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Lion Links: 11/17/21

Daryl Dike linked with West Brom, USMNT draws with Jamaica, Laura Harvey wins NWSL Coach of the Year, and more.

SOCCER: NOV 07 MLS - Orlando City SC at CF Montreal Photo by David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Hello, Mane Landers. I hope everyone is doing well down in Florida. It’s been very chilly up here in Chicago and I got to see some snow flurries this past weekend. Before we get to today’s links, let’s all wish a happy birthday to Orlando City’s Nani and the Orlando Pride’s Chelsee Washington!

Daryl Dike Linked With West Brom Again

EFL Championship side West Bromwich Albion reportedly remains interested in Orlando forward Daryl Dike and may make a move for him in the upcoming January transfer window. If he heads to West Brom this winter, Dike would be reunited with former Barnsley FC manager Valerien Ismael. When Dike was with Barnsley, he scored nine goals and helped the team reach playoffs for a chance at promotion. West Brom currently sits third in the EFL Championship, trailing Fulham by six points. Karlan Grant leads the team with eight goals but West Brom may be considering options for more firepower as it makes a push to return to the Premier League after suffering relegation last year.

USMNT Gets a 1-1 Draw against Jamaica

The United States Men’s National Team had to hang on for a 1-1 draw on the road against Jamaica. Tim Weah scored an excellent goal in the 11th minute to give the Americans an early lead. However, the Reggae Boyz equalized with an absolute golazo from West Ham United’s Michail Antonio in the 25th minute. There were only a few chances for the U.S. in the second half and USMNT star Christian Pulisic came on for the final 25 minutes. Jamaica thought it had scored the winner in the 87th minute, but the goal was disallowed when Leon Bailey was called for a foul on Walker Zimmerman.

Despite dropping points on the road, the USMNT sits in second and is in a great position to qualify for the World Cup. Canada moved up to the top of the standings after former Lion Cyle Larin scored a brace in a 2-1 win over Mexico in snowy conditions in Edmonton. Panama is in fourth after winning 2-1 against El Salvador while Costa Rica is in fifth following a 2-1 win against Honduras.

OL Reign’s Laura Harvey Wins NWSL Coach of the Year

The National Women’s Soccer League named OL Reign Head Coach Laura Harvey as the 2021 NWSL Coach of the Year. Harvey returned to her former club back in August and led the team to a 7-3-2 record to finish second in the league. During that run, the Reign also had an eight-match unbeaten streak and outscored their opponents 25-9. This is the third time Harvey has won the award and she finished ahead of Portland Timbers Head Coach Mark Parsons and NJ/NY Gotham FC Head Coach Scott Parkinson.

Lions Win in World Cup Qualifying

Orlando goalkeeper Pedro Gallese started in goal and came up with big saves for Peru in a 2-1 win over Venezuela. Gallese saved a penalty in the second half to secure all three points as Peru climbed to fifth in the standings.

Orlando midfielder Sebas Mendez came on as a substitute in Ecuador’s 2-0 victory against Chile. Argentina booked its ticket to the World Cup after a scoreless draw with Brazil as both sides remain unbeaten during qualifying.

In European qualifying, the Netherlands defeated Norway 2-0 to clinch a spot in the World Cup thanks to a pair of late goals. The result eliminated Norway, meaning Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland won’t be in the World Cup next year. The Czech Republic, Wales, Turkey, and Ukraine all advanced to the playoff stage, joining Italy, Portugal, Russia, Sweden, Scotland, Poland, North Macedonia, and Austria. The 12 teams will fight for the remaining three spots with the important draw set to take place on Nov. 26. There is a chance that Italy and Portugal could face each other in a winner-take-all match depending on how the draw shakes out.

Cameroon eliminated the Ivory Coast by winning 1-0 to advance to the third round in African qualifying. Algeria, Nigeria, and Tunisia also secured their spots in the next round where the 10 remaining teams will play for the final five spots. In Asian qualifying, South Korea and Iran had dominant wins while Japan scored a late goal to get past Oman and move ahead of Australia in the standings.

Free Kicks
  • Orlando left back Emmanuel Mas could make an impact on offense against Nashville during the playoffs.
  • Orlando Pride midfielder Emily van Egmond was called up for Australia’s pair of friendlies against the United States Women’s National Team later this month.

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