This is getting ridiculous.
The Lions grabbed their fifth-straight victory with a 2-1 win over New York City FC on Friday, keeping their playoff hopes alive and giving Orlando fans everywhere an excuse to break out the "little brother" chants whenever they face New York again.
Orlando City doesn't control its own destiny as it chases a spot in the MLS Cup playoffs, but the Lions have done everything in their power to make the postseason a reality. Let's not worry about that yet though, because we've got some Saturday morning Lion Links to get to!
Recapping the Win Against NYCFC
The Lions just can't stop winning these days, getting it done with a Cyle Larin header in the 62nd minute and a second goal eight minutes later that electrified the 43,179 fans at the Citrus Bowl. Orlando finds itself one point behind Montreal in the quest for the Eastern Conference playoffs, with the season finale in Chester next weekend.
We've got everything you missed from another exciting night at the Citrus Bowl...
- Scott Crumbly's game recap
- Michael Citro's player grades for all the Lions who saw action and Man of the Match selection
- Our friends at Hudson River Blue gave the NYCFC view of the game
Lions Honor Inaugural Alumni Class During Halftime Ceremony
We talk about players who are #ForeverALion a lot around here (still have that jersey ready for you, Dom), but Orlando City made it official on Friday, inducting over 40 players into their inaugural class.
From the club's official press release:
There is a long line of players that make up the historical backbone of Orlando City SC’s success. To honor their contributions, the Lions are launching the Orlando City Alumni Association to conclude the regularly-scheduled Major League Soccer (MLS) season with over 40 former Lions, who played between 1985 and 2014.
The players from Orlando City, the Orlando Lions, and the Orlando Sundogs honored at halftime were: Alex Acosta, Yordany Alvarez, Greg Brick, Justin Bryant, Keith Buckley, Paul Butler, Robin Chan, Lou Cioffi, Patrick Dicks, Mark Dillon, Aziz Essafi, Steve Freeman, Ian Fuller, Michael Garvanian, Don Gatanis, Ian Gill, Fiji Haig, John Higgins, Kenny Higgins, Paul Holmes, Lou Karbiener, Oyvind Klausen, Ajit Korgaokar, Mark Lamb, Nick "Lane-O" Lane, Sheldon Lee, Erik Leibin, John Lewis, Declan Link, Marcos Machado, David Mackey, Kirk Mackey, James O'Connor, Chris Payne, Anthony Pulis, Andrew Restrepo, Jason Riegler, Mark Stell, Erik Ustruck, Rob Valentino and Tom Wurdack.
If you see any of these legends around Orlando this weekend, be sure to tip your cap.
Germany Allegedly Bought the 2006 World Cup
While I would argue that every country to host soccer's biggest tournament technically "bought the World Cup," these allegations appear to be a little more serious.
New information suggests the officials in charge of Germany's 2006 World Cup bid set up a slush fund to purchase the votes of FIFA members. The best part is, FIFA was apparently aware of this whole thing -- information that really shouldn't be surprising if you know anything about international soccer's governing body.
This is definitely something to keep your eye on, because it's not like the German football federation has a squeaky clean record. Franz Beckenbauer led that German bid committee, and the former New York Cosmos star has already faced disciplinary action for not complying with a FIFA investigation.
Does MLS Have a Sponsorship Problem?
Don't tell the Red Bulls.
A recent article from fellow SB Nation site Black and Red United claims that MLS could have a sponsorship issue looming. It all centers around the league's recent deal with definitely-not-a-gambling-site Draft Kings, which is at the center of numerous allegations of insider trading and corruption.
That sponsorship by itself might just be something at which we rolled our eyes and then just moved on. However, MLS has other sponsors as well: Three of the league's teams are sponsored by multi-level marketing companies. Multi-level marketing is a business model where a company's sales force is almost entirely independent contractors, and they are paid for their sales as well as for recruiting new salespeople to the company. If you've been on Facebook in the past couple of years, you almost definitely have a friend who has tried to recruit you into one of these companies.
In other words, several of the league's biggest sponsors follow a problematic business model that could lead to legal and economic issues down the road. None of these potential lawsuits would implicate the league directly, but they could cause them to lose any of these sponsors and the valuable financial resources that come with them.
Seriously, we're talking about a lot of money.
Roster Changes for the USWMNT Ahead of Orlando Friendly
With the celebration phase of the USWNT's post-World Cup friendlies starting to wear off, Jill Ellis is already starting to think about building the team she will take to Brazil next summer.
Ellis has named seven new players to the squad that will take on Brazil this month at the Citrus Bowl. The newbies include Jaelene Hinkle, Gina Lewandowski, Emily Sonnett, Samantha Mewis, Christine Nairn, Lindsey Horan, and Stephanie McCaffrey. Crystal Dunn will also be on the roster, though she was one of the last players cut from the World Cup team last summer.
With a couple players expected to hang up their cleats between now and the Olympics, the journey to the big time could begin for several of these young women. And it looks like it's going to start in Orlando.
As Long as They Get Alex Morgan...
Hearing the Orlando #NWSL expansion team could be announced on Tuesday. As always with pending announcements, that could change.— Jeff Kassouf (@JeffKassouf) October 16, 2015
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That's it for today, Mane Landers, let's enjoy the weeken and pull for New England Revolution tonight.