Welcome back to the Friday edition of Lion Links. Yes, it seems to be crunch time for our beloved Lions, but that isn't the only thing going on in the soccer world. So, here we go!
Alexi Lalas on OCSC's First Season in MLS
In this article from the Orlando Sentinel's Paul Tenorio, Alexi Lalas shares his take on Orlando City's first season in Major League Soccer. So what does the formerly long, curly-haired, goatee-sporting USMNT and MLS player think? Well, we're an expansion team, and he doesn't think we'll make the playoffs. But, he does think we're pretty special nonetheless. Anyone else miss the hair and the goatee?
Will MLS Ever Join the Rest of the World?
The Mane Land's own Sean Rollins breaks down MLS needing to join the rest of the world regarding scheduling around international play. The outcry from the fans and the media are not enough to persuade the league to change their policies regarding scheduling. They are trying to build a league, so their reasons are not entirely unwarranted, but it doesn't mean it can't happen. Take a read to find out how.
Toronto FC Has No Problem Asking
Following up on the last link, it seems that our next opponent, Toronto FC, has no problem asking the USMNT not to take its stars. So they will deny the USMNT two players in the friendlies against Peru and Brazil. While we are sending Kaká to the Brazilian National Team for those same matches. Hmmm...
Seems a few familiar faces will be back with the USMNT when they head into the friendlies against Peru and Brazil (against our own captain, Kaká). Tim Howard returns to man the net. Something that makes most happy (not that Brad Guzan hasn't been outstanding, and will remain the starter for now). It seems that DaMarcus Beasley will also be donning the Red, White & Blue again. Many won't be as excited about that addition, though it seems to work for Jurgen Klinsmann.
Power to the People
Chicago Fire supporters are a bit hot under the collar. It seems that they are not happy with the direction their club has taken under Andrew Hauptman, and they are taking to the streets to do something about it. While I appreciate and support their passion, it makes me glad for Orlando City's ownership and management. Worst thing we're complaining about: potentially not making the playoffs in our first year. Talk about first world problems.
Tim Ream to Fulham FC
Former MLS and USMNT player Tim Ream has signed with Fulham FC from Bolton Wanderers. Tim was a former Chicago Fire and New York Red Bulls player that made the transition to EPL. He was also a USMNT player with 13 caps. I'd say good luck to Tim (and I kind of do...), but I'm a Liverpool supporter, so I won't go that far.
Finally, it might be tight timing, but I'd be remiss if I didn't remind you to check out this week's Pride Pub to get ready for the match against Toronto FC this weekend.
Go City! Beat Toronto FC!