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Lion Links: 8/31/21

Ashlyn Harris again up for SotW, Spirit co-owners vying for control of team, Fenerbahce in for Diego Rossi, and more.

MLS: Men in Blazers All-Star Extravaganza Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Tuesday, everyone. It was a decent weekend for Orlando soccer as Orlando City and the Orlando Pride took a combined four of the six points available between the two teams. This will be a very busy week for soccer with World Cup qualifiers for the USMNT on Thursday and Sunday, the Lions playing on Saturday and the Pride taking the field on Sunday. There’s lots to talk about today so let’s jump in.

Harris Nominated for SotW

In the least surprising piece of news this week, Ashlyn Harris has been nominated for the NWSL Save of the Week. Harris dove to her left during the first minute of the team’s 1-0 win over NJ/NY Gotham FC to stonewall Carli Lloyd and keep the game even at 0-0. Not only did she keep Orlando in the game and give the Pride the opportunity to go on and win it, but she also broke the NWSL record for all-time saves in the process. Congrats to Ashlyn and keep up the stellar work!

Washington Spirit Co-Owners Vying for Control

Following allegations of abuse against the team’s former coach, the co-owners of the Washington Spirit are vying for control of the team. Y Michele Kang wants to buy a controlling share of the team from fellow co-owner and CEO Steve Baldwin, after allegations of verbal, and even racist abuse were made against former coach Richie Burke. Both own a 35% stake in the Spirit, with Kang joining the ownership group last year, and is part of a trend that has seen more women taking positions in ownership and coaching in the league. The two had originally discussed Baldwin selling his stake in the team back in April, with talks re-opening several days after an article was published detailing the allegations of abuse against Burke.

Rossi to Fenerbahce Rumor

LAFC are in negotiations with Fenerbahce regarding the potential transfer of Diego Rossi to the Turkish giants. Rossi has been excellent during his four years with LA, with 48 goals and 21 assists in 104 appearances and a Golden Boot-winning season last year. Rossi has been the subject of transfer speculation for some time now, with rumors linking him to Everton, Tottenham, and Reading among others at various times over the last year. Fenerbahce will play in the UEFA Europa League this year and is currently second in the Turkish Super League on goal difference after three weeks of matches.

How United Landed Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo rejoining Manchester United after leaving the club in 2009 shouldn’t be a shock on the face of it. That’s exactly how it ended up though, with the 36-year-old originally looking likely to join cross-town rivals Manchester City, with Paris Saint-Germain also being tossed around as a potential destination. A return to Old Trafford didn’t seem to be in the cards, but texts and calls from Sir Alex Ferguson, former teammates Rio Ferdinand and Patrice Evra, and current Portugal teammate Bruno Fernandes seem to have helped influence a sensational homecoming. There were quite a few things that had to happen for him to come back to the club that made him famous, and all the dominoes fell in exactly the right way.

Equal Pay for Republic of Ireland Teams

The Republic of Ireland’s men’s and women’s teams have agreed on a deal for equal pay with the Football Association of Ireland (FAI). The FAI joins Australia, Brazil, England, New Zealand, and Norway as the associations that pay men’s and women’s players equally for representing their national teams. Starting with the current international window, the men and women will be paid the same match fee, which was made possible by the men agreeing to reduce the international fees, with the FAI then matching their contribution. Regarding international tournaments, the FAI pledged to take the same approach, saying the following:

“The FAI has also agreed equality of approach with the Senior Men’s and Senior Women’s squad with regard to any future Tournament qualification.”

Free Kicks

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