Happy Thursday morning to you, Lion Nation. Several Orlando Pride players take to the pitch tonight in the Tournament of Nations. The United States opens the tournament against Australia at 10 p.m. ET in Seattle, so Alex Morgan and Ali Krieger will be going up against Alanna Kennedy and Steph Catley. Brazilians Marta, Monica, and Camila will square off with Japan — also at CenturyLink Field in Seattle in the early match (7:15 p.m. ET).
While we wait for the U.S. women to play, let’s learn more about the U.S. men in today’s Lion Links.
USMNT Captures Sixth Gold Cup Title
It was a tight game throughout even though the USMNT held most of the possession and took most of the shots. Jozy Altidore opened the scoring with a scintillating free kick, only to see Je-Vaughn Watson tie the match for Jamaica just after the restart. Just when it looked like a 1-1 game would go into extra time — and perhaps to penalties — Jordan Morris blasted a shot into the net to win the match for the U.S., 2-1. The performances were lacking through much of the tournament but the Yanks held back their best for the final two matches.
New Lion and recent Gold Cup participant Dom Dwyer enjoyed Morris’ strike.
Rumor: Turkish Giants Besiktas Keen on Cyle Larin
NTV Spor out of Turkey says that Besiktas is interested in swooping in and grabbing Cyle Larin. While it would make more financial sense for Orlando City to hold onto the Canadian international, it’s difficult to discount the amount of money Besiktas is capable of spending. Larin’s countryman Atiba Hutchinson recommended the club pursue Larin, according to the story. If the Lions were to sell Larin now, it would essentially undo all the good from acquiring Dom Dwyer. The team would then have a Rivas-Dwyer attacking line rather than a Rivas-Larin strike force, which seems rather a more sideways move than the promising idea of having Dwyer-Larin or even a Rivas-Dwyer-Larin front three in a 4-3-3. Some people think it’s going to happen, though.
Beşiktaş latest club to submit serious offer for Larin. Champions League club too big an opportunity to pass up. Transfer in the works. #MLS— Nick Sabetti (@nicksabetti) July 26, 2017
If Mr. Sabetti means in his 140 characters the fact Besiktas can offer UCL play, that’s probably something Larin’s interested in but that would mean little to Orlando City, which still holds club options on his contract. If, however, he means the offer to MLS/OCSC is too big to pass up, that’s an entirely different matter. Rumors have an offer at around $5 million but pump the brakes a bit on that figure.
Everything I have heard from my sources indicate all bids are closer to the $3m neighborhood. None even close to $5m. https://t.co/hoDaunTaMi— Paul Tenorio (@PaulTenorio) July 26, 2017
Dom Meets the Press
If you haven’t gotten your fill of Dom Dwyer news yet, you’re in luck. Dom toured Orlando City Stadium for the first time and met with local media yesterday, just a little over 12 hours after his plane landed at Orlando International Airport. Dwyer seems eager to fit in and score goals and stated that one of the things he wants to do is bring an MLS Cup to the City Beautiful.
“The moment I left Orlando in 2013, I definitely felt like I left something here. I still felt like I had some unfinished business,” Dwyer said. “Now, the club’s evolved and it’s a new place, it’s a new team. I’m excited to play with a lot of the players here, and it’s time to try to bring a championship to Orlando.”
Here’s a little behind-the-scenes video of his first (almost) 24 hours with Orlando City via MLSsoccer.com:
Giles Barnes Enjoys Television Role with FOX
Jamaican international and Orlando City attacking player Giles Barnes spent some time helping out FOX with the network’s Gold Cup coverage and he’s discovered that he likes it and possibly sees it as a career for after he retires from playing soccer.
“Football doesn't last forever but if you can stay in the game in any way shape or form that’s a good way to go.”
Orlando City teammate José Aja said TV is a good route for Barnes.
“Yes, clearly,” Aja said laughing. “He has a lot of charisma and he’s always good at doing media. Yea, I think he has a future in that.”
- This article from Will Parchman illustrates why Sporting Kansas City actually benefits from a roster standpoint by selling Dom Dwyer to Orlando City for $1.6 million in allocation rather than selling him outright to a European club for $3 million.
- Zlatan Ibrahimovic is not on the 1000-krona Swedish banknote (yet) but this story features a picture of him posing with a painting of what that would look like.
- Be careful what you bet on. This French mayor ended up eating a rat in front of an audience when PSG lost to Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League.
- Colorado Rapids added German winger Stefan Aigner from 1860 Munich.
- The LA Galaxy are adding midfielder Jonathan dos Santos. Does having both brothers make them quatros Santos?
- Those born on this date include longtime baseball manager Leo Durocher (1905), legendary sitcom writer and producer — All in the Family, The Jeffersons, Sanford and Son, Good Times, One Day at a Time, Maude, etc. — Norman Lear (1922), actor Jerry van Dyke (1931), Dungeons & Dragons co-creator Gary Gygax (1938), figure skating’s Peggy Fleming (1948), Aussie actor Yahoo Serious (1953), actress/comedian/writer Carol Leifer (1956), “blue collar” comic Bill Engvall (1957), wrestler Triple H (1969), Game of Thrones actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (1970), baseball’s Alex Rodriguez (1975), Orange is the New Black actress Taylor Schilling (1984), Miami Dolphins quarterback and die-hard Orlando City fan Ryan Tannehill (1988), and golf’s Jordan Spieth (1993).
That’s all for today. We’ll have full coverage of the USWNT in the Tournament of Nations tonight, plus any news from the Japan-Brazil match. In the meantime, I leave you with a compilation of goal celebrations (watch for Kaká and Dom!).