Good morning, Mane Landers, it's my first time doing your Lion Links, so please be gentle. Let's get right to it:
High Ratings for OC v NYCFC
Orlando City's first MLS game Sunday on ESPN2 brought in 539,000 viewers. This number more than doubles the 240,000 viewers that ESPN MLS match coverage averaged over the course of last season. Over half a million people tuning in to watch the Lions? Now that's a number to get pumped about! And while the play on the field Sunday may not have been the most exciting MLS has to offer, the atmosphere created by 62,000+ fans in the Citrus Bowl will surely have made an impact on TV viewers.
Will History Repeat Itself?
Pre-season scores are usually tossed aside without a second thought, but perhaps Sunday's second 1-1 result against NYCFC in as many weeks proves otherwise. The Dynamo played well against our beloved Lions when they met in the Carolina Challenge Cup just a few weeks back.
Whether or not you choose to put any stock into that 3-0 Houston win, there is no denying that the men in orange got the best of us on the day. Fluid attacking play, led by Dynamo stars Boniek Garcia, DaMarcus Beasley, and Luis Garrido, proved too much for the MLS newcomers to handle.
In MLS Week 1, Kofi Sarkodie and Giles Barnes connected to fire the Dynamo past a highly touted Columbus Crew SC side. The Lions no doubt will need a strong performance if they're looking to take a point away from Houston. At least they won't need to worry about Collin getting sent off again, am I right?
Yankee Doodle Diskerud
Remember the man with beautiful hair that scored that first fateful goal on Sunday? Well, Mikkel "Mix" Diskerud had actually been connected to the Empire State long before his move to NYCFC in January. The Norwegian-American collected Yankees caps while growing up abroad. The playmaker claims to have collected 70 hats with the Yankees logo. Just another connection to a hated New York franchise, I suppose...
USWNT Beats France
The U.S. women beat France 2-0 yesterday to win the Algarve Cup for the 10th time. After a 0-0 draw with Iceland in the last group stage match on Monday, the USWNT was set to challenge France for the championship. A first international goal for Julie Johnston opened the scoring in the seventh minute of play. Johnston headed home from a Lauren Holiday free kick.
Later on in the first half, Christen Press dribbled the ball all the way from mid-field and through the French defense to score a spectacular solo goall and put the women up 2-0. Goalkeeper Hope Solo then solidified the win by denying France's Amandine Henry from the spot just 10 minutes from time.
The next game for the USWNT will be in St. Louis against New Zealand on April 4.
That's it for today. Look for continuing coverage of the upcoming match against the Houston Dynamo later today.