It's Saturday morning again, Mane Landers, and you know what that means. It's another edition of match day Lion Links! Both the Pride and the Lions may be without some familiar faces, but hopefully they can sweep the weekend again. We've got a bunch of links in store for you today, on all manner of world soccer, so we'll jump right into it.
Orlando City Pub Coming to Church Street
Some investigative journalism has uncovered plans for the Lion’s Pride in downtown Orlando. The pub will be designed with Orlando soccer in mind and will be only a half mile from the team’s stadium set to open in 2017, taking the spot previously occupied by Phineas Phogg’s. The Lions are joining clubs like Sporting Kansas City, who recently opened No Other Pub in KC, with their own pub. It’ll be great for pub crawls before or after the Pride or Lions matches.
Awards All Around
Last weekend’s match-up with the Montreal Impact was good to the Lions. They got their first win in forever and also got some personal accolades out of it. Joe Bendik was awarded the Save of the Week for his swatting stop against Dominic Oduro and the follow-up from Johan Venegas. This is Bendik’s third Save of the Week title this season and his second in the last three weeks.
Cyle Larin also won Goal of the Week for his game winner against the Impact. It came after some great play between Kaká and Julio Baptista, before the skipper found Larin streaking to the back post. This is Larin's second Goal of the Week award, the first being his top-of-the-box blast against Chicago in Week 2.
And, of course, Ashlyn Harris won yet again. Her save on this rocket of a shot earned her a fourth Save of the Week award this season. If you're keeping track, that's Harris: 4, Rest of the NWSL: 2. Kind of impressive.
Orlando City and New York City Front Offices Create Issues in Sophomore Seasons
While the 2015 MLS expansion class has been presented as a dichotomy, ESPN FC's Graham Parker presents an interesting take on how they may be more alike than the media presents. The actions of both upper managements, with the coaching staff or directors, have created issues for the clubs. Be it Armando Carneiro in Orlando or Patrick Vieira in New York, the Lions and NYCFC have taken some step backward in establishing their respective identities and brands. With the clubs facing off tomorrow, it's another chance to get a look at how they've progressed so far under their altered regimes.
The Special One takes over United
The coaching carousel in Europe is in full swing and the continent's best coaches seem to be flocking to the Premiership. Jose Mourinho will be moving north to Manchester to take the reins at United after a less-than-spectacular season with Chelsea. He joins Pep Guardiola, who is looking to revamp rivals Manchester City, in what is sure to make the Manchester derby must-see television. With personalities like Mourinho, Guardiola, Jurgen Klopp, and Antonio Conte roaming the sidelines in the fall, it's just another reason to get up early and catch the Premier League matches. As a Liverpool fan, though, I can only hope Mourinho takes United to the levels of this year's Chelsea. [Editor's note: That's strike one, Logan! #GGMU]
Most Lucrative Match in the World
A lot of money will be on the line in today's Championship Playoff Final between Sheffield Wednesday and Hull City. The payout for the winner is the highest in world soccer for a single game, netting the winner a minimum of around $300 million in Premier League funds, and that's if they're relegated the following season. For reference, the winner of this year's UEFA Champions League will have won $112 million for the whole tournament.
That's all for today's Lion Links. Make sure to check back in for our Pride, OCB, and USMNT coverage later today and our take on tomorrow's match-up against NYCFC.