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Lion Links: 10/12/22

Lions drop a spot in latest MLS power rankings, USWNT loses 2-0 to Spain in friendly, Merritt Paulson steps down as CEO of Timbers and Thorns, and more.

MLS: Columbus Crew SC at Orlando City SC Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports

Hello, Mane Landers. I hope all is well with you down in Florida. I’m doing well up here in Chicago, and I can’t wait until Sunday’s playoff match. There is plenty to cover today, so let’s get to the links.

Lions Drop a Spot in Latest MLS Power Rankings

Despite Orlando City’s 2-1 comeback victory against the Columbus Crew this past Sunday, the Lions dropped one spot to 13th in the latest MLS Power Rankings. This season has felt like a roller coaster, but the Lions did enough to make the MLS playoffs for the third consecutive season. It will be a tough task against CF Montreal on Sunday, but the Lions have found a way to win important games all year long. The Lions made it to the playoffs despite losing top players during the off-season, such as Daryl Dike, Nani, and Chris Mueller. The Lions also won the 2022 U.S. Open Cup and will play in the 2023 Concacaf Champions League. Facundo Torres has been a huge playmaker for the Lions this season, finishing with nine goals and 10 assists.

USWNT Loses 2-0 to Spain in a Friendly

The United States Women’s National team lost 2-0 to a depleted Spain team at El Sadar Stadium to conclude its European tour in this international friendly. Some of the USWNT’s top players were sidelined due to injuries, while some of Spain’s top players were absent due to injuries and internal conflict. Laia Codina's goal in the first half and Esther Gonzalez's volley in the second were enough to shut out the Americans. The USWNT also lost to England 2-1 last Friday at Wembley Stadium. This is the first time the USWNT has lost consecutive matches since March of 2017, when it dropped consecutive matches in the SheBelieves Cup against England and France. The USWNT will finish the year out next month when it hosts Germany for friendlies on Nov. 10 at DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale and Nov. 13 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ.

Merritt Paulson Steps Down as CEO of Portland Timbers and Thorns

Merritt Paulson, who owns the NWSL’s Portland Thorns and MLS’s Portland Timbers, announced that he would step down from his position as the CEO of both clubs. This is the latest decision after the release of the Yates Report last week detailing systematic abuse and sexual misconduct in the NWSL, including within the Thorns organization. Paulson had previously announced last week that he would step aside from day-to-day operations with the Thorns, and the organization will now engage in a global search to fill the vacant CEO position. Paulson did not mention in his recent statement on whether he intends to sell his ownership stake in both the Thorns and Timbers despite pressure from fans and various club sponsors.

UEFA Champions League Tuesday recap

It was an action-packed Tuesday in the UEFA Champions League that saw two clubs book their tickets to the knockout stages. Real Madrid and Manchester City secured draws against Shakhtar Donetsk and FC Copenhagen, respectively, for them to secure a spot in the knockout stages. The biggest surprise of the day was Juventus suffering a shocking 2-0 defeat at Maccabi Haifa. American goalkeeper Josh Cohen had five saves for Maccabi Haifa, including this nice one to maintain the clean sheet.

Juventus only has three points in four matches and needs to get results against Paris Saint-Germain and Benfica for a chance at the knockout stage. Chelsea got another shutout against AC Milan, maintaining new manager Graham Potter's three-game undefeated streak in the Champions League. Today’s notable match-ups will see FC Barcelona host Inter Milan, Napoli take on Ajax, and Tottenham battle Eintracht Frankfurt.

Free Kicks
  • Here are the four nominees for MLS Goal of the Week after an exciting Decision Day.
  • You must see this amazing shot from the U.S. U-17 Women’s National Team’s Mia Bhuta against India at the 2022 FIFA U-17 World Cup. The U.S. won the match 8-0 and will play Brazil on Friday.
  • La Liga sides Sevilla, Valencia, and Villarreal have demanded an apology from RFEF president Luis Rubiales after reportedly saying they were the three teams he most disliked.
  • If you're looking to boost up your online dating game, Bumble will let users try out Bantr, which is a dating app from the Ted Lasso TV show and will let users chat for up to three minutes without viewing pictures on their profile.

That will do it for me today, Mane Landers. Enjoy your Wednesday and I’ll see you next time.