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Lion Links: 3/11/18

Lions host Minnesota United, OCSC Development Academy updates, West Ham’s pitch invaders, and more.

MLS: Minnesota United FC at Orlando City SC Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Sunday, Mane Landers! Depending on your location, it may be a rainy, dreary day for you — the Orlando area forecast doesn’t look promising if you’ve planned outdoor activities for today. At least you’ve still got The Mane Land though, and we’re here to serve you up your Sunday Lion Links on a silver...wait no, purple platter.

Bon appetite, Lions:

Lions fall 2-1 to Minnesota United

Ethan Finlay is a hater and he hated his way to two goals last night to snatch all three points for Minnesota United in Adrian Heath’s (and Kevin Molino’s) return to Orlando. If you’re keeping score, that’s 2-0 in Inchy’s favor in two meetings and the Lions haven’t even scored in the run of play against the Loons. That’s pretty bad, but at least Sacha Kljestan gets out of Garber Prison for next week.

And check back later for a photo gallery from Carlos Romero and our five takeaways from Guilherme Torres.

Orlando City Development Academy Posts Excellent Results

The young Lions traveled to Monteverde Academy this weekend to take on the Concorde Fire and Atlanta United. Yesterday, the U-15s drew with the Fire, 1-1, the U-17s beat the Fire, 3-2, and the U-19s downed the Fire, 3-0. The boys in purple that got on the score sheets include Luc Granitur (U-15), Bruno Furtado (U-17), Moises Tablante (U-17), Jose Aldaco (U-19) and Alejandro Pereira (U-19). Keep an eye out for today’s results, especially in these rivalry-charged matches against United. The youth squads are shining brightly these days, and the hashtag is perfect: #TheFutureIsPurple. Keep it up, fellas!

West Ham Has Four Pitch Invaders in 30 minutes, Investigation Opened

London Stadium was the stage for a strange occurrence as West Ham supporters invaded the pitch multiple times to confront the club’s players and taunt the co-ownership. The unrest at the club has been notable for some time now, and it appears things are beginning to boil over as supporters believe that the club has “been destroyed” by the current co-ownership of David Gold and David Sullivan. Regardless, this sort of behavior is unacceptable and downright dangerous for every single person involved. I prefer the move that many other attendees made; they chanted “we are no longer West Ham,” and then exited the venue peacefully. A full investigation on the matter has been opened.

A quick thanks and show of appreciation for the passionate, yet civil, OCSC supporters. I know there’s been controversy, unrest, and disagreements at time among various members or parties within the community, yet you’ve all shown class over the years. I’m incredibly proud of the culture you’ve cultivated here, cheers to you all.

Alberth Elis Took 80 Houston-area Kids to See Black Panther

In a great story of giving back to the community, Houston Dynamo star Alberth Elis treated 80 kids from Las Americas Middle School to a theater screening of Black Panther, popcorn included.

Las Americas is a “newcomer campus” that educates recent immigrant and refugee students who have no or very limited English language proficiency, and who often have had a limited formal education in their native countries.

It was a nice thing for Elis to do in conjunction with Dynamo Charities, and those kids got to see a pretty darn good movie.

Free Kicks
  • We were all saddened by the announcement of former USMNT striker Charlie Davies’ retirement, but it looks like he’s staying involved and enjoying himself, even if he does find it surreal. You deserve it, Charlie!
  • Zinedine Zidane had quite the surprising explanation as to why Sergio Ramos exited the field during play.
  • Congratulations to Lionel Messi on his greatest hat trick - his third child, Ciro, was born yesterday. I bet little Ciro already has a better touch on the ball than I do, too.
  • Entertainment icon Drake, a Toronto native, got to meet one of his soccer idols, MLS All-Star Sebastian Giovinco.
  • Today is Chelsea legend Didier Drogba’s birthday. He’s 40...which makes even me feel old. Happy birthday, Didier!
  • Respect to Burnley’s substitutes in the aforementioned West Ham scuffles. They allowed children attending the match to sit with them for protection from the altercations:

That’s about it for today, folks. Before I make my leave, I wanted to leave you with a little nugget of indie pop that I’ve discovered recently as I was relaxing and managing my FIFA18 edition of Orlando City (which is, of course, the defending MLS Cup champion). His stage name is Rex Orange County, and he’s a 19-year-old singer/songwriter out of the UK. He’s quickly become a personal favorite of mine. Enjoy!