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Lion Links: 6/22/16

U.S. Men's National Team news, the Pride trade a player and ink a TV deal, some unsavory news for Mexico and one of its former players, and of course Orlando City!

Messi AKA Public Enemy #1
Messi AKA Public Enemy #1
Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to your hump day edition of Lion Links. I'm special guest host Jeremy, and today I'm going to take you on a three-hour tour...err wait, no I'm not. I'm just going to deliver you the news, which includes the United States Men's National Team vs. Argentina, a disgruntled former Mexican national, and so much more.  Let's get to the links!

Back to Practice! Kaká, Cerén, and Ramos are on the Pitch

How great of news is this, Orlando City fans? Seeing the obvious holes left by Kaká and Darwin Cerén (as for Rafael Ramos, Kevin Alston's done a pretty decent job, but I'm glad he's practicing), having these players back for practice is great news. Does that mean they'll play this weekend? Who knows, but the sooner they are back on the pitch, the sooner these ties might start turning into victories. Three points instead of one? Who's ever heard of such a thing?!

Kaká and Friends Visit Pulse Victims

In more Orlando City news, Kaká, Shaq, and Johnny Damon stopped by Orlando Health to visit Pulse victims. It was heartwarming to see such figures in sports take the time to check in on those still in the hospital. Great job guys and I hope we continue to hear feel good stories surrounding the tragedy.

Pride Ships Off Midfielder Sanderson to NY

The Orlando Pride sent English midfielder Lianne Sanderson to the New York Flash yesterday in exchange for an international slot for the 2016, 2017, and 2018 seasons. The 28-year-old's tenure with the Pride was short-lived after being selected in the NWSL expansion draft from Portland ahead of the club's inaugural season this year. Our Sean Rollins has the full report, which includes news that Sanderson initiated the move:

"Lianne approached us looking for a new opportunity," Sermanni said via the club's press release. "And I am happy we were able to accommodate her request and come to a mutually-beneficial deal for the Pride, the Flash, and, of course, Lianne. We want to thank Lianne for all she has contributed to the club and the city of Orlando on and off the field, especially in light of recent events. Both personally and professionally I'd like to wish her great success in Rochester."

The Orlando Pride get Bright House TV Deal

Great news, Pride fans! A deal has been reached to broadcast you four Pride games on the Bright House Sports Network. Calling the games will be Austin Lyon and Eddie Rodriguez for your listening pleasure. As for the opponents and dates, here's what we got:

  • Thursday, June 23 - Houston Dash
  • Sunday, June 26 - Portland Thorns FC
  • Sunday, July 10 - Boston Breakers
  • Saturday, July 16 - Chicago Red Stars

The Pride are only the second NWSL team to seal a local TV deal. Houston inked a deal to televise two matches this season. If any more dates are announced, we'll keep you here in the loop at The Mane Land. If you don't have Bright House? Well, I guess there is still YouTube.

USMNT Flames Out of Copa, 4-0

It took only a few minutes for Argentina to pounce on a U.S. mistake and the world's number one team just cruised from there, winning 4-0 over the USMNT to cement their place in the Copa America Centenario final on Sunday. The Yanks will face the Colombia-Chile loser on Saturday in the third-place match. How bad was it? The Americans didn't register a single shot. Woof.

Gonzalo Pineda:€” "I don't see a convincing United States"
Count former Mexico and current Seattle Sounder midfielder Gonzalo Pineda among those not impressed with the USMNT's run to the semifinal in the Copa América. In an interview with, Pineda set loose such zingers as, "I think it's an illusion what they've got in this Copa América," and "There hasn't been that generational change that was promised years ago."

Sorry, but this comes off as sour grapes, especially on the heels of Mexico getting waxed 7-0 by Chile just a few days ago. At least he said some nice words about Clint Dempsey (also his teammate, hmmmm), right?

More Bad News for Mexico

As reported by the Washington Post, Spanish cable channel Univision is denouncing the chant often heard during Mexico's games. I'm not going to dignify it with a translation or even put it in writing here, but it's not the first time this chant has been denounced during the Copa América. Mexican star Chicharito just a few days ago came out and said the very same thing, asking fans to stop. Only time will tell if the fans will oblige these requests.

Free Kicks

Russia and its band of hooligans were sent packing from the Euros, courtesy of Wales, 3-0... Zlatan Ibrahimovic is calling it a career with Sweden after Euro 2016 is over (or is Sweden retiring from Zlatan??). The 34-year-old striker, who looks to be headed to Manchester United, has 115 caps and 62 goals to his international credit.

That's it for your Lion Links. I'll be back on Sunday to host the Church of Lion, and I've got some great advice on how to beat those very uncomfortable pews. Until next time!