After trying to shake off the aftereffects of Sunday's dismal performance yesterday, we once again step into the breach and bring you a bumper-packed Lion Links to make sure you have everything you need to dazzle your friends (or just seem super nerdy to your co-workers). So without further ado, Tuesday's roaring roundup.
Okugo Goes West
After starting the 2016 MLS season without a club, following his release from Sporting Kansas City in the off-season, former Orlando City midfielder Amobi Okugo has finally found a new stomping ground in Providence Park, the home of the Portland Timbers. Okugo, who was signed by Orlando City under much fanfare, is now at his third club in 12 months and only time will tell whether or not this move will help him get his career back on track. However, everyone here at The Mane Land wishes him luck for the future.
MLS Rivalry Week
This week is MLS Rivalry Week, which for most Orlando City fans doesn't mean much, since we have no natural rivalry, with the nearest MLS club to Central Florida being D.C. United. So, with this in mind, MLS wants to know who you think Orlando City's biggest rival is? The club also has its own thoughts on our biggest rivals and we want to know yours, too. So stop by the poll at the bottom, or leave us a comment to let us know who you think is Orlando's rival.
Sporting KC Fallout
After a woeful team performance in the 2-1 loss to Sporting Kansas City on Sunday afternoon, Orlando City Head Coach Adrian Heath has come out and apologized to the club's fans, saying that they deserved better. We certainly feel that way here, but want to say to the gaffer that it isn't all his fault, and we will always be there to support the team, rain or shine, winning streak or losing free fall.
However, the bad performance isn't the only lingering issue from Sunday's game. Both defender Brek Shea and defensive midfielder Darwin Cerén were forced to leave the game early on Sunday, and both are in doubt for Saturday's game at Camping World Stadium against the Montreal Impact, who are currently leading the Eastern Conference.
When Orlando City announced just over a year ago that it was going to privately finance the new stadium in downtown Orlando after state funding fell through, many questions were asked about where the money was coming from. Well, now we have an answer. It seems that the club is raising funds for the development from investors by offering them U.S. visas through the EB-5 program. The EB-5 program allows foreign investors to gain legal immigrant status through a typical investment of a million dollars, which leads to the creation of at least 10 jobs (that number drops to $500,000 for economically distressed areas, such as the Parramore district). This is a novel way for the club to fund raise the necessary money, but the method has garnered its fair share of skepticism as well.
Beaming with Pride
After a strong winning performance against the Western New York Flash on Saturday, the Orlando Pride have continued their ascension through the NWSL power rankings up to second place, behind the currently undefeated Washington Spirit. Saturday's goal scorer, Alex Morgan, also cemented her place in the heart of Pride fans with her game-winning goal and showed why the club gave up so much to bring her to Central Florida. Here's hoping that the Pride can take their home success on the road as they started a month-long away stand against the Houston Dash on Friday night.
U.S. vs. Puerto Rico Roster Announcement
Yesterday saw the release of the USMNT roster for the upcoming friendly against Puerto Rico on Sunday, and surprisingly no MLS players are involved. Now this isn't a complete about face by Jurgen Klinsmann (even though it could have been), rather U.S. Soccer agreed not to call up anyone from MLS, which would have disrupted this weekend's games. This roster provides a chance for fans to get a look at other U.S. talent from the around the world and gives those players a chance to get some time in front of the gaffer.
MLS Learns a New Word that it has Never Said to the LA Galaxy
After turning their back on John Terry and not leveraging themselves to the hilt to acquire Zlatan Ibrahimovic, it appears that MLS has started to grow up. As former Orlando Sentinel beat writer Paul Tenorio remarks, MLS has learned to say no when acquiring veteran players. Tenorio also gives us his insight into the Antonio Nocerino situation (which echoes our own Gavin Ewbank) and now that he is out of Orlando, he doesn't hold back.
That's it for today, Mane Landers. Make sure you tell us who your Orlando City rival is through our poll or by dropping something into the comments. Otherwise, just start to prepare yourself for the coming weekend with all three clubs once again in action.