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Lion Links: 5/4/18

Orlando’s new partner, Kljestan grounded, Higuita rises, Kreis readies for Real Salt Lake, and more.

A-League Rd 10 - Perth v Newcastle Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images

May the force be with you, Mane Landers! Today is May 4, which means it’s Star Wars Day. If you’ve come here for info on a struggling MLS team, then these aren’t the links you’re looking for. Orlando City is on a five-game win streak, the best in MLS this season. But don’t get cocky kid, the season is young and the postseason is far, far away. In the meantime, we’re taking things into lightspeed to get you caught up on everything happening in Orlando soccer. So buckle up, flyboy. It’s time for the links!

Orlando City Partners With YouTube TV

YouTube TV has been announced as an official streaming partner for Orlando City. The Lions’ Sunday game against Real Salt Lake, along with the rest of Orlando’s locally televised games, will be broadcast on YouTube TV. This deal will not affect any ESPN+ subscriptions and is just another way for Orlando City fans to see their favorite team. This isn’t the first time YouTube TV has grouped up with an MLS team, as the streaming service partnered with Los Angeles FC earlier this year. Hopefully Orlando City won’t end up with that red play button logo on its kit though.

Sacha Kljestan Staying Grounded During Win Streak

The Lions may be flying high during their five-game win streak, but their heads are definitely not in the clouds. The Cardiac Cats have relied on some late-game heroics to win five straight and midfielder Sacha Kljestan knows Orlando hasn’t been flawless.

“You know, it’s been some up and down games,” he said. “It’s been some crazy games. We’ve had to come back. I think we’ve just battled it out, because it hasn’t been perfect, that’s for sure. Five wins is great, but it hasn’t been perfect. The good thing is I think we’re getting better and we’ve got a good group of guys that are pretty humble and very hungry.”

Cristian Higuita Reaching New Levels of Consistency

Let’s not beat around the bush here, midfielder Cristian Higuita has been a revelation for an Orlando City team still missing pieces on the defensive end of the ball. The 24-year-old has been performing at a high level in his recent appearances this season and has made his way into the starting lineup thanks to consistent play and a strong work rate. It all came to a head last week when Higuita scored an incredible goal, his third as a Lion and first since 2016. It’s hard to think this was the same player that was deemed unfit at the start of the season by Head Coach Jason Kreis.

“Save Me Mohamed El-Munir, You’re My Only Hope”

Okay, Orlando City goalkeeper Joe Bendik didn’t actually say that, but he might as well have when Colorado Rapids midfielder Dillon Serna had an open shot late in last week’s game. Luckily for Bendik and Orlando, defender Mohamed El-Munir was able to deflect the shot with a last-ditch effort and save the Lions. Check out what was racing through both Bendik’s and El-Munir’s heads during the moment that had Orlando fans screaming in joy.

No Extra Motivation For Kreis as Real Salt Lake Visits

Jason Kreis says there won’t be any additional emotion when Orlando welcomes his former team, Real Salt Lake. Kreis last coached Real Salt Lake in 2013 and the team looks much different now than it did then, but Kreis is pleased with the changes he sees in his former club.

“It’s really exciting that the way [Dell Loy] Hansen has put in the resources he has into that club,” Orlando’s head coach said on Wednesday. “Always felt it was a terrific club, which could have established its own real identity, and I’m really happy to see that Dell Loy has continued that process, especially with the academy.”

Uri Rosell Vlogs Colorado Road Trip

If #RichieCam was the social highlight of the preseason, then Uri’s Vlog is its spiritual successor. Through a glorious nine minutes of footage, defensive midfielder Oriol “Uri” Rosell chronicled the team’s trip to Colorado.

Free Kicks
  • Center back Amro Tarek is embracing the dark side with the mask he will be wearing this Sunday afternoon.

Well folks, that’ll do it for our links today. Whether you’re a Jedi or a droid, I hope you have a fantastic Friday. The force will be with you, always.