Happy Hump Day. You don't have to be happy about it, actually, but it's here anyway. Most of us will only have to get up early twice more this week, so that's...something.
Before we get to your Lion Links for today, it's worth mentioning that Orlando City played a soccer game yesterday. The reserves took on NASL side Minnesota United at Sylvan Lake Park, and in the end it was the future (2018) MLS expansion team getting the best of the current one, 3-2.
The Lions opened the scoring early when Bryan Róchez scored 12 minutes into the game. Minnesota quickly answered with a Miguel Ibarra goal in the 19th minute. With 16 minutes to go before the break, Conor Donovan's header gave the Lions a 2-1 lead they carried into the half. Carlos Rivas also hit the crossbar on a free kick in 39th minute from 30 feet out.
In the second half, Orlando City subbed liberally, including sending out several academy players to face some of Minnesota's first line, including former Lion Jamie Watson, who scored an equalizer in the 75th minute and later drew a penalty. Pablo Campos converted the spot kick to put Minnesota up 3-2 for the final score.
Now we can get on with your Wednesday Lion Links! Enjoy.
Montreal Reaches CONCACAF Champions League Final
The Montreal Impact became the first Canadian team ever to reach the final of the CONCACAF Champions League last night, punching their ticket despite losing 4-2 at Alajuelense. The Impact entered the second leg in Costa Rica clinging to a tenuous 2-0 aggregate advantage. Going through was far from assured and Montreal did just barely enough to sneak through on away goals.
Jack McInerney broke the scoreless draw late in the first half to give the Impact a valuable away goal, but the hosts got two from Pablo Gabas to take a 2-1 lead and pull within 3-2 on aggregate. Andrés Romero's neat finish pushed Montreal's aggregate lead to 4-2, despite the Canadian side having largely parked the bus. Alajuelense answered on goals by Allen Guevara and Jonathan McDonald to pull level at 4-4 on aggregate, but the Costa Rican side ran out of time to find one more.
Montreal will face either Club América or Club Sport Herediano in the final.
Sean St. Ledger Gonna Play Play Play
Is Orlando City's center back dating pop star Taylor Swift? St. Ledger was questioned about his relationship with the diva on Irish television on Monday. Although the Republic of Ireland international didn't confirm a relationship exists, he also didn't deny it, and he talked about the possibility of Swift attending a Lions game.
"She's not been to a game, as of yet. I'm thinking that she might come to one of the New York ones. We'll see."
If you're wondering what prompted this conversation, it began with this tweet on New Year's Day:
If they are dating, St. Ledger better not break up with her, because you know they're never getting back together.
Shea Cracks the Power Rankings
Brek Shea comes in 19th in Bleacher Report's new rankings thanks to a spectacular save in the 1-0 loss to D.C. United on Friday and some stellar crossing and passing, setting up what should have been multiple goals if not for the woodwork and Bill Hamid. Team captain Kaká falls to fifth after a seemingly injury-riddled game.
Vote for Shea's Big Save
Speaking of Brek Shea's spectacular save in the 68th minute last Friday night, it's up for MLS Save of the Week. You should help Orlando City's left back win the award. To do so,
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That's it for today. And if a camel comes walking through your office asking what day it is, you have our permission to shoot it.