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Lion Links: 10/5/22

Orlando City takes on Inter Miami tonight, two NWSL owners step away, Champions League action returns, and more.

MLS: Orlando City SC at New York City FC Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Hello, Mane Landers. I hope all of you are doing well down in Florida. I’ve been staying busy at work and am looking ahead to the weekend. There is plenty to cover today, so let’s get to the links.

Orlando City Takes on Inter Miami CF Tonight

The Lions travel to South Florida for a midweek match-up with Inter Miami at 8 p.m. in another edition of Tropic Thunder. This match will have playoff implications, and the Lions can clinch a playoff spot for the third consecutive year with a win against the Herons and a loss by the Columbus Crew in their match against Charlotte FC tonight. The Lions are in sixth place in the Eastern Conference, ahead on goal difference over Inter Miami, which holds the last playoff spot. The Lions lost to New York City FC 2-1 on Sunday, while Miami defeated Toronto FC 1-0 last Friday and is on a three-game winning streak. These two sides already battled twice this year at Exploria Stadium, with the Lions eliminating Inter Miami in the U.S. Open Cup on penalty kicks back on May 25 and shutting out the Herons on July 9 with a 1-0 victory. After tonight’s match, the Lions will close out the regular season at home this Sunday when they host the Crew.

Two NWSL Owners Step Away from Operations

Following the findings from an investigation into systemic abuse in women’s soccer, Portland Thorns owner Merritt Paulson and Chicago Red Stars owner Arnim Whisler are both stepping aside from making decisions for their NWSL clubs. In the filed report from the investigation, Paulson was accused of enabling the behavior of former Thorns head coach Paul Riley. The report also found that Whisler dismissed concerns from players over the abusive behavior of former Red Stars head coach Rory Dames. Whisler also announced that he is removing himself from his governance role on the NWSL board of governors. NWSL Commissioner Jessica Berman also released a statement supporting the decisions from Paulson and Whisler to step away at this time.

USWNT Defender Becky Sauerbrunn Calls for Change

While in London for the USWNT’s friendly against England, Thorns defender Becky Sauerbrunn called for the removal of those in the NWSL who enabled the abuse found in the aforementioned report.

“For so long, this has always fallen on the player to demand change, and that is because the people in authority and decision-making positions have repeatedly failed to protect us and they have failed to hold themselves and each other accountable,” Sauerbrunn said during media availability in London. “And what and who are you actually protecting and what values are you upholding? You have failed in your stewardship.

“And it’s my opinion that every owner and executive and U.S. Soccer official who has repeatedly failed the players and failed to protect the players, who have hidden behind legalities and have not participated fully in these investigations should be gone.”

Sauerbrunn also spoke about the frustration and anger from players towards this systemic abuse when numerous players raised concerns that were not taken seriously by those in positions of authority. USWNT Head Coach Vlatko Andonovski also expressed his thoughts on the report’s findings.

UEFA Champions League Action Returns

There was plenty of excitement as the group stage of the UEFA Champions League continued. Napoli went on the road and put on an impressive performance as it crushed Ajax 6-1. Club Brugge shut out Atletico Madrid 2-0 to win three straight Champions League matches for the first time in its history. FC Barcelona lost 1-0 to Inter Milan after an equalizer was overturned due to a handball from Ansu Fati. Bayern Munich cruised to a 5-0 win against Viktoria Plzen to maintain control of its group. Both Liverpool and FC Porto got 2-0 wins against Rangers and Bayer Leverkusen, respectively. Marseille defeated Sporting CP 4-1 and Eintracht Frankfurt battled against Tottenham in a scoreless draw. Today’s notable match-ups will see Chelsea host AC Milan, Real Madrid take on Shakhtar Donetsk, and Paris Saint-Germain on the road against Benfica.

Free Kicks
  • Paris will not broadcast any World Cup matches on screens in fan zones due to concerns over environmental issues and rights violations of migrant workers.
  • Bayer Leverkusen is reportedly considering firing manager Gerardo Seoane and targeting former Real Sociedad B manager Xabi Alonso as a replacement.
  • Crewe Alexandra’s top scorer, Courtney Baker-Richardson, has been ruled out for the club’s League Two match against Carlisle after suffering a hip muscle problem when playing video games.

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