Why hello there, Lion Nation, it's your old friend Gav stepping up to the plate, pinch-hitting for today's edition of our Lion Links.
There's no game this week for Orlando City, which has decided to play through fewer international breaks this season, but that doesn't mean there won't be any soccer for you to watch this weekend. There's still going to be a handful of MLS teams in action, Orlando City B kicks off its season Saturday night in Melbourne, and international soccer will be happening all over the map, including the U.S. Men's National Team's World Cup Qualifier against Guatemala this evening.
And if soccer's not your thing -- why the heck are you here? -- there's going to be more college basketball this weekend, too.
Anyway, on to the Links, which I know you're all dying to read.
Adrian Heath Reflects On the Loss Of Johan Cruyff
The soccer world lost a legend on Thursday with the passing of former Netherlands star Johan Cruyff after a long battle with cancer. Orlando City Head Coach Adrian Heath was asked about the news after training yesterday and gave his thoughts, sharing some fond memories of his experiences with and watching Cruyff.
"[Cruyff] came up to me and put his hand on my shoulder," Heath said, recalling the compassion in the man, and replicating Cruyff's gesture, placing his hand on my shoulder, "he told me that I was the best player on the pitch that day." ..... "It was the best compliment I have ever been paid in my life," Heath stated.
Heath Gets Mic'd Up for NYCFC
MLS has introduced some new features to the match day experience this year, putting mics on coaches during nationally televised games this season. As the Lions traveled to Yankee Stadium last week, Heath and New York City FC Head Coach Patrick Viera were mic'd up for the occasion. Now, there's no telling much much sound had to be cut out to make this video kid friendly, but hey, it's still a fun listen for those who always wanted to know what Heath was screaming from the sideline during matches.
This Is Not The Tommy Redding You're Looking For
Tommy Redding has been getting a lot of love on Twitter lately -- no, not that Tommy Redding. During Friday night's game against NYCFC, while Redding, the Lions' center back, was having a great game holding down David Villa and company, Tommy Redding, a Georgia Minister, was getting buzzed by people all over Twitter thinking they had tagged the MLS defender. Nope! At least Redding, the Georgia dude, is having fun with it.
Orlando City Enters USL With Different Goals In Mind
Three games into its second MLS season, Orlando City is preparing to head back to the USL -- with Orlando City B, that is. The Lions are back in the USL after making the jump to MLS, kicking off this Saturday with their first match of the season against the Wilmington Hammerheads, and unlike their original Lions that had their sights set on winning, Anthony Pulis' team is focusing on different goals this time around.
Miami Inching Closer To Stadium Deal
Miami Beckham United made some headlines on Thursday, announcing the wannabe club has closed a deal to buy two parcels of land at the Overtown site near downtown Miami, where club leaders hope to build their soccer-specific stadium. This is another big step for Beckham and company, who have been trying for over two years to capture a stadium deal in Miami in order to get MLS expansion.
"We have the right site, the right ownership group, and a loyal base of fans counting down the days until our first match," Beckham partner Marcelo Claure, the CEO of Sprint, said in a statement. "We're all-in on Overtown, and we couldn't be more excited about moving forward with plans to deliver the most responsible stadium in Miami history."
UEFA is considering a massive overhaul of the entire Champions' League system you've come to know and love (or hate, I don't know)...The Guardian wonders if Jurgen Klinsmann is calling in all of the talent available to him for USMNT games...This deer ran loose all over Grand Theft Auto, and the BBC was all over that story...Orlando City added a new official printing partner (get hype!)...NIKE seriously hates U.S. Soccer...This dog rushed the field and scored the cutest dog goal you've ever seen...And, finally, Yoenis Cespedes delivers this week's surefire No. 1 'Not Top 10' play during a spring training game for the New York Mets (c'mon, man, that ball's in play!).
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That's all I've got for you today, folks. Enjoy your weekend. Orlando City will be back next week, so everything will be just fine. Until next time, it's Friday, which means the perfect time to let The Struts play me out.
See ya, fam.