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Lion Links: 9/9/15

Meet Orlando City players today at Publix, Cerén injury unknown to Lions front office, Tally makes MLS Team of the Week, columnist questions Kaká's loyalty, and USMNT gets waxed.

Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

Who else saw Willian knifing through the USMNT midfield and defense in their dreams last night?

Hopefully it wasn't just me.

We're a day closer to match day as Sporting Kansas City visits Orlando on Sunday, though.

Meet an Orlando City Player

If you have any grocery shopping to do today, hit a local Publix. Even if you just want to meet an Orlando City player today, hit a local Publix.

Four Orlando City players -- Luke Boden, Harrison Heath, Tyler Turner and Lewis Neal -- will be making appearances at four different Publix locations in the Orlando area.

No word on what the players will be doing at each location, but I personally would love to see Luke Boden bagging my groceries, or Lewis Neal walk a 90-year-old lady to her car and load the bags in. It will be a fun opportunity to see players out of their element in an atmosphere we so rarely see professional athletes in.

City Clueless on Cerén Diagnosis

Needless to say, fans weren't thrilled to see Darwin Cerén go down with a knee injury and be carried off the field last Friday in El Salvador's World Cup qualifying match.

Matters have progressively gotten worse, as it seems Orlando City is being left in the dark in regards to what is wrong with Cerén's knee.

"We are still uncertain as to Darwin’s status," (Orlando City coach Adrian) Heath said. "We have called several times but have not been able to get any clear information as yet. At this stage he wants to remain with his [international] teammates for their second game, so we probably won’t find out the full ramifications of his injury until we get him back and our doctors can look at him."

This is the very definition of something that is not awesome. Cerén has been one of the best and most consistent players for Orlando City this season, and has a terrific personal story to boot. The playoffs are appearing less and less likely each day, and if Cerén is out for any period of time, City fans can essentially scrap any hopes.

Tally on MLS Team of the Week

Orlando City has an innate proclivity at making average teams look good and good teams look great. As was such this past weekend, when Orlando City fell 3-0 to New England in a match that resulted in four Revs players making the MLS Team of the Week.

But hey, City fans can take solace in the fact that keeper Tally Hall made the team as well. Hall turned in a phenomenal performance and was the only thing that kept the match from being a six or seven-goal blowout.

Bloviating Columnist Thinks Kaká is Disloyal to Orlando City

In today's laugh of the day, an Orlando Sentinel reporter who, you know, doesn't cover soccer, decided to write about soccer and question Orlando City's Kaká and his loyalty to the club.

The best columnists in the country all have one common thread between them: they report for their columns. There was no reporting in this column from Schmitz. It has all the same merit as a man sitting in his mom's basement in his underwear drumming up controversial thoughts that would get page views, rather than hitting the pavement and doing any real reporting to help provide a column about Kaká and his busy schedule that people who truly know the game would appreciate.

Does Kaká have a busy schedule? Absolutely. He's a bona fide superstar. They all do. Does he miss team events and games for PR events or international games? Absolutely. Many superstars also do that. In effect, Kaká is not being disloyal to Orlando City in doing so, but I would argue he is actually being more loyal. He misses events with the team to raise awareness for MLS and build that brand, which in return boosts Orlando City's brand.

When it comes to Schmitz's argument about Kaká missing games for international duty, he fails to raise the question to any other Lions players. He didn't question Cyle Larin's loyalty? Or Darwin Cerén's, who got injured and may miss significant time? He didn't question Michael Bradley, or Jermaine Jones, who left their MLS clubs to get beat up by Brazil.

The fact is, Schmitz is a basketball reporter, and basketball players don't have to miss regular season games to represent their country. All world basketball events are in the NBA off-season. This is not the case with soccer. Soccer players often are left with a choice of club or country -- especially in MLS where there are not recognized international breaks -- and often times they choose to represent their country. The fact that Kaká is doing so in what may be his last chance does not warrant such a column by a man who does not understand the inner workings of the game.

Brazil Takes the USMNT to the Woodshed

The U.S. Men's National Team took to the field at Gillette Stadium on Tuesday night and looked very much like Orlando City did a few days earlier playing on the same field. Brazil, despite bringing Neymar off the bench and not playing Kaká, the Seleção made it look easy in a 4-1 romp.

Jürgen Klinsmann rolled out a 4-2-3-1 with a center back pairing that had not played together previously and Alejandro Bedoya in the central midfield, and the U.S. was overrun from the start. Willian ran through the midfield like a hot knife through butter to set up Hulk's opening goal, before Neymar finished a penalty past Brad Guzan after entering at half time. The Brazilians were just having a kick around at that point, and Rafinha and Neymar were seemingly toying with U.S. defenders before scoring goals three and four.

Danny Williams salvaged a little pride with a right-footed rip into the top of goal just before the final whistle, but it was a bad night from start to finish. Time to boycott Gillette Stadium for good.

Have a great Wednesday, Lions.