Lion Links: 11/25/22
How’s it going, Mane Landers? I had an embarrassing amount of candied yams and oxtails yesterday and am not quite sure how I’m going to function today. Hopefully you all had a similarly nice holiday without any major spills or fights. For those of you who will be working in the trenches this Black Friday, I wish you the best of luck. Now, let’s get to today’s links!
U.S. Takes On England Today
The United States Men’s National Team’s World Cup campaign continues today when it faces England at 2 p.m. After a 1-1 draw with Wales earlier this week, a loss today wouldn’t eliminate the Yanks, but they would no longer be in control of their own destiny. The USMNT is the only Concacaf nation to score in the tournament thus far, with Timothy Weah finding the back of the net against Wales. Giovanni Reyna will be available for today’s match, but USMNT Head Coach Gregg Berhalter didn’t specify if the 20-year-old would play. The Yanks are certainly underdogs today, but former USMNT defender DaMarcus Beasley spoke about how the U.S. has risen to challenges like these in past World Cups.
World Cup Group Stage Continues
We’ve now seen every World Cup team in action after Group G and Group H played Thursday. Cristiano Ronaldo scored from the spot in Portugal’s 3-2 win over Ghana, becoming the first men’s player to score in five different World Cups. The Orlando Pride’s Marta and Canadian forward Christine Sinclair have also scored in five World Cups. The game had a thrilling finish, but Ghana wasn’t able to find a late equalizer. In the other Group H match, Uruguay and South Korea played to the fourth scoreless draw of the tournament. Orlando City’s Facundo Torres didn’t feature in the match for Uruguay. It was still an exciting match between the two nations and it will be interesting to see how this group shakes out.
In Group G, Switzerland beat Cameroon 1-0 thanks to a goal from Breel Embolo. Born in Cameroon, Embolo didn’t celebrate the goal and stood with his arms out wide before pointing to both Swiss and Cameroon fans. After a scoreless first half, Brazil took care of business against Serbia in a 2-0 win. Richarlison scored both of Brazil’s goals, completing his brace in emphatic fashion with the best goal of the tournament so far.
Can't stop watching this INSANE goal by Richarlison 😱🤯 pic.twitter.com/xYmwln4Ajk
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) November 24, 2022
Neymar Injures Ankle in Brazil’s Win
Brazil may have won against Serbia, but it did come at a cost as star forward Neymar injured his ankle. Neymar was fouled a whopping nine times by Serbia, more than any other player in the World Cup so far. He was forced to come off in the 80th minute and was in tears on the bench alongside his teammates. Brazil will now wait with bated breath to see if the 30-year-old’s World Cup is over or if he will be ready to go when Brazil takes on Switzerland on Monday. He is only two goals shy of matching Pele’s record of 77 goals for Brazil.
Iran Arrests Player for Criticizing Government
Voria Ghafouri, who was not chosen to play for Iran during this World Cup, was arrested by Iran for “insulting the national soccer team and propagandizing against the government.” The 35-year-old has been outspoken against women spectators being banned from men’s soccer matches and called for an end to the violent response to protests in Iran. Two other former soccer players were arrested for supporting the protests as well. At this World Cup, Iran did not sing along to its national anthem in its opening match against England.
- Orlando City center back Robin Jansson is working hard to recover from foot surgery this past October.
Road back 💪🙌 pic.twitter.com/qEgITLnkl3
— Robin Jansson (@RJANSSON24) November 24, 2022
- Charlotte FC transferred midfielder Jordy Alcivar to Ecuadorian club Independiente Del Valle for an undisclosed fee. Alcivar returns to his home country after a single season in Charlotte that includes 20 appearances.
- FC Barcelona is still unbeaten in this year’s women’s Champions League after a 3-0 win over Bayern Munich. Lyon and Benfica also came up with wins in their group stage matches, while Arsenal and Juventus battled to a 1-1 draw.
- Today’s match between the Netherlands and Ecuador at 11 a.m. may come down to a duel between forwards.
That’s going to be all I have for you today. I hope you all are able to get some rest and relaxation!
Lion Links: 6/1/23
MLS All-Star voting is underway, midweek MLS results, Sevilla wins Europa League, and more.
Welcome to June, Mane Landers! I hope May treated you well as we get ready for another month filled to the brim with soccer. The Florida summer is heating up, so make sure to stay hydrated out there as we break out the beach umbrellas and dust off the grills. But for now, let’s jump into today’s links!
MLS All-Star Voting Begins
Voting is underway for the 26 players who will be selected for the MLS All-Star Team this summer. Of those 26 players, 12 will be chosen from a combined vote from fans, media, and current players. Orlando City defensive midfielder Cesar Araujo was noted as a candidate who could make this year’s team. Personally, I think goalkeeper Pedro Gallese, center back Robin Jansson, and forward Ercan Kara have a real shot at playing in the All-Star Game if they keep up their form. This year’s MLS All-Star Game will take place against Arsenal in the nation’s capital, with D.C. United Head Coach Wayne Rooney at the helm.
MLS Midweek Action Brings Plenty of Goals
The Lions weren’t in action for this midweek round of games, but there was still plenty of soccer to enjoy from the other MLS teams. Atlanta United and the New England Revolution battled to a 3-3 draw at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Carles Gil and Bobby Wood gave the Revs a 2-0 lead heading into halftime. Atlanta then scored three times in the second half, only for Gil to find an equalizer in stoppage time. It wasn’t the only high-scoring game of the evening either, as the Columbus Crew won 3-2 over the Colorado Rapids thanks to a goal and two assists from midfielder Lucas Zelarayan. Elsewhere in the Eastern Conference, FC Cincinnati beat New York City FC 3-1 and D.C. United and CF Montreal played to a 2-2 draw. Orlando City’s next opponents, the New York Red Bulls, won 1-0 at Inter Miami.
Sevilla Wins Seventh Europa League Title
It took a penalty shootout to decide the winner of this year’s Europa League final, with Sevilla beating AS Roma in Budapest. It was the Spanish club’s seventh time lifting the Europa League trophy. This win salvaged a rough La Liga season for Sevilla and it will play in the Champions League next year. Paulo Dybala gave Roma the lead in the first half, but an own goal levelled things in the 55th minute. Chris Smalling nearly gave Roma the win in extra time, but his header hit the crossbar. It was Jose Mourinho’s first defeat in six European finals and Roma will aim to qualify for the Europa League again when it takes on Spezia in its final Serie A game of the season on Sunday.
More Teams Claim Spots in U-20 World Cup Quarterfinals
Host Argentina was bounced from the U-20 World Cup after a 2-0 loss to Nigeria in the U-20 World Cup. After a scoreless first half, Nigeria struck twice and will face either Ecuador or South Korea in the next round. The other South American nations in action fared a bit better than Argentina, with Brazil cruising past Tunisia, 4-1, in a match that included three goals in stoppage time, and Colombia beating Slovakia, 5-1. In a clash between European sides, Italy won 2-1 over England after Cesare Casadei scored from the spot in the 87th minute. In the quarterfinals, the U.S. will face the winner of today’s match between Gambia and Uruguay.
- Orlando City B moved up a spot to seventh in the MLS NEXT Pro power rankings.
- Orlando City’s U-12 team is returning to Orlando with some new silverware.
- St. Louis City midfielder Eduard Löwen won MLS Goal of the Matchday for his free kick goal against the Vancouver Whitecaps.
- Lesle Gallimore was named as OL Reign’s next general manager after serving as commissioner of the club’s girls academy since 2020.
- Rumors are swirling that Inter Miami and FC Barcelona will join forces to sign Lionel Messi, with Miami signing him as a free agent and then loaning him to Barcelona.
- Arsenal forward Beth Mead will not play for England in this summer’s Women’s World Cup as she continues to recover from her ACL injury.
- American coach Jesse Marsch, who was dismissed from Leeds United earlier this year, has been linked with a move to AS Monaco in Ligue 1.
- Dundee United announced that American midfielder Ian Harkes is one of six players who will leave the club after it was relegated. Harkes has played for the Scottish club since 2019, joining from D.C. United.
- The Soccer Tournament kicks off today and you can check out the full slate of games.
That’s all I have for today. I hope you all have a wonderful start to June!
Lion Links: 5/31/23
Nani will return to Exploria Stadium for celebrity match, Amanda Allen scores again for Canada, U-20 USMNT defeats New Zealand, and more.
Hello, Mane Landers. I hope all is well with you down in Florida. There’s not much new with me up here in Chicago. Now that high school sports have finished up for the school year, I’ll be busy this summer working at Wrigley Field. There is plenty to get to today, so let’s get to the links.
Nani Will Return to Exploria Stadium for Celebrity Match
Former Lion captain Nani will return to Exploria Stadium on June 23 to participate in the celebrity soccer match called The Beautiful Game. The 36-year-old expressed his thoughts on his return to Orlando and taking part in this match next month.
“For me it is an honor to be back in Orlando and be with the fans one more time,” said Nani. “I can’t wait to see my friends from the club, The Wall and all Orlando City supporters again. I’m thankful for this opportunity to play one more time with Roberto Carlos, Ronaldinho, and so many legends.”
Nani played three seasons for the Lions, recording 28 goals and 23 assists in 77 appearances for the club. The match will feature icons such as Ronaldinho, Roberto Carlos, Carlos Valderrama, Javier Mascherano, and Rivaldo as well. The match will also have halftime entertainment, and more additions to the rosters set to be announced at a later date.
Amanda Allen Scores Again in Concacaf Women’s U-20 Championship
Orlando Pride forward Amanda Allen made the starting lineup again for Canada in the 2023 Concacaf Women’s U-20 Championship in the Dominican Republic. In Canada’s final group stage match against the U.S., Allen converted a penalty kick for Canada’s first goal in what finished as a 5-2 loss for her side.
It was Allen’s second goal of the tournament, but she was injured in this match as well. Canada finishes second in the group, with the U.S. on top. On Friday, the U.S. will play Costa Rica and Canada will face Mexico in the semifinals.
U-20 USMNT Advances to World Cup Quarterfinals
Orlando City defender Michael Halliday came on as a substitute in the 71st minute for the U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team in its U-20 World Cup match against New Zealand. The U.S. shut out New Zealand 4-0 to advance to the quarterfinals in Argentina. That victory gives the U.S. its fourth-consecutive shutout in the tournament. Austin FC midfielder Owen Wolff, San Jose Earthquakes forward Cade Cowell, FC Dallas defender Justin Che, and Hajduk Split midfielder Rokas Pukstas all scored for the Americans. In the quarterfinals on Sunday, the U.S. will face the winner of tomorrow’s match between Gambia and Uruguay.
Interim Head Coach Anthony Hudson Leaves USMNT
The U.S. Soccer Federation announced that Anthony Hudson is leaving his role as the USMNT’s interim head coach to pursue a new opportunity. Hudson is reportedly set to take a head coaching role with a club in the Middle East. He was the head coach of the U.S. U-20 team in 2020 and had been an assistant under Gregg Berhalter for the USMN before being named interim head coach in January. Hudson will be replaced by B.J. Callaghan, who will be the interim head coach for the USMNT for the Concacaf Nations League and Gold Cup competitions this summer. Callaghan has been an assistant coach with the USMNT over the last four years and was previously an assistant coach with the Philadelphia Union.
USMNT Will Host Ghana and Germany for October Friendlies
The USMNT will play two international friendlies in October against Germany and Ghana. The U.S. will take on four-time World Cup Champion Germany on Oct. 14 in East Hartford, CT. The last time the USMNT played Germany was in 2015, with the Yanks winning 2-1. On Oct. 17, the USMNT will face Ghana in Nashville. The Black Stars will look to get their first win on American soil against the Stars and Stripes. Ghana eliminated the Americans in the World Cup in 2006 and 2010, but the U.S. defeated Ghana in the group stage at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. The last time these two sides met was in 2017, when the USMNT edged Ghana, 2-1.
- The latest MLS Power rankings were released. The Lions moved down one spot to 15th after their 1-1 draw against Atlanta United.
- The LA Galaxy parted ways with President Chris Klein. Head Coach and Sporting Director Greg Vanney will remain with the club. The Galaxy have missed the playoffs in four of the last six seasons.
- Former Netherlands forward Quincy Promes will be prosecuted for his involvement in drug trafficking. Promes is accused of allegedly smuggling 1,360 kilos of cocaine in 2020.
- Juventus is reportedly emerging as the leader in the race to acquire Christian Pulisic on a transfer from Chelsea. Pulisic has one-year remaining on his contract with the English Premier League side.
- Forbes.com’s James Nalton shared his insights on five potential USMNT players to watch during the U-20 World Cup .
- An arrest warrant has reportedly been issued in Brazil for LA Galaxy midfielder Douglas Costa for unpaid child support.
- Is it just me or did The Athletic forget to mention our beloved Lions’ U.S. Open Cup run last year?
That will do it for me today, Mane Landers. Enjoy your Wednesday and I’ll see you next time.
Lion Links: 5/30/23
Kyle Smith earns recognition, Orlando City B wins, U-20 USMNT will face New Zealand, and more.
Happy Tuesday, everyone. My sense of time is a little screwed up after spending a lot of the last week traveling, and I’m still trying to get myself recalibrated. As usual, there are plenty of things happening in the soccer world. But first, let’s all wish a happy 17th birthday to Orlando City B midfielder Alejandro Granados. He is currently with Spain in the European U-17 Championship and his team takes on France this afternoon in the semifinals.
Kyle Smith Earns Recognition
Kyle Smith was a key player in Orlando City’s match against Atlanta United over the weekend, and his performance has earned him a place on the latest MLS Team of the Matchday. Smith’s well-taken goal sees him slot in at right back, with the strike his first goal of the year and fourth in MLS. He also contributed four clearances, an interception, and a big tackle, all while passing with 93% accuracy. That performance earned him a grade of 7 from Marcus Mitchell, and it was nice to see his efforts recognized. Keep it up!
Orlando City B Victorious
Orlando City B showed grit and determination and picked up a tough win over New York Red Bulls II on Monday night. The Young Lions took an early lead after just five minutes when Jack Lynn’s header led to an own goal. The Red Bulls hit back with two goals of their own in the first half though, and took a 2-1 lead into halftime. OCB didn’t quit though, and Lynn got his goal in the 64th minute to level things. Just three minutes later, Shak Mohammed latched onto a shot that came off the post and dispatched it for his first goal of the year. That proved to be the difference as Orlando hung on for a 3-2 win.
U.S. U-20 Team Will Face New Zealand
The U-20 USMNT will face New Zealand in the round of 16 of the U-20 World Cup today at 1:30 p.m. The Americans won all three of their group matches and advanced at the top of their group. They take on a New Zealand side that placed third in Group A. New Zealand beat Guatemala in its opening game, and drew Uzbekistan in its second match before being hammered 5-0 by Argentina in the group stage finale. The U.S. previously faced New Zealand in the round of 16 back in 2017, with the Americans winning 6-0. If the U.S. can repeat that feat it will be the team’s fourth straight time advancing to the quarterfinals.
Mauricio Pochettino Joins Chelsea
Mauricio Pochettino has officially joined Chelsea as the team’s new head coach. This confirms what has been more or less known for a couple weeks at this point, and it seems the team was simply waiting until the season concluded to make the announcement official. Pochettino starts on July 1, and he will have a big job on his hands. The bloated squad needs to be trimmed down, several positions need to be addressed, and the club needs to right the horrific form that saw it finish 12th while only recording 11 wins during a terrible season.
Sheffield Wednesday Wins Dramatic Promotion
Sheffield Wednesday won promotion to the EFL Championship in dramatic fashion during Monday’s League One playoff final. The game looked destined for a penalty shootout as the game moved into the final minute of stoppage time during extra time with the score still level at 0-0. It wasn’t to be though, as Josh Windass put a diving header past Barnsley goalkeeper Harry Isted with just seconds left to play. The goal gave Sheffield the win and sent them up to the Championship, finishing a run through the playoffs that included coming back from a 4-0 deficit after the first leg of the semifinals.
- In case you missed it, Orlando Pride forward Amanda Allen scored for Canada in the Concacaf Women’s Under-20 Championship. Canada will take on the U.S. tonight at 6 p.m., although both nations have already qualified for the semifinals.
- Brenden Aaronson reportedly has a relegation clause in his contract, which makes it more likely that he will leave Leeds United in the summer after the team was relegated.
- Xavi believes that Lionel Messi still has the talent to help FC Barcelona be successful and has told the club’s president, Joan Laporta, that he wants him back on the team.
- Luciano Spalleti will not be in charge of Napoli next season after leading the team to its first Serie A title in 33 years.
- Here’s an early look at what the USMNT roster might look like for its upcoming Concacaf Nations League games.
That’s all I have for you today. Y’all stay safe out there.
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