That was a weekend to forget for Orlando City, but more soccer is always just around the corner and we want to be there to cover it. So if you are a big fan of Orlando City, we are always looking out for more writers, contributors, and editors to help bring you all the action in the soccer world. If you are interested, click the link above, or give us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. However, make sure before you do that to enjoy today's Lion Links.
Larin Up for MLS Goal of the Week
There weren't many positives to take away from Orlando City's defeat at the hands of Columbus Crew SC, however one is that our only goal from the contest is up for MLS Goal of the Week. The young Canadian's deft turn and shot from outside of the box was a moment of brilliance in a game of mediocrity, and it was also nice to see Larin's name return to a score sheet as it has almost been a month since his goal against Toronto.
Young Lions Roar onto MLS 24 Under 24 List
It's that time again where MLS gives us a list of its 24 top players under the age of 24. Last year, Cyle Larin was the only Lion that made the top 24 despite Rafael Ramos, Cristian Higuita and Carlos Rivas also being on the shortlist. This year, however, Orlando City has already done better with rankings between 24 and 16 being revealed.
Coming in at No. 23 is Central Florida native Tommy Redding. The 19-year-old center back has been a vital part of the Orlando City back line this season and, despite the team's frailties at the back, young Mr. Redding has a very bright future ahead of him in this league due to his athleticism, build, and understanding of the game.
Joining him on the list at No. 21 is Colombian defensive midfielder Cristian Higuita. At the start of the year, the defensive midfield partnership of Orlando City looked pretty set with Higuita and Darwin Ceren, however, with the trade of Ceren to San Jose and an injury to Higuita, things now look quite different. That doesn't stop Higuita being identified as one of the best young talents in MLS right now.
One player who we hope will make it onto next year's roster is everyone's forgotten man, Bryan Rochez, who notched another goal while on loan at Honduran club RCD Espana on Sunday.
¡GOOOOOL DE RÓCHEZ! Gritalo aurinegro. Merecidamente empatamos el juego. ¡Vamos por el del triunfo! pic.twitter.com/QnlY401Lgb— Real España Oficial (@rcdespana) September 18, 2016
Orlando Falls One Place in MLS Power Rankings
Despite the disastrous performance put on by the Lions at home on Saturday evening, the relative effect this had on their weekly MLS ranking was negligible with the purple-clad lads only dropping one spot, from 13th place last week to 14th this week. However, the correlation is that Columbus Crew's resounding defeat bumped the team up three places, to 15th, one below Orlando City. First-place Toronto FC maintained its top spot in the rankings, with Jozy Altidore on fire; and speaking of Fire, Chicago has no change from last week's bottom spot at No. 20, despite a 2-2 draw against D.C. Make sure to come back tomorrow to see our own Jeff Milby's power rankings.
USL Playoff Race Down to the Wire
We're now into the final week of the USL regular season and the roundup from the league is describing OCB's chances at a playoff spot being "down to the wire." A win over Bethlehem Steel FC on Sunday for OCB and a defeat for Wilmington over their visiting Richmond Kickers may be enough to put our beach boys into the playoffs. Stay tuned to The Mane Land for full coverage of the upcoming race to the finish!
beIN Sports Asserting Itself as a Soccer Power Channel
Most soccer nuts (so pretty much all of you who are reading this) know about beIN Sports and its expansive coverage of European league soccer matches from La Liga, Ligue 1, Serie A, and others even if you've never signed up or watched. However, it sounds like beIN is continuing to increase its influence over the U.S. soccer fan's viewing habits by adding even more matches to its newly updated streaming service, Sports Connect. I'm not writing their infomercial for them, so if you're interested in learning more, check them out yourself.
- 35-year-old Portland Timbers midfielder Jack Jewsbury is retiring at season's end
- Futsal is now a thing, which means we want to let you know that the final 16 of the FIFA Futsal World Cup is now in place.
- Joe Gyau is nearing a return from injury and the USMNT may still be in his future.
- UCF attacker Matias Pyysalo went all David Beckham against Jacksonville University.
- Sheffield Wednesday midfielder Jeremy Helan is giving up the beautiful game to focus on religion.
That is all the soccer news fit to link today, Mane Landers. Make sure to drop us an email, comment (or even a fanshot) if you are interested in writing for us, and stay tuned for the best Orlando City blog coverage available.