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Lion Links: 10/20/17

Larin’s future, positive takeaways, Bendik’s record season, and more.

Orlando City SC v Chicago Fire
Cyle Larin
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

There are only two days left in the 2017 MLS regular season, Mane Landers, and that means only two more days before our roller coaster of a season is done. The boys are preparing to play the Philadelphia Union in a match with nothing on the line except pride.

There has been plenty of drama this week, including the situation with the Columbus Crew. If you have strong feelings about this and need to vent, one suggestion might be to call your ticket representative and discuss your thoughts on the subject. I will voice my opinion in that once again MLS would be allowing a very dangerous precedent to be set if it allows the Crew to just pack up and leave for Austin. If the Crew do move, the trust of many season ticket holders at other clubs around the league would be shaken. And now to something completely different.

Cyle Larin’s Future Up in the Air

It has been a subject of discussion for some time now, but now that the season is almost over for City the speculation and rumors are bound to heat up. What does Cyle Larin’s future hold? There were rumors of interest, and even offers, from European clubs this season, and in the coming January transfer window Larin could command a multi-million dollar transfer fee. Considering the resources freed up with Kaká declining to stay, the temptation to accept an offer for Larin may be much less.

Orlando to Focus on the Positive

You cannot spend every moment of the countdown to the end of the 2017 MLS season dwelling on every little thing that went wrong, and the Lions are not either. There are plenty of positives to take away from 2017: Dom Dwyer finally came home, Jonathan Spector and Scott Sutter shined on the back line, Yoshimar Yotun joined as the newest DP, and more. The Lions will be looking to finish on a positive note Sunday against the Union, although it is uncertain if the above mentioned Larin will be available as he continues to recover from a hip flexor injury. Could we see Carlos Rivas and Dom Dwyer up top for the final match?

Bendik’s Record Season

Staying on the positive hype train, Joe Bendik set a number of both personal and club records this season. This season, he set a career high in saves, currently 118, and a record number of career saves in an Orlando City jersey with 232, surpassing Miguel Gallardo. Interesting note here, Gallardo took four years to reach that number, and Bendik did it in two.

Union Player Suspended for Social Misconduct

Philadelphia Union second-year defender Keegan Rosenberry will be suspended for this Sunday’s match against Orlando City. Union Head Coach Jim Curtin explained the suspension was based on Rosenberry’s misconduct on social media. Everyone should know by now that what you post on social media, no matter how innocent or tongue-in-cheek you think it is, could come back and bite you.

MLS All-Star Game in 2018

The new darlings of MLS have been handed a gift from the league. Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta United’s home pitch, is rumored to be the site of the MLS All-Star game for the 2018 season.

USWNT Cruises Past South Korea in Friendly

Played in the New Orleans Superdome, the USWNT defeated South Korea 3-1 in an international friendly last night. The Yanks were the aggressors for most of the match and Pride forward Alex Morgan was able to find the back of the net for the fourth straight time when representing her country. Joining Morgan on the score sheet were Julie Ertz and Megan Rapinoe while fellow Pride teammate Ashlyn Harris was left on the bench for her birthday.

Free Kicks:
  • With the MLS regular season winding down, the voting races begin. Some folks seem to think Diego Valeri of the Portland Timbers is a no brainer for league MVP this season. Timbers coach Caleb Porter agrees.
  • Orlando City added high density wi-fi to Orlando City Stadium.
  • Orlando is preparing for its U.S. Open Cup match on Oct. 22. No, not Orlando City, but the Orlando Storm of the CFSL.
  • Could a “soccer czar” help fix the issues within U.S. Soccer if Sunil Gulati maintains his current role as President?
  • The MLS Expansion Committee has a few new members.
  • And nothing says classy dad like holding a small child while throwing punches at opposing players during a soccer match. Stay classy Everton dad!
  • And now for something fun from Philadelphia. I give you, The Dead Milkmen