Happy hump day, Lions. You're, like, halfway to the weekend, so that's something to celebrate.
Also worthy of celebration: Happy birthday to our fearless captain, Ricardo Kaká, who turns 33 today. Still young enough to boss the midfield for quite some time.
Wednesday brings us birthday cake and a pair of Champions League games in the afternoon, so be sure to stream one or both of those games at work to pass the time. Until then, here are some Lion Links to keep you occupied as we count down the days until Sunday, when OCSC hosts Toronto at the Citrus Bowl.
Orlando City's Donovan Equalizes for U.S. U-20s
Conor Donovan, whom Orlando City drafted with the 22nd overall pick in this year's Major League Soccer SuperDraft, provided some late magic for the U.S. U-20 Men's National Team on Tuesday when he put home an 84th minute equalizer to earn a 2-2 draw with Qatar. The 19-year-old defender has yet to make an appearance for the Lions this season, but he proved to be vital for his country's youth side as they continue to prepare for the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup this summer. The game was played in Austria, which is where the U-20 team will remain until their next match against Croatia on Saturday.
Heath Says No Changes in Store for OCSC Following Loss
Orlando City Head Coach Adrian Heath has never seen his Lions suffer the type of defeat they did on Saturday night, but the manager insists his team is still not far from where it wants to be in its first season in Major League Soccer. Per MLSsoccer.com, no fundamental changes are in store for this week's match on Sunday evening, which makes sense since OCSC has played some very good soccer at times this year and played the majority of Saturday's match with 10 men.
Ramos Will Not Face Further Discipline for Red Card in Columbus
Paul Tenorio of the Orlando Sentinel reports that OCSC defender Rafael Ramos, who was sent off 34 minutes into Saturday night's loss away to Columbus Crew SC, will not face further discipline for his studs-up challenge on Waylon Francis. Ramos will sit out this weekend's home match against Toronto FC, but that's as far as his punishment will go.
Ramos will not face further punishment from the MLS Disciplinary Committee, according to a source with direct knowledge of the situation. That means that Ramos will be available for selection in Orlando's next MLS game against the New England Revolution on May 8.
Simon Borg looked at Ramos' red card further on the official MLS web site as part of his Instant Replay piece this week, and it comes as no surprise that he agreed with the red card called against the young right back. Because he may or may not have chugged several Red Bulls prior to filming the segment (judging by the volume of his voice, at least), Borg also took a look at some missed calls on Columbus' Kei Kamara, who appeared to be slightly offside on the Crew's first and third goals, and may have gotten away with a foul before their second score. Orlando City vs. Columbus comes up around the 7:30 mark in the video.
NYCFC's Tony Taylor Ruled Out for Remainder of the Season
New York City FC striker Tony Taylor will miss the rest of the season after tearing his ACL in Sunday's loss to Portland. Taylor was making his first start of the season against the Timbers, and his injury makes matters worse for NYC, which has already seen fellow striker David Villa get dinged up along with three defenders. Here's hoping for as swift of a recovery as possible for Taylor.
Bayern Munich Spares No Lives in Champions League Massacre of Porto
After suffering a surprising 3-1 defeat at Porto in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals last week, Bayern Munich exacted revenge on Tuesday in gruesome fashion, opening an industrial sized can of whoop ass on their Portuguese opponents at the Allianz Arena in a 6-1 rout. It took Bayern only 27 minutes to make up for their two-goal deficit in the aggregate score, and the Bundesliga leaders didn't stop throwing punches until Porto lay lifeless on the pitch.
Barcelona was not quite as ruthless against Paris Saint-Germain at the Camp Nou, but the Spanish giants made easy work of their French counterparts in a 2-0 win to seal a 5-1 victory on aggregate. Both Bayern and Barca were pretty easy picks to reach the semifinals of the competition from the outset, and they will find out who will join them in the last four this afternoon when Atlético Madrid faces Real Madrid for the eighth time this season and Juventus does battle with Monaco.