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Lion Links: 6/25/17

Orlando City visits Chicago, Orlando Pride host Houston, Cyle Larin DUI effects continue, and more.

Victor Tan, New Day Review

Hello there. How ya doin? You OK? I hope you went to bed early and are only now going to learn of yesterday’s results. That would be best. Or maybe you can do one of those brain wipes from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. I could do with one.

Anyway, today is a brand new day and yesterday is behind us, so that’s a good thing, right? Right?!?!

Anyway, here are some Lion Links that I hope you enjoy much more than either of yesterday’s matches.

Orlando City Allegedly Played in Chicago

It took the Fire seven tries, but they finally beat Orlando City. And boy did they beat Orlando City. Chicago got two goals from David Accam before most people had even gotten to their seats en route to a 4-0 demolition of the Lions. It was ugly, no doubt. But it’s over. Let us look to the future and not into the past. OK, if you must look to the past, may I present:

And check back later today for Mike Niemeier’s five takeaways from the match.

Pride Fall to Last-Place Dash, 2-0

As well as the Orlando Pride have been playing of late, it was a bit of a shock to see bottom-feeding Houston come into Orlando City Stadium and leave with a 2-0 win. The Pride simply weren’t sharp at all, uncharacteristically giving the ball away, losing it out of bounds, passing to no one in particular, and scuffing clear-cut shots. Houston, however, stayed organized, pressured the ball well, and made the plays it had to in order to capture all three points. The Dash snapped a six-game skid.

Larin Unlikely to be on Canada’s Gold Cup Roster

The effects of Orlando City striker Cyle Larin’s recent DUI arrest are still being felt by the Lions and those are rippling out to his national team as well. According to Sportsnet’s John Molinaro, Larin won’t be named to Canada’s 23-man Gold Cup roster. Larin could still participate if Canada advances to the knockout round, as teams may swap up to six players from their 40-man preliminary Gold Cup roster after the group stage.

Pride’s Bledsoe Enjoying Her Time to Shine

When Ashlyn Harris went down with a quad injury, many Pride fans were understandably nervous. Harris is one of the top keepers in the country. However, the Pride knew they had a quality backup in Aubrey Bledsoe, who fought back from a mid-season broken leg she suffered last year. Her hard work paid off with a shutout win over the Boston Breakers a couple weeks ago and last week she turned in an NWSL Save-of-the-Week winner against Carli Lloyd.

“I’ve just been waiting for my opportunity and it’s been a long, long wait,” Bledsoe said. “But I’m more than prepared through that because I’ve kind of learned from Ashlyn for two years now. I think I’m ready to shine.”

Check out the story linked above by Christian Simmons of the Orlando Sentinel for more from Bledsoe, Head Coach Tom Sermanni, and Aubrey’s teammates. And give a listen to this week’s PawedCast for our extended interview with the Pride goalkeeper.

USMNT Gold Cup Roster Predictions

Our friends over at Stars & Stripes FC predict that Orlando City’s Jonathan Spector will make the U.S. Gold Cup roster but goalkeeper Joe Bendik will not. Alex Showell, who wrote the piece, says Brad Guzan will be the man, with Bill Hamid and Jesse Gonzalez making the squad, pending the latter’s one-time switch going through by today. He seems to favor Sean Johnson as the next in line. That’s fine with me. While I’d be happy for him to get a run-out with the USMNT, let’s keep Joe with the Lions during the season, mmkay? As for Spector, here is Showell’s reasoning:

Spector has been key for Orlando City and has invaluable national team experience.

Former Lion Dom Dwyer is also predicted to make the squad.

Free Kicks
  • No Pride academy players but two Floridians on the U-20 USWNT roster for upcoming European matches.
  • Those born on this date include Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi (1852), George Orwell (1903), Lost in Space mom June Lockhart (1925), basketball’s Willis Reed (1942), Carly Simon (1945), Good Times actor/comedian Jimmie Walker (1947), Tim Finn of Split Enz and Crowded House (1952), Toto keyboardist David Paich (1954), Anthony Bourdain (1956), hockey’s Doug Gilmour (1963), George Michael (1963), Dikembe Mutombo (1966), baseball’s Carlos Delgado (1972), Philadelphia Union forward Charlie Davies (1986), and Mexican international and Porto defender Miguel Layun (1988).

That’s all my time for this morning. Enjoy what’s left of your weekend, Mane Landers. The Pride are back in action Wednesday night and the Lions conclude their three-game road swing Friday.