to the knockout rounds along with Sweden from Group F. The USWNT currently has the goal differential advantage over Sweden heading into the nation’s match this Thursday at 3 p.m. ET.

Elsewhere in France...

It wasn’t quite the dominating performance that the U.S. dealt Thailand, but Sweden had no problem winning the match 5-1. In fact, it was all Sweden until stoppage time when Kanjana Sungngoen scored Thailand’s first goal of the 2019 World Cup in the 91st minute. Sweden got its fifth goal shortly after on a penalty, finishing off Thailand. With the win, Sweden advances to the knockout round while Thailand is eliminated.

Four games are set for today and although no Pride players will be in action, there is still plenty of reason to watch. The biggest game will be between Spain and China as the winner will advance to the next round. In the other games Nigeria will look to spoil France’s run, Norway takes on South Korea, and Germany will face South Africa.

El Tri is Popular

It seems that the U.S. has two teams unofficially. The Mexican Men’s National Team plays more of its matches in the United States than it does in Mexico, and it does so to sold out crowds. This is nothing new, as we’ve seen how equal the crowds are when the USMNT plays El Tri. Mexico trounced Cuba 7-0 on the opening day of the Gold Cup, and did so without its A-squad. With former Atlanta United FC skipper Geraldo “Tata” Martino at the helm, it’s a good bet the team will continue to improve. If nothing else, it should inspire U.S. National Team supporters to show up no matter what.

Free Kicks
  • Chelsea’s loss is Juventus’ gain? Although practically already confirmed, Maurizio Sarri is officially returning to Italy.
  • The USWNT has joined Germany as the only team to reach the knockout stage at all eight World Cups.
  • We end our links with this little teaser as the announcement of the first two teams for the 2020 Florida Cup will be later today.

Have a great week, and enjoy all the matches! Go City! Go USWNT!