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Lion Links: 4/24/18

Lions featured in MLS Team of the Week, Orlando City climbs ESPN’s power rankings, MLS ambition rankings, Gianni Infantino’s emergency meeting, and more

MLS: San Jose Earthquakes at Orlando City SC Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Tuesday, readers. A successful weekend for both Orlando soccer teams means my week started on a bright note, and I hope the same has been true for all of you. There’s plenty to talk about, so let’s get into it.

Lions in MLS Team of the Week

These days it seems like every Tuesday after an Orlando City game I’m writing about the inclusion of one or several Lions in the MLS Team of the Week. So has it proven again this week, with his holiness the Cash God himself, Chris Mueller, getting a place among the forwards and Yoshimar Yotún making the bench in this week’s edition of the MLS TOTW.

Any Lions fan worth his or her salt surely knows of The Venerable One’s goal and assist performance in Saturday’s game, and his inclusion in the starting XI was certainly warranted. Yoshi’s contributions showed up on the stat sheet in the form of assists, with his two key passes on each of the first-half goals. Hopefully this isn’t the last we’ll see of either player when it comes to the weekly honor roll.

City Continues Trending Up in Power Rankings

Following the team’s fourth straight win, Orlando continues to march up ESPN’s weekly MLS power rankings. This week the Lions are up to No. 7, three spots up from where they came in last week. ESPN has also taken it upon itself to anoint His Eminence as the early front-runner for the Rookie of the Year, which is all well and good, but the season isn’t even fully two months old yet. Let’s hold off on heaping expectations upon The Exalted One for now. Just let him and the team keep on keepin’ on.

2018 MLS Ambition Rankings

Sports Illustrated has released its 2018 MLS Ambition Rankings, a measure of where each club stacks up in terms of its ambitions. Orlando City comes in at No. 10, three spots south of last year’s seventh-place ranking. Counted against the club were its spending budget compared to some of the league’s other teams, as well as the suspension of Orlando City B. Somewhat unsurprisingly, Atlanta United took the top spot, with Toronto FC coming a close second. You can read more on what went into determining SI’s Eastern Conference rankings here, as well as the Western Conference rankings here.

Infantino Calls for Emergency Meeting

FIFA president Gianni Infantino has called for an emergency meeting of FIFA’s top officials following the emergence of a potential opportunity that would see a massive influx of cash. A number of investors have proposed the creation of a quadrennial 24-team club competition, in addition to a league for national teams. Infantino had previously met with some of the investors without knowledge of FIFA officials, but now requires those officials’ blessings in order to continue negotiations. Much of UEFA is opposed to the club tournament, which would be a direct competitor to the UEFA Champions League tournament that makes the federation a stupidly large amount of money. The emergency meeting will apparently take place early in May and will undoubtedly be something to keep an eye on.

Free Kicks

It was nice to you see before the game! Thank you for inviting me

A post shared by Mohamed El Munir13 (@mohamedelmunir13) on

That’s all for me today. Don’t forget that this week will see the scheduling flipped from last week as the Pride play Saturday while OCSC will have to wait until Sunday. Y’all stay safe out there. Ciao.