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Lion Links: 9/17/17

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Orlando City visits Atlanta, OCB calls on Saint Louis FC, Don Garber on Promotion/Relegation, and more.

MLS: Orlando City SC at Atlanta United FC John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Good Sunday morning to you, Orlando City Nation. Friends, I have to admit...I looked at the comments. I mean, I kind of have to in terms of running this site, but in this case the comment was on a social media outlet.

The comment itself wasn’t nasty or anything. It simply took exception to the wording of one of our posts, which said that Orlando City had grabbed a point on the road at Atlanta. This individual who commented felt like the wording was wrong because rather than grabbing a point, the Lions had dropped two. While it is technically true that the Lions were in a position to grab more than one point, it’s still also true that they went into a tough environment and took a point home.

I don’t know what is to be gained by being negative and miserable and looking at a situation in the worst possible light. Is it more fun that way? Should I swing my way of thinking 180 degrees and become a sad sack? Because I’ll sign up for whichever point of view is the most fun. I simply don’t have the frame of reference to make an informed decision.

Anyway, because I’m still me, and finding the good in a situation still seems like the better play to me, I’ll take that point from Atlanta United and the knowledge that the Lions ended their perfect start in their new place — and in front of a record crowd.

All that said, let’s get to the news of the day.

Orlando City Gets Second Straight Result in Atlanta

The Lions went into that ugly stadium in Georgia to play a team coming off a combined 10-0 shellacking of FC Dallas and the New England Revolution, and looking for all the world like an unbeatable squad. Orlando didn’t get the win but even the low-scoring Lions found a way to put three on the board through Dom Dwyer (twice) and Cyle Larin — the latter on a Dwyer assist — in a 3-3 road draw. The road to the playoffs is still unrealistic but Orlando City will always be the first opponent to get a goal and a result in that big butthole-looking stadium in Atlanta.

And check back later today for Guilherme Torres’ five takeaways from the match.

OCB Falls at Saint Louis FC, 2-0

Orlando City B dug a hole on the road at Saint Louis FC, allowing an early goal and then conceding a penalty while up a man in the second half. Despite being up a man for 35 minutes, the young Lions didn’t worry the keeper much and fell for the second straight game by a 2-0 final score. Orlando City B will need to turn things around to get things moving back in the right direction at home against Charleston on Saturday.

Orlando City Makes Top MLS Upsets of 2017

Nick Sabetti over at MLSSoccer.com picked his 10 biggest upsets of the MLS season so far and the Orlando City vs. New York City FC match-up appears twice on the list. The Lions winning at Yankee Stadium was deemed No. 10 but the Pigeons winning at Orlando City Stadium was ranked No. 8. Given what we know now about both teams, are those in the correct order? Where would yesterday’s have ranked had the Lions held on?

Garber on Promotion/Relegation

In a conversation with the New York Post, MLS Commissioner Don Garber said the U.S. Open Cup success of teams like the USL’s FC Cincinnati or the NASL’s Miami FC doesn’t affect his view of a promotion/relegation system in U.S. soccer.

This is not just about how good a team is on any given day, it’s about what are we trying to do to create a long-lasting, strong and valuable professional sports league for a lifetime. So I don’t at all get distracted by anything that might happen on any particular day.

Garber also weighed in on VAR, keeping young players in Major League Soccer, and other topics.

Free Kicks
  • In the wee hours of Friday night/Saturday morning, Orlando Pride midfielder/defender Alanna Kennedy assisted on a Sam Kerr goal to help lead Australia to a 2-1 win over Brazil in an international friendly. Former Pride forward Lisa DeVanna also scored this insane goal:
  • God bless the Caribous of Colorado and the rest of the all-time silliest names in American soccer.
  • When the USMNT visits Trinidad & Tobago in Hexagonal play, the match won’t be at Port of Spain, but rather at Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva.
  • More than 500,000 tickets were requested for the FIFA World Cup in Russia in the first 24 hours of sales.
  • Those born on this date include Billy the Kid* (1859), Hank Williams (1923), George Blanda (1927), Planet of the Apes actor Roddy McDowall (1928), Anne Bancroft (1931), basketball’s Phil Jackson (1945), John Ritter (1948), The Tubes singer Fee Waybill (1950), relief pitcher John Franco (1960), filmmaker Baz Luhrmann (1962), Friday Night Lights actor Kyle Chandler (1965), football’s Mark Brunell (1970), NASCAR’s Jimmie Johnson (1975), Flo Rida (1979), and hockey’s Alexander Ovechkin (1985).

*There is some dispute over this date but it’s one of the two most likely, with the other being Nov. 23, 1859.


That’s all of my time for today. Enjoy your Sunday and start getting ready for USWNT-New Zealand (Round 2), OCB vs. Charleston, Pride vs. Portland, and Orlando City at...Portland.