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Lion Links: 9/3/19

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Morgan a finalist for FIFA’s The Best award, Orlando trending in wrong direction, USMNT youth summary, and more.

Soccer: U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team Victory Tour-Portugal at USA Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning and happy Tuesday, everyone. The international break has begun, which is always rough, but that doesn’t mean the news stops. Rather, it keeps on going, therefore we must do the same. Let’s hit those links.

Morgan a Finalist for FIFA’s The Best Awards

The finalists have been announced for The Best FIFA Football Awards. Lucy Bronze, Alex Morgan, and Megan Rapinoe are the finalists for The Best Women’s Player, while Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, and Virgil Van Dijk are the three up for the men’s equivalent of the award. Jill Ellis is nominated as one of the finalists for The Best Women’s Coach alongside Phil Neville and Sarina Wiegman. The winners of the awards in all eight categories will be announced on Sept. 23 in Milan.

Orlando City Trending Downwards in Rankings

Orlando City is trending downward at exactly the wrong time. With a little over a month remaining in the MLS season, the Lions are free falling through ESPN FC’s weekly Power Rankings. Orlando’s 3-0 loss on the road against the San Jose Earthquakes saw the team drop six places to No. 18, but more importantly put the Lions four points behind Toronto, which currently occupies the seventh and final Eastern Conference playoff spot. With only five games left in the season, OCSC needs to turn things around quickly if the team is going to qualify for the MLS playoffs for the first time in its history.

USMNT Youth Roundup

As the September international break arrives, it’s the perfect time to check in on how various U.S. youngsters fared over the weekend. Josh Sargent had the most prolific weekend as he recorded a goal and an assist for Werder Bremen in a win over Augsburg. Stateside, Jonathan Lewis had a great game against the New York Red Bulls, scoring a pair of goals to give Colorado an unlikely victory on the road against a playoff team. Mason Toye also had a great game on Sunday as he scored the only two goals in Minnesota United’s victory against LAFC.

Leal Signs for Sporting CP

Patrick Leal has signed a five-year deal with Sporting CP on Sunday. Leal is only 16 years old and originally played in the New England Revolution’s academy before moving to Portugal to pursue his career. His new contract means that he is able to train and even play with the Sporting first team, although he is expected to remain in the club’s youth system for the time being. Leal has dual citizenship with Portugal and the United States, so he could choose to play for either nation should they decide to come calling.

Free Kicks
  • In his 24 Takeaways After Week 26, Bobby Warshaw says Orlando fans shouldn’t be too stressed heading into the off-season with a crop of promising young players and the addition of Mauricio Pereyra.
  • Dorian continues to make its windy presence felt in the world of soccer.
  • Big congratulations to the U.S. Men’s seven-a-side Paralympic team!

That’ll do it for me today. For those of you in the Southeastern U.S., please be safe as Dorian begins to make its way towards the coasts, and keep it here for all of your Orlando soccer news.