Lion Links

Lion Links: 8/2/18



What’s going on, Mane Landers? I hope you all are enjoying your Thursday as the month of August is still just beginning. We’ve got plenty of news today as the Lions continue to prepare for the New England Revolution this Saturday. Let’s get straight into the links for today.

Orlando City to Host 2019 MLS All-Star Game

ProSoccerUSA reported yesterday — on the eve of the 2018 MLS All-Star Game — that Orlando City will host the 2019 MLS All-Star Game. If true, the event will bring attention from media, players, and fans for five days next summer, with different events going on leading up to the All-Star Game itself. Orlando City Stadium has already hosted significant events such as the SheBelieves Cup, the NWSL final, and a USMNT World Cup qualifier. Once again, all eyes will be on central Florida in 2019 for the mid-season event. MLS has yet to announce the news officially, so the opponent and date haven’t been set.

Juventus Wins Penalty Shootout After 1-1 MLS All-Star Game

The MLS All-Star Game was a low-scoring affair as Juventus and the MLS All-Stars were tied at one apiece through 90 minutes. Juventus won on penalties, 5-3 as the Italian superpower did not miss a penalty. Orlando City’s lone All-Star, Yoshimar Yotún, subbed on in the 63rd minute for Alphonso Davies and made an impact. Playing left back, he made a tackle to break up a Juventus attack and ran 70 yards before finding Diego Valeri in the box. The Portland star’s shot was blocked, but it was an excellent play. Yoshi nearly scored on a free kick in the 90th minute, hitting it foot or two too high. Yotún did pick up one of the three penalty shootout goals for the All-Stars as he represented the Lions well.

Atlanta United’s Josef Martinez won the match’s MVP award as he picked up the lone goal in regulation for the All-Stars.

Cam Lindley Earns Recognition After Homegrown Game

Cam Lindley got his chance to showcase his skills at the MLS Homegrown Game on Tuesday night and people noticed. Lindley hasn’t appeared in an MLS match for Orlando City since the March 31 victory over New York Red Bulls, so getting the call-up to the MLS Homegrown Game was an important chance for him to get a run out. Atlanta United’s academy director and coach of the match, Tony Annan, had this to say about Lindley’s performance.

“Cam was brilliant. I thought he was very good,” Annan said. “I thought his decision-making was excellent. He’s technically good. He was in the right place, he takes up great starting positions. He played as an 8 in the first half and was very effective and then we dropped him in as a 6… equally as effective. I mean, the kid’s a good soccer player. He’s an intelligent soccer player, which is what we want. We want players that are intelligent and can make decisions and really take over a game. I thought he controlled the tempo of the midfield in both positions he was in.”

As the 21-year-old midfielder continues to develop, it will hopefully lead to more playing time with Orlando City in the future.

Daniel Byrd Eager to Help Orlando City Succeed

Orlando City Assistant Coach Daniel Byrd has plenty of experience with James O’Connor. Byrd and O’Connor go back to when Byrd was an Orlando City youth coach while O’Connor was a player. When O’Connor headed to Louisville City FC in 2014, Byrd followed to be his assistant coach. Byrd was the subject of a nice write-up by Jordan Culver, and said he’s enjoying being back in the Sunshine State.

“When I come down to Orlando, I’m very happy. I like the energy here, I love the sunshine. I love the state. I love the water, the beach,” he said. “I’m into fishing and diving. I have friends down here that are very connected to the land. I’ve got some friends that do some farming down here. I love this area.”

As Orlando City tries to make its final push of the season, Byrd and O’Connor have some work to do to try and get the club that first crack at the postseason.

USWNT Faces Brazil to Cap Off Tournament of Nations

The USWNT will finish up the Tournament of Nations tonight against Brazil. After a 4-2 victory over Japan and a 1-1 draw against Australia, the U.S. will look to cap off the tournament on a high note ahead of World Cup qualifying. The U.S. has a chance to clinch the title and dethrone the Matildas, who won last year. As of now, the U.S. holds the tiebreaker with goals scored as both nations are tied on points and goal difference. Following the ToN, the U.S. will have two friendlies against Chile and enter World Cup qualifying shortly after. Orlando Pride’s Alex Morgan, Marta, and Monica will likely feature in the match.

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