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Lion Links: 6/14/18

Orlando City at Montreal, North America awarded 2026 World Cup, USWNT grades for China friendlies and much more.

MLS: Orlando City SC at Montreal Impact Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

Hey, Mane Landers! As you are reading this I hope that you are all watching the World Cup in Russia as I am on my day off and enjoying the festivities. There is lots of big news in today’s Links so I won’t keep you waiting. It‘s World Cup Day!

Orlando City Falls to Montreal Impact 3-0

The Lions completed a miserable road trip last night in a rain-soaked match in Montreal. The game turned early with Cristian Higuita conceding a penalty to allow an early Ignacio Piatti goal. Orlando came into the game but couldn’t put anything in the net. Amro Tarek made things worse with an own goal in the second half and City fans are still wondering how half a dozen chances in the final half hour stayed out of the net. It’s six losses in a row now and next up comes a fifth consecutive road match — this time at D.C. United in the U.S. Open Cup next Wednesday.

And check back later as Dave Rohe will have his five takeaways from the match.

North America Officially Wins 2026 World Cup Bid

With the United States not participating in the World Cup in Russia, this news seems bittersweet. For the first time since 1994, the United States will host soccer’s biggest event along with Mexico and Canada. The news broke late Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning. Taylor Twellman gives his thoughts in the video below on the great news.

A big part of the decision was the difference in revenue that FIFA will draw from the event. The rival bid was from Morocco, whom FIFA would only draw about $7 billion in revenue from while FIFA will likely draw around $14 billion in revenue from North America. Another interesting note is that the 2026 World Cup will be the first to expand the field of teams to 48. Unless the rules change, all three host countries will automatically qualify.

“What an exciting day for the sport of soccer in Canada, Mexico and the United States -- and really, for the rest of the world,” MLS Commissioner Don Garber said. “This decision that just came down from Moscow to allow our region to host the World Cup in 2026 is a testament to how our three nations came together for an unprecedented united bid, and it’s a monumental step in our collective mission to further advance the game of soccer here and to do what we can to grow the game around the world.”

This news is amazing for fans of North America, mainly the United States and Canada who are not participating this year. Enjoy the World Cup in Russia in 2018, but eight years from now, it comes back to North America.

Orlando City, working with the city of Orlando to become a host of the 2026 event, put out this statement after the news dropped.

USWNT Player Grades for June

The USWNT played the Chinese Women’s National Team twice in the month of June, winning both matches by a goal in each. SBI took the time to grade the women that played in the two matches. Christen Press, Crystal Dunn and Megan Rapinoe all received ”A“ grades to top the list. Orlando Pride’s Alex Morgan got a “B” as she recorded a goal in the first match and created numerous chances throughout both. Meanwhile, Pride goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris also received a “B,” playing the full 90 minutes in match two, making five saves in the 2-1 victory. Morgan and Harris played well representing the Pride.

The Villages Thriving in All Ages of Soccer

The Villages SC was granted a franchise license in 2016 and ever since it has thrived through multiple age groups. They play in the Premier Development League, a league supported by United States Leagues with teams in the U.S. and Canada. The club is currently in its season and its fan base has embraced all ages of fans who want to embrace the beautiful game of soccer. The senior group of the club meets every week and men and women learn to play soccer or enhance their skills on the pitch even at an advanced age.

“We recognize that not everybody has had the opportunity to play soccer in their younger lives. It is a fabulous game to play, and so that’s why we do the Tuesdays where many grandparents who go and see their grandkids play, they come back to us and say, ‘Yeah, I watched my grandkids. Could you teach me?’” - John Ellis

Ellis is actually the father of USWNT coach Jill Ellis and is an active member with The Villages SC. The club is currently embracing the World Cup together at the local World of Beer which happens to be a sponsor of the club. The club has a deep history and is looking for soccer fans of all ages to embrace the club and they continue to grow by the day. You can check out the club yourself here.

Free Kicks
  • Former Orlando City goalkeeper Tally Hall spoke about one of his new teammates in his post-soccer career in a very difficult moment.
  • Spain surprisingly sacked its head coach Julen Lopetegui on Wednesday, after his announced Real Madrid move.
  • I think this reaction speaks for every American soccer fan after the announcement of hosting the 2026 World Cup.

I hope you all are enjoying the World Cup in Russia and watching the matches, so we thought we would run a poll to see who everyone is rooting for. Let us know in the comments as well! Have an amazing Thursday.


Who Are You Rooting For In The World Cup?

This poll is closed

  • 7%
    (4 votes)
  • 5%
    (3 votes)
  • 28%
    (15 votes)
  • 0%
    (0 votes)
  • 3%
    (2 votes)
  • 53%
    (28 votes)
52 votes total Vote Now