Your Orlando City players may have missed out on MLS Team of the Week and Goal of the Week distinctions, however there is still plenty that you may have missed yesterday in the world of soccer. Allow us to guide you through the noise with today's edition of Lion Links.
Orlando City Foundation Supply Drive
The countdown to school restarting is getting closer by the day, and the Orlando City Foundation needs your help to make sure those less fortunate can start the school year off on the right foot. Therefore, they are doing a school supply drive to collect common school items like pencils, markers, notepads, etc. If you can help, you can find where and what to donate in the link above.
MLS All-Star Game
The 2016 MLS All-Star Game takes place on Thursday out in San Jose, CA. The game will see a bright cadre of MLS talent ranging from our very own Kaká (who will captain the side) and Cyle Larin, to Andrew Farrell and Brandon Vincent take on a young EPL Arsenal roster including American starlet Gedion Zelalem, but which excludes their more well-known players such as Olivier Giroud, Alexis Sánchez and Mesut Özil. So with that in mind, and now with so much at stake in MLS, is it time MLS abandons this American tradition of an All-Star Game in the middle of the season? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
Meanwhile, Kaká and Larin are prepping for their showdown with the Gunners with a bit of soccer tennis out in Cali.
Florida Cup 2017
Today sees the press conference to announce the participants and location of the Florida Cup 2017. With the media having to attend Bright House Networks Stadium over at the University of Central Florida, we expect we already know the location, replacing ESPN Wide World of Sports. And thanks to the marvels of Twitter, we already know one of the participants, Barcelona SC (the other Barcelona).
Make sure to return later on today to find out more about next year's tournament.
Portland Timbers defender Nat Borchers is out for the season. The 35-year-old MLS veteran ruptured his left Achilles tendon in the 2-1 loss to the LA Galaxy on Saturday. Borchers, who was fourth in the league in blocked shots and seventh in clearances at the time of his injury, helped the Timbers to their first MLS Cup last season and we hope that we get to see him back on the field soon.
Analyzing the Analytics
After a great quote from LA Galaxy Head Coach Bruce Arena this weekend regarding analytics, we bring the news to you that Nike has just unveiled the Magista 2, which it claims is its most data-driven shoe yet. Nike highlights that it is trying to re-engineer the game through big data, and with more data and rankings available than ever before through services like the MLS Audi Player Index and Opta, that's the way the game is trending. But we should always strive to remember that playing better soccer doesn't matter unless you win games.
That's it for today, Mane Landers. As mentioned above, return later on today for our coverage of the Florida Cup announcement, and also follow us this week for coverage of the MLS All-Star Game and Orlando City's home game against the New England Revolution on Sunday.