Good Wednesday morning, Mane Landers. We've made it to hump day, which means you're about halfway to the weekend. Unfortunately we won't have any Orlando City soccer this weekend, but luckily the return of college football will hold us over until the end of the international break. Fire up that pot of coffee and dive into these Lion Links as you plan your viewing arrangements for the CFB kick off.
Pride Claims Defender Off Waivers
After losing Steph Catley for the remainder of the season because of hamstring and foot injuries sustained at the Rio Olympics, the Orlando Pride has gone to the waiver wire for support and picked up defender McKenzie Berryhill. Head Coach Tom Sermanni had good things to say about the 23-year-old who appeared five times for Portland this season.
"McKenzie was a player that we looked closely at in the draft this year, and she came into serious consideration, but was selected by Portland," Pride Head Coach Tom Sermanni said. "We see her potential and really like her defensive qualities from the footage we've watched. She's a pure defender: dominant and tough. These remaining games are an opportunity for us to have a closer look at her in our environment and hopefully make her part of our club for the future."
Catley is a tough presence to replace on the back line, but the addition can't hurt as the Pride fights its way down the home stretch of the season. The addition of Berryhill comes right on the heels of the signing of forward Lisa De Vanna.
Bendik Up for Save of the Week...Again
At this point, you wouldn't be too far off base if you just assumed we copied and pasted the same paragraph every week into these Links, since City goalkeeper Joe Bendik seems to be up for the honor every single week. His Herculean save of the week this time around came in the 2-1 loss to Toronto last week, where Bendik made a point-blank stop on Jozy Altidore to keep the game knotted at 1-1 in the second half and garner The Mane Land Save of the Month honors. Although Orlando went on the lose the match, it was yet another impressive stop from Bendik, who has had a fantastic year between the posts. Vote for him here in his first-round match-up with D.C.'s Bill Hamid.
Orlando on the Rise in MLS Power Rankings
The Internet has spoken following this past weekend's MLS action, and Orlando City is on the rise according the two most prominent rankings out there, those of MLSsoccer.com and those of our very own Jeff Milby. Between our esteemed Mr. Milbz and the official site of MLS, the Lions garnered a composite ranking of 13.5 this week following a loss to Toronto and a win over NYCFC. However the slight the improvement, taking one of two from the East's top clubs ain't bad, and the three points over New York are very helpful in the ongoing playoff chase OCSC finds itself in. Hopefully these rankings continue to reflect improvement for the Lions following the break.
Zardes Done for the Season
Speaking of the international break, USMNT regular Gyasi Zardes received some bad news on Tuesday when it was announced that he will miss the remainder of the 2016 MLS regular season because of a broken foot. According to Ives Galarcep, Zardes sustained the injury on Saturday in LA's match against Vancouver. The injury is another blow to LA, which is also dealing with knocks to Steven Gerrard and Jelle van Damme. Orlando City will face the Galaxy in LA on Sept. 11, so the broken metatarsal to Zardes will mean less firepower to deal with, but injuries are never good to see and we wish Zardes as quick of a recovery as possible. The good news is that Bruce Arena hasn't ruled out a potential return for Gyasi in the postseason.
Dope Goal Video of the Day
As we prepare to send you off into your Wednesday, here's a crazy goal for you watch (several) times. A 22-year-old Ukrainian defender named Dmytro Ulyanov comes out of pretty much nowhere to finish off a scorpion kick, making this my new favorite league in world soccer.
Have a good one, Orlando.