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Lion Links: 10/6/21

Orlando City and Orlando Pride raise breast cancer awareness, Alex Morgan calls for change, USMNT prepares for Jamaica, and more.

Orlando Pride v OL Reign Photo by Jane Gershovich/ISI Photos/Getty Images

Hello, Mane Landers. I hope all is going well down in Florida. I’ve been pretty busy at work and the weather is getting much cooler up here in Chicago. There is plenty to cover today, so let’s get right to the links.

Orlando City and Pride Raise Breast Cancer Awareness

In October, Orlando City and the Orlando Pride are raising money towards breast cancer research, prevention, and awareness. Fans can make donations on social media and those contributions will support the Orlando Health Cancer Institute and CITY Furniture’s Pink Pumpkins campaign. The Pride will wear specialty pre-match tops for their match this Saturday against NJ/NY Gotham FC and breast cancer awareness merchandise will be available as well, with a portion of the proceeds going towards research. Exploria Stadium’s beacons will change from purple to pink on Oct. 13 for Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day as well.

Alex Morgan Calls For Change in the NWSL

Orlando Pride and United States Women’s National Team forward Alex Morgan called for more proactivity from the National Women’s Soccer League to protect its players. Morgan spoke alongside Mana Shim and Sinead Farrelly regarding the allegations of sexual coercion against former North Carolina Courage head coach Paul Riley and the NWSL’s systemic failure to handle reports of his behavior.

“When I look back, I tried to be as good a friend and teammate as possible to Mana in helping her file a complaint, when at the time there was no anti-harassment policy in place, there was no league HR, there was no anonymous hotline, there was no way to report.

“We’ve now started to put these things in place, by demand of players, not by the league being proactive. Something we ask is for the league to start being proactive, not reactive. We’re asking for transparency.”

Washington Spirit majority owner Steve Baldwin stepped down as CEO and managing partner after Spirit players wrote a letter asking him to do so, along with other requests that may not have been met.

The NWSL Players Association made a statement confirming players will participate in games this week, including a trio of matches tonight.

USMNT Prepares for World Cup Qualifier Against Jamaica

The United States Men’s National Team will take on Jamaica tomorrow night at Q2 Stadium in Austin for its next World Cup qualifier. The USMNT is currently third in the standings with five points while Jamaica sits at the bottom of the table with one point. Despite the slow start, the Reggae Boyz could still give the Yanks a challenge considering the talent on their roster. Philadelphia Union goalkeeper Andre Blake is one of the best goalkeepers in MLS and fullbacks Alvas Powell and Kemar Lawrence are MLS veterans as well. However, Jamaica’s offense will be missing some firepower as Union forward Cory Burke is injured and West Ham’s Michail Antonio, who has five goals and three assists this English Premier League season, won’t be joining the national team this window.

2022 MLS All-Star Game Will Be in Minnesota

Major League Soccer announced that Allianz Field in St. Paul, MN will host the 2022 MLS All-Star Game. Home of Minnesota United, Allianz Field features natural grass and a 360-degree overhanging roof. The All-Star Game will take place on Aug. 10 with the opponent to be determined at a later date. Events will be held across St. Paul and Minneapolis during the week of the game and the MLS All-Star Skills Challenge will return as well. MLS Commissioner Don Garber expressed his excitement with the MLS All-Star Game coming to the Twin Cities for the first time.

“We are proud to bring the 2022 MLS All-Star Game presented by Target to Minnesota,” said MLS Commissioner Don Garber. “Since the club began play in the league in 2017, Minnesota United and their incredible fan base have played a key role in the continued rise of MLS and growth of our sport throughout the U.S. As the eyes of the soccer world turn to Allianz Field next August 10, the people of Minnesota will be fantastic hosts and the supporters and ‘Wonderwall’ will create a memorable atmosphere for our marquee summer event.”

Free Kicks
  • Marta was called up for Brazil’s pair of friendlies in Australia on Oct. 23 and Oct. 26. The Pride’s season finale is against the Chicago Red Stars on Oct. 29, so there will be a short turnaround for Marta to be available in time for that match.
  • Orlando City fans can show their support as the Lions make their playoff push by visiting pop-up art installations at locations across the greater Orlando area. There are also discounted tickets available for City and the Pride’s remaining home games as they hunt for the postseason.
  • Former Orlando City SC owner Flavio Augusto Da Silva is currently selling his $6 million mansion.
  • The Lions moved up six spots to eighth in the MLS power rankings after their thrilling victory against D.C. United last week.
  • Wolfsburg is reportedly interested in Ricardo Pepi, who has been lighting it up for FC Dallas this year.
  • The UEFA Nations League semifinals begin today as Italy faces Spain at 2:45 p.m. in Milan. Tomorrow, France will take on Belgium in Turin in the other semifinal and the winner of each match will square off in the final this Sunday.

That will do it for me today, Mane Landers. Enjoy your Wednesday and I’ll see you next time.