Happy Taco Tuesday, Mane Landers. I am sure you will all be craving something other than pizza after everyone gorged themselves on half-price Papa John's due to Sunday's victory, and oh how tasty victory was (and cheap, too). So as you wake up from that calorific food coma, enjoy these tasty Lion Links. But before we get there, let's wish Orlando City B striker and leading scorer Michael Cox a happy 24th birthday.
Molino Makes MLS Team of the Week
After an individual match-winning performance, Orlando City midfielder and Trinidad and Tobago international Kevin Molino rightly made his way onto the MLS Team of the Week. Molino also came in third in this week's Audi Player Index, and he was also recognized on Goal.com's Team of the Week as well due to his outstanding performance.
Molino's July performance, which saw him grab three goals and three assists for Orlando City, also sees him up for the Etihad Airways MLS Player of the Month.
Larin Garners a Nod for MLS Goal of the Week
Everyone's favorite Canadian international got on the score sheet again Sunday against the New England Revolution and his goal is up against others for MLS Goal of the Week. Larin's effort was the first of Orlando City's three goals, and it was the catalyst for Sunday's victory after the Lions fell behind in the first half.
For both of Larin and Molino, remember to vote early and vote often (and preferably from different IP addresses).
USL Expands to 32-Game Regular Season
Our former league, the USL, continues to grow with more franchises expected to be announced in the coming months. However, one thing we do know is that we will see a 32-game regular season next year. That means you will get to see OCB play at least 16 times at home, and the expansion of the number of games played continues to highlight the growth of soccer in the United States as well as the use of USL as a developmental league to grow talent for Major League Soccer and the U.S. Men's National Team, especially with talent like this:
On a sad note, we also discovered that neither the Wilmington Hammerheads nor the Austin Aztex will be participating in the 2017 USL season. Who replaces them remains to be seen, but we will keep you posted as it happens, as well as everything else you need about OCB.
U.S. U-19s Knocked Out
The United States U-19s were knocked out of the COTIF tournament when they lost 3-1 to Bahrain in their final group game of the tournament. The U.S. ended the game on a sour note when a brawl broke out after OCB player Pierre Da Silva was fouled and then a Bahrain player proceeded to welt the ball off his head:
Video of the incident at the end of the USA U19 MNT game against Bahrain. pic.twitter.com/hI9f0VtmUe— J.R. Eskilson (@JREskilson) August 1, 2016
Two Americans were sent off for their parts in the brawl and it remains to be seen if any other punishments are handed down.
Palestinian FA Tries to Eject Israel From FIFA
After several Palestinian players were denied entry into Gaza on Sunday for the Hebron Cup final, the Palestinian FA requested assistance from FIFA that eventually saw the players be allowed to enter and participate in the game. However after that incident, people are calling for sanctions on Israel for not allowing the free movement of players, including the disbandment of six settlement teams or risk being thrown out of FIFA entirely.
Extra! Extra! Read All About It!
- German powerhouse Bayern Munich is apparently considering a partnership with an MLS team.
- A Neapolitan eatery has promised pizza for a Euro when former S.S.C. Napoli player Gonzalo Higuain picks up his first injury playing for his new team, Juventus.
- After losing Nat Borchers for the season, the Portland Timbers have signed ex-Newcastle United defender Steven Taylor to partner Liam Ridgewell at the back and help keep the current MLS Cup champions on the road to the playoffs.
- Former Lion Logan Emory has signed on with the University of Portland to coach soccer at his alma mater.
- Sports Illustrated highlights the complexities regarding USMNT goalkeeper Brad Guzan's move to newly promoted Middlesbrough.
- Former FIFA Puskas Award winner Wendell Lira is quitting professional soccer to play FIFA professionally.
- Bloomberg reports that the price of MLS franchises (along with all North American sports) is getting out of control.
And finally, remembering that regardless of how bad your weekend might have been, at least you weren't this goalkeeper:
That's it for today, Mane Landers. Make sure you keep it clicked to The Mane Land as we preview this week's games with Orlando City taking on the Seattle Sounders at Camping World Stadium and OCB taking on Toronto FC II at the Titan Soccer Complex.