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Lion Links: 9/26/19

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Orlando heads to Cincinnati, Kennedy called up, MLS action, and more.

SOCCER: AUG 10 NWSL - Houston Dash at Orlando Pride Photo by Joe Petro/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

What’s up, Mane Landers? I hope the work week hasn’t been too rough on you as we tear through the month of September. It’s hard to believe that October is right around the corner as 2019 flies by. But before we can get to spooky season, let’s enjoy some links from around the soccer world.

Orlando City’s First Trip to Cincinnati

With the season not quite over for Orlando City, the Lions are on their final road trip of 2019 with a match against FC Cincinnati. The last time these two teams faced off was in May in Exploria Stadium and the Lions dominated, 5-1. However, the FC Cincinnati team that the Lions will face has a few new faces and recently shut out the Chicago Fire at home last week. While this is Orlando City’s first trip to Nippert Stadium, Orlando City B previously visited on occasion and Head Coach James O’Connor is no stranger thanks to his time with Louisville City.

It will take a miracle for Orlando City to make the playoffs at this point, but the game should still be worth watching. On the injury front, we should expect to see a lot of Mauricio Pereyra in the last two games while Cristian Higuita won’t be making the trip to Nippert Stadium due to an injury, although he is suspended for the match due to yellow card accumulation anyway.

Lions Survive Wednesday Night Action

Although Orlando City didn’t play last night, the Lions’ playoff hopes were still in jeopardy. The New England Revolution had a chance to eliminate Orlando and the Montreal Impact with a win, but they instead drew 2-2 against the Portland Timbers. Although the Lions are still alive, the margin of error is gone and the path forward is simple. The Lions must win their final two games, the Revolution must lose their final two games, and both the Impact and the Fire can’t win both of their final two.

Elsewhere in the league, LAFC won the Supporters’ Shield after its 3-1 victory over the Houston Dynamo. New York City FC crushed Atlanta United 4-1, thanks to Alexandru Mitrita’s hat trick. However, NYCFC wasn’t able to clinch the top seed in the Eastern Conference due to a comeback 2-1 win by the Philadelphia Union against the San Jose Earthquakes.

Minnesota United, the LA Galaxy, and the Portland Timbers all clinched a spot in the playoffs, while the Houston Dynamo, the Columbus Crew, and Sporting Kansas City were all officially eliminated.

Kennedy Called Up for Australia

Earlier this week, Orlando Pride defender Alanna Kennedy was named to Sydney FC’s roster for the upcoming W-League season. Now, the 24-year-old was called up for an October training camp in Sydney with the Australian Women’s National Team that will have her miss the Pride’s match against the Washington Spirit on Oct. 5. However, the camp will end before the Pride’s final home game on Oct. 12.

Americans in Action

Pride forward Alex Morgan visited Southern Connecticut State University to speak about her life and career, field questions, and give advice to others as she continues to be an inspiration for women’s soccer players throughout the country. Meanwhile, Megan Rapinoe continues to encourage the soccer community to come together in support of women’s soccer. U.S. soccer legend Mia Hamm also weighed in on the fight for equal pay and what must be done.

On the men’s side of things, everyone seems intent on figuring out the “mystery” behind Christian Pulisic’s struggles to make Chelsea’s starting XI. Make sure to check out how the other Americans abroad are doing in their leagues as well.

Free Kicks
  • As one of Orlando’s unsung heroes, the video below is a great chance to learn more about Ecuadorian midfielder Sebas Mendez.
  • In case you needed a reason to go out and support UCF women’s soccer tonight, Bridget Callahan and other Pride players will be in attendance.
  • Former Lion Scott Sutter won the Vancouver Whitecaps’ 2019 Humanitarian of the Year award for his work with the British Columbia Children’s Hospital.

That’s going to do it from me. I hope you all enjoy your Thursday and have a wonderful weekend.