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Lion Links: 2/3/20

Lions continue preparations for the season, USWNT faces Costa Rica, USMNT looks ahead, and more.

Panama v United States: Group A - 2020 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Photo by Omar Vega/Getty Images

Merry Monday morning, Mane Landers! How about that Super Bowl? To be perfectly honest, I didn’t watch it. I mostly watch soccer at this point in my life, but even I know that the Super Bowl is a big deal, though my team wasn’t involved. I didn’t have a favorite in this particular game, but I can’t say I’m not pleased that the Kansas City Chiefs won. Now, let’s get back to real football.

Orlando City’s Training Continues

This past weekend had some ups and down for the Lions training in Cancun, Mexico. The Columbus Crew cancelled a scheduled preseason match with Orlando due to field conditions, but the Lions held a productive intrasquad match after the tough week of training. The next day, the Lions met up with players from Inter Playa for a session before the two sides face off in a slightly more official capacity for a match tomorrow morning.

USWNT Prepares for Tonight

The United States Women’s National Team continues its Olympic qualifying with a match tonight against Costa Rica. The defending World Cup Champions have torn through Concacaf by defeating Haiti 4-0 and Panama 8-0. The U.S. is already through to the next round and the Costa Rica match is another opportunity for the best team in the world to give new players time on the pitch and integrate them with the veterans.

USMNT Looks Ahead

United States Men’s National Team Head Coach Gregg Berhalter brought out a very young squad against Costa Rica on Saturday. Despite the young team, only six players in the starting XI were eligible for the Concacaf Olympic qualifiers starting March 20 in Mexico. Even with the 1-0 win over Costa Rica, Berhalter knows every match matters and giving the new guys a chance will help over the next few years. Jason Kreis is even more invested given he will coach some of these players as they try to qualify for the Olympics and he must be happy after what he saw from youngsters like Ulysses Llanez and Jesus Ferreira.

English Premier League Recap

Liverpool’s season marched on with a 4-0 win over Southampton. The win, with Manchester City’s 2-0 loss to Spurs, put the Reds 22 points clear at the top of the EPL table. It’s an astonishing total that could result in loads of records falling to this historical side. Indeed, when Manchester City went down a man against Tottenham you could feel the weight of Liverpool’s lead in the league. Of course, the fight at the top wasn’t the only story of an exciting weekend.

FIFA Intervention in Africa Comes to an End

It might sound weird, but FIFA stopped its efforts to reform African soccer. For six months the world body intervened with Africa’s soccer governing body in order to clean up the game on the continent. Investment by FIFA for the Confederation of African Football (CAF), in youth efforts, stadiums, etc, advanced enough for FIFA to back off for now. Whether it stays that way will be up to CAF.

Free Kicks

Hopefully, you took it easy at yesterday’s Super Bowl parties and can enjoy your Monday. Go Lions!