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Lion Links: 9/26/22

The Pride draw San Diego, USMNT prepares for Saudi Arabia, NWSL season winds down, and more.

Soccer: Morocco at USA Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Merry Monday morning, Mane Landers! As Tropical Storm Ian gets closer to Florida, we have no idea what part of the state will be affected. It is not looking good, and I hope that you have taken the necessary precautions and preparations. While we wait to see where Ian is heading, here are some links to pass the time.

Orlando Pride Draw San Diego Wave FC at Home

After four straight losses, the Pride finally got a result by drawing the San Diego Wave 2-2 in Exploria Stadium. The Pride struck first and then doubled their lead with a nice goal in the second half. Unfortunately, Orlando wasn’t able to hold onto that lead, giving up two late goals as former Pride player Taylor Kornieck scored the equalizer. The Pride are only playing for pride at this point, but a result is a result, even when it’s a draw that feels like a loss. Sean Rollins has your match recap.

USMNT Get Ready for Saudi Arabia

The United States Men’s National Team will play Saudi Arabia tomorrow in its second friendly this international window. The U.S. lost 2-0 in its previous match against Japan. Tomorrow’s match will be another good test for the USMNT before the World Cup since Saudi Arabia won its group during World Cup qualifying. Saudi Arabia drew Ecuador 0-0 in its previous match.

The Yanks will be without right back Reggie Cannon due to a groin strain. Cannon’s injury is just another in a long line of injuries for the USMNT, and the defender is expected to be out for several weeks. There are several players on the bubble when it comes to making Gregg Berhalter’s 26-player roster for the World Cup. Injuries will certainly play a part in Berhalter’s decisions and players have over a month left to earn a trip to Qatar.

NWSL Teams Push for the Postseason

Racing Louisville FC forward Nadia Nadim tore her ACL and will miss the remainder of the NWSL season. Despite her absence, Louisville went on the road and won 3-1 against Angel City FC. The result puts a dent into Angel City’s playoff hopes and sets up for an interesting season finale against the Chicago Red Stars in which both sides will need a win.

Meanwhile, the North Carolina Courage have surged into sixth in the standings, thanks in large part to Debinha. The Brazilian scored a hat trick against NJ/NY Gotham FC to give the Courage a 3-0 victory. Debinha has 12 goals this season, tied for second in the league.

Croatia and the Netherlands Win Groups in Nations League

In the UEFA Nations League, Croatia beat Austria 3-1 to win its group and claim a spot in the four-team finals next summer. The Netherlands also booked a ticket to the finals after winning 1-0 over Belgium, thanks to a goal from Virgil van Dijk. France avoided relegation despite a 2-0 loss to Denmark. Wales was relegated to the lower league following a 1-0 loss to Poland. Charlotte FC forward Karol Swiderski scored the winner, with Robert Lewandowski providing a great assist.

Today’s action will determine which other two nations will be in the finals next summer. Italy will need to beat Hungary in Budapest while Spain and Portugal will face off in Braga. England and Germany won’t have anything to play for in their match today, but it is an opportunity for both teams to prepare for the World Cup.

Free Kicks
  • Orlando City goalkeeper Pedro Gallese started in goal for Peru in a 1-0 loss to Mexico. Wilder Cartagena was on the bench, but did not come on as a substitute in the friendly. Peru will take on El Salvador tomorrow at 8 p.m. at Audi Field.
  • For the World Cup later this year, FIFA will provide players access to all of its performance statistics through a newly developed app. Each of the stadiums are equipped with a tracking system that will provide data for the app.
  • The eMLS Amateur Cup is coming. I occasionally play FIFA, but I’m not going to pretend to understand how all of this will work. Fortunately, others have it all figured out.
  • I’m going to leave you with this very nice message from Pride forward Julie Doyle.

That will do it for today. Let’s go USMNT!