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Lion Links: 5/1/18

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Orlando players recognized, OCSC refuses to board hype train, big money on the table for MLS, and more.

MLS: Orlando City SC at Colorado Rapids Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Happy May, Mane Landers. In case you weren’t aware, Orlando City just went a perfect 4-for-4 during the month of April, so that’s a whole thing. There’s quite a lot to discuss today so let’s get going.

Weekly Recognition for Orlando Players

Once again players from both of Orlando’s teams found themselves nominated for/included in weekly awards. First up, Yoshimar Yotún made the starting XI of the MLS Team of the Week while Justin Meram was included on the bench and Jason Kreis was named the manager. Next up, Cristian Higuita was nominated for the MLS Goal of the Week for his second half strike in Orlando City’s 2-1 road win over the Colorado Rapids. And last but certainly not least, Marta was nominated for the NWSL Goal of the Week for her spectacular free kick in the Orlando Pride’s 1-1 draw with Seattle Reign. Make sure you go vote for the nominees, and congratulations to those in the Team of the Week.

OCSC Keeping Feet on the Ground

People have rightfully begun to talk about Orlando City following the club’s fifth straight win. However, those involved with the club are refusing to buy their tickets for the proverbial hype train that seems to be pulling into the station. Cristian Higuita wants the team to keep working hard and stay calm, while Kreis wants the team to keep its feet on the ground and not listen to the hype. He too believes that this team can go on and be successful, but needs to continue to work hard and not get ahead of itself by listening to outside buzz. Here’s hoping the team does just that as it looks for a sixth win in a row this weekend against Real Salt Lake.

Orlando Stays Put in Power Rankings

OCSC has maintained its seventh-place status in this week’s edition of ESPN’s power rankings. Atlanta United kept the top spot while New York City FC and New York Red Bulls rounded out the top three. Interestingly, Toronto FC comes in at No. 9, which I find to be...questionable. While the article acknowledges the team’s ranking will plummet if they don’t start to win with no Concacaf Champions League to distract them, I find it odd that a team that is the joint worst in MLS is ranked inside the top 10. But I’m just some spud with a computer so who knows, what do y’all think?

Big Investment Offer for MLS

The owner of the NASL’s New York Cosmos, Rocco Commisso, has offered the United States Soccer Federation $500 million in investment money, provided the federation can meet his requirements. In an April 13 letter to the federation’s president, Carlos Cordeiro, he also offered to buy the U.S. national team’s commercial rights at a higher price than the rights currently held by Soccer United Marketing.

Commisso isn’t just giving the farm away for free, though. In return for his hard-earned cash he wants the federation to end its deal with SUM, create rules regarding “poaching strategies” he says are used by MLS and the USL, as well as several other things, one of which is moving to institute promotion/relegation. Since that’s always a juicy topic, all I have left to say is to have at it in the comments.

Trump Wants African Support for World Cup Bid

U.S. President Donald Trump has encouraged African Nations to support the U.S.-led 2026 World Cup bid, Which is all well and good except that it could constitute a possible second violation of FIFA’s Bid Rules of Conduct. The rules discourage “any undue influence on the outcome,” which was something called into question following Trump’s tweet last week. I’m not here to talk about the man’s policies or rhetoric, but I swear if he mucks up this bid I will literally sh*t a brick. Conversely, if the U.S. does get the 2026 World Cup, I’ll be damn near the happiest I’ve ever been.

Free Kicks
  • A fan in Uruguay saved Peñarol’s bacon before their match over the weekend:

That’s all I’ve got for today. Don’t forget that it’s another Sunday game for OCSC this week, while the Pride actually play tomorrow on the road at Chicago. May you all have a great remainder of your week. Ciao.