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Lion Links: 7/22/17

Orlando City hosts Atlanta United, Dani Weatherholt deserves a call up, MLS storylines for the second half, and much more.

MLS: Atlanta United FC at Orlando City SC Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Mane Landers! Fortunately, there are a couple of really exciting games today to get your mind off of Orlando City’s disappointing loss at home last night. The Orlando Pride have traveled to the Windy City to take on the Chicago Red Stars — who defeated them 1-0 earlier this month — at 3:30 p.m. Later, at 10 p.m. on FS1, the USMNT is set to play Costa Rica in the semifinals of the Gold Cup. And if you’re looking for something local, Tottenham faces PSG tonight in the International Champions Cup at Camping World Stadium. Enough chit chat, let’s get to the links.

Orlando City Fall 1-0 to Atlanta on Late Goal

A loss is never a good thing, but I’d argue this just might be the worst way to do it. The Lions lost 1-0 to Atlanta United after Hector Villalba scored an 88th-minute screamer in the first edition of the Southeastern rivalry. The goal was particularly aggravating because Orlando had better chances throughout the whole game.

We’ll have more coverage later with Gavin Ewbank’s five takeaways from the game.

Interesting Storylines for the Second Half of MLS Season

This year’s MLS season has been great so far, but it can only get better from here with the inevitable playoff race yet to really start. Orlando City is fighting to finally make the playoffs, but that’s just one of many storylines that’ll unfold. Perhaps the most interesting stories are whether or not Nemanja Nikolic can break the MLS season goal scoring record or how VAR will be received.

Does Dani Weatherholt Deserve a USWNT Call-Up

Due to the performances of Orlando Pride midfielder Dani Weatherholt, USWNT Head Coach Jill Ellis should definitely have her on her radar says Allison Cary on the club’s website. Weatherholt has been performing well in the defensive midfield for the Pride and has also recently helped the U-23 U.S. team go undefeated in the Four Nations Nordic Tournament. Should Ellis give her a look?

Liga MX Femenil Bans Non-Mexican Born Players From Competing

In a shocking decision, Mexico’s brand new female soccer league has opted to only allow players born in Mexico to participate. Even more shockingly, the decision comes after many foreign born players, some who even represent Mexico at the international level, had been preparing for the season for quite some time. Back in December, the league’s president, Enrique Bonilla, had said that players of dual nationality with Mexico and the U.S. would be allowed in the league; clearly he did not live up to his promise.

U.S. Youth Player Weston McKennie Impresses With Schalke

18-year-old Weston McKennie has impressed while playing with Schalke’s senior team. The American midfielder has had limited time, only playing in this year’s preseason and on the last day of the season, but he has shown his worth in both. McKennie has been touted to be part of a new group of skillful American youngsters, which includes the likes of Christian Pulisic, Brooks Lennon, and Emerson Hyndman.

That wraps up this edition of Lion Links. Have a wonderful Saturday and check back later for full coverage of the Orlando Pride and the USMNT!