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Lion Links: 5/1/17

Kaká talks championships, Rivas scores a goal, Alex Morgan and Lyon advance, Marta is up for an award, and more!

MLS: Colorado Rapids at Orlando City SC Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Merry first Monday morning in May, Mane Landers! It’s another Purple Monday, as Orlando City sits atop MLS at 6-1-0 and still perfect in the Fortress. There’s plenty to look forward to this week with matches Wednesday at Toronto FC and Saturday at Houston Dynamo. So let’s get to it!

Oh Captain, My Captain

With less than 11 minutes of playing time in the first match before going down to injury, Orlando City has been without the highest-paid player in MLS. In that time, the Lions have been successful, but let’s face it, a team with a healthy Kaká creating in the midfield is better than one with him on the bench. That was confirmed Saturday, when Kaká and Carlos Rivas ignited the offense to a 2-0 victory. It was also obvious when he scored a goal in the 90th minute, to spark a second chanting, standing ovation from the Lion faithful. Oh, and Kaká may think this team has “championship” qualities. The man would know, wouldn’t he?

The Rocket Launches a Scorcher

It was the moment that everyone had been waiting for. We’d seen some of the chances Carlos “Rocket” Rivas had taken sail above and to the side of the goal this year (and in previous seasons, as well). Rivas was on the bench to start the match for the first time this season and came on in the 60th minute. It was a decision Head Coach Jason Kreis deliberately made, stating that sometimes that can help a striker relieve the pressure of the start and find something special. The absolute blast of a strike from Rivas only 10 minutes after entering the match was exactly what he, Kreis, his teammates, and all the fans have been hoping for from the Orlando striker. Now, everyone hopes it was the shot that breaks open the dam and sends forth an avalanche of goals from the 23-year-old. Mixing metaphors is fun.

Marta Up for an Award

No, Marta hasn’t played many minutes for the Orlando Pride as of yet. And no, the fact that she is up for BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year 2017 Award has nothing to do with her time in Orlando. However, she has been nominated and she is wearing purple, so it’s time for us to get on board with her winning this award. More importantly, you can learn a lot about the newest Pride player, from her time growing up selling fruit to her proudest moment as a flag bearer for Brazil in the Olympics.

Alex Morgan, Lyon Lose but Advance

Alex Morgan and Lyon took on Carli Lloyd and Manchester City in the Champions League semifinal. Lyon went into the match up 3-0 on aggregate and hadn’t given up three goals in a match in eight years. They would give up one goal, and Lloyd was the player to score it, but it wouldn’t be enough to overcome Lyon’s aggregate lead. Morgan was happy that Lyon advanced, but was hoping that her team would also win the match. Regardless, Lyon moves on to the final.

Meanwhile, in England...

There are five divisions in English soccer. League Two is the fourth-tier league and home to Leyton Orient and Colchester. The two teams met this weekend and played part of a match. Only part, because the supporters of Leyton decided that they had enough of the ownership’s bad decisions and walked onto the pitch in protest. Despite officials trying to clear the field, the Leyton faithful wouldn’t disperse and the game was called 3-1 for Colchester, relegating Leyton to the lowest tier National Division. Or so the fans were told. It seems that they were lied to so that they would leave and then the teams finished the last five minutes of the match. Classy.

That’s going to do it for today, but stayed tuned as The Mane Land provides all the coverage you need for the upcoming matches throughout the Orlando City organization. Vamos Orlando!