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Lion Links: 10/19/18

Orlando’s historic defense, Lions abroad, Sargent moves up, and much more!

MLS: Seattle Sounders at Orlando City SC Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

What’s up, Mane Landers? It’s been a busy week with the U.S. men’s and women’s national teams in action along with a mid-week game for Orlando City. The past few days have been draining to say the least with a roller coaster of ups and downs as the USWNT won the Concacaf Women’s Championship while the Lions continue their downward spiral.

Before we get to our news of the day, let’s wish a very happy 33rd birthday to Orlando Pride goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris. Now, let’s get to it!

Orlando City Makes MLS History

Before the season started, I never thought this team would break MLS records in terms of scoring or winning. But I certainly didn’t expect the Lions to break the MLS record in goals conceded either. Just take a moment to think about how bad a record 72 conceded goals is with two games still left to play. It’s embarrassing and isn’t even balanced by a lethal offense like in years past as the Lions have scored once in six games. Head Coach James O’Connor certainly has his work cut out for him this off-season.

“It becomes very difficult to go and win games when you’re defending like we’re defending,” he added. “It affects confidence, it affects play going forward and it becomes a test of character and a test of mentality. I think the important piece is to have much better shape when we don’t have the ball.”

Breaking Down Orlando’s Defense

In case you missed the conceded goal that broke the record, Bobby Warshaw from MLSsoccer.com gave a great breakdown on why it was far too easy for Victor Rodriguez and the Seattle Sounders to score in the first few minutes of the match. A revolving door of a back line due to injuries and experimentation has caused a serious issue of communication for this Orlando City defense with players confused and caught in no man’s land.

Lions Abroad

While there is plenty of blame to go around for Orlando’s recent performances, none can be placed on the trio of Lions out on international duty for their respective countries. Yoshimar Yotun continues to earn minutes with Peru after coming on during the 1-1 draw with the U.S. earlier this week. Over in African Cup of Nations qualifying, Amro Tarek didn’t play but Egypt still won 2-0 against Swaziland while Mohamed El-Munir and Libya allowed a late goal to Nigeria to lose 3-2, putting Libya’s qualification hopes on shaky ground.

Update on Martino’s Move to Mexico

Current Atlanta United Head Coach Tata Martino’s rumored move to become the new head coach for Mexico seems all but confirmed thanks to new information from sources covering the situation.

Free Kicks
  • Orlando City Youth Soccer Director of Goalkeeping Louis Liberatore was named to the 2018-19 class of the 30 under 30 program for his outstanding work with the young Lions.
  • Check out this awesome video about the impact made when donors give to the Orlando City Foundation to help better the community here in the City Beautiful.
  • Artist Dres13 is the mind behind probably my favorite gameday poster in a while with a cool design that looks like it could be the cover of an Orlando City comic book.
  • If the pace stays the same through the final two weeks of the season, MLS will be the highest-scoring domestic league in the world.
  • It looks like Josh Sargent will be moving on up to Werder Bremen’s first team with his first match possibly coming this weekend in a Bundesliga clash with Schalke 04.
  • I love it when professional athletes pick up the pen (or I guess keyboard) and speak for themselves rather than through interviews. Didier Drogba did just that to explain why he chose Phoenix Rising FC as his club after his time in MLS and it’s honestly a great read.
  • With most of the focus on the USWNT, it’s easy to forget about the other teams that qualified for the FIFA Women’s World Cup next summer in France. Canada made it but so did Jamaica, which won in a penalty shootout over Panama to qualify for the first time ever. While the players deserve tons of credit, so does Cedella Marley — daughter to the late great Bob Marley — who sponsored the team with the Bob Marley Foundation and helped create this moment. Congrats Reggae Girlz.

That’s all from me folks, I hope you all have a great Friday and enjoy your weekend!