Happy Thursday, Mane Landers. I’m here to give you your not-quite-the-weekend morning news.
With the Olympics going on, one thing that’s been on my mind a lot lately is whether Usain Bolt can actually play Pokemon GO without that “You’re going too fast!” message popping up constantly. I guess the good news is that he can always tap the “I’m a passenger” button and get to the next Pokestop much quicker than the rest of us.
But I digress.
Why am I here this morning instead of your regularly scheduled Lion Links provider? Well, some of our staff writers have recently found gigs in the real world that either have already taken them out of the rotation or are about to. What this means is that we’re on the lookout for some additional folks to help us tell the ongoing story of Orlando City Soccer Club and its myriad teams — MLS, NWSL, and USL. In particular, we need folks to cover the Pride and lend a helping hand with international play. If you are interested, here’s how you can join our team.
Oh, and in an effort to better serve our readers, our mothership asks that you please take a few seconds to fill out this short reader survey. The more we know about the habits of our readers, the better we can meet their needs. It’s only 10 questions and almost all of it is checking a box. I promise it won’t take long.
Enough with the classified ads. What we’re really here for is all the latest soccer news that matters and you can start digesting that with your morning beverage right now.
Orlando City B Gets Blasted in Charlotte, 4-0
The young Lions made their way to Charlotte last night, sans central defenders Conor Donovan and Kyle Callan-McFadden (both suspended) to face the Independence. Our Sean Rollins has the recap from last night’s 4-0 OCB loss, as the young Lions conceded twice in the first eight minutes and things never got any better. While the team was playing without two starting-caliber center backs, the problems went much deeper last night and even the normally reliable Mark Ridgers was off his game. OCB has been outscored 9-1 in its last two road games.
Orlando City and Expected Points
One thing that I always find interesting is advanced metrics and applying them to sports. Benjamin Baer of MLSSoccer.com used the expected points metric to determine who would make the playoffs based on remaining strength of schedule and unfortunately Orlando City doesn’t make it. The teams above the line will stay there according to this metric and the Lions finish just about in a photo finish with D.C. United, but a couple tenths of a point short. Well, as veteran catcher Jake Taylor said in Major League, there’s only one thing left to do: win the whole f#%@ing thing! A run in September and October like last year would likely be enough this year if the Lions can keep in touch with that line, so let’s hope Jason Kreis finds the right formula down the stretch so we can enjoy some November soccer.
Morgan Speaks on Solo Comments
Pride captain Alex Morgan spoke to USA Today about several topics, including the USWNT’s Olympic exit to Sweden, former U.S. coach Pia Sundhage, and the comments that teammate Hope Solo made following the penalty kick shootout loss to the Swedes.
When asked about her teammate Solo’s post-match criticism of Sweden, Morgan said she herself always tries to be positive when speaking with reporters or posting on social media.
“I saw her comments but I feel like those are opinions I don’t share,” Morgan said.
Tom Sermanni likely can’t wait to get his star striker back on the field when NWSL action resumes.
Men’s Olympic Gold Medal Game Set
We now know which two national teams will compete for Olympic Gold in Brazil after yesterday’s semifinal matches. Neymar helped fire the host nation to a 6-0 destruction of Honduras at the Maracana. Joining Brazil in the final match will be Germany, which claimed a 2-0 victory over Nigeria yesterday. The match-up in the final should be interesting, considering things went in the World Cup when these same two nations met in the 2014 World Cup semifinals. You may recall that the Germans drubbed the Brazilians, 7-1.
Kaká recently spoke with Omnisport (aggregated by Yahoo) about AC Milan’s recent plight and how he believes they can return to prominence in both Italy and Europe...Seattle DP Nicolas Lodeiro captured the SB Nation MLS Player of the Week award, but I voted Kaká, Sean Davis and Dom Dwyer. Not that Lodeiro isn’t deserving, but there were a lot of great performances this weekend...And if you’re into the whole FIFA Ultimate Team thing, Orlando City captain Kaká made the FIFA16 Team of the Week for Week 49.
That’s all the time I have for today. Thanks for coming. You’ve been a lovely audience. Don’t forget to tip your wait staff and drive safely!