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Lion Links: 8/2/17

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MLS All-Stars, Marta, Miami, and More.

Real Madrid v Los Angeles Galaxy - International Champions Cup 2013 Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Well we made it to MLS All-Star game day, Mane Landers. Somehow the season is already over halfway done and here is hoping that tonight gives us a good game to celebrate. We here at Mane Land HQ would also like to wish striker Michael Cox a happy 25th birthday in advance of tonight’s OCB contest against the Harrisburg City Islanders.

MLS All-Stars

The “best” MLS has to offer takes the field against Real Madrid this evening at Soldier Field in Chicago. Orlando City has two participants in tonight’s contest with both Kaká and Dom Dwyer up for selection. However that isn’t the only Central Florida connection to tonight’s game as both Florida natives Graham Zusi and Dax McCarty are also in the MLS squad. Also, if you aren’t already excited about this evening, because — let’s be honest, why should you be? — then you can check out one former Lion’s thoughts on how the mid-season face-off could be more enjoyable.

Marta Makes NWSL Team of the Month

July wasn’t a great month for the Orlando Pride with one win, one draw and two losses, however, with multiple GOTW and SOTW wins, it wasn’t all bad. It now also got better with the announcement that Brazilian superstar Marta has been named to the NWSL team of the month. With a busy August ahead, here is hoping that others will be able to step up and help the Pride make it to the NWSL playoffs.

U.S. Soccer Rolls Out New Initiatives

Soccer in the United States has been growing at an exponential rate recently and with the future in mind the United States Soccer Federation has launched new player initiatives that started yesterday. The initiatives, such as birth year registration, seek to help develop the future players for MLS and the USMNT and help teams’ development academies have better rates of success.

Beckham United Inches Closer

The seemingly Sisyphean task of getting an MLS team in Miami is supposedly almost over with MLS Commissioner Don Garber reporting the bid is at the finish line. With LAFC entering next year, once again leaving the league lopsided, this news is welcome for MLS, however it remains to be seen whether or not Miami actually cares if it happens anyway and with some team owners upset at the low expansion fee and a stadium vote still to occur, we may not be there yet anyway.

Free Kicks
  • The NWSL has moved up this weekend’s clash between the Houston Dash and Portland Thorns to avoid extreme heat.
  • Check out Orlando City forward Dom Dwyer talking to Men In Blazers at their MLS All-Star show.
  • ESPN UK asks if the beautiful game is losing its soul as clubs seek to expand to generate more revenue.
  • How social media helps determine transfers.
  • Soccer magazine Four Four Two breaks down the seven best young core rosters in MLS.
  • Tampa mayor suggests that maybe the Tampa Bay Rowdies redevelop Tropicana Field to make the move to the big leagues.
  • Freddy Adu will not add another club to his collection.
  • Robot play soccer (and dive too).
  • Lastly, mad props to Twitter user @lando2k15 for this greatest hits video of Orlando City in 2017:

That’s it for today. Keep it dialed to The Mane Land as we return to regular programming with a look ahead toward a busy Saturday with all three teams in action.