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Lion Links: 4/15/18

Chris “Cash” Mueller insight, Beckham eyes city of Doral for stadium, potential Champions League scandal, and more.

MLS: Portland Timbers at Orlando City SC Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Sunday, Mane Landers. Spirits are joyously high following Friday evening’s impressive 2-0 win by the Lions in Philadelphia. The boys in purple are starting to round into form and the women in purple have another shot at three points later today as they take on the Portland Thorns. Here’s your Sunday serving of Lion Links to hold you over until then.

Head Coach Jason Kreis Happy With “Most Complete Game of the Year”

The supporters weren’t the only ones left satisfied by the performance of the Lions on Friday night. Head Coach Jason Kreis was interviewed following the match and he expressed his delight on the night’s result. While I think it’s safe to assume Kreis’ mind has already shifted to San Jose’s trip to Orlando City Stadium, this win should be held in high esteem and will hopefully continue to grow the confidence of the younger players in the squad, specifically the streaking rookie Chris Mueller. Kreis is spot on, too. This was the most complete match of the year so far. Key words: “so far.” Here’s the interview:

Chris Mueller’s Hot Streak, Dwyer’s Guidance, and Celebrations

Chris Mueller’s impressive run of late has been catching the eye of more than just Orlando City supporters. Dave Zeitlin of mlssoccer.com made “Cash” Mueller the focus of his recent article, detailing his recent scoring streak, interesting celebrations, and tutelage under star striker Dom Dwyer. The article provides some great insight into the mentor-mentee relationship shared between the two, and also touches on the thoughts of Kreis. The piece highlights Mueller’s significant rise in confidence and importance to the squad, and also serves as a measuring stick for how far the rookie — just 21 years old — has come so far. The future is bright for Mueller, and I’m looking forward to witnessing his growth.

David Beckham Eyes Yet Another Stadium Site

Representatives from Miami’s incoming MLS franchise and the league met with city officials in Doral, FL to discuss the possibility of making the city the home of the team’s stadium despite being located outside of Miami city limits. Beckham and his group have been active in their pursuit of top-flight status, and this development is another exciting step for them. Again. If it actually happens this time, it could be an ideal landing spot for Beckham and his staff, and it would likely serve as a boon to the local Doral economy, which would be welcomed with open arms. As Lions supporters, we should be keeping a wary eye on the activity, but also be welcoming hosts or something, right?

Champions League Fixing Scandal or “Technical Error?”

Football fans across the globe are suspicious of a possible Champions League fixing scandal that was sparked by Roma’s alleged advertisement of a semifinal clash with Liverpool the day before the drawing and subsequent pairing occurred. This isn’t the first time controversy has accompanied the Champions League match draws, as Brazilian legend Roberto Carlos came under fire in 2016 for briefly picking up a ball during a draw before dropping it in favor of another (allegedly seeking out a specific temperature on the surface of the ball). This prompted conspiracy theorists and football fans alike to question the legitimacy of the draw and even the prestigious tournament itself. Personally, I’m leaving my tinfoil hat in the closet for now...but I wouldn’t be shocked to learn that it’s true.

Free Kicks
  • In arguably the most important update on the day, Lions right back Scott Sutter is still waiting for rookie Chris Mueller’s knee slide. The real question is if Mueller is willing to shelf the CR7 pose for a true knee slide. I sure hope so.
  • Andrew Wiebe over at mlssoccer.com talks about the impact Mario Balotelli could have in MLS both on and off the field.
  • World-conquering club FC Barcelona has set a new La Liga record by going 39 consecutive league matches without a loss. Not too shabby, Barca.

That’s all I’ve got for you today, folks. Enjoy the match later on today as the Pride look to take down the Thorns. It should be an excellent match, and I anticipate a bevy of scoring opportunities. I’ll go out on a strange limb here and predict a 4-1 win for the Pride.

Have an excellent week, Mane Landers.