Happy Sunday, Mane Landers! I hope your weekend has been going as well as mine, which has been phenomenal to say the least. First and foremost, I highly recommend Hourglass Brewery of Longwood, FL. They host a wide and delectable selection of local brews, the atmosphere and decor was second to none, and (possibly) best of all, they’re partnered with Wako Taco next door. What more could one ask for?
Other than that, I pride myself for being a loyal friend, and when a “Want to come help us paint a house?” text fired into my cellular device at 9:11 a.m. on Saturday morning (after a night out), I didn’t hesitate to dress in my best throwaway clothes and head on over to lend a hand.
I met a few new fantastic people, at both Hourglass and while painting, and quite frankly had a great time busting my ass for a free meal and good company. I barely made it home in time to shower and get back in front of the nearest television to catch the Orlando City at Vancouver Whitecaps match, too. Major thanks to you, YouTube TV.
Anyway, I’ll stop boring you with my awesome weekend and get you to what you really came here for: your Sunday serving of Lion Links. Bon appetite.
Orlando City Falls in Vancouver, 5-2
In a back-and-forth match that seemed wide open early on, the Vancouver Whitecaps took over and eventually won, 5-2. Kei Kamara, appropriately nicknamed the “Lion Killer” due to his historic heroics against Orlando City, put the hosts up in the 36th minute. Unfortunately, in the 58th minute, Mohamed El-Munir saw a second yellow and subsequent red from a soft challenge that truly should have only been a final warning and free kick for the Libyan. The Caps took over from there. Oh, and Dom Dwyer notched one back in the 94th minute from some good play from Chris Mueller. Yay.
The match was an infuriating one for Jason Kreis, as he lashed out at what he perceived as an imbalance in critical calls in the match.
Check in later today for Guilherme Torres’ five takeaways from the match.
Young USMNT Earns Draw Against Star-Studded France, 1-1
In an impressive showing of American defensive fortitude, a young and inexperienced USMNT earned a 1-1 draw against an absolutely stacked, and World Cup favorite, France side. In what may very well have been interim head coach Dave Sarachan’s last match in charge of the Yanks, he deployed a defensive lineup, opting to counter-attack out of what was mostly a 5-3-2. Julian Green scored his fourth for the Americans, as they went into the break with a 1-0 lead despite being outplayed in every statistical category.
Kylian Mbappé leveled up for the French in the second half, but Les Bleus couldn’t find that final goal in the closing minutes, and the Americans held on to their 1-1 draw. The play of American goalkeeper Zack Steffen was astounding — his sensational saves during this match should be in a textbook somewhere, and I look forward to seeing more of his insane shot-stopping ability more in the future.
FC Cincinnati Supporters Support Bid to #SaveTheCrew
In a friendly gesture born from FC Cincinnati’s recent approval to join Major League Soccer, supporters of the Ohio-based club traveled to the Columbus Crew’s Mapfre Stadium to cheer on the Crew as they hosted the New York Red Bulls. The reasoning behind the gesture was that FC Cincinnati and their supporters don’t want to see their new potential in-state rival book it to Austin, TX after this season, a possible move that has mostly everyone (aside from the actual ownership group) up in arms and protesting. The #SaveTheCrew movement has still been remaining strong, and I personally hope their efforts aren’t in vain. I too want to see the Crew remain in Columbus. Cheers, FC Cincinnati’s traveling fans...cheers to every single one of you.
Former Orlando City B Player Ryley Kraft Signs with Energy FC
Kraft, a midfielder who appeared in seven matches over 515 minutes with OCB in 2017, has officially signed a contract with the Oklahoma-based USL club and is now just waiting for league and federation approval. The 20-year-old from Roseville, CA is a talented and hungry young professional, and I think he’ll find success with his new club. The club seems to be quite high on him as well, as head coach Steve Cooke gushed when asked about his new signing.
“Ryley is a young pro who is hungry to improve and continue the development of his career,” said Cooke. “He has a good technical base and has a high soccer intelligence. The addition of him to our club enables him to progress, to challenge for a place on our team and ultimately begin a long and successful career.”
Ryley may be young, but he’s quite experienced, having played with OCB, Sacramento Republic’s U-17/18 side, and even earned a call up to the U.S. U-19 side. He was a trialist with the New England Revolution earlier this year. Cheers, Ryley! Best of luck, we’ll be cheering you on from Central Florida!
- Speaking of the USMNT...The Ringer’s Andrew Helms and Matt Pentz wrote up quite the piece detailing how the Yanks missed out on 2018 World Cup.
- I really like this one: Joe Cole has taken on a player-coach role for the USL’s Tampa Bay Rowdies.
- Chelsea’s notoriously wealthy and unpredictable owner, Roman Abramovich, has rejected an offer from Jim Ratcliffe, the UK’s richest man, to purchase the club.
- Lyon have officially ended negotiations with Liverpool over the transfer of young phenom Nabil Fekir.
- Speaking of Liverpool...Mohamed Salah has dismissed Sergio Ramos’ claims that he told him things were “fine” following the Champion’s League disaster for the Reds. By the way, he’s also expected to be able to play during this tournament, but his status for the opener against Uruguay is still uncertain.
- With Zinedine Zidane’s recent departure from Real Madrid, speculation has been swirling that the current Brazil National Team manager Tite has been picked for the job. Well, he doesn’t really like the “lie,” especially with the World Cup just days away.
Well, that’s about all I’ve got for you today, folks. Remember to check back in with The Mane Land for incoming updates and news, as well. Enjoy the remainder of this wonderful Sunday, and have a great week.
Actually, one last thing: when you’re done reading this, go make someone smile. Just because.