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Lion Links: 5/7/18

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Lions win sixth in a row, VAR strikes again, EPL drama, Sutter goes streaking, and more!

MLS: Real Salt Lake at Orlando City SC Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Merry Monday morning, Mane Landers. It was an Orlando City club-record-setting weekend with the Lions’ sixth MLS win in a row. It feels so very good going to work after a win, and even better when it’s that many in a row. Now, it’s officially time to start looking forward to next weekend’s showdown with top of the table Atlanta United FC.

We’d also like to take a minute and wish a very happy 28th birthday to Sydney Leroux. Now, on to the links!

Orlando City Defeats Real Salt Lake 3-1 for Sixth Straight Win

The Cardiac Cats made another appearance after falling behind 1-0 in the 12th minute of the match. Dom Dwyer, Lamine Sané, and Yoshimar Yotún all scored as Orlando won its sixth match in a row. Dwyer has six goals in six matches, and Sané opened his account for Orlando City. Orlando takes on Atlanta United FC next Sunday at 6 p.m. ET in Orlando City Stadium.

Make sure to check back later for Sean Rollins’ five takeaways from the match and Carlos Romero’s photo gallery.

Is MLS Expanding Too Quickly?

In the past, there was certainly a danger of soccer expanding too fast, too soon. However, lessons from the past were learned. MLS might be making whole new mistakes, but certainly not the same ones they did in the past. Generally speaking, MLS has been smart about where it has put its expansion teams: Los Angeles, New York City, Atlanta, and Orlando. Not everyone agrees with that assessment. The argument that the TV ratings aren’t there in great enough numbers is something to consider, but I’m not so sure I agree. Check out this point of view and let us know what you think in the comments.

Florida Teams Get U.S. Open Cup Started

The 2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup has officially started and four Floridian teams helped kick off the tournament. The Jacksonville Armada defeated The Villages SC 2-1 to book their ticket to the first round, where they will play the Soccer Institute at Montverde Academy (SIMA) — a team loaded with former Orlando City Development Academy players.

Also earning a spot in the first round was the team that eliminated Orlando City in 2017, Miami FC. The club scored twice in the second half to beat FC Miami City, 3-1, and set up a date with Red Force FC this Wednesday.

Australian Video Review Malfunctions at Crucial Point

There have been plenty of mistakes surrounding the new Video Assistant Referree systems, and the latest comes from the Australian A-League’s Grand Final between the Melbourne Victory and the Newcastle Jets. This time it wasn’t bad camera angles, rather it was that the VAR system malfunctioned just when it was needed. In the ninth minute of the match, Victory’s James Donachie headed the ball down to Kostas Barbarouses to score the only goal of the game. However, replays showed Donachie was offside when he headed the ball, but the VAR system couldn’t confirm, and so the play stood. Let’s hope these types of mishaps get cleared up.

English Premier League Drama

It was quite a weekend for the EPL with teams being relegated, promoted, and some left hanging by a thread. Orlando City affiliate Stoke City was relegated following its 2-1 loss to Crystal Palace, and West Ham United staved off relegation by defeating Leicester City 2-0. The wildest result was West Bromwich Albion defeating Tottenham Hotspur, 1-0 in stoppage time to stave off relegation for another week. The win over Tottenham is the latest in all the things that need to happen for West Bromwich Albion to survive the year:

West Brom WIN over Newcastle
Swansea LOSS to Chelsea
Stoke LOSS OR DRAW vs. Crystal Palace
Swansea LOSS to Bournemouth
West Brom WIN over Tottenham
Southampton DRAW with Swansea
West Brom WIN over Crystal Palace
Stoke WIN over Swansea
Southampton LOSS to Manchester City

Five out of nine requirements have been crossed off the list so far. Good luck Baggies!

Free Kicks
  • Real Salt Lake Head Coach Mike Petke showed a ton of class upon visiting Orlando City Stadium. Well done, Coach.
  • Didier Drogba was as cool as you can be, both with this young fan and with the corner kick.
  • Kay Rawlins. Is there anything she can’t do?
  • Scott Sutter was a little early with this tweet, but he wasn’t wrong. Nice prediction, Scott.
  • Diego Valeri gave Portland a late game winner off a free kick and the ensuing celebration had fans screaming and teammates injured. Wait what?

That’s going to do it for today. Enjoy the beginning of the week, and tune it to watch the Orlando Pride take on the Utah Royals at Rio Tinto Stadium this Wednesday night at 9 p.m. ET.