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Lion Links: 9/15/16

Clint Dempsey returns to training, Heather O’Reilly says goodbye, gay referee gets death threats and more.

Happy Thursday, y’all. Not much happening in the world of Orlando City today. But we’ve still got plenty of news to satisfy you guys. So, let’s get straight to the links.

Heath Heading to Minnesota?

With Minnesota United entering MLS next year, ESPN has a short list of coaching candidates and it looks like a former Orlando City coach is in contention. Former Lions boss Adrian Heath is reportedly on the short list after being dismissed by Orlando City in July.

This move makes sense. Heath has experience with expansion franchises and he’s a damn good coach. Whether or not he’d want to take on another expansion project would be up for debate, I suppose. But for any soccer team literally in the world that is looking for a coach, not at least considering Heath would seem foolish.

Dempsey Returns to Training

Seattle Sounders striker Clint Dempsey has returned to training after undergoing medical evaluations for an irregular heartbeat on Aug. 26. If his health stays in good condition, it’s bad news for the rest of the league. I’m not sure if you’ve heard or not, but Dempsey is pretty good at soccer.

Dempsey missed three games for medical treatment — a loss and two draws for the Sounders. It remains to be seen what will happen with Dempsey in terms of international duty.

Heather O’Reilly Says Goodbye

The USWNT is set to take on Thailand tonight, and the farewell party is underway for Heather O’Reilly. O’Reilly announced her retirement earlier this month and will play her final game of a 15-year career tonight in Columbus.

O’Reilly will wear the captain’s band in her final game, one that the U.S. will surely want to make a statement in to honor HAO. Players on the USWNT have already been all over social media with well wishes and photos of O’Reilly. O’Reilly made her first start for the USWNT against Sweden in 2002, when she was 17, and a junior in high school. She is 12th in goals and sixth in assists all time for the USWNT.

Openly Gay Rer Gets Death Threats

Because the world isn’t bad enough, right? Jesús Tomillero, Spain’s first openly gay referee, said he has been receiving death threats in just his second game since May, when abuse went so far it caused him to quit.

According to Time (NSFW):

The threats came in the form of comments on the 21-year-old’s Facebook account, and appeared to be from disgruntled fans on the losing side. “Reporting this was a mistake, Jesús. The boss has put a price on your head,” said one, accompanied by a picture of a gun. Another read, “You son of a bitch. You messed with the club. We’ll kill you with Aids, you faggot.”

To Tomillero’s credit, he says he intends to continue doing his job “whatever the cost.” Hopefully the awful folks on social media come to their senses.

College Soccer Team to Host “Harambe Night”

This gorilla has taken over the world. So much so that UMass-Lowell’s soccer team hosted a “Harambe night” on Wednesday and handed out stuffed gorilla toys to the first 100 students.

UMass-Lowell is not named the gorillas. They are the Riverhawks. So I don’t know what the relation is here, but I don’t care. I would love one of those gorillas.

Anyway, that seems like a good place to stop. When you start writing about stuffed Harambes, it’s probably a good clue, you’ve exhausted your soccer content for that day.

Have a good one. Be nice to people.