Happy Independence Day, U.S. Mane Landers. For our friends not celebrating, good Monday morning. Our Lions are in action today in Dallas, so keep coming back as you go about your day, whether your day consists of hot dogs and fireworks or coffee and work. There's a lot going on, so let's cut to the chase and get to the links.
Matildas Name Pride's Catley and Alleway to Olympic Team
With the Rio Olympic Games starting on Aug. 5, countries are in the final phase of preparation. Yesterday, the Matildas named the 18 players going to Brazil for Australia. As expected, Orlando Pride defenders Steph Catley and Laura Alleway were both named to the roster. The women's soccer tournament is looking to be an exciting competition. The USWNT will be announcing its players later this month, and fans will see if Ashlyn Harris will be named the backup goalkeeper or be listed as one of the four alternates.
Security Concerns in France
As a soccer fan, I've been enjoying all the matches on television with Copa America and the Euros in France. Before the match between France and Iceland, police ended up exploding a car which was improperly parked in an unauthorized area. The police are being heavy-handed with these measures because nobody wants a repeat of the Paris attacks. If I parked my car in the wrong spot, I'd rather have it towed than cops blowing my door off to search inside. Just saying.
China Battling Illegal Gambling Due to Soccer
China has been booming with teams there spending big bucks to sign soccer players like Brazilian player Hulk. Well, another thing to come from this soccer craze is an increase in online gambling which is illegal in China. The problem is so big now that authorities there froze $15 million dollars in just one weekend alone from betting on the Euros. Even though the crackdown is happening, it doesn't seem to be deterring those in China who can still afford to make bets. Makes me glad to be living in the good old USA.
The Power of Soccer for Good
Soccer has been used globally to make the world a better place. Charities such as Soccer Without Borders and the Orlando City Foundation act to improve people's lives with soccer. Street Soccer USA is another group looking to make a change with the beautiful game. It goes into cities like San Francisco and helps homeless people to play soccer and get those people into substance abuse programs and finds them a place to live, so they can get their lives back in order. Soccer really brings people together. There's no better reason to love the sport.
Those are the links for today, Mane Landers. Keep coming back as we talk all things Orlando City. Let's get those three points today.