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Lion Links: 6/22/20

The Orlando Pride make roster moves, safety concerns arise for Orlando tournaments, Christian Pulisic scores for Chelsea, and more.

SOCCER: OCT 05 NWSL - Washington Spirit at Orlando Pride Photo by Andrew Bershaw/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Good morning, Mane Landers! I hope all the fathers enjoyed their day. Let’s go ahead and jump into the links.

Orlando Pride Make Some Changes

The Orlando Pride announced multiple roster moves on Sunday, ahead of today’s NWSL Challenge Cup roster announcement. The Pride signed defenders Phoebe McClernon and Cheyenne Shorts, midfielder Chelsee Washington, and goalkeeper Brittany Wilson to short-term contracts. They also waived three players from the supplemental roster, including midfielder Bridget Callahan, defender Carrie Lawrence, and goalkeeper Lainey Burdett.

“As our roster is finalized ahead of the NWSL Challenge Cup, a number of difficult decisions have been necessary to bring the Pride roster into compliance for the tournament,” said Orlando Pride EVP Amanda Duffy. “This is a great opportunity for our 2020 NWSL College Draft picks to gain important professional minutes and make an immediate impact during this unique competition, and on behalf of the entire organization, I’d like to thank Bridget, Carrie and Lainey for their contributions to the Club over their respective tenures. We wish them all the best moving forward.”

Safety Concerns for Teams in Orlando

With coronavirus cases spiking in Orlando and Major League Soccer and National Basketball Association teams expected to play in tournaments in the area next month, some are asking if it’s safe for the leagues to return. MLS and NBA players will be living in a bubble of precaution, but Disney employees and staff and how closely they will interact with players will be crucial to player safety. Though positive cases are on the rise, it’s not a deal-breaker and plans haven’t changed yet.

Orlando City’s Alex Leitão said, “What the authorities really care [about] and are looking into are hospitalizations. The use of ICUs. And every death matters, of course. ... We have our minds and hearts thinking of those people. But the point is, that [hospitalization] trend is really the one that we have to take care of and look into and that trend is very positive for us.”

Pulisic Scores for Chelsea

The United States Men’s National Team’s Christian Pulisic entered in the second half yesterday for Chelsea in his first English Premier League appearance since Jan. 1. Only five minutes into his performance, Pulisic scored the equalizer against Aston Villa to bring it to 1-1 in the 60th minute.

“He was hungry. I know that. I felt for him,” Chelsea Manager Frank Lampard said about the American. “He’s trained well and the ability he has got to arrive in the box, it is a big thing I’ve spoken about with him all season. He will start games for us, of course, and I think he’s going to be a big player for us — not just in this run-in but obviously going forward.”

Chelsea was able to finish with a win thanks to a goal from Olivier Giroud shortly after Pulisic’s.

Torino FC Sees Backlash

Italian club Torino FC’s English-affiliated Twitter posted an image of Nicolas N’Koulou kneeling before Andrea Belotti with the caption #BlackLivesMatter.

The photo was taken during a post-goal celebration, so it was not only out of context, but it was also far from a smart choice for such an important cause. The social media backlash pointed out the many ways the post failed, with many calling it the worst possible picture to use.

Free Kicks
  • Marcus Rashford and the charity Fare Share set a goal to provide three million meals to those in need. He announced yesterday that they’ve surpassed that goal.
  • Real Betis fired Rubi as head coach after the team lost 1-0 yesterday against Athletic Bilbao.
  • Liverpool will have to wait a bit longer for its first title since 1990 after a scoreless draw in the Merseyside derby match with Everton.

That will do it for me today, everyone. Have a great Monday and stay safe!