Lion Links

Lion Links: 7/9/24

Lions garner recognition, Anna Moorhouse up for Save of the Week, U.S. Men’s Olympic roster announced, and more.

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Image courtesy of Orlando City SC / Mark Thor

Happy Tuesday, everyone! It was about as good a weekend as you could ask for, as two of Orlando’s three soccer teams won, and won big. Things won’t slow down this week though, as we’ve got international semifinals, Orlando City on the road, and the Young Lions taking on an in-state rival. With all that on our plate, let’s get into today’s links.

Lions Garner Recognition

A pair of Orlando City players have been rewarded for their efforts in the team’s 5-0 drubbing of D.C. United. Robin Jansson anchors the three-man back line of the MLS Team of the Matchday, while winger Ivan Angulo has a place on the bench. Jansson was spectacular, with a goal, a goal-line clearance, and 97.3% passing accuracy, along with other impressive defensive stats. Angulo scored a goal, drew the red card that took D.C. down to 10 men, and was a general menace all night when it came to stretching the visitor’s defense. In his player grades from the match, Andrew DeSalvo gave Jansson a grade of 9 out of 10 and the Man of the Match award, while Angulo wasn’t far behind with an 8 out of 10. Here’s hoping this kind of form continues.

Anna Moorhouse Up for Weekly Honors

Anna Moorhouse helped backstop the Orlando Pride to a 2-1 win over the Kansas City Current, and garnered a nomination for NWSL Save of the Week in the process. With the game tied in first-half stoppage time, Moorhouse denied an outside-of-the-foot attempt by Temwa Chawinga to ensure that the score remained level going into halftime. Moorhouse did just enough and made a great save to tip the ball around the post, keeping the league’s Golden Boot leader from adding to her tally. It was a well-deserved nomination and here’s hoping that there’s more to come!

U.S. Men’s Olympic Roster Announced

U.S. Soccer announced the 18-player men’s roster that will travel to Paris to compete in this summer’s Olympics. Orlando City’s Duncan McGuire will be a familiar face at striker, and there are plenty of other recognizable MLS names like Patrick Schulte, Caleb Wiley, and Jack McGlynn. Walker Zimmerman, Djordje Mihailovic, and Miles Robinson are the three overage selections, with the rest of the roster comprised of players 23 years old and younger. One player who won’t be on the plane is Real Salt Lake’s Diego Luna. The midfielder has five goals and 12 assists in 1,441 minutes of MLS play, and omitting your most in-form attacking midfielder is a baffling decision to say the least, regardless of the small roster sizes.

Previewing Continental Semifinals

Euro 2024 and Copa America 2024 will both begin their semifinal stages today, so let’s preview the matchups. Across the pond, Spain will play France this afternoon, in a match that features a team that has played some of the best soccer at the tournament in Spain, and a French team that has yet to score a goal from open play. Wednesday’s match will see the Netherlands take on England, and a controversial talking point has been the appointment of Felix Zwayer as the match official, despite him admitting to match-fixing in 2005 and having his integrity brought into question by Jude Bellingham back in 2021.

Returning stateside, tonight’s Copa America semifinal sees Argentina take on Canada in a rematch of the tournament’s opening game, which Argentina won 2-0. Lionel Messi will be fit and back in the side, but Canada will hope that its fast and physical style of play will limit his effectiveness. The other matchup pits Colombia against Uruguay. Colombia will try to maintain its free-scoring offense after hammering Panama 5-0, while Uruguay will likely try to disrupt those efforts by employing a physical, foul-heavy style of play.

Transfer Rumor Roundup

There are a number of transfer rumblings that we need to cover, both at home and abroad. First, Manchester United is said to be in advanced talks with Marseille over a loan deal for Mason Greenwood, which could eventually become a permanent transfer. The Red Devils are also reportedly interested in signing forward Brian Brobbey from Ajax this summer, but will likely face competition from Arsenal. Barcelona President Joan Laporta insists that his club possesses the necessary funds to sign highly rated Athletic Bilbao winger Nico Williams, despite his release clause standing at around $63 million. Finally, Tom Bogert has reported that Atlanta United has agreed to sell Caleb Wiley to Chelsea for $11 million, and that he will be loaned out to Strasbourg in France.

Free Kicks

  • Orlando City jumped up four spots to 15th in ESPN‘s MLS power rankings.
  • The Orlando Pride leapfrogged the Kansas City Current and sit in the top spot of the NWSL power rankings for both CBS Sports and ESPN.
  • Anna Moorhouse has linked up with her England teammates.
  • It appears that we’re finally getting concrete movement on the New England Revolution’s efforts at getting a soccer-specific stadium (paywall).

That’s all I have for you this morning. Vamos Orlando!

1 Comment

  1. Zontar

    July 9, 2024 at 9:12 am

    The proposed new stadium for the NE Revs is further along than I thought, but massive problems remain. To be fair, none of the problems are the fault of the Krafts and that absolutely amazes me. The area for the stadium is described as “blighted” and is currently the home to a defunct power plant. So that probably made the land cheap as hell to acquire or potentially acquire, which is exactly how the Krafts would do it. But the real problem is that the land is in a “designated port area” and the state must pass a law removing it from the port area. Once they do that, it should be good to go. And as best I can tell, while I have been hugely skeptical of the Krafts and their commitment to the Revs, it seems that they are not asking for public money or at least no notable amount. The problem is that for some reason the state House of Representatives and the state Senate don’t like each other even though the Democrats have a large majority in both and refuse to play nice with each other. So one year the Senate will pass a bill removing the land from the port area and the House won’t take it up and the next year it’s the exact opposite. So while there may be years worth of problems ahead before ground ever breaks, the Krafts seem to be doing the right thing here.

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