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Lion Links: 7/27/21

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Ashlyn Harris up for another award, an interview with Tesho Akindele, takeaways from the USMNT victory, and more.

North Carolina Courage v Orlando Pride Photo by Jeremy Reper/ISI Photos/Getty Images

Happy Tuesday, everyone. It was a very rough weekend for Orlando’s soccer teams but that simply provides an opportunity to bounce back and get better. There’s lots to talk about today, but before we get into it, let’s wish Orlando Pride midfielder Meggie Dougherty Howard a happy 26th birthday.

Ashlyn Harris Nominated for Save of the Week Again

The sun shines, the grass is green, and Ashlyn Harris has been nominated for the NWSL Save of the Week yet again. The Orlando Pride fell to OL Reign 2-0 over the weekend, but Harris did her part to try to get the team a result. She made what feels like her 100th penalty save this season with the Pride (it was her fifth, actually), while trailing OL Reign by two goals in the 62nd minute. She did very well to put off Jess Fishlock before the kick, and dove in the correct direction to keep the shot out. While the Pride weren’t able to go on and get a result from the match, Harris at least kept them in the game and gave them a fighting chance with another impressive save.

Interview With Tesho Akindele

Tesho Akindele was recently a guest on the Perfect Soccer Podcast, where he spoke about a number of different things, including moving to Colorado after being born in Canada. He also shed light on what it was like to make it into Major League Soccer after attending a Division II college. It was also fitting that he took the time to talk about what it means to him to represent Canada internationally, given that he was called in to Canada’s Gold Cup team as an injury replacement for Ayo Akinola. Take the time to go check it out.

USWNT, Australia Set Soccer Back 100 Years

If you got up early this morning ,or stayed up late last night, to watch the United States Women’s National Team’s final group stage match against Australia, well, I’m sorry. The two sides appeared to have an agreement to not try terribly hard to win, with the game ending in a 0-0 draw.

The U.S. didn’t pressure the ball all game, showed no desire to get numbers forward, and lacked both creativity and sharpness. Alex Morgan found the net in the first half with a header, but the flag came up. After a lengthy review, the call stood in what seemed the stingiest of offside decisions. While clearly Morgan’s feet were both well onside, that inch of elbow, which can’t legally score a goal, sure did give Alex an unfair advantage!

If you like defenders passing the ball back and forth from 10 yards apart (especially Australia in the final half hour), this was the game for you! What a snoozefest. The U.S. and Australia are both through to the knockout stage.

Meanwhile, Orlando Pride defender Ali Riley’s New Zealand side got knocked out after Sweden defeated the Football Ferns on the final match day in the group.

Takeaways from USMNT’s Gold Cup Victory

It was far from an easy win for the United States Men’s National Team in the quarterfinals of the Gold Cup. Jamaica proved to be a stern test, but the young squad eventually got the job done courtesy of a late goal from Matthew Hoppe. Once again, this was the kind of match that can prove beneficial to a young team further down the line. Not every game is going to be an easy one, and you can learn a lot from performances in the type of situation that the Americans found themselves in on Sunday. Speaking of Hoppe, his goal was well-taken and he showed some exciting flashes during his time on the field. He’s definitely one to keep an eye on, and one would expect him to start against Qatar in the semifinals.

MLS Transfer Roundup

Transfer season never stops and there are a number of rumors linking players to MLS teams. First up is a report that Argentinian striker Sebastian Driussi is headed to Austin FC after leaving Zenit St. Petersburg. If true, the 25-year-old would potentially provide help in attack for a team that has struggled offensively in its maiden MLS campaign.

The Philadelphia Union are apparently very busy, as they are reportedly signing forward Matheus Davo and midfielder Jesus Bueno. If true, Davo will join on loan until the end of the year while Bueno will be a permanent transfer.

Finally, Inter Miami is apparently on the verge of signing defender Ventura Alvarado. The team has reportedly already agreed to terms with Alvarado, who has seemingly been training with the team for a while now.

Free Kicks

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