Happy Valentine's Day, everybody! Perhaps I should say Happy Black Sunday for those fighting against the evil greeting card industry (fight on, brothers and sisters)!
Now that we have that out of the way, let's get into that which is our true love...the beautiful game.
Orlando City versus Jacksonville Armada
It might be the preseason, but a loss is never fun. Orlando City took on the Jacksonville Armada last night in Jacksonville and gave up two second-half goals in a 2-1 loss. The Mane Land's Gavin Ewbank breaks down the match for us. Despite the result, there were positives to take away including a beautiful set piece goal from Kaká.
Lloyd and the USWNT defeat Mexico
It wasn't pretty, and it was controversial for the second game in a row, but Carli Lloyd came through to put the U.S. Women's National Team over Mexico, 1-0. The win sends the USWNT through to the semifinal round of Olympic qualifying. Alex Morgan played 83 minutes but wasn't able to get much going and Ashlyn Harris did not see any time on the field. The Mane Land's Daniel Byrd gives you the full story.
Orlando City B News you might have missed
This is a deep cut, but Orlando City B is scheduled to play University of Central Florida today at UCF. So head out and give OCB some support if you get the chance. While that link takes you to a preview of last night's preseason game, bear with us; the end of the article provides important details regarding OCB and its schedule. There is a method to this madness!
Chicago Fire trade Harry Shipp
Chicago Fire fan favorite Harry Shipp was shipped to Montreal (see what I did there?) in exchange for general and allocated monies. In the coming weeks, it will be interesting to see why the Homegrown and former Notre Dame player, and Illinois native was sent to the Great White North. For what it's worth, Shipp addressed the matter in a letter to Fire supporters.
East versus West
The Western Conference has won six of the last seven MLS Cups and four of the last seven Supporters' Shields. However, this just may be the season that turns around. Bleacher Report takes a look at some of the upgraded teams in the Eastern Conference and how that conference might be poised to take down the West. Of course, we're all hoping that means big things for Orlando City, a team described as "a hungry squad."
Beckham's Best Buddies
It seems that the Beckham group is entertaining potential funding partners for the Miami team-to-be. One of those potential partners is Qatar Sports Investments (QSI). Beckham has long been involved with the group from his time playing on the QSI owned Paris Saint-Germain. In case you've forgotten, Qatar is sweltering location of the oft-criticized World Cup in 2022.
More FIFA Punishment
FIFA's ethics committee has banned Jerome Valcke for 12 years. The ban was levied for seven violations of FIFA's Code of Ethics (hands up if you knew they had one of those!), including using a jet for personal reasons, and misconduct regarding the 2018 and 2022 World Cup television rights.
MLS for Dummies
On a lighter note, I don't know about you, but I like to advocate for soccer here in the states, especially for those that are not yet fans. One helpful way to do that is to provide a quick primer for friends and family to introduce them to the MLS before the season starts. Spread the word!
That's all for this weeks Lion Links. I won't see you all for over a week (sad I know), but I'll think of you when I'm in Jamaica. Vamos Orlando!