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Lion Links: 9/23/19

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Lions’ playoff hopes dwindle, Jill Ellis looking for a job, Pulisic benched, and much more.

SOCCER: SEP 07 MLS - LAFC at Orlando City SC Photo by Joe Petro/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It’s Monday morning, Mane Landers, but I’m not feeling very merry. I was correct in my scoreline prediction of 2-1, just wrong on the direction from which the goals would come. I’m frustrated, and you’re probably frustrated, but just remember that win or lose we still get to watch the game we love.

But before we get to the links, let’s celebrate! Today is the five-year anniversary for The Mane Land as a whole and we would just like to thank everyone in the community for making this such a great and welcoming place to discuss Orlando soccer. Now, let’s get to the links!

Playoff Hopes Dashed in Texas

Texas has never been kind to Orlando City, and it proved that again on Saturday night. The Lions’ loss, coupled with the results around the Eastern Conference, has all but eliminated Orlando from the MLS playoffs. FiveThirtyEight now has Orlando City’s playoff chances at 4%. Not great, Bob. One can assume that both the players and James O’Connor are now just playing or coaching for their jobs.

Jill Ellis Open to a New Job

Next month, U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach Jill Ellis will step down from the position she has held since 2014. Her success in the women’s game has her looking for new challenges, including potentially in the men’s game. There is some precedent given that France’s Corinne Diacre coached in France’s second division on the men’s side. If any woman has the credentials, it is Ellis.

Pulisic Benched

Christian Pulisic was in the 18 for Chelsea’s match against Liverpool on Sunday, but was an unused substitute. It was the third match in a row that Pulisic hasn’t made an appearance. Given his high profile, Frank Lampard has been getting questions as to why the young American hasn’t played. The short of it is that Lampard feels he’s not ready to be a starter in the English Premier League, but that goes for several of his other players as well. Lampard said that Pulisic will get his opportunities.

Iranian Women to Attend a Soccer Match

I was very careful in selecting my words for this link. In particular the word “a,” as Iranian officials have assured FIFA that women will be allowed into the World Cup qualifier match next month in Tehran. While it could be read as Iran lifting the ban starting with that match, it could also be read as it being for just the one match. FIFA found no reasons or obstacles for Iran to be able to have women attend the match. Hopefully, this is true, and there will be no problems come match day.

Free Kicks
  • Zack Steffen made an incredible save, missed the second chance, had the goal disallowed for being offside, and then the video assistant referee gave the goal back. It was a very busy 60 seconds as Gladbach defeated Düsseldorf.
  • Carson Pickett and other Pride players headed to Italy for FIFA’s The Best Awards. You can follow along with Pickett’s Instagram story about the trip.
  • Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford is expected to be out for a while following a groin injury.

For those who don’t listen to The Mane Land PawedCast, I got married last Thursday. I’m letting you know, because we’re a community, and I wanted to share the good news. Have a great week!