Howdy, Mane Landers and happy Sunday! I trust that everyone’s been having a swell weekend, and if not, turn it around baby! We’ve got beautiful football at our fingertips basically every single day right now, and personally, I can’t get enough of it. I’m watching Mexico play South Korea as I start this column, and man, it’s tough not keeping my eyes glued to the other side of my browser...but I shall persist, I shall push through, because who else would be here to serve up your Sunday helping of Lion Links? There are quite a few of them, too. Bon appetite, folks.
Lions Fall Again to the Montreal Impact, 2-0
With interim head coach Bobby Murphy continuing to tinker with the lineup, the Lions came out in a 3-4-3 like they did Wednesday. Unfortunately for the Lions, the Impact took the full three points in Orlando City Stadium, winning 2-0, and the boys in purple have now fallen to a seven-game losing streak in league play. Michael Citro was on hand to recap the match for you.
The coverage will continue today with Guilherme Torres’ player grades and our bearded guy’s five takeaways.
Pride Take Down the Spirit on the Road, 1-0
My oh my, Alanna Kennedy. It didn’t take the Pride long to put one on the scoreboard in their away trip to Washington, and the way in which it occurred was just absolutely bonkers. Kennedy, operating out of the defensive midfield, intercepted a pass in the midfield, picked her head up and saw the Spirit’s goalkeeper off of her line, and launched a rocket that fell just behind the keeper and into the back of the net: that’s sure to be a candidate (if not winner) of the NWSL Goal of the Week.
It was her golazo that was the difference between the two sides. Marcus Mitchell has your in-depth match recap.
World Cup Goals and Physics: Don’t Defy, but Rely
In an insightful interview with John W.M. Bush, Ph.D. in Geophysics from Harvard, Chris Greenburg of SB Nation prodded the applied mathematics professor of MIT for information regarding how physics has affected some of the golazos we’ve been gifted with as World Cup supporters throughout the years. The common cliche is that a beautiful goal “defies physics,” but as John emphasized in his interview with Chris, they actually rely on physics.
“They shouldn’t say it defies the laws of physics,” he reminds us, “it just relies on relatively subtle physics that is well documented in the literature by now.”
He goes into depth with how several factors affect the resulting trajectory of a shot or cross, and even offers analysis of individual instances of goals, explaining exactly how physics has affected each spectacular goal. He covers both contemporary and historical memorable moments, and his knowledge and insight (especially since he was a player himself at some point in time) is truly compelling, and I’m grateful I was directed to the interview.
Meet Jay Taylor, Bringing Orlando City’s Supporters News...in England
Jay Taylor is a lot like you and I. He’s a die hard Orlando City supporter that doesn’t miss a clip of Lion action...but he’s completely different from you and I in one or two major ways: he lives in Harrogate, North Yorkshire and is one of the most trusted and established sources of OCSC news, mostly delivered through his popular Twitter account, @AllOrlandoCity. As detailed in an interview with UCFB, his alma mater, Taylor speaks on the difficulties of covering the Lions from across the pond.
“The time difference makes it extremely tough. The earliest kick-offs are usually 10pm UK time, but they are quite rare. The normal kick-off time is 12:35am, but it can go even later than that with the latest being 3:30am! Having a full-time job in social media which sees me work lots of hours in the day can make it challenging to run this channel. I get great interaction from the fans on social media and they seem to enjoy what I do and that makes it worthwhile for me. I also feel if you work hard enough you will get to where you want to be one day. I want to work in soccer media in the US and I hope to actually call Orlando my home one day.”
Cheers, Jay. I hope you get to call Orlando your home one day too.
A Brief World Cup Recap
Yesterday was a doozy...in the best type of way. The World Cup fixtures on the day began with Belgium’s 5-2 win over a resolute and surprisingly strong Tunisian side where the scoreline truly doesn’t reflect the way in which the match unfolded. Regardless, Belgium has all but clinched a spot in the Round of 16. Meanwhile, Mexico continued their excellent start to the tournament, downing South Korea, 2-1, in what became a fantastic back-and-forth match that was wide open for large chunks of play. That win moves them closer to punching their ticket to the Round of 16, too. And finally, the final match on the day, Germany vs. Sweden, was a crucial one for Germany, and boy did Die Mannschaft pull the proverbial rabbit out of their hat at the last minute, as Toni Kroos’ goal from an indirect set piece gave them the lead and win within the closing seconds of the match. Germany is still alive, folks.
- Alex Leitão held a presser and announced that the next head coach of Orlando City will be expected to win with the current roster.
- The U-17s fought valiantly, but ultimately fell to Barca Academy, 4-3. Well fought season, lads. #TheFutureIsPurple.
F/T: U-17’s fall to Barca Academy in a very competitive game. Great season boys! pic.twitter.com/6Vl8AaZEPb— Orlando City SC DA (@OCSC_Academy) June 24, 2018
- Props to one of my favorite Lions, Scott Sutter, for representing and honoring Orlando Police’s fallen heroes on his way into Orlando City Stadium prior to yesterday’s match. You’re the man, Scott (and I’ve found myself rooting for Switzerland during their group stage matches because of you).
- Toronto FC and USMNT striker Jozy Altidore is nearing a return to training following a surgery on May 8 to remove bone fragments in his foot. Good for you Jozy, just don’t score on Orlando City when the two sides meet up in July, please.
- A plane carrying Peru fans from Yekaterinburg to Tyumen in Russia experienced engine failure, causing smoke to billow into the cabin. The pilot landed the plane safely with one engine.
- Los Angeles FC star Carlos Vela’s sound spot kick helped his side win Mexico’s second consecutive World Cup match — it was an emotional goal for the striker too, as he dedicated the goal to his grandfather who passed away just last week. Well done, Carlos. Make em’ proud.
- FC Dallas has announced that it is already moving on from off-season acquisition Anton Nedyalkov, transferring him to Belgium side Ludagarets.
- Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku has become the first player in World Cup history to score a brace in consecutive World Cup matches since Diego Maradona did so back in 1986. Others who have achieved such a rare feat include Brazil legends Garrincha and Pele, Englishman Gary Lineker, Argentina’s Mario Kempes, German striker Gerd Muller, and Portugal’s legend Eusebio.
- Speaking of Gary Lineker...need I say more?
- Egyptian talisman Mohamed Salah has been granted honorary citizenship by Chechnya’s leader, Ramzan Kadyrov. So, that’s a thing.
- Great news is coming out of Jose Enrique’s camp, as word has spread that the ex-Liverpool defender is successfully recovering from surgery relating to a brain tumor. Cheers, Mr. Enrique.
- And here’s an interesting (yet likely deflating to Germans) statistic that came from Germany’s 1-0 loss to Mexico...all I have to say is “Wow.” Vamos Mexico! Give me a hard time all you want, but I’m proudly supporting El Tri and I always have, except when they’re facing the USMNT or doing absurd things out of spite.
FACT ⭐ #GER attempted 25 shots but failed to score vs #MEX - the most by a team without scoring at a #WorldCup since Spain vs Switzerland in 2010 (26 shots)— FourFourTwo ⚽️ (@FourFourTwo) June 23, 2018
(via @STATSOnThePitch) pic.twitter.com/ulZgTcbtpM
What a weekend, eh? That’s all I have on tap for you folks for now, but be sure to check back in with The Mane Land habitually as we keep you updated on Jason Kreis’ eventual replacement, OCSC and Pride news, World Cup updates, and all things soccer that you need to know about. Have an excellent week, Mane Landers. It shouldn’t be that tough: we have another week of mouthwatering World Cup fixtures ahead!