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Lion Links: 10/21/22

Pedro Gallese wins MLS Save of the Year, LAFC and the Philadelphia Union advance, Steven Gerrard sacked, and more.

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

How’s it going, Mane Landers? I hope you’re all having a nice start to your Friday as we get ready for the weekend. I’m loving this fall weather and recently bought some rocking chairs to relax on the porch each morning. It’s definitely been nice, although this cool weather won’t be around much longer. For now, let’s enjoy these links from around the soccer world.

Pedro Gallese Wins Save of the Year

Orlando City goalkeeper Pedro Gallese won MLS Save of the Year for his full extension to deny former Lion Dom Dwyer in a 1-1 draw with Atlanta United on July 17. El Pulpo did well to position himself and then leapt to swat away a shot that was destined for the top corner to his right. It was one of many great saves from Gallese this year, and he finished the year with a career-high nine clean sheets across all competitions. This was the second time a Lion has won Save of the Year, with Joe Bendik claiming the honor back in 2016.

LAFC and the Philadelphia Union Advance in MLS Playoffs

El Trafico in the MLS playoffs was hyped up since last weekend and it absolutely delivered as LAFC beat the LA Galaxy 3-2. Denis Bouanga had a brace for LAFC, but the Galaxy came up with two equalizers. It looked like the game was headed for extra time, but Cristian Arango pounced on a rebound in the box following a corner kick and gave LAFC a memorable winner. After eliminating its rival in thrilling fashion, LAFC will face the winner between Austin FC and FC Dallas in the next round.

In the Eastern Conference, 21-year-old midfielder Leon Flach scored his first goal of the year to lift the Union to a 1-0 win against FC Cincinnati. It was the first time Cincy’s offense has been shut out since July, with Philadelphia goalkeeper Andre Blake coming up with five saves in the match. The Union will host the winner of Sunday’s match between New York City FC and CF Montreal.

U.S. Faces Nigeria in U-17 Women’s World Cup

After winning its group, the United States U-17 Women’s National Team is playing Nigeria this morning in the U-17 Women’s World Cup quarterfinals. The match started at 7 a.m. and is the first meeting between the two nations at a U-17 Women’s World Cup. The U.S. was undefeated in the group stage, only conceding once in a 1-1 draw with Brazil. Meanwhile, Nigeria bounced back after a 2-1 loss to Germany by beating New Zealand and Chile to reach the quarterfinals. The winner of today’s game will take on the winner of tomorrow’s match between Colombia and Tanzania. That semifinal will take place next Wednesday, with the final set for Oct. 30.

Steven Gerrard Fired After Aston Villa Loss

American defenders Antonee Robinson and Tim Ream played every minute of Fulham’s 3-0 home win over Aston Villa. The loss was Villa’s sixth of the season and the club sacked manager Steven Gerrard as a result. Gerrard joined Villa in November of last year and leaves the club in 17th in the English Premier League after 11 games. Reports are already surfacing on which manager will replace Gerrard, with Mauricio Pochettino and Brentford’s Thomas Frank as possible options.

Free Kicks
  • Orlando Pride defender Courtney Petersen talked about how this season was a step in the right direction for the club.
  • Atlanta’s Josef Martinez won MLS Goal of the Year for his bicycle kick against the New England Revolution late in the season. Only time will tell if it was his final goal for the Five Stripes.

That’s all I have for you today. I hope you all have a fantastic Friday and rest of your weekend!