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Lion Links: 6/16/18

Jason Kreis is gone, Orlando again ranks highly for soccer fans, All-Star Game voting update, Ronaldo is ridiculous, and more.

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MLS: Atlanta United FC at Orlando City SC Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Mane Land readers. It’s an Orlando Pride match day as the club hosts Sky Blue FC tonight at 7:30 p.m. We’ll be all over that one as Camila is finally available for selection in 2018. That doesn’t guarantee she’ll play, but it’s a huge step for the Brazilian.

So, that was some pretty major news yesterday, huh? I’m of course referring to Lucifer getting picked up by Netflix after its cancellation by FOX. What can I say? I love that show.

I guess some stuff happened in the soccer world as well, and we should probably talk about that a bit because that’s what this website is for, after all.

#KreisOut Becomes Reality

Orlando City partook in the ultimate Friday afternoon news dump yesterday by announcing that the club has parted ways with Jason Kreis. The team will be coached by Assistant Coach Bobby Murphy (again) on an interim basis until a new gaffer can be found. Whether this will fix things is as unknown as whether or not Kreis would have turned things around himself if given time, but the club opted for one unknown over the other. So, we’re left to wait and wonder if the Lions will miss the playoffs yet again due to another arduous rebuild, or go on a spectacular run to MLS Cup glory (or something in between).

I quickly threw together my thoughts on the situation after hearing the news which you’re welcome to read or ignore as you choose. Ultimately, I’m glad I got to meet Jason and that my ‘work’ (read: hobby) allowed me to pick his bright soccer mind sometimes, and I wish him luck.

Stay tuned for more on the shakeup and ongoing search as we’ll have plenty more to say about the Orlando City coaching situation.

Orlando No. 2 Soccer City in America

Once again Orlando scored well on the list of top soccer cities in America, ranking second overall. The City Beautiful fell just one spot short of the top slot, which is surprisingly occupied by Los Angeles. LA ranked No. 1 for MLS to Orlando’s No. 3, while our town finished No. 2 in NWSL ranking. Ultimately it might not mean all that much, but the site rated 292 of the country’s most populous cities in 63 key metrics. What it boils down to most is that, per capita, the city of Orlando is reaching fans across the population.

Atlanta Players Dominating MLS All-Star Voting

Good, let them play an extra game, even if it is at home. The latest MLS All-Star voting update sees a plethora of Five Stripes players in the running for the MLS All-Star Game Fan XI. Goalkeeper Brad Guzan, defenders Michael Parkhurst and Leandro Gonzalez Pirez, midfielders Miguel Almiron, Darlington Nagbe, Ezequiel Barco, and Julian Gressel, and forward Josef Martinez all top the vote getters at their positions. Holy ballot box stuffing, Batman!

Ronaldo Puts on a Show in Portugal’s World Cup Opener

In the game of the tournament (albeit after only four matches), Portugal vs. Spain more than lived up to the billing in a 3-3 draw in Sochi. Cristiano Ronaldo was magnificent in earning his country a draw with a hat trick, including this ridiculous free kick late in normal time:

Is he the greatest of all time? Maybe. Maybe not. But does it matter? Can’t we just enjoy watching what he can do with a soccer ball?

Free Kicks

  • Despite his heroics yesterday, not all is going Cristiano Ronaldo’s way. He was given a two-year prison sentence (which he won’t have to serve) and an 18.8 million Euro tax bill for violating tax laws. Man, he and Messi compete over everything.
  • For the second week in a row, someone had to go through Orlando City to become MLS Player of the Week. This week it was Ignacio Piatti.
  • National Geographic weighs in on when soccer really began in this fascinating article.
  • Those born on this date include Geronimo (1829), Stan Laurel — of Laurel & Hardy fame — (1890), former NHL coach Roger Neilson (1934), Marillion drummer Ian Mosley (1953), wrestler The Ultimate Warrior (1959), Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp (1967), former USMNT midfielder Cobi Jones (1970), pro golfer Phil Mickelson (1970), rapper Tupac (1971), and hockey’s Rick Nash (1984).

That’s all I’ve got for you today. Keep it right here at The Mane Land for full coverage of the Pride later and enjoy the World Cup weekend!