Good morning, Lions. I hope your morning is going better than the second half went last night in Washington. The only positive is that there's no hangover to accompany this loss on account of it coming on a Wednesday night, so at least we've got that going (unless you drank away the pain anyway).
May as well chug an extra mug of coffee and get the first day of LA prep started with a few Lion Links. Vamos Orlando.
Heath Thinks OCSC Brass Would Spring for Chicharito
Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl apparently spoke to Orlando City manager Adrian Heath recently, and Heath had something interesting to say regarding the recent rumors surrounding a move to Major League Soccer for current Real Madrid forward Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez.
One team that could really use a forward is Orlando City, whose coach Adrian Heath recently told me: "I think if we could get Chicharito, our ownership would do it."
Hernandez, who is unlikely to stay in Madrid after this season, is keen on joining another big European club following his exit from Real Madrid, according to Wahl. However, if no big European clubs are interested, the Mexican striker has not written off a move to the U.S.
While this certainly doesn't mean OCSC will end up making a run at Chicharito, it is interesting to hear from Heath. At only 26 years old, Hernandez would have much more time ahead of him coming to MLS than many of the aging stars who arrive from Europe.
TML Hits the Airwaves
Our very own Andrew Harrison was on the radio waves in Orlando on Wednesday morning, sitting down with 90.7 WMFE's Brendan Byrne to talk all things Orlando City. Among the topics discussed by Andrew in addition to last night's match against D.C. were the busy slate that the Lions are currently experiencing, as well as a look ahead to this weekend's match against the LA Galaxy at the Citrus Bowl. Give it a listen here.
Zelalem Cleared by FIFA to Play for U.S. U-20s
When Tab Ramos released his U.S. U-20 Men's National Team roster for the upcoming World Cup, he only filled 20 of the available 21 spots. That last spot was being held for 18-year-old Arsenal youngster Gedion Zelalem, who has now officially been cleared by FIFA to play for the United States.
Zelalem had previously been waiting for an exemption from FIFA in order to represent the U.S., but that was taken care of just in time for the May 15th roster deadline. Zelalem will now be able to join the team for training in New Zealand ahead of the tournament, which is set to start on May 30.
UEFA Champions League Final Match-Up Set
After Barcelona dispatched of Bayern Munich on Tuesday to secure a spot in the UEFA Champions League Final, it was time for Juventus to travel to Spain for its second leg semifinal match with Real Madrid to decide who would face Barca. After taking care of business in the first leg in Turin with a 2-1 win, the Old Lady was able to grind out a 1-1 draw at the Bernabéu on Wednesday to punch its ticket to Berlin with a 3-2 aggregate victory.
Cristiano Ronaldo opened up the scoring for Real Madrid with a penalty kick in the first half, but former Madrid man Alvaro Morata leveled things in the 57th minute with a strike past Iker Casillas, which turned out to be the difference in the tie. Madrid created many chances but failed to capitalize on the majority of them, which led to a great deal of frustration, particularly for Ronaldo.
Try to avoid the post-loss Cristiano pout today, Lions. We'll give it another go on Sunday.