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Lion Links: 11/2/21

Pride send pair to Australia, Pulisic fit again for Chelsea, MLS and NWSL GM announcements, and more.

NWSL: National Women’s Soccer League-NJ/NY Gotham FC at Orlando Pride Bernie Walls-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Tuesday, everyone. It was a...trying Sunday for Orlando City and unfortunately the season finale for the Orlando Pride didn’t go much better either. Frustrating though the weekend was, the Lions still have it all to play for heading into a road game with Montreal on the final day of the season. As usual, there’s a lot to discuss today, so let’s get into it.

Pride Send Duo to Australia

The Orlando Pride are sending a pair of players to Australia’s Canberra United. Midfielder Chelsee Washington will join the side on loan until April 3, and the Pride have exercised the 2022 club option on her. Defender Ally Haran, on the other hand, has been permanently transferred to the Australian team. Washington has appeared 15 times for the Pride after being drafted in 2020 and recorded one assist during her 10 appearances for the 2021 NWSL season. Haran signed a one-year contract with Orlando before the 2021 season and made four appearances for the team in the 2020 NWSL Fall Series, scoring a goal to complete a 3-3 comeback draw against the North Carolina Courage. We wish them both luck down under!

Pulisic Fit Again for Chelsea

In a piece of welcome news, Christian Pulisic is in Chelsea FC’s squad that has traveled to Sweden to take on Malmo FF in the UEFA Champions League. Pulisic returned to full training last week, and his presence in the traveling squad is excellent news for fans of the United States Men’s National Team. Thomas Tuchel has also stated that the American will be in the gameday squad today, and with Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner both sidelined by injury it’s very possible that he could get some minutes at the end of the game. Pulisic’s return to health can’t come soon enough with a Nov. 12 date with Mexico in Cincinnati looming large.

New GM Announcements

There has been a pair of appointments announced at the top tiers of American soccer, with an NWSL team and an MLS team each bringing in new faces. First up, the Portland Thorns have named a new general manager and it’s a familiar face. Portland appointed former Thorns FC goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc in the role, and she has plenty of experience. LeBlanc has been the Head of Women’s Football for Concacaf since 2018, so she’s well versed when it comes to developing the women’s game.

Meanwhile in MLS, the Houston Dynamo have named Pat Onstad as the team’s new general manager. Onstad was with the Columbus Crew for eight years as technical director and vice president of soccer operations. Onstad rejoins the team that he won two MLS Cups with in 2006 and 2007. He originally joined Columbus in 2014 as an assistant coach and eventually worked his way up the ladder to the front office, and will look to turn around a Houston side that has not made the playoffs since 2017.

Mexico Gets Fan Ban

Mexico has been handed a two-match supporter ban for its next two home games in Concacaf World Cup qualifying. Due to persistent homophobic and anti-gay chanting by the team’s supporters, Mexico will play Costa Rica on Jan. 30 and Panama on Feb. 2 in an empty stadium. The team has also been fined 100,000 Swiss francs, with the punishments the latest efforts in an attempt to stop fans from directing slurs at the team’s opponents. The Azteca was without fans when Mexico opened World Cup qualifying in September because of anti-gay chants, but fans returned for the matches against Canada and Honduras last month, when the chants were heard yet again.

Free Kicks
  • Andrew Wiebe and Charlie Davies sided with Orlando regarding the end of against Nashville SC.
  • Former Lion Hadji Barry won the USL Championship Golden Boot.
  • Make sure to help out and give to an excellent cause.

That does it for me today. Y’all stay safe out there.