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Lion Links: 11/8/20

Nani red card gets rescinded, Alex Morgan finally plays for Tottenham, your playoff hype video, and more.

MLS: Columbus Crew SC at Orlando City SC Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Sunday, everyone. It’s also Decision Day, meaning that the MLS regular season will come to a close and all family business will be settled by the end of the day. Orlando City will decide whether it finishes in third or fourth place in the Eastern Conference when the Lions host Nashville at 3:30 p.m. today.

While we wait for today’s kickoff, let’s share the news of the day. Well, the soccer news, anyway.

#FreeNani Appeal Successful

Orlando City’s appeal of Wednesday night’s red card to team captain Nani was upheld on Saturday. The Independent Review Panel unanimously determined that referee Ramy Touchan’s video review decision to change Nani’s yellow card into a straight red was utter crap. They probably worded it more nicely than that, but it amounts to the same thing. As such, Nani is available for selection today. Touchan was the referee for both of Orlando City’s sendings off this season, although the two yellow cards on Sebas Mendez at Dallas were legit.

Alex Morgan Gets Back on the Pitch

It’s been a long road for Orlando Pride and USWNT star striker Alex Morgan, but she finally made her long-awaited debut for Tottenham Hotspur off the bench yesterday with a short runout in the second half. Morgan wasn’t able to help her side escape a 1-1 draw against Reading, nor were her Pride teammates — Alanna Kennedy and Shelina Zadorsky — who started the match for Spurs. Here’s what Alex had to say after the match:

Better Know Nashville

Today’s visitors to Exploria Stadium have a couple of new faces since the last meeting between Orlando City and Nashville SC. You can find out more about that and other things you need to know. Something else you might not know: if the Lions win, they will equal the most wins and points for a season in the club’s history since joining MLS. Those marks came in 2015 in a regular, 34-game season. The 2020 season is 11 games shorter.

What’s Left to Decide?

This piece from Sports Illustrated does a nice job of explaining what remains to be determined on Decision Day. The Supporters’ Shield is one of the biggies, but there’s a host of playoff seeding possibilities and still some races to be decided in the East.

Free Kicks
  • Orlando City released a hype video to get you ready for the playoffs. Although I’d have preferred an off-camera narration, this is a strong effort.
  • Congratulations to Orlando Pride defender Emily Sonnett on winning a ‘ship.
  • Everton showed tremendous class in honoring Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford on the stadium scoreboard yesterday. Rashford paid it back by blowing a couple of scoring opportunities in the second half of United’s 3-1 win.
  • Why is crap like this happening? Just treat women and men equally, OK? Is that so hard?
  • Juventus might not let Weston McKennie go play for the USMNT.
  • Real Madrid has confirmed that Eden Hazard and Casemiro have tested positive for COVID-19. Namesake MLS club Real Salt Lake has confirmed one positive test.
  • Those born on this date include board game magnate Milton Bradley (1836), Dracula writer Bram Stoker (1847), Gone with the Wind author Margaret Mitchell (1900), Good Times star Esther Rolle (1920), college football coaching legend Bobby Bowden (1929), Curacao National Team manager Guus Hiddink (1946), Bonnie Raitt (1949), Alfre Woodard (1952), Leif Garrett (1961), blowhard chef Gordon Ramsay (1966), Courtney Thorne-Smith (1967), and Sharknado and American Pie franchise star Tara Reid (1975).

That’s my time for today. Check back later for full coverage of Orlando City vs. Nashville SC.