Happy Sunday, Mane Landers! It's your final day of the weekend so let's make it a good one. The USWNT and Orlando City B are both in action today, and between that and more Copa America action, there's plenty of soccer to keep you occupied throughout the day.
Be sure to check back later as Nick Morales will be covering Pride captain Alex Morgan and the rest of the U.S. women, and Sean Rollins will be out at Titan Soccer Complex in Melbourne tonight to bring you all the action of Orlando City B vs. Louisville City.
On to today's Lion Links:
No Offense in Orlando Copa Opener
The biggest international tournament in the Western Hemisphere came to our own back yard yesterday, with the second Group A game in the 2016 Copa America. Costa Rica and Paraguay began as a physical, entertaining affair, but as the hot afternoon at Camping World Stadium wore on, it became more about survival, which both teams did by drawing, 0-0. I was on hand to bring you the full match recap. The only thing more disappointing than the lack of offense was the pedestrian crowd. Granted, it wasn't a marquee match-up, but this is a chance for Orlando to show it's ready to host other big events, including a potential World Cup down the road. If Costa Rica and Paraguay brought in 14,000, what will Monday night have in store with Panama and Bolivia?
Elsewhere in Copa action yesterday, Peru edged Haiti, 1-0, and Kaká's countrymen from Brazil were in action against Ecuador, drawing 0-0. The Ecuadorians looked to be jobbed out of a goal by the officials midway through the second half, when it was ruled the ball crossed over the end line before keeper Alisson allowed Miller Bolanos to score a howler of a goal. You decide:
Another look: Did the ball fully cross the line before Miller Bolanos' cross? #MyCopaColors #BRAvECU https://t.co/EdrqSIvhr3— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 5, 2016
Teammates Become Temporary Enemies
The Canadian and Brazilian women's national teams faced off yesterday in Toronto in the first of two friendlies during this international break. Orlando Pride back line mates Josee Belanger of Canada and Monica of Brazil were on opposite benches for a change. Monica's team got the better of the hosts, winning 2-0. Fellow SB Nation blog Waking the Red provides more depth on the match here. The teams will meet again Tuesday in Ottawa. Before the matches, Belanger wrote about what the national team and the friendlies mean to her and to the game in her country (you'll need to read French or use Chrome's translate function for the linked story).
USMNT Copa America Game Draws Eyeballs
The Americans may have laid an egg on Friday night, but their participation in Copa American Centenario has not gone unnoticed. A lot of people watched the match on TV. In fact, it was the second-most watched USMNT match in FOX sports history. That's good news in how it illustrates the continued growth of the sport in the United States. Let's hope a strong showing in the final two group stages (and beyond?) can help soccer grow even more.
The Leicester City storybook run could be over as Jamie Vardy appears headed to Arsenal...Sky Sports says Zlatan to Manchester United will be done before Euro 2016 and The Busby Babe welcomes the Swede...Today's birthdays include Office Space, Boardwalk Empire, and Band of Brothers actor Ron Livingston (49), Iron Maiden drummer Nicko McBrain (64), New England Revolution owner Robert Kraft (75), Psychedelic Furs front man Richard Butler (60), smooth jazz legend Kenny G (60), actor Mark Wahlberg (45), and Jeff Garlin (54) of The Goldbergs and Curb Your Enthusiasm...It's also the anniversary of the 2012 death of personal hero and author Ray Bradbury, as well as Ronald Reagan (2004) and Dee Dee Ramone (2002).
Enjoy your soccer Sunday. I leave you with the entire Costa Rica-Paraguay game in gif form: