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Lion Links: 6/7/21

The Orlando Pride are still undefeated, the USMNT beats Mexico in the Concacaf Nations League final, Copa America concerns grow, and more.

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United States v Mexico: Championship - CONCACAF Nations League Finals Photo by John Dorton/ISI Photos/Getty Images

Merry Monday morning, Mane Landers! What a Sunday that was, huh? I enjoyed the Orlando Pride result on the road and then I, and hopefully you, watched one of the most Concacaf matches ever played. Sometimes it’s well worth staying up late. I’m going to be tired today, but I’ll also be happy. Let’s get to the links.

The Orlando Pride Remain Unbeaten

The Pride traveled to Audi Field to take on the Washington Spirit in a match between the top two teams in the National Women’s Soccer League standings. It was a hot one in D.C., making it a tough slog throughout the match. Despite going down a goal in the 64th minute after Ashley Hatch scored, Taylor Kornieck got her first goal of the season to draw the Pride even just three minutes later. One bit of worry was Alex Morgan going down with a similar knock to the ribs twice late in the second half. She was able to see the match out, so hopefully it’s nothing that will linger. The Pride’s next match is June 20 against NJ/NY Gotham FC.

USMNT Wins Concacaf Nations League Final

The United States Men’s National Team became the first team to win the Concacaf Nations League after a memorable match against Mexico that featured penalty kicks, objects thrown onto the field, and plenty of goals. It was a horrible start for the U.S. as Mexico took advantage of a Mark McKenzie mistake to score in the very first minute of play. Mexico seemed to double its lead in the 24th minute, but video review ruled it offside. A few minutes later, Weston McKennie’s header from a corner kick hit the post and Giovanni Reyna was there to put the ball in the net to bring the game level.

Mexico went up again in the 79th minute, but McKennie finally put one of the Yanks’ corners in the back of the net with a header to pull the U.S. level again. The match went to extra time and Christian Pulisic drew a penalty and converted it to give the U.S. the lead. Mexico received a penalty, but Ethan Horvath made the biggest save of his life to secure a 3-2 victory.

Copa America Concerns Continue to Grow

CONMEBOL World Cup qualifiers continue tomorrow with all 10 South American nations in action, including a heavyweight match-up between Argentina and Colombia. Orlando City goalkeeper Pedro Gallese and Peru will also square off against Orlando midfielder Sebas Mendez and Ecuador tomorrow at 5 p.m.

However, these matches are being overshadowed by the upcoming Copa America. The tournament was originally set to be co-hosted by Colombia and Argentina, but those plans were scrapped due to social unrest in Colombia and a surge in COVID-19 cases in Argentina. As such, the tournament has moved to Brazil, even though Brazil has its own issues with the pandemic. Brazil’s players are expected to release a statement this week regarding reports that they oppose the decision for Brazil to host the tournament. Staff of a Brazilian Senate commission tasked with looking into how the country has handled the pandemic believes the tournament should be postponed. On top of this, Rogerio Caboclo was removed as president of the Brazilian Football Confederation for 30 days due to sexual harassment accusations. The Copa America is scheduled to take place between June 13 and July 10.

Ukraine Unveils New Kit Before European Championship

I don’t remember ever mentioning Ukraine’s jerseys in anything I’ve ever written, but when a soccer kit has the potential to start an international incident, it’s worth noting. For those who don’t follow world politics, Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 in a decision opposed by many nations in Europe and also the United States. Now, the Ukrainian National Team’s new jerseys show the border of Ukraine, including Crimea. Ukraine also used two slogans in the jersey that are traditional military greetings. To say Russia is not happy would be an understatement. It’s doubtful anything will come of it, but it is a reminder that soccer is often more than just a game.

Free Kicks
  • Former Lion Pierre Da Silva scored from a corner kick for Miami FC.

That will do it for me this morning. Stay cool, everyone! Go Pride, go USA!