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Lion Links: 7/20/17

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USMNT in action, Toni Pressley finds new confidence, Jason Kreis celebrates one year at Orlando, and much more.

MLS: Orlando City SC at Real Salt Lake Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Hello and welcome, Mane Land supporters! With another Gold Cup performance in the books we will highlight the USMNT’s game along with some other exciting news from around the soccer world. Enjoy.

USMNT Survives, Advances to Gold Cup Semis

In yet another match that won’t fill anyone with confidence, the United States Men’s National Team defeated a dirty El Salvador side, 2-0. Omar Gonzalez and Eric Lichaj scored the goals, just like we all expected.

El Salvador resorted to some rather unsavory tactics in the second half, trying to bait the U.S. into retaliation.

(h/t @Mc_Marston)

In addition to the biting and purple nurples, Jordan Morris got punched while running through the box.

Not cool. Semifinals take place on Saturday as the U.S. takes on Costa Rica late, out on the West Coast. Coverage starts at 10 p.m. ET on FS1.

Jason Kreis Happy After One Year in Orlando

One year ago yesterday Jason Kreis was hired to lead Orlando City to the next step in MLS. A year later he has the Lions primed for a playoff spot, a position the club has never been in to date.

“In general, I would say that I’m happy,” Kreis began slowly. “Definitely happy to be involved in a club that I think is really headed in the right direction, happy to be involved with so many quality people, happy to be in an environment that feels very much like a family business, happy to be in a community that I really, really enjoy living in and happy to be involved with a team that I feel is really relevant to the community.”

While Kreis is still shaping the team to his liking, the hope for the season is to make the playoffs and continue to develop. Year one has been a success to this point and year two should be even better. We look forward to seeing what will happen.

Redding Named to USL 20 Under 20

The United Soccer League has released its list of the 20 best players under the age of 20. Orlando City fans should be proud as the initial release will see one of their own make the list. Tommy Redding ranks in at number 19 on this years list despite only playing a few games with OCB. Also, he turned 20 in January. Still, do you think he should be ranked higher?

Atlanta Fans Disrespect Pulse Victims

A line was crossed when an Atlanta United fan went too far with a comment using social media as a platform to trash talk an Orlando City fan page. Jason Kreis stated that “fans need to realize there is a line and this is still just a game” in a statement made to WFTV. Atlanta United and Orlando City are set to face off in back-to-back matches on Friday, coming back from this MLS break. The pair of matches could be the start of a budding rivalry in MLS for the future but the comment was lewd and not a great start to what should be a fantastic pair of match-ups.

Toni Pressley with Newfound Confidence

The Orlando Pride crushed opponents FC Kansas City 4-1 on Saturday, but even with the great result one of the best moments came about in the 70th minute of the game when Toni Pressley was able to find the back of the net.

“I jumped up off the bench, nearly pulled a hamstring,” coach Tom Sermanni said. “If you look at the celebration when she scored compared to when our other players scored, there was just that extra edge to it and I think everybody was delighted to see her score.”

Pressley’s goal may not have been the goal to win the game but the goal comes after some difficult times on the pitch for Pressley — this goal will surely boost her confidence moving forward!

OCSC Will Participate in Inaugural Prospects Cup

Eight U.S. youth clubs are set to participate in the inaugural Prospects Cup, which will feature three MLS clubs and five other clubs from around the U.S. The Cup is set to take place in Kissimmee, FL, this coming December and will feature our very own Orlando City as one of the MLS teams.

“We couldn’t be more excited to have our team invited to the Prospects Cup, and in our hometown,” Orlando City academy director David Longwell said in a statement. “More than the invite and the chance to play in this global event, we are excited to support this movement initiated by Univision where young, future stars of soccer have the opportunity to play on a world stage and bring awareness to the growing sport of soccer.”

Free Kicks

Thank you for tuning in today! We leave you with great news for Antonio Nocerino.