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Lion Links: 12/12/22

The USMNT rumor mill, why Gio Reyna didn’t play more, World Cup semifinals set, and more.

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MLS: Orlando City SC at CF Montreal Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

Merry Monday morning, Mane Landers! We’re heading into the final few matches of the World Cup, all while trying to get our last-minute, holiday shopping done. There are office parties, time with friends and families, and it’s all coming fast now, isn’t it? Hopefully, you are finding the joy in the season and also in these links.

Óscar Pareja a USMNT Coaching Candidate?

One rumor that could possibly catch the eye of Orlando City supporters is Óscar Pareja’s name being bandied about as a replacement for Gregg Berhalter. Of course, that’s all contingent upon whether or not U.S. Soccer decides to re-sign Berhalter to a new deal. Juan Carlos Osorio is also a coach being considered. Losing Pareja would obviously not be great for Orlando City, but I’m not sure that Berhalter is actually going anywhere.

Reyna Almost Sent Home from World Cup

One of the most common questions from USMNT supporters during the World Cup was why Gio Reyna wasn’t playing more minutes. It seems that we now know the answer, given the young American was not giving enough effort on or off the field and was almost put on a plane from Qatar back home. This was not just a management decision, but the team leadership was involved as well. According to The Athletic ($), Reyna apologized to the team for his lack of effort in training, and was obviously allowed to stay. How much this series of incidents affected the USMNT during the World Cup is not something we can quantify.

Stage Set for World Cup Semifinals

The semifinals for the World Cup are set with Argentina meeting Croatia, and France playing Morocco. Each team will have its challenges, but there are still favorites to head to the final. Of course, Argentina might be in a bit of a spot if Messi was unavailable to play. due to the celebrations and off-the-pitch actions of the Argentinian players. If we’re being real, there’s no way that happens.

Dike Ready for Return

Daryl Dike was on the long-term injury list for West Bromwich Albion, but is now set for a return to action. He was actually cleared prior, but the flu kept him from playing. The break for the World Cup has allowed Dike more time to recover while the season has been on hold. Of course, the former Orlando City striker will need to work his way back into being match fit, but hopefully will be scoring goals for his club — and perhaps country? — soon.

Free Kicks

That will do it for today, dear readers. Enjoy your week and enjoy the end of the World Cup!