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Lion Links: 6/5/17

Lions salvage a point, Pride attendance strong, Morgan returns and much more

MLS: Chicago Fire at Orlando City SC Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports

It is your Monday edition of Lion Links. It was a busy week last week leading up to another interesting week now.

The Lions got a jump-start to the month of June while the Pride earned their first shutout of the season over the weekend. Without further ado, here are your Lion Links:

Orlando City Overcomes Red Cards for Draw

Following a 2-0 win over conference rival D.C. United, the Lions drew 0-0 with the Chicago Fire after they were forced to play two men down when Rafael Ramos drew a straight red card in the first half and Antonio Nocerino was shown a straight red in the second. The draw puts Orlando City in fourth place in the Eastern Conference, just five points back of conference-leading Toronto FC, which suffered a 3-0 loss to New England.

And check back later today for our five takeaways and a photo gallery from the match.

Orlando Pride Top NWSL in Attendance

Over 5,100 fans got to see the Orlando Pride score twice — including Marta’s first at Orlando City Stadium — and notch their first shutout of the year in a 2-0 win over Boston Saturday. According to Steven Goff of the Washington Post, the attendance in Orlando was the highest of the week, besting the N.C. Courage’s 3,717 and Chicago’s 3,147 — despite playing in a downpour.

A Win, but a Loss for Alex Morgan

While she got an opportunity to win a UEFA Women’s Champions League title with Olympique Lyonnais, Alex Morgan has returned home… injured. Morgan lasted 23 minutes in Lyon’s 0-0 (7-6) win over Paris Saint-Germain last Thursday. She apparently re-injured the left hamstring that sidelined her for a few weeks at the end of her season in France. She will be evaluated by Pride training staff this week to determine the extent of the injury and when she might return to play for Orlando.

USL Growth Benefits Soccer at All Levels in U.S.

The developmental United Soccer League is creating a pipeline of talent to Major League Soccer and that is helping grow soccer across the United States, according to CNBC. Now with 30 teams in the league, the USL has doubled its number of clubs since 2012, right before inking a deal with MLS to allow MLS reserves to play with USL teams. As of 2017, nine MLS clubs, including Orlando City SC, have their own USL team.

Are International Managers Looking Down on MLS?

At least one player in MLS doesn’t find it fair that some international managers are overly-critical of MLS players. Philadelphia Union midfielder Haris Medunjanin has been retained by the Bosnia and Herzegovina National Team, but said he didn’t think it was fair that some international players like Toronto FC’s Sebastian Giovinco should be penalized for playing in the MLS.

"Of course, people will say, 'if you play in Spain or Italy or England then you're surrounded by better players.' But I would say to anybody who comes to MLS that it doesn't matter who you are, it's going to be difficult. It doesn't matter if you're a superstar or not. People know how to play here. They need to come and watch the games and then go from there, to see if you're ready for the national team or not."

Free Kicks
  • Three USMNT players not named Christian Pulisic stood out in their 1-1 draw with Venezuela.
  • Apparently Antoine Griezmann is staying at Atletico…for now;
  • Here’s some fan reactions following the straight red card issued to Ramos and the second to Nocerino:

That will do it for me on this Monday. Thanks for taking time out of your day to visit and make sure you keep it here at The Mane Land for everything Orlando City SC.

Now...your moment of zen: