Welcome back to today's Lion Links, we here at The Mane Land are enjoying our Saturday, following an Orlando City win at Yankee Stadium. Fill up your need for all things Orlando City in today's links.
First Win in the Books
Last night, Orlando City earned their first win of the season in New York against a strong New York City FC club. Here all the game coverage from last night, with more to come later this morning:
- Michael Citro has your match recap.
- Gavin Ewbank has our player grades and Man of the Match.
- The opposing view from Hudson River Blue's perspective.
Brek Shea Ready for Copa America
An injury-free Brek Shea has set his sights on the Copa America. For the first time in years it seems as if Brek Shea will not have an injury during a major tournament for the United States National Team. He has missed out on Gold Cups, Olympic qualifying, and World Cups due to various injuries before joining Orlando City.
"There is a frustration factor there," said Shea of injury reports. "I haven't had a full year without being injured for a while. I don't think I have been plagued by injuries as such, but I have had an injury here, an injury there, as far as I can remember."
Shea regards the key to a successful season as doing everything he can to stay healthy and on the field this season. While he hopes to help Orlando City to a playoff run, Shea admits that his sights are set on playing with the national team during the Copa America tournament.
Alex Morgan Ready for Leadership Position
Alex Morgan and Ashlyn Harris have finally arrived with the Pride and have both naturally taken to a leadership role. Morgan came into the first training session a little hesitant to speak up and be vocal, but as a top player in the world, she quickly settled into her veteran role, giving advice and helping the younger players feel comfortable. Joking, Morgan said she wants to make sure she knows everyone's name before becoming really vocal. With a young team, Morgan will play an important role in setting a precedent for the rest of the team to follow. Look for Morgan to step up in today's preseason match against Eastern Florida State College. The Mane Land will be there to cover both the Pride's first friendly and Orlando City B's tuneup as well.
Which Game of Thrones House / Character is Orlando City?
Dirty South Soccer released an interesting blog comparing Major League Soccer teams to Game of Thrones characters. Portland Timbers were referred to as the Wildlings, LA Galaxy House Lannister, and Orlando City received a comparison to the Dothraki. Reasoning includes the fans being savages and fanatics, invading infamous lands with pillaging tailgates.
FIFA Signs Deal with Chinese Sponsor
FIFA signed its first official World Cup sponsor since 2013. The deal includes a four-tournament agreement with a Chinese conglomerate, supposedly linked to former FIFA President Sepp Blatter. FIFA and Dalian Wanda Group have agreed to a sponsorship that will last until 2030, and while the value of the partnership was not revealed, it is rumored to be in the millions. The rest of the agreement remains closed and will be revealed in the near future.
Neymar Hit with Tax Fraud
The Brazilian superstar at FC Barcelona was hit with a hefty fine due to tax fraud earlier this week. According to La Folha de Sao Paulo, Neymar was found guilty of tax evasion and fraud by the Federal Revenue in Rio de Janeiro. The total of all penalties adds up to $52.2 million dollars and is on top of an already heavy case regarding his transfer to FC Barcelona.
That's it for today folks, make sure to stay tuned for updates on the Pride's first ever preseason match.