Happy match day, Mane Landers. I hope you had a happy and safe Independence Day yesterday, if you celebrate that kind of thing. If you’re like me, you woke up this morning to find your car covered in fireworks debris and cursed the entire drive over to the nearest car wash on the way to work. It’s a July tradition!
The Lions host MLS Cup and Supporters Shield contender Toronto FC tonight at the Purple Palace and we’ll be there to bring you all the action. But before we get to that, we’ve got to make it through the work day. To help you avoid doing any actual work, here are your morning Lion Links.
Will Johnson’s Stock Up
Greg Seltzer over at mlssoccer.com is tracking the U.S. and Canadian players whose stock is rising or falling for a Gold Cup call-up after the group stage and two players in tonight’s contest — both Canadians — figure into this week’s column. Orlando City midfielder Will Johnson’s stock is on the rise after a solid defensive game and a game-winning goal at Real Salt Lake. Meanwhile, Toronto’s Ashtone Morgan finds himself on the ‘stock down’ list.
Luis Silva Suspended for Kicking Jose Aja
Many of us saw this in real time (and on replay) Friday night and wondered how Luis Silva avoided being sent off immediately, but Orlando City fans wonder stuff like that just about every week, it seems. Silva gave Lions defender Jose Aja’s private parts a good stomping, threatening future generations of giant Uruguayan center backs. The MLS Disciplinary Committee has again suspended an Orlando City opponent after the fact and fined Silva an undisclosed amount for the atrocity that no bro should ever visit upon another. Shame on Silva and on referee Robert Sibiga for missing it in the first place. Silva will miss Real Salt Lake’s game against the LA Galaxy, which does us no good, but at least it is a punitive measure.
Former Lion Wins USL Player of the Week
Remember Pedro Ribeiro? Man it would have been nice if he could have stayed healthy while at Orlando City. Pedro’s doing good work in the USL with Harrisburg City Islanders, where he was named USL Player of the Week this week, so obviously he got some folks to “Vote for Pedro.” He posted a goal and an assist in a win over Toronto FC II this past week and also helped set up another goal. Good job, Pedro. #ForeverALion
U.S. Youth Internationals Impressing in Europe
Timothy Weah, son of 1995 Ballon d’Or winner George Weah, has signed with PSG in France’s Ligue 1. Weah represented the United States in this year’s CONCACAF Under-17 Championship in Panama.
Meanwhile, U.S. U-20 World Cup goalkeeper Jonathan Klinsmann is on a 10-day trial with Hertha Berlin and left a “good first impression.” The son of former USMNT manager Jurgen Klinsmann, Jonathan impressed at the recent FIFA U-20 World Cup and could find himself signing with the Bundesliga side if he continues to play well.
- In a pair of international matches that could affect the Orlando Pride, the Australian women will host Brazil on Sept. 16 and 19. It could impact the Sept. 23 home match vs. Portland Thorns FC with up to five Pride players potentially making the long trip back from Australia.
- Ghana captain Asamoah Gyan, who scored on a gorgeous free kick against the USMNT a few days ago, said he’s open to a move to MLS. Currently on loan to a UAE side from China’s Shanghai SIPG, I think Ghana’s 31-year-old all-time leading scorer would help Orlando City.
- Houston Dynamo star Cubo Torres has been added to Mexico’s Gold Cup team to replace the injured Alan Pulido.
- Among those born on this date are P.T. Barnum (1810), Warren “Sgt. Hulka” Oates (1928), Soap and Who’s the Boss? actress Katherine Helmond (1928), The Band guitarist Robbie Robertson (1943), Huey Lewis (1950), baseball legend Goose Gossage (1951), football’s James Lofton (1956), hockey’s Doug Wilson (1957), Calvin and Hobbes cartoonist Bill Watterson (1958), “Walking in Memphis” singer Marc Cohn (1959), The Sopranos actress Edie Falco (1963), Orange is the New Black creator Jenji Kohan (1969), hockey’s John LeClair (1969), Fear the Walking Dead’s Danay Garcia (1984), and USWNT and Seattle Reign star Megan Rapinoe (1985).
That’s all the time I have this morning but check back later for coverage of tonight’s Orlando City match.
Though he sadly left this world in 1982, I’ll let birthday boy Warren Oates play us out: