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Lion Links: 3/19/18

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Getting Orlando City on track, USMNT roster announced, Marta recognized, and more!

MLS: Orlando City SC at New York City FC Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Merry Monday morning, Mane Landers. Well, another crappy weekend has left us with more questions than answers. So I thought I’d do a deep dive into what needs to happen for Orlando City to...just kidding. This is Lion Links, and as such here are a bunch of soccer things to get you through your day.

Getting Orlando City Back on Track

Orlando City supporters aren’t the only ones looking for ways that the Lions can get back on track. Charlie Davies of MLSsoccer.com gives his four suggestions to do just that. Not surprisingly, having Dom Dwyer back healthy leads the list. There’s also the idea of a shape different than the 4-4-2 diamond that Jason Kreis favors. That’s an idea that might make some fans quite happy. Will that happen? Well, I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Long Distance Isn’t Easy

We’ve all been enjoying Sydney Leroux being reunited with her husband, Dom Dwyer, and the cute pictures of Cassius. However, we should remember that another purple couple is having to cross the country to see each other. Former Orlando City player Servando Carrasco and current Pride player Alex Morgan got to enjoy being in the same city last season, but the LA Galaxy took him in the Re-Entry Draft after Orlando City declined his option, and now it’s a long-distance marriage. Professional athletes know this is always a possibility, and fortunately for Morgan she has her teammates’ support.

USMNT Roster Announced for Friendly

USMNT interim coach Dave Sarachan has selected 22 players who average just under 24 years old for the upcoming friendly against Paraguay. One noticeable exception is Borussia Dortmund player Christian Pulisic. Sarachan has spoken to Pulisic, and has decided that letting him stay with his Bundesliga team at this time is best for the player. The absence of Pulisic, and many of the older players that have made up the USMNT in the past, allows the next generation of players a chance to prove themselves. Two such players are New York Red Bulls midfielder Tyler Adams and Columbus Crew SC goalkeeper Zack Steffen. The friendly will take place March 27 in Cary, NC (7:30 pm ET, FS1, UniMás).

ESPN Announces Top 20

ESPN has put out its top 20 most dominant athletes of the last 20 years, and the Orlando Pride’s own Marta cracked the Top 10, coming in at number nine. For the record, that’s two spots above Lionel Messi and five spots above Cristiano Ronaldo. They were the only three soccer players on the list, and ESPN rightly recognized that Marta was the top choice for the sport. As the article mentions, Pele himself called her “Pele with a skirt.”

Free Kicks
  • It’s evidently former Pride player day, as Christina Burkenroad scored four goals for AC Sparta Prague in the Czech First League.
  • Famous birthdays for today include: Bruce Willis (63), Clayton Kershaw (30), Glenn Close (71), Wyatt Earp (1848-1929), former soccer player Kolo Toure (37), and generally bad people Casey Anthony (32) and Harvey “Ewww” Weinstein (66).

That’s going to do it for the links today. But...

There’s no way Orlando City can lose this weekend, and we get to see the Pride in their home opener against Utah! Go Pride!