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Lion Links: 3/23/17

Jason Kreis on the Cassar firing and other topics, Da Silva’s debut, a power ranking improvement, the Hex dilemma, and more.

New York City FC v Orlando City SC Photo by Alex Menendez/Getty Images

Is it Thursday already? My spring break is coming to a close and that’s sad. The good news is that...oh wait no Orlando City game this weekend either, more sadness slowly sets in. The good news (hopefully good news, I don’t want the Americans to lose) is that the USMNT plays this weekend against Honduras in what is widely considered to be a must-win match. You can tune into that Friday night on FS1. Go USA!

For now though, let’s get into some links!

Da Silva is Climbing Da Ladder

The 18-year-old Orlando City Pro Academy product becomes the second-youngest player to ever step on the pitch for the Lions. Pierre Da Silva made his first MLS appearance for OCSC and it was in a win at home. Da Silva could not be happier to be playing at the top level as he looks to continue make huge strides with his club.

“Oh man, it was amazing,” Pierre Da Silva said. “It was so loud. The fans were amazing.”

“It means a lot,” he said. “I worked this whole time [from the Academy to OCB] just to be in the First Team and now I got my chance.”

Jason Kreis on The Bridge

Jason Kreis joined the guys at The Bridge and discussed many different topics including the hot start to the season, the injury situations, the new stadium and even a question about the fashion war between coaches on the sideline.

The two topics that stood out to me were his response to the new stadium and how he felt about clubs firing coaches at such as quick rate.

The stadium is a game changer for the club. It’s important for the team’s performance and I think it is proving those two things without a shadow of a doubt. The fans can now truly have a voice…It’s been absolutely spectacular.

It’s a really difficult subject obviously. Any coach getting fired three games into the season is absolutely absurd. It’s way too quick. You have to give the coach the right amount of time to show the path he is on and the path he is creating for the players.

Check out more on the podcast.

MLS Power Rankings

Orlando City made a pretty huge leap in the power rankings this week. Jumping six spots, the Lions see themselves moving from position 17 to 11.

Cyle Larin and Joe Bendik were the major keys in victory this past weekend and much of the cause for OCSC to jump as high as it did. Look for Orlando City to continue to rise (hopefully) in the next game on April 1 against Columbus Crew SC.

Is History Against the USA?

We know that the USMNT faces an uphill battle, and that battle starts Friday night in San Jose, CA. What you probably didn't know is that only one team has ever overcome the situation the USMNT currently finds itself in — Trinidad and Tobago.

T&T dug themselves out of a huge hole in 2005 and did just enough to find a berth into the 2006 World Cup. The question will be if the USMNT is capable of doing the same thing. If the squad does, it will be the second team ever to do this in Hexagonal history.

Trinidad and Tobago’s qualification for the 2006 World Cup came from an identical position as the U.S. sits in today. With zero points and a goal difference of -5, the Soca Warriors won three of their last four matches to finish in fourth place in the Hex. That finish earned them an inter-continental playoff series with Bahrain. Dennis Lawrence’s goal in the away leg sent Trinidad and Tobago to their only World Cup.

Do you think the new regime of USMNT can dig itself out of this hole?

Is Schweinsteiger the Best Move for Chicago?

The Chicago Fire recently acquired Bastian Schweinsteiger from Manchester United and the deal has struck quite the debate through the Twitter ranks. Was it the right move? Is he worth it? Who is he? Does he even play anymore? I thought he was the guy playing with the Manchester United youth squad? Wait, how old is he again?

Anyways, lots of questions have been asked about this move and luckily for you the guys over at Sports Illustrated have some answers for you.

“He doesn’t have the same speed and the same physical elements to his game as he did … but the rest of his game has grown,” Rodriguez said.

“When we looked to improve last year’s team, among the elements we looked to improve was our ability to not only hold the ball-have [better pass] completion percentage and overall possession advantage, but also the ability to split lines. Get behind lines,” Rodriguez continued. “And Bastian, from a wide range of positions, from a wide range of distances—short and long—can unlock defenses and we believe he will be very helpful in that regard. Beyond that, he’s a player that you can play the ball to under pressure with comfortable assurance that he’s going to be very difficult to dispossess, if at all.”

It is impossible to see how this move will play out for the Fire and Schweinsteiger but for me personally, I like Schweini (as I call him) and I hope he finds some success.

Well, I feel that you have heard plenty from me for today, but if for some reason you want to hear more (I am sure you’ve had enough) you could always follow me on Twitter (I wouldn’t) @awesomeniemeier.