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Lion Links: 2/26/21

Four Orlando Pride players named to NWSL allocation list, Thierry Henry steps down in Montreal, Americans abroad, and more.

Switzerland v Canada Round of 16 - FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015 Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images

How’s it going, Mane Landers? It’s Friday and I’m really looking forward to some rest and relaxation this weekend. For some reason, I’ve barely been able to sleep more than a few hours each night. It’s been pretty difficult, but I should be able to recharge my batteries. But enough about me, let’s all wish a very happy birthday to Orlando Pride goalkeeper Erin McLeod!

Four Pride Players Allocated for NWSL 2021 Season

The Orlando Pride’s Ashlyn Harris, Ali Krieger, Alex Morgan, and Erin McLeod were all named to the National Women’s Soccer League’s allocation list for 2021. It’s good news for the Pride as the players on the list will have their salaries paid for by their respective federations. While Harris, Krieger, and Morgan were all on the list last year, this is McLeod’s first time since 2015, when she started for Canada in the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Thierry Henry Steps Down as Montreal Coach

Due to family reasons, Thierry Henry will no longer be the head coach of CF Montréal. The pandemic prevented Henry from being with his kids over the course of a shortened last season and the 43-year-old is returning to London. Henry took over at Montréal and sparked a transition for the club’s identity both on and off the field, but travel restrictions have made things difficult for MLS’ Canadian clubs. Now, Montréal President Kevin Gilmore must work on finding another head coach to lead the team. It’s a tough situation and bad timing for Montréal considering the season is set to begin on April 17.

Americans Abroad This Weekend

Orlando City forward Daryl Dike scored for Barnsley FC earlier this week and will have the opportunity to do so again this Saturday against Millwall FC. As for other Americans in action across Europe this weekend, Christian Pulisic and Chelsea face Manchester United and Antonee Robinson and Tim Ream may feature in Fulham’s match against Crystal Palace. In the Bundesliga, John Brooks will anchor Wolfsburg’s defense when the club takes on Hertha Berlin to stay near the top of the table while Matthew Hoppe will try to save FC Schalke from relegation when it plays VfB Stuttgart tomorrow.

Big Names Exit the Europa League

Playing at home in England, Leicester City lost 2-0 against Slavia Prague and was eliminated from the Europa League. Although this could be a learning opportunity for Leicester according to manager Brendan Rodgers, it’s a familiar wall he’s failed to overcome throughout his coaching career.

The Foxes weren’t the only ones to suffer an upset in the tournament’s round of 32 as Napoli, Bayer Leverkusen, and PSV Eindhoven were all ousted. Arsenal managed to save itself with a pair of second-half goals against Benfica to advance alongside Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United. The draw for the round of 16 is today at 7 a.m. as each club learns its fate.

Free Kicks
  • With her goal in the SheBelieves Cup, Alex Morgan earned praise from Michelle Akers after surpassing her to move up to fifth on the United States Women’s National Team’s all-time scoring list.
  • Due to his efforts on the field for Manchester United and off of it by fighting against child poverty, both Puma and Nike are dueling for a sponsorship deal with Marcus Rashford.

That’s it from me today, Mane Landers. I hope you all have a great day and wonderful weekend.