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Lion Links: 5/19/16

Is Drogba ducking Orlando? Morgan and Harris are called up, Kaká's dual captaincy, and more in today's Lion Links!

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Happy Thursday, everyone. With the Pride heading out to Houston tomorrow and the Montreal Impact visiting Orlando City on Saturday, let's combine our drink and food pairing this week, shall we? Quebec is where Poutine first originated and it's kind of amazing that more Americans have absolutely no idea what it is, despite it maybe being the most American foodstuff ever devised. French Fries and cheese curds smothered in gravy. (I'm partial to Poutine Dulton which adds ground beef and onion to completely throw out any remaining nutritional value).

Now, for the Houston part of this, I'm not going to tell you to drink lean. This is a family blog and we're not about to advocate that. Seeing as how neither Lone Star (The National Beer of Texas) nor Fireman's is sold here in Central Florida, I will tell you that brews from Spoetzl Brewery in Shiner, TX, is about two hours west of Houston and is available here in the Sunshine State. (But check out our Pride Pub later for more delicious food and alcohol pairings--that drops at 2 pm! #shamelessplug)

Didier Drogba Won't Feature Versus Orlando City

This shouldn't come as much of a surprise to anyone, but now it's confirmed that Drogba will miss Saturday's game due to his hip injury. In fact, he won't even be joining the team at all as he travels to London to visit family and receive treatment for his injury. Last time Montreal came down to Orlando, OCSC walked away with three points and Montreal only scored thanks to some shoddy officiating. Drogba also came on in the second half, replacing Dominic Oduro in the 59th minute.

Ashlyn Harris and Alex Morgan Called Up For USWNT Friendlies

The Orlando Pride duo are amongst those named to USWNT Coach Jill Ellis' 25-player roster for two friendlies against Japan to be played in June ahead of the Rio Olympics. Camp will begin May 27 and matches will take place June 2 in Denver, and June 5 in Cleveland. However, this will mean the two will miss the May 28 match versus FC Kansas City. Alex Morgan is also nominated for NWSL Goal of the Week honors and, as of this writing, leads the poll with 86 percent of the vote with her volley against Western New York. It's also newsworthy that Ashlyn Harris' three-peat of Save of the Week awards is going to come to a close with her not being nominated this week.

Kaká Named the Social Media Captain for the Tampa Bay Lightning

Last Night, Orlando City captain Kaká pulled double duty as he also led the Tampa Bay Lightning's Twitter account as its captain for the Lightning's Eastern Conference Finals Game 3 match-up against the Pittsburgh Penguins. No word on if Tamika Mkandawire was available.

NWSL Fines Seattle Reign

Everyone knows the importance of a referee establishing his or her presence in a rivalry game before they let it get out of hand and lose control of the match. This did not happen in last week's match between the Seattle Reign and Portland Thorns during their 1-1 draw. While Reign Head Coach Laura Harvey was pretty up front during her post-match remarks and didn't really say anything too inflammatory about the officiating (more or less exactly what I said in the opening), the NWSL did fine the club an undisclosed amount. The fine might have something to do with the club saying in a press release (quoted in the linked story):

"As the game progressed it became increasingly physical. The referee apparently suffered from a strange form of paralysis that prevented him from pulling a yellow card from his pocket until late in the game, despite a plethora of bodies in blue that littered the field."

Yeah. As amazing as a professional sports team claiming an official didn't issue a caution to a player because he was suffering from temporary paralysis is, there is no way they weren't going to be fined for that.

Free Kicks

Today's birthdays include civil rights leader Malcom X (d.1965), Peter "Chewbacca" Mayhew (71), Andre The Giant (d.1993), Joey Ramone (d.2001), Kevin Garnett (40), A.C. Milan legend Andrea Pirlo (37), and MMA fighter George St-Pierre (35)...Sevilla defeated Liverpool 3-1 to win Europa League ... John Terry signed a one-year deal with Chelsea...and finally, a 72-year-old Australian man was released from the hospital after fighting off Crocodiles with nothing more than a wrench and some spark plugs.

That's it for today!

Play us out, basketball playing youth!