Welcome to your Labor Day morning edition of Lion Links. It’s nice to be back providing you with your daily dose of all things soccer. We will all miss Luis Hernandez, but I’ll do my best in his absence. Today’s edition is U.S. national team heavy as we don’t get to see Orlando City until Wednesday evening. That being said, to the Links!
Seb Talks Orlando City
Seb Hines is an Orlando City Lion, and starting week in, week out, but he used to play for Middlesbrough FC. He recently shared his thoughts on Orlando City SC, and the City of Orlando with the Middlesbrough Gazette.
"Yes, all my friends tell me I am living the dream. It's a great lifestyle, there's no question about that. The kids love it. It is incredible to think that Disneyland and Universal and all the water parks are on the doorstep and that we can go on jet-skis and enjoy so many outdoor activities in wonderful weather."
We can all relate to that. Fortunately, for Seb it's all about getting to play soccer.
Alex Morgan is Popular
The Orlando Pride's captain is so popular that a USWNT fan jumped onto the field at Houston Saturday night and raced to Alex to try and get her to sign a jersey and take a selfie -- just after she scored during an NWSL game. While I'd also like to have a selfie with Alex, and get her to sign something for me, there is a time and place. Running onto the field during a game is not that time or place. Not only did he not get either the signature or the selfie, he also got banned from the stadium. Don't be that guy.
Lauren Holiday to Undergo Brain Surgery
Former USWNT player Lauren Holiday has been diagnosed with a benign brain tumor. Holiday is also expecting a baby with husband Jrue Holiday. They will be inducing labor early so that she will be able to have the brain surgery sooner. While this should be the focus of this story, some of the media has highlighted that Jrue Holiday will not start for the New Orleans Pelicans. However, as Jrue himself has emphasized, it is his wife's health that is most important. We all hope that everything goes well.
USMNT Roster Adjustments
When the U.S. Men’s National Team takes on Trinidad & Tobago in a World Cup qualifier tomorrow night, it will be without Matt Besler and DeAndre Yedlin. Besler will be at home with his wife and his brand new baby daughter. Yedlin will be serving his yellow card accumulation suspension. In return, Jurgen Klinsmann's side will be getting a pair of Mikes, as Michael Bradley and Michael Orozco will be rejoining the team. We'll have coverage from the match in Jacksonville.
U.S. Paralympic Squad Heads to Rio
The U.S. Paralympic National Team is headed to the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio. The first match for the Yanks will be on Sept. 8 against the Netherlands. This is the first time the U.S. squad has qualified for the games, and it’s certainly an inspiring story. You can also hear the 14 players' stories here.
Klinsmann and Altidore on the National Anthem
It seems that -- like Colin Kaepernick -- Jozy Altidore doesn’t put his hand on his heart during the playing of the National Anthem. He hasn’t for years, and it’s not why you might think. Jurgen Klinsmann also offered his perspective on the recent Kaepernick controversy.
"In Germany ... if you wouldn't sing the anthem you would be on the front cover the Bild Zeitung[newspaper], which has 10 million copies every day and is probably read by 20 to 25 million people every day in an 80 million population. Because for them it shows your commitment. So we had that 20 years ago when we were playing. The public urged the athletes to sing the anthem, and slowly they grow into that feeling and say, ‘Yeah, it's all right.' Now everybody sings it."
Referee Controversy...Well, Duh
Seems that refs the world around and their governing bodies might be exactly as good and bad as we think they are. A recent incident during a Manchester City match that resulted in Sergio Aguero getting a three-game suspension, prompted a bit of a Twitter storm that brought unwanted attention to the Football Association and the Professional Game Match Officials Limited regarding missed in-match incidents. This is where I would usually say "PRO gonna PRO", but this time it wasn’t them. That's not the only ref news today, as Honduras will be asking CONCACAF to send a different referee for their upcoming match against Mexico.
That’s it for your Labor Day Monday links. Thankfully we have a good couple of days of soccer to brighten our week. Vamos Orlando!