It's the morning after the morning after the night before and the city of Orlando is still abuzz after knocking off the reigning MLS Cup champs, the Portland Timbers, on Sunday. City's performance garnered a lot of praise from a lot of places and we have everything you need to be in the know in today's Lion Links, so check the batteries in your mouse and start clicking.
Team of the Week
After a great team performance against the Timbers, three lions have been named to MLS Team of the Week. The overall performance of Brazilian superstar Kaká, the Goal of the Week contender (more on that below) from Brek Shea and the solid (read: no yellow cards) work of Cristian Higuita drove the team to victory and their place on TOTW.
MLS wasn't the only site to recognize our lions with Seb Hines, Kaká and Kevin Molino being recognized by Bleacher Report, and Goal.com recognizing (virtually the whole team) with nods for Kaká, Hines, Molino, and Shea.
But the night truly belonged to Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite.
Goal of the Week
As teased before, Brek Shea is up for MLS Goal of the Week after his give-and-go goal that had to be seen to be believed. However, the Brazilian maestro Kaká was not to be outdone, as his goal is also up for the award. Unluckily, however, the teammates are facing off against each other in the first round of voting, so you need to make sure that you vote for your personal favorite. I am going with Shea's goal, as is SBI Soccer.
If you parked downtown for Sunday's game you will no doubt have passed the future home of Orlando City on your way to the stadium and have seen its progress. The Orlando Sentinel and MLS's Simon Veness take a tour with Orlando City majority owner Flávio Augusto da Silva around the construction site
After not faring too well in early season power rankings, despite being unbeaten, Orlando City made a massive jump after Sunday's dominant performance. Sports Illustrated moved Orlando City up seven places after the Lions took hold of top spot in the Eastern Conference, ESPN FC moved Orlando City up to fourth place, highlighting the dominant performance of Kaká, and Soccer America played it safe with a five-place jump after describing Sunday's win as a beatdown on the defending champs. Keep it on The Mane Land to find out our very own Jeff Milby's power rankings later today.
Perseverance Pays Off for Orlando City
After a tumultuous off-season, the fact that Orlando City has started the season with a four-game unbeaten streak is a testament to this club's organization and highlights the patience that everyone involved within the club has had. The performances of everyone across the past and present season are the true story of Orlando City and highlight what the club was hoping to achieve in Year 1 but followed through on in Year 2.
- After scoring in Sunday's victory, Kevin Molino saw his long journey of becoming a soccer star come true.
- Orlando City mascot Kingston took time out from his busy schedule of terrifying small children and looking like a more ripped version of Disney villain Scar from The Lion King to make a long run in MLS Mascot Mania, where he lost in the final to San Jose mascot, Q. That's a good run for Kingston considering initial reactions when he was unveiled.
- You may have heard it around the Florida Citrus Bowl and on TV for many seasons, however one Spanish term is still offensive to many and the Mexican Soccer Federation is now taking steps to eliminate it from the game.
- The United States Soccer Federation is considering not allowing the national teams to play in North Carolina after a controversial LGBT bill was passed.
- The number of red cards in this season has drawn comments from many and because stats can mean anything MLS is telling us that this season is no different from the one before, whereas ESPN is proclaiming that the current red card total is the second-highest in MLS history. Let us know what you think in the comments.
- The Guardian takes a look at the NWSL and asks the question of how to solve the NWSL problem?
And that's it for today, folks. It's a short week for Orlando City as we take on the Philadelphia Union on Friday but we have you covered with upcoming match previews and match-ups, so keep it on The Mane Land and because Sunday was just that good, here it is again: