Welcome to Wednesday’s Lion Links! Quite a few links about this weekend’s win with reactions from Orlando players, coaches, and voices from around the league. We’ll get things started with the man scoring all the goals for Orlando so far, Cyle Larin.
Cyle Larin’s Play Drawing Attention
Orlando City’s weekend win earned the team some positive press: Fox Sports included Cyle Larin as its No. 4 takeaway from this week’s MLS action. Larin has gotten off to a hot start with three goals in two matches. I would say it’s a shame the team doesn’t play this weekend, but having an extra week off didn’t seem to bother Larin after the weather delay in Week 2 of MLS action, so we’ll hope that’s the case again.
Kreis Admits Larin-Rivas Wasn’t the Plan
While the success of Larin and Carlos Rivas’ strike partnership has a lot of folks buzzing, Orlando City Head Coach Jason Kreis isn’t taking credit for it. Kreis credited the recent performances to Rivas’ commitment this preseason:
“It’s something that really only came about in preseason mostly due to Carlos’s willingness to work extremely hard and give us something different with his running in behind defenders. He’s really convinced us that we want to play that way.”
While it’s only been two games, Rivas has looked much more like the potential star Orlando signed from Deportivo Cali, and that’s benefiting he and his Canadian counterpart.
Movin’ On Up
The team made quite a jump in the MLS Power Rankings as well. Orlando moved up six places to the 11 spot in league’s official site rankings, while FC Dallas retained the first spot for a second week in a row. The season is still young, but it’s nice to see Orlando in the good half of the rankings so far, and the team could’ve been higher had the Lions had another opportunity in New England in Week 2.
Special Moment for Da Silva
Pierre da Silva made his MLS debut this weekend. The Homegrown talent subbed on in the 89th minute to add some fresh legs to secure OCSC’s second win of the season. Da Silva talked about his experience with the club’s website, and it sounds like he had some fun:
“The crowd, when you’re on the outside it’s different than when you’re in the middle,” he said. “When you’re in the middle of the pitch, like when Joe made that save, my ears were blasting. It was so loud.”
Hopefully his first minutes are the beginning of many more in purple.
USL Highlights OCB’s Carroll
Orlando City B defender Zach Carroll made the USL Top Five Defenders to Watch list, as the team prepares for the 2017 season. Carroll won the USL Cup last season with Red Bulls II, but joined Orlando this off-season. OCB begins USL play against the Tampa Bay Rowdies this Saturday at Al Lang Stadium.
European Soccer Coming to Central Florida
The International Champions Cup is coming to Orlando. Camping World Stadium will host Ligue 1 side Paris Saint-Germain against the Premier League’s Tottenham Hotspur on July 22. Two other games will take place in the Sunshine State, with PSG against Juventus on July 26 and Real Madrid taking on Barcelona on July 29, both of which will take place in Miami.
“You Don’t Know Bruce”
Before you go, today’s “last but not least” links may interest those looking for some analysis for the upcoming U.S. Men’s National Team qualifiers. Friday the U.S. welcomes Honduras for a 10:30 p.m. ET kickoff, and, on Tuesday, the team travels to Panama for a 10 p.m. match. The U.S. is under a bit of pressure after dropping the first two games of the Hex, and captain Michael Bradley credited Bruce Arena with the team’s new focus leading into the next two games. Speaking of Bruce, if you’ve ever wondered what Arena is really like, FourFourTwo talked to some of those close to Arena for the inside scoop on the head coach.
That about does it for today’s links. As always, keep your browser on The Mane Land to stay current on all the latest City news and analysis. Enjoy the rest of your Wednesday, Lions fans.