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Lion Links: 10/8/21

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Orlando Pride sign Emily van Egmond, Pride prepare to host NJ/NY Gotham FC, USMNT wins, and more.

Jamaica v United States: 2022 World Cup Qualifying Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

How’s it going, Mane Landers? I hope you all are doing well out there as we enjoy plenty of soccer from around the world during this international window. I’ve been catching up on some reading and trying to cook a bit more to save some money before the holiday season gets here. But for now, let’s dive into today’s links!

Emily van Egmond Returns to the Orlando Pride

The Orlando Pride signed Australian midfielder Emily van Egmond to a deal through the end of the 2021 National Women’s Soccer League season. Van Egmond signed with the Pride back in 2018 and then went on loan to West Ham United during the pandemic last year to play in the Women’s Super League. She then signed with West Ham earlier this year and played every minute of Australia’s Olympic campaign this summer, helping the team reach the bronze medal match. Her addition will certainly strengthen the Pride’s midfield, but it may be some time before she takes the field as her visa process has been delayed.

The Pride also signed goalkeeper Kaylie Collins, who was selected by the Pride in the 2021 NWSL Draft and was a National Team Replacement Player. Collins will continue to develop as a goalkeeper with the Pride and adds some depth that may be important if Ashlyn Harris and Erin McLeod are both away on international duty, with Brittany Wilson likely to start in that scenario.

Orlando Pride Prepare for Crucial Match

Only three points separate fourth and eight place in the NWSL standings as teams fight for one of the six playoff spots. The Pride sit in sixth and will take on eighth-place NJ/NY Gotham FC tomorrow night at 7 p.m. in an important match for both sides. Gotham is riding a three-game unbeaten streak as it heads to Exploria Stadium, where it has yet to win against the Pride. It may be the last time Orlando supporters will see Carli Lloyd in action considering her retirement at the end of this season. Forwards Ifeoma Onumonu and Midge Purce are the other players to keep an eye out for when Gotham is on the attack.

Gotham is coming off of a scoreless draw with the Washington Spirit this past Wednesday while the Pride have not played since a 3-0 loss to OL Reign on Sept. 26. The Pride’s match against the Chicago Red Stars on Oct. 2 was rescheduled to Oct. 13 after last weekend’s NWSL matches were postponed. McLeod spoke about the necessary change still needed in the NWSL after the reports of abuse and harassment throughout the league. Interim head coach Becky Burleigh also made it clear that the league hasn’t returned to normalcy just because games are resuming.

“This isn’t over by any stretch,” Burleigh said. “Even though there were games [Wednesday] night, I think there’s still going to be more things that come through with this. We can’t just assume that we’re back to normal now.”

USMNT Beats Jamaica in Austin, TX

FC Dallas forward Ricardo Pepi had a brace in the United States Men’s National Team’s 2-0 win over Jamaica in World Cup qualifying. The first half featured two instances of Jamaica fouling to deny the USMNT clear scoring opportunities, but the referee did not hand out a red card for either. Pepi then scored twice in the second half, making clean contact on good balls into the box by Sergino Dest and Brenden Aaronson. The 18-year-old has been in terrific form for club and country and is developing into the USMNT’s best option at forward. Unbeaten through four games, the USMNT will now turn its attention to a road game against Panama this Sunday.

In other Concacaf results, Mexico and Canada battled to a 1-1 draw in Mexico City, Costa Rica and Honduras played to a 0-0 result, and El Salvador won 1-0 over Panama. The USMNT is at the top of the table with eight points, sitting ahead of Mexico on goal differential.

Lions Win in World Cup Qualifying

Orlando City goalkeeper Pedro Gallese helped Peru win 2-0 against Chile for an important three points to help close the gap in CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying. Peru is seventh in the standings and will take on Bolivia this Sunday. Sebas Mendez came on as a substitute for Ecuador in a 3-0 win over Bolivia. He may see more minutes when Ecuador plays Sunday against Venezuela, which lost 3-1 to Brazil.

Elsewhere in World Cup qualifying, Japan lost 1-0 to Saudi Arabia and is now third in its group with a crucial match against Australia on Tuesday. On the road in Lagos, Central African Republic scored late to stun Nigeria and take all three points in a 1-0 win. UEFA qualifying returns today and here’s a great breakdown of where each group stands heading into these matches.

Free Kicks
  • Relive the Orlando City U-17 side’s tournament run to win the MLS Next Cup for its age group, complete with interviews from players and coaches about the experience.
  • The Lions are still hard at work in training to prepare for their road match against FC Cincinnati on Oct. 16.

There’s plenty of soccer to enjoy this weekend and I hope you all have a wonderful Friday. Go Orlando!