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Lion Links: 6/26/18

Recognition for the Pride, a look at Mason Stajduhar, All-Star Fan XI announced, and more.

MLS: Montreal Impact at Orlando City SC Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Mane Landers. All I’ll say about the weekend is that thank goodness the Pride won, because boy is the success of that team keeping me sane right now. Those ladies are absolutely killing it and are in the midst of a four-match unbeaten run. Now, on to those links.

Recognition for Pride and Several Players

Following a 1-0 victory over the Washington Spirit, the Orlando Pride are up to the No. 2 spot in the NWSL power rankings. It isn’t just the team as a whole that’s being recognized either: Alanna Kennedy was nominated for the NWSL Goal of the Week for her bomb from midfield against the Spirit, a goal that also made the Sportscenter Top 10.

Not to be outdone, Ashlyn Harris was nominated for the NWSL Save of the Week for a second-half stop that preserved the Pride’s 1-0 win.

Spectacular stuff all around from the Pride, keep up the good work!

Mason Stajduhar Feeling Invincible

If you can, you should take the time to read this piece on Mason Stajduhar. The Orlando City goalkeeper was diagnosed with Ewing Sarcoma in November of 2017, but was cleared in May to participate in limited individual drills, and completed six months of treatment just a few days ago.

Among other things, it discusses his thoughts after being diagnosed and his friendship with fellow OCSC goalkeeper Joe Bendik. It provides a small look at a player that a lot of Orlando fans might not know about with three other goalkeepers on the roster. Without a doubt, though, his story is one worth familiarizing yourself with.

MLS All-Star Fan XI Announced

The MLS All-Star Fan XI has been announced for August’s MLS All-Star Game. Perhaps unsurprisingly, there were no Orlando City players on the list, especially when considering the team’s current seven-game MLS losing streak. There are a whopping six Atlanta United players on the list, two players from LAFC, and one player apiece from the LA Galaxy, Portland Timbers, and Sporting Kansas City. Further players to round out the roster facing Juventus will be selected by the media, as well as two more picks by MLS Commissioner Don Garber.

Kickoff Series Announced

The USMNT has announced six friendlies to be played by the end of 2018. Dubbed the “Kickoff Series,” the Stars & Stripes will face Brazil and Mexico in September and two yet to be announced teams in October, with all four games being played on American soil. Then to close out the year the team will travel to face England at Wembley Stadium, and will play Italy at a yet to be decided location.

With the caliber of teams involved, it will certainly be a difficult test for whatever U.S. team takes the field for those games. Another interesting thing to watch will be who is named manager of the side going into the next World Cup qualifying cycle.

Free Kicks

That’ll do it for me today. Don’t forget, the Pride look to make it three wins in a row tomorrow when they face the Houston Dash at Orlando City Stadium, and the Lions look to snap their losing streak when they face Atlanta United on Saturday. Vamos Orlando!