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Lion Links: 9/13/22

United States Women’s National Team schedules Spain friendly, U.S. Soccer misconduct investigation nearing its end, MLS playoff questions, and more.

Syndication: The Columbus Dispatch Kyle Robertson/Columbus Dispatch / USA TODAY NETWORK

Happy Tuesday, everyone. With the end of the Major League Soccer season on the horizon and closing fast, we have a busy few weeks ahead of us. That is reflected in this morning’s links, where as usual, there’s plenty of interesting things to discuss. Let’s wade on in.

United States Women’s National Team Will Face Spain

The United States Women’s National Team has booked a friendly with Spain to end a two-game European slate against two enticing opponents. The game will take place in Pamplona on Tuesday, Oct. 11, and it will only be the fourth time that the two teams have met. The Spaniards will be the third top-10 opponent the USWNT has faced this year after defeating Canada in the Concacaf W Championship, and a tilt against England slated for the Friday before the match in Pamplona.

U.S. Soccer Will Announce Misconduct Findings Next Month

U.S. Soccer announced Monday that its investigation into sexual misconduct and abusive behavior in the women’s game is close to being completed, and it expects the findings of the report to be published early next month. Sally Yates has been leading the investigation for close to a year, which was begun following reports of abuse and sexual coercion by Paul Riley, the former coach of the North Carolina Courage. Further reports involving other teams have emerged since then, with the reopening of a complaint made against Riley in 2015 when he was with the Portland Thorns being one of them. In total, five coaches in the National Women’s Soccer League were either fired or stepped down last season due to claims of inappropriate behavior of some sort. The results of the investigation should be illuminating to say the least.

MLS Playoff Questions

There is now less than a month to go until Decision Day and there are plenty of intriguing questions as the Major League Soccer season enters the home stretch. For one, can reigning MLS Cup champions New York City FC really miss the playoffs? They absolutely can, and there’s plenty of precedent for it happening, as the Columbus Crew missed the postseason boat in 2021 after winning it all the previous season. Another thing to watch is the fact that the Seattle Sounders sneaking into the playoffs is beginning to look like more and more of a possibility after weeks of looking like a completely absurd prospect. The Sounders are only four points off seventh place, and three of their last four games are against the 11th, 12th, and 14th placed teams in the West.

Queen’s Funeral Affects Games

While the Premier League and other leagues in the United Kingdom will return to play starting with midweek clashes, three matches have been postponed due to the events surrounding the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II. Arsenal’s Europa League game against PSV Eindhoven on Thursday has been postponed as the Metropolitan Police anticipate large crowds traveling to London to attend the queen’s funeral. Chelsea’s UEFA Champions League match against Red Bull Salzburg on Wednesday will go forward as planned, but the Blues’ Premier League match against Liverpool will not be played on Sunday, and neither will Leeds United’s clash with Manchester United.

Free Kicks
  • It looks like we will soon hear more about the alleged spying incident that clouded the buildup to the U.S. Open Cup final.
  • The Orlando City Foundation had a successful school supply drive.
  • You’ll be seeing Orlando City specialty license plates on the roads in the near future.

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