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Lion Links: 7/8/19

USWNT wins the World Cup, Orlando City earns a draw, the USMNT falls to Mexico, and more.

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

Merry Monday morning, Mane Landers! What a weekend of soccer that was. We had the World Cup, Gold Cup, Copa America, and Orlando City all in one action packed Sunday. It was a day of joy and despair as the United States Women’s National Team triumphed, the Lions drew, and the United States Men’s National Team fell. Let’s hit the links.

Orlando City Get a Point on the Road

The Lions traveled to Talen Energy Stadium Sunday to take on the Philadelphia Union for the second time in four days. Unlike Wednesday’s match, Orlando City wasn’t given two red cards and was able to draw Philadelphia, 2-2. Keeping in mind the upcoming U.S. Open Cup match this Wednesday against New York City FC, James O’Connor rotated nine players in the starting 11.

Make sure to check back later today for our five takeaways from the match as well.

The USWNT Repeats as World Champions

The USWNT defeated the Netherlands to earn its fourth World Cup championship, defending its 2015 title. The Dutch were able to keep the Yanks off of the scoreboard longer than any other team could in the tournament. In the second half, Alex Morgan was fouled in the area, and a penalty was awarded. Megan Rapinoe stepped up, sent Sari van Veenendaal to her right, and deftly put it to the left for the U.S.’s first goal in the 61st minute. Rose Lavelle doubled the team’s lead with a goal in the 69th minute. No team should ever give her as much space in front of the goal as the Dutch did, and Lavelle made them pay for it. Though the European teams showed how much they have narrowed the gap, the USWNT proved it’s still the best in the world.

USMNT Falls in Gold Cup

The USMNT couldn’t do what the USWNT was able to do: win. I’m not sure what the plan was for the match, but it didn’t work out. Zack Steffen managed to keep the Yanks in the game until the 73rd minute, when Mexico finally broke through. The U.S. had some chances throughout the match but was never able to establish any kind of consistency, falling short in the Gold Cup Final 1-0.

Brazil Wins Copa America

Amidst all the U.S. and Orlando matches, you may have missed the Copa America final between Brazil and Peru. Despite not having Neymar, Brazil won its first Copa America since 2007, defeating Peru, 3-1. Everton Soares started the scoring in the 15th minute for Brazil, and Peru equalized in the 44th minute on Paolo Guerrero’s goal. Gabriel Jesus gave Brazil the lead back moments later just before the half. In the 70th minute, Jesus was sent off thanks to his second yellow card. However, Peru wasn’t able to capitalize on being a man up, and in the 87th minute Soares earned a penalty for Brazil. Richarlison took the kick from the spot and sealed the match for Brazil.

Budweiser Steps Up

Longtime readers will know that I’m a big fan of craft beer, and I’m definitely not a Bud drinker. However, I do like to give credit where it’s due, and it’s definitely great that Budweiser has signed a multi-year sponsorship deal with the National Women’s Soccer League. This is exactly the type of support that the women’s game and the NWSL has been missing. Budweiser will have naming rights to the playoffs, the championship, and the MVP trophy. I’m not saying I’m going to start buying a bunch of Budweiser, but I might be willing to raise one in support of the company’s commitment to the women’s game.

Free Kicks
  • The USWNT will return to America and receive a ticker tape parade in New York City. As much as we’d all like Alex Morgan, Ali Krieger, and Ashlyn Harris to return to Orlando, it is an honor well deserved.
  • Though the U.S. women don’t make as much as the men, despite many more accolades, how much will they make from their World Cup victory?
  • For some, Sunday’s trio of championship matches sounds like a perfect day. To others, it’s a sad commentary on how far the women’s game has to go to get respect. Would there be championship games scheduled on the same day as the Men’s World Cup Final? It’s a good question, and a discussion that should be had by FIFA and soccer federations around the world.
  • From the highest altitude match ever played to the biggest match ever played, women soccer players from around the world are doing whatever they can to advance equality in the game. This is a fascinating article and worth checking out.
  • Finally, I’ll leave you with the ad that Nike put out following the USWNT’s World Cup victory.

That’s all from me, have a great Monday as you start another work week. Go Orlando!