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Lion Links: 8/27/17

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Orlando City hosts Vancouver, the Pride visit FC Kansas City, OCB tortures first-place Louisville, and more.

MLS: Vancouver Whitecaps FC at Orlando City SC Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ugh...huh? Whazzat? Oh, it’s Sunday morning and it’s time to get up. OK. God, I hate that alarm. Wait, it’s the weekend, why am I up? Oh, right...Lion Links. Let me get on that. Also, I have to be up to wish Pride forward Jasmyne Spencer both a happy 27th birthday and a speedy recovery from her hamstring injury.

OK, now that I’ve done that, I guess I should provide those morning Lion Links you’ve been waiting on. Get ‘em while they’re hot.

Orlando City Dominates Everything But Scoreboard

There’s really only one statistic that matters in any soccer game and that’s the number of goals your team scores vs. the number it allows. For the Lions last night, that’s the one area of the stat sheet that didn’t go their way. However, the secondary statistic that impacted last night’s game was the number four — that’s the total number out of 25 overall shots that actually were sent at the eight feet high by 24 feet wide goal area. The Lions not only lost a game by a 2-1 score line that they should have won, but they pretty much used up the last ounce of playoff hope that was still in the bottom of the bottle. Here’s what you need to know:

And check back this afternoon for Dave Rohe’s five takeaways from the game.

Pride Win at FCKC on Morgan’s Late Goal

Alex Morgan has been a machine of late, and her seventh goal in five games came late at Kansas City to lift the Orlando Pride to a 2-1 win. The Pride have won four straight games and are unbeaten in five, as they continue to push for their first ever playoff appearance. Chioma Ubogagu also scored for Orlando against a Kansas City side that entered on a good run of form, having won three in a row. A late Marta free kick allowed Morgs to flick home the winning goal.

OCB Unbeaten Streak Reaches 11

The young Lions went to Eastern Conference-leading Louisville City and simply would not be moved. Playing without Hadji Barry, Tony Rocha, Richie Laryea, and Earl Edwards Jr., OCB rode a pair of Michael Cox goals and a Fernando Timbo tally to a 3-0 win at Louisville Slugger Field. Anthony Pulis’ side is 4-0-7 in its last 11 matches and has climbed to sixth in the table. There were people in my timeline early this season that wanted Pulis fired. Their voices got a lot quieter over the last two months.

Jesse Marsch Supports Promotion/Relegation in MLS

Soccer fans in this country have long debated the benefits and drawbacks of adopting the promotion/relegation system that most countries use around the world. American sports team owners and their sponsors don’t much care for the uncertainty that the threat of relegation can bring. But the idea has a high profile proponent in New York Red Bulls Head Coach Jesse Marsch. The NYRB gaffer told Taylor Twellman that he is in favor of pro/rel. Marsch cited his team’s trip to play FC Cincinnati in the U.S. Open Cup as an example that smaller clubs deserve the opportunity to be promoted.

"It's the best American soccer crowd I've ever seen -- I've even seen," he said. "Our team went around and we clapped to them after the game because it was an honor to play in front of them.

"It was obviously a big moment for our team but the energy, all of the city and of that game was just phenomenal."

I won’t argue that the people of Cincinnati have something special going. But they may just fight their way into MLS even without a pro/rel system. Still, it’s interesting to hear an important voice in American soccer coming out in support of an idea that Major League Soccer is clearly not in favor of.

Free Kicks
  • FourFourTwo breaks down the seven best prospects for the USWNT currently at American colleges.
  • The Red Bulls used the Hartford Whalers to troll New York City FC. I’m all for trolling NYCFC but I can’t stand NYRB either. I’m riding high on Team Meteor when those clubs play.
  • Among those born on this date are Rolls-Royce co-founder Charles Rolls (1877), American president No. 36 Lyndon B. Johnson (1908), actress Martha Raye (1916), Daryl “Captain” Dragon (1942), Tuesday Weld (1943), baseball’s Buddy Bell (1951), former Texas Longhorns coach Mack Brown (1951), Paul “Pee Wee Herman” Reubens (1952), Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson (1953), Jim Thome — one of my personal all-time favorite athletes (1970), Scrubs actress Sarah Chalke (1976), Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul (1979), and Dallas Cowboys running back Darren McFadden (1987).

That’s all my time this morning, so I’ma hit the snooze button and go back to bed. Enjoy the rest of your weekend, folks!