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Lion Links: 7/7/19

The Lions get postponed, the Pride host the Spirit, NWSL expansion, and much more.

MLS: Orlando City SC at Philadelphia Union Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Greetings, Mane Landers. We are at the cusp of footy heaven today, with the Women’s World Cup final, the Gold Cup final, and the Copa América final all set to be played today. I can’t really express how incredible of a soccer Sunday we have in front of us we truly have, but I hope you all enjoy every second of it. In fact, it got even bigger for Orlando fans (more on that below).

Before we get down to business, join me in wishing Uri Rosell a happy 27th birthday today.

All right, why hold back any longer? Let’s do this. Here’s the Sunday serving of Lion Links that will hold you over until today’s big games are at our doorstep.

Severe Weather Postpones Lions at Union

Orlando City SC, fresh off of a 3-1 loss to the Union that saw Robin Jansson and Sacha Kljestan sent off, traveled up north to exact revenge upon the team that tops the Eastern Conference. Unfortunately for all involved, the match was postponed due to inclement weather. The match has now added to today’s roster of soccer overload, taking place at 4:30 p.m. this afternoon. Orlando City tweeted out that the club wanted to push the game further down the road but the league wasn’t having it. As a result, the Lions will play their next five games in just a 15-day span. The postponement also means a hot afternoon road game and one fewer day of rest between now and Wednesday’s U.S. Open Cup match.

The Pride Host the Spirit

The Orlando Pride hosted the Washington Spirit with the hopes of claiming just their second win of the season and first home win of the season, and the did just that, beating the Spirit in a dramatic, goal-filled 4-3 affair. Chi Ubogagu found the net first for the Pride, with Rachel Hill notching her first of the season and Marta adding a brace to help fend off an energized Spirit side that scored three of their own.

Netherlands Star Lieke Martens’ Status Unknown Before Kickoff

The Netherlands’ star’s health status is in question prior to today’s FIFA World Cup final against the United States of America. The apparent injury, a knock sustained to her toe in her country’s 1-0 extra-time semifinal win against Sweden, caused her to miss half of the semifinal and several of her team’s training sessions. While her status is unknown, Megan Rapinoe has gone on record to state that her hamstring injury will not prevent her from missing the final. One has to wonder if Martens and the training staff will operate in the same manner.

The NWSL is Moving Toward Expansion...Slowly

The National Women’s Soccer League is making slow strides in its overall growth, enough so that conversations of expansion have surprisingly already begun.

“We have strong expansion conversations right,” Duffy said Thursday during an interview with Pro Soccer USA. “And we’ll be looking to expand at the right timeline and making sure that we have the right owners that we’re bringing in. Over the next three seasons, we intend to expand, but we’ll always make sure we’re doing that with the right owners coming into the league.”

It’s a pleasant surprise to see the league doing well enough to warrant these plans. I look forward to seeing more NWSL clubs in the future, as long as they’re properly supported. Past iterations learned the hard way that managing a league and attempting to expand could prove fatal, but those leagues didn’t have the support, fan bases, and momentum that the NWSL currently has.

Free Kicks
  • Paul Pogba is in Central Park training for his next season with...well, he’s training. Or something like that. He needs a better training top though.

All right folks, that’s about it. Enjoy what’s destined to be a legendary day of footy with the Women’s World Cup final, Orlando City at Philadelphia, the Gold Cup final, and the Copa América final, all slated to be played today. If you’re out and about, stay safe!