It's a post-match version of Lion Links today, Mane Landers, and -- spoiler alert -- Orlando drew again. Elsewhere around the league, teams are reportedly spending money on transfers, which is a little unheard of in MLS. Color me surprised that teams are spending millions in the U.S. Hopefully Orlando can find the right pieces this summer without doing that, unless they open a DP spot. But until they can, on to today's links.
Orlando City Unbeaten in Post-Heath Era
The Lions held on to a draw in a hot match with Houston, but we're in big trouble if the injury bug is back. Hopefully Kaka will be back in time for Wednesday, right? At least our defense didn't allow a goal, right? I thought clean sheets were a thing of the past.
- If you're looking for the match recap, you can find it here.
- Player grades and our Man of the Match will be behind door number two.
- And if you would like to know what they thought of the match in Southeast Texas, you can head on over to Dynamo Theory.
Later on today you'll be able to find our Five Takeaways, so be sure to check back.
Bendik wins Save of the Week
Just because Ashlyn Harris is out doesn't mean an Orlando keeper can't win Save of the Week. If you thought nothing good could come of the FC Dallas match, not so fast! Mighty Joe Bendik took home a consolation prize thanks to his stop on Walker "Texas Ranger" Zimmerman. You may think that it takes the sting out of losing horribly in a poor performance and losing Adrian Heath but — just imagine — without this stop we'd have lost by five.
It's been a tumultuous time for the U.S. boss after his fourth-place finish in the Copa, and media have been trying to push him toward the exit door after a less-than-stellar performance against some of the top teams in the world. Now, it seems, Klinsmann's departure could be fast approaching.
The Mirror has reported that Jurgen has taken pole position for the vacant England job based on sports betting operations in the U.K. Now, you may say that sports bettors' opinions don't mean anything and that the Mirror isn't fit to line your dog's kennel, and you'd be right. But The Guardian is also reporting that Klinsmann is in contact with the English Football Association. That info is coming from Oliver Bierhoff, Germany's general manager (who even knew international teams had GMs?), so perhaps change is on the horizon for the U.S.
If anything, we'll need a new scapegoat when something goes wrong. If it's any consolation, U.S. soccer media have their doubts about the truth behind it and even some conspiracy theories! I love a good conspiracy, and I just can't see Klinsmann in England; not enough English-German dual nationals.
U.S. Potential Hex Draw Revealed
Perhaps one of the reasons that Klinsmann is looking elsewhere is the result of yesterday's World Cup Qualifying Hex draw. The U.S. has gone from almost out of the tournament to likely winning Group C, but that means Mexico and Costa Rica likely await in the first match-ups in the Hex. Getting into an early hole in the last round could spell trouble for a team that was almost on the brink in the last qualifying round. They've still got to win the group to get there, after all. If they finish second, they could start with Costa Rica and Canada or Honduras.
MLS to a Tweet Near You
After some success with streaming Wimbledon this week, Twitter is trying to branch out even further in the sports streaming market. They already have a deal in place for the NFL Thursday Night games (and now absolutely no one needs NFL Network) but now they're in discussion with MLS, the NBA, and the Turner broadcast network for even more content. It'll be interesting to see what happens with MLS Live, the league's own source for streaming out-of-market matches, should this go through. Twitter only paid $10 million to host the 10 NFL games, so MLS can't expect a huge payout for the service. But having more matches nationally accessible would potentially be huge for the growth of the league. Would you watch matches via Twitter?
Why Always MLS?
Fox Sports is trying to make #Balo2MLS a thing based on reports that Liverpool are willing to buy him out of his contract and make him a free agent if they can't find a suitor. The decision would have to come before Sept. 1 — more than a month before the MLS window closes — which is just added convenience. Balotelli is exactly the type of signing that MLS clubs used to make; he's relatively cheap and a big name that might drive attendance and intrigue. But Balotelli is the exact signing that current MLS clubs should seek to avoid. Balo has bags of talent and a history of a lack of motivation. Orlando knows firsthand when it comes to signing former Italian internationals, and Nocerino isn't known for his work rate. Balotelli has a huge chance of failing, so maybe we don't push #Balo2MLS, Fox Sports. Unless it's to Columbus. #Balo2CLB.
Those are all of your links on this Saturday morning. Hopefully we'll have an exciting Euro final tomorrow to look forward to, not to mention the Pride and OCB, and potentially a player signing soon? After all, Jose Aja was apparently at last night's match. Until next time, Mane Landers!