Greetings from the quaint little town of Middletown, New York; it's--not shockingly--much cooler up here than down in Central Florida (seriously guys, the weather's great). I'll be at Yankee Stadium on Sunday for Orlando City's second match-up of the season against New York City FC.
But for now it's Thursday and that means another edition of our Lion Links. Here's what you may have missed on Wednesday:
Orlando City Falls in Uninspiring Outing Against Chicago Fire
Orlando City is officially out of the running for the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup after dropping a stinker away to Chicago last night, with the match ending in a 3-1 loss. OCSC looked disinterested from the start, conceding the opening goal in the third minute and then allowing two goals in the final minutes of the game to spoil Cyle Larin's equalizer earlier in the second half. It was a forgettable way to exit the tournament, to say the least.
USMNT Falls To Jamaica In Gold Cup Semi-Finals
In a shocking result on Wednesday night, the USMNT lost to Jamaica, 2-1, in the semifinals of the Gold Cup. The U.S. fell behind after allowing two goals in the span of four minutes; but, Michael Bradley pulled the Yanks within one in the 48th minute. Though coming close to scoring several more times over the final 45 minutes, the Caribbean nation held on for the biggest win in its federation's history.
The USA will next play in the Gold Cup third place match in Philadelphia this Saturday.
Kaká Is Enjoying the Central Florida Life
In the second part of his two-part interview with MLSSoccer.com, Kaká discussed trying to be a normal person on and off the field. Although he tries to play the role of anti-celebrity with Orlando City, he's still considered one of the biggest star athletes in the world.
He also talked about his favorite theme park rides, and what might be in store for the future.
Go ahead and give it a read.
Taking In the American Soccer Experience
A soccer fan from Ireland recently came to the States to get a taste of the American soccer experience. He attended Orlando City's 2-0 loss to FC Dallas a few weeks ago and wrote about the evening. It's a good read from the lad and well worth a few minutes of your time.
Tim Howard Is Ready to Begin Defending America Again
Following a short sabbatical after the 2014 World Cup, Everton FC goalkeeper Tim Howard says he is ready to return to action for the USMNT later this year. The 36-year-old told Everton's website that he misses representing his country.
"That is the plan [to return soon]. I spoke to coach Klinsmann and we have had open lines of communication as recently as last week. We spoke but obviously they are very busy with the Gold Cup at the moment.
"We will speak again after that tournament finishes and I will make myself available for selection. We will see where we go from there.
"I have missed it. It was a tough decision to make. It has been a good break, but all it has done is really fueled my fire. I have missed the boys, the competition and playing in front of the U.S. fans."
Following this month's Gold Cup, the USMNT will play a friendly against Peru on September 4--a potential date for Howard's return.
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With that, I shall leave you with this:
*Note: We're not sure where this originated but we found it in a Facebook post by Anthony DiFazio on the Orlando City SC Discussion Group page.