So, it seems the Church of Lion has once again been shifted from its normal time slot. Hey, that's cool. You'll probably need some time to work on this week's bonkers tip before Sunday morning anyway.
If you're new to my weekly tips, here's what you've missed so far:
- Dim your phones so no one can see you're reading Lion Links.
- Buy a cool stadium seat to beat the pain of those wooden pews - like this one.
- Mouth the word "watermelon" while everyone else is singing to avoid getting the stink eye.
Cool you're caught up. Now, let's tackle heat. Dudes and dudettes, it is hot out there. And if you go to a traditional style church, you're probably wearing a tie or a fancy dress. Those are not conducive for the weather we are experiencing. So, let me introduce you to the cooling towel -- revolutionary material that, with a bit of water and a quick snap or two, will keep you nice and comfortable. Slide that thing under your collar or cover it up with a nice shawl. Either way, you'll be smiling and profiling (woooo!) while everyone else is roasting away.
Now, on to the Links!
Welp, Heath Gone
Last night was a bit of a shocker as Orlando City fired the only head coach its ever had. After eight seasons in USL/MLS, Adrian Heath is not the gaffer of this team anymore. While the man himself said his job was probably dependent upon making the playoffs, it seemed there was plenty of time left in a season in which the Eastern Conference summit can be reached with a simple three-game winning streak. Plus, Orlando City has games in hand against several of the teams it is chasing. Well, coaches are hired to be fired, as they say, but it is sad to see someone go who gave so much to this community. Oh, and to make matters worse, assistant Mark Watson was also let go. OCB Head Coach Anthony Pulis and OCSC Assistant Coach Bobby Murphy will co-manage during the upcoming coaching search.
Kaka is more than a captain, he's a recruiter!
As if we didn't know this already, but MLSsoccer.com had a feature yesterday stating how important Kaká is to bringing other talented players to Orlando. His Brazilian roots helped the team land Julio Baptista and they go on to credit his AC Milan ties with getting Antonio Nocerino (I wonder if they accept refunds?).
All and all, an interesting read that also highlights how coaches can use social media and YouTube to scout a player versus going in person. This has cut down on crazy travel and "wild goose chases" as he called them when it comes to scouting.
Lions Close to Signing Aja?
The rumor about center back Jose Aja is heating up, with a report out of Uruguay saying the 23-year-old defender will be joining Orlando City on loan from Nacional. We first discussed this rumor on Tuesday, but on Wednesday evening the online chatter reached new levels with the new report. The team could use some positive news, but coming to a team that just fired its coach is problematic for any player.
Orlando Pride sign Keeper Kaitlyn Savage
Well it seemed like keeper DiDi Haracic was the one, but yesterday we learned it is actually former Florida International University goalkeeper Kaitlyn Savage who will be joining the team. Savage, the reigning Goalkeeper of the Year with Adelaide United in the Australian W-League, is set to carry the load for the Pride while current number one Ashlyn Harris will be called up for Olympic duty. Join me in welcoming the former Panther back to the great state of Florida!
The Spanish Taxation of Leo Messi
No one can escape the tax man, including Lionel Messi. Reports are coming in that the "all-everything soccer sensation" and his father, Jorge, have each been sentenced to 21 months hard time in Spain. Apparently they bilked Spanish authorities out of 4.5 million dollars between 2007 and 2009.
Due to this being his first violation and Spanish law being good to those who are first timers, it's not likely he'll spend a day in the slammer. Nope, probation seems to be what he and his dad are heading for. Still, he's probably in line for some big time fines for using other countries to hide all his treasures. First the Copa and now this? It's not the best of times to be a Messi.
And, as a surprise to no one, Leo and Jorge are filing an appeal. Best of luck with that, gentlemen!
Euro 2016: Bale vs Ronaldo
In yesterday's Euro 2016 semifinal, we had ourselves a good one as two of the very best (who also happen to be Real Madrid teammates) were on the field, duking it out for supremacy. In the end, led by Cristiano Ronaldo breaking the ice at the 50th minute, Portugal overcame the plucky team from the British Isle, advancing to the finals. Now the Portuguese just have to wait to see who they play, Germany or France, on July 10.
Wales deserves credit for making it this far though. The team proved it was more than just Gareth Bale plus 10. Congrats on a brilliant run through a very tough field.
Not to pile it on Argentina, but sources say there is a 50% chance the country will pull out of the Olympics. Man, any more bad news from there and you'd think they were the English soccer team!...Are you a Star Wars fan? Coming soon should be a new trailer for this year's Rogue One. It looks to be hitting ABC on July 15.
That's it for today's edition of the Big LL. Come on back to The Mane Land early and often today as we'll be getting you ready for tomorrow's game with the Houston Dynamo and so much more. Wait, you're at work? Pssht, who needs work?