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Lion Links: 9/24/19

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Lessons from Houston, The Best awards, USMNT faces fight for Dest, and more.

MLS: Orlando City SC at Houston Dynamo Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Mane Landers. It was another weekend of frustration for Orlando fans, and matters are made worse by the fact that we’ll soon have a very long wait before the stateside soccer season rolls around again. For now though, it’s time to focus on the present, and that means perusing the day’s news.

Lessons From Houston

While Orlando City’s season most likely ended with a whimper on Saturday in Texas, there were still some valuable lessons to be gleaned from the Houston game. For starters, Cristian Higuita and Mauricio Pereyra showed what this team is capable of when the two of them are in the starting lineup. While the team’s second half tactics left a lot to be desired, it also probably isn’t a coincidence that the Dynamo’s two goals came after the duo had been subbed off. Add in the fact that Dom Dwyer had another good game, and it would have been about as good a performance as the Lions could have asked for had it not been for the loss.

Results From The Best Awards — Pride Players Honored

The results were announced yesterday for FIFA’s The Best Awards, and some familiar faces were recipients of trophies. Lionel Messi won his record sixth award as The Best men’s player. Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp and Alisson won the awards for the top coach and goalkeeper, respectively. On the women’s side of things, Jill Ellis was named the top women’s coach while Megan Rapinoe was named the women’s player of the year. Rapinoe won both the Golden Ball and Golden Boot at this summer’s Women’s World Cup, and those trophies combined with the USWNT’s WWC victory made her a strong candidate to take the award home. Orlando Pride stars Alex Morgan and Marta were named as part of the first ever Women’s FIFA FIFPro World11.

Netherlands Encouraging Dest Switch

The United States Men’s National Team is facing some competition for a promising youngster. The Netherlands national team has reportedly reached out to Dutch-born Sergino Dest and will try to encourage him to represent the Dutch side before the United States plays competitive matches in the Concacaf Nations League next month. The 18-year-old right back plays for Ajax in the Dutch top flight, and has already represented the United States at the U-17 level and participated in two youth World Cups for the Yanks. While he’s still very young, if he develops well and sticks with the U.S., Dest could potentially solve a tricky position for the Americans, who have had trouble identifying a consistent starter at left back in recent years.

Pulisic’s Way Forward at Chelsea

With Christian Pulisic an unused substitute in the last several of Chelsea’s games, the current question surrounding him is how he moves forward from his current situation? While he’s shown glimpses of promise and talent, he definitely needs to start taking the chances and opportunities that are given to him. He’s perhaps played it a little too safe in his time on the field so far, and being more confident and forward thinking might very well mean things start to fall into place for him. In general, as long as he plays his game and works hard, there’s every likelihood that his talent will shine through.

Free Kicks
  • Michael Parkhurst announced that he will be retiring after the end of the MLS season.

That’ll do it for me today. Y’all stay safe out there.