Lion Links

Lion Links: 6/22/15



Canada, right?

Our neighbors to the North continued their dominance over Orlando City on Saturday, with a 2-0 Montreal Impact victory over the Lions. The loss drops Orlando’s record against Canadian teams to a paltry 0-3-1 this season and puts an end to the club’s six-game unbeaten streak (in all competitions).

At least we’ve got still Sydney Leroux, Canadian-born USWNT star and wife of Orlando City legend Dom Dwyer. Remember, the U.S. takes on Colombia tonight in the Round of 16 of the Women’s World Cup (look for our How to Watch / Open Thread post to drop at 6 p.m.).

So let's get pumped with your Monday morning Lion Links!

Recapping the loss to Montreal

Be sure to check out The Mane Land's full, wall-to-wall coverage of the loss, featuring….

Andrea Pirlo to be Introduced by NYCFC this Week

Italian legend Andrea Pirlo looks to become the latest European export to join MLS when he is introduced by NYCFC later this week, according to reports.

There has yet to be an official announcement from the club or the player himself, but reports have been swirling for weeks and Pirlo attended a Yankees game earlier this week with his children.

Perhaps best known for his role on the Azzuri team that captured a World Cup title in 2006, Pirlo is yet another aging international superstar to make the leap to MLS this season. He will join Kaká, David Villa, Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard, who all previously announced similar moves across the pond.

Meanwhile, New York City FC continues their proud tradition of throwing money at legends on the wrong side of 30, instead of, you know, actually building a competitive team.

Geoff Cameron Could Miss Next Month's Gold Cup

Does Geoff Cameron hate America?

Probably not, but the USMNT defender could miss next month's CONCACAF Gold Cup at the request of his club, EPL side Stoke City.

Cameron started three of the United States' four games at the 2014 World Cup, but has been left off the roster for most of the national team's friendlies since then. Then, on Sunday, an explanation:

Before you start throwing things, consider the fact that Cameron is one of the most established American exports currently playing in Europe. He's already made 99 appearances for Stoke, and it's actually kind of exciting that an EPL team is taking such an active interest in the health of an American player.

But Cameron would still be a big loss for the Americans, who would likely turn to Omar Gonzalez and Matt Besler to lead the USMNT backline in his absence. It would also open the door for John Brooks and Ventura Alvarado to gain more playing time on a big international stage.

Come On, Man: Former Colorado Striker Takes Post-Game Selfie with Messi

Okay, so there's a lot of stuff going on here.

After Jamaica's Copa America-ending loss to Argentina, Reggae Boyz striker Deshorn Brown decided to forgo the traditional game-ending jersey swap for something a little more…modern.

After the final whistle, Brown hustled over to the bench and grabbed his cell phone before catching a bewildered Messi on the field and asking for a selfie. Ever the professional, Messi obliged, though the confusion on his face was immortalized in the photo.

This sort of thing has happened before. The 1992 "Dream Team" was famously met with opponents asking for photos during their run through the Olympic basketball tournament. But those moments usually occurred after blowouts.

Argentina only beat the Jamaicans 1-0 and Brown isn't exactly a rookie. He spent the last two season with Colorado before being sold to Norwegian club Valerenga this year.

At the end of the day, I guess this is pretty much the same as a (really personal) jersey swap and Messi took the whole thing in good humor. Still though, act like you've been there before Deshorn!

Veljiko Paunovic Leads Serbia to U-20 World Cup Crown

While the United States may have bowed out of the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup in the Round of 16, the tournament concluded this weekend with Serbia defeating Brazil 2-1 to claim the title.

The team that knocked out the United States on penalties continued their run with victories over Mali and Brazil to claim their first U-20 championship, beating out 23 other teams in a highly competitive tournament in New Zealand.

At the helm for Serbia was Veljiko Paunovic, who ended a lengthy playing career (including stints with Spanish giants Atletico Madrid) with the Philadelphia Union. Paunovic has become a rising star in the coaching ranks, assuming command of a Serbian U-20 squad that has restored a measure of hope to a Serbia FA that many feared had lost its way.

But after missing out on Euro 2012 and the 2014 FIFA World Cup, the victory for the Serbs in New Zealand has brought some optimism back to the country. And Paunovic may be well on his way to becoming a star in his native land.

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That's it for Lion Links. It's a bad day to be Colombian.


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