Happy June everybody!
The kids are out the school, the weather is warming up and the MLS season is in full swing. Oh, and if you haven’t heard, Pedro Ribeiro is back.
The Lions’ striker returned from injury to deliver a stunning 89th minute strike to salvage a point for Orlando City in a 2-2 draw with Columbus Crew SC. If that wasn’t enough to make your MLS weekend, there was plenty of soccer to go around.
Let's recap the madness with your Monday morning Lion Links.
Recapping the Draw Against Columbus
After managing to take two points from their first five home games, Orlando City has snagged four points in their last two. On Saturday, facing a Columbus squad that whipped them 3-0 in their last meeting, the Lions were able to rally and earn the draw.
As always, The Mane Land's got you covered with…
A recap of the draw with Crew SC
A photo gallery from Nick Levya with a ton of snapshots from Saturday
Five Takeaways from Andrew Marcinko
Did you miss the match? Here are the highlights.
Orlando City Will Privately Fund and Expand New Stadium
Friday was an exciting day for Orlando City as the club announced plans to fully fund and expand their new downtown stadium.
The announcement comes after initial funds pledged by both the City of Orlando and Orange Country failed to come through, leading some to fear that Lions wouldn't be able to move into their new digs as early as planned. Even with the announcement, it looks like Orlando will begin the 2016 season in the Citrus Bowl before moving downtown midway through the year.
The club also announced the stadium will be much bigger than initially planned, with officials looking at a capacity somewhere between 25,000 and 28,000 people. This would give the Lions one of the largest soccer-specific stadiums in MLS.
Orlando City U-23 Squad Falls to 0-3
It was another tough weekend for the U-23 Lions, who fell to Palm Beach Suns FC 2-0 on Saturday at West Boca Community High School. It's been a brutal open to the season for Orlando City's U-23 squad, which is 0-3 on the season and has been outscored 7-2. Orlando City is last in the seven-team Southeast Division in the PDL's Souther Conference, but has played at least one fewer game than five of the teams higher in the standings.
The young Lions will be back home for their next two matches, beginning Thursday against Floridians FC, the team that handed Orlando City its opening day loss, 2-1 on May 16. The teams will play at 7:30 p.m. at Seminole Soccer Complex.
Shea Makes USMNT Roster for June Friendlies
Jurgen Klinsmann released the 22-man roster for a pair of USMNT friendlies this month, and Orlando City’s Brek Shea made the cut.
Shea will be on the roster when the U.S. takes on the Netherlands on Thursday in Amsterdam and next week when the USMNT visits Cologne to play World Cup champion Germany. The games will serve as preparation for the CONCACAF Gold Cup, which takes places beginning at the end of the month.
National team duty means Shea will miss the Lion’s match on Saturday against the Chicago Fire, but he could theoretically play in next Sunday’s match against D.C. United. Shea was previously called up earlier in the season for a USMNT trip through Europe.
USWNT Draws South Korea 0-0 in Final Sendoff Series Game
With the Women's World Cup set to kick off in Canada this week, the USWNT got one final tune-up game before heading north of the border, drawing 0-0 with South Korea.
The game was a mixed bag, as a capacity crowd of over 26,000 showed up to watch Abby Wambach and friends control the game against the South Koreans, but fail to find the back of the net. They were lucky to escape with the draw, as South Korea nearly found a winner in the game's final minutes.
— U.S. Soccer WNT (@ussoccer_wnt) May 30, 2015
The USWNT will kick off World Cup play on Monday, June 8 in Winnipeg against Australia.
* * *
That's it for Lion Links today. You're doing great!