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Lion Links: 6/9/18

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Camila set to return to the Pride, two years since Pulse, U.S. U-17s win Concacaf group, and more.

Nick Leyva, The Mane Land

Happy match day, cheerers for the lads in purple. The Lions are out in Vancouver to take on the Whitecaps tonight (7 p.m., WRDQ TV27) and it sure would be great if they could build off of Wednesday’s win in Miami — even if the level of the opponent is not comparable. It’s also a USMNT match day, as the Stars & Stripes are in France to take on...well, France.

I don’t want to waste any of your Saturday when you’ll be watching two (or more) matches later, so let’s get to our top stories at this hour.

Camila is Back

Orlando Pride midfielder/defender Camila tore up her knee in the final regular season match of 2017, which took some of the wind out of the team’s sails in the postseason. It’s been a long road to recovery, but Camila is finally available to play in Orlando’s next game — a week from today at home against Sky Blue FC. With the Brazilian international returning, it’s a good thing that her Brazil teammate Monica has gotten her green card, so the Pride will remain compliant with NWSL rules. Camila has flourished everywhere Tom Sermanni has deployed her — on the wing in the 4-3-3, in the midfield, and at right back. Let’s hope she quickly finds her form so the Pride can get back to the playoffs.

Pulse: Two Years Later

With Pride Month upon us and the club working on charitable endeavors to assist the LBGTQ community, the Orlando Sentinel’s Kate Santich penned this look back at the tragedy and how the survivors are coping two years after that horrible day rocked our community. It’s not soccer-related, but it’s a piece well worth reading for anyone who lives here in the Central Florida area. It contextualizes what survivors of mass shootings go through and how they’re forced to relive that experience every time this happens — no matter where.

“Every time there’s a shooting, we all feel like we’re reliving everything,” said Celia Ruiz, an Orlando attorney who lost her 22-year-old brother, Juan Ramon Guerrero, in the Pulse attack. “How do you move on from something when you’re constantly being reminded of it? I can’t say there’s been a healing process when nothing has changed.”

I’m not from Orlando, having moved here in 2004, but I can tell you that I never felt more pride in any community in which I’ve lived than I did at this city’s response to that event.

U.S. U-17 Women Win Group

Reilyn Turner’s header was the difference as the U-17 USWNT defeated Canada, 1-0, to win Group B at the 2018 Concacaf Championship. The U.S. had already clinched a berth in the semifinals after beating Bermuda, but winning the group is even better. The Baby Nats finished group play 3-0 with a goal differential of +14, mostly due to the 10-1 drubbing of Bermuda. The U.S. will take on Haiti Sunday, with the winner taking on either Mexico or Canada in the final.

Former Lion Kevin Alston Signs with Orange County SC

Fullback Kevin Alston has found a new team. The former Lion has signed with Orange County SC of the USL. Alston played in 24 MLS games with Orlando City in 2016, starting 21, without registering a goal or an assist and attempting just four shots. He was loaned to OCB in 2017, where he appeared in 12 matches (11 starts). Good luck to Kevin, who was always great to talk to during his time in Orlando.

Orlando SeaWolves Goalkeeper Called Up by Brazil

They have yet to play as a team, but Orlando SeaWolves goalkeeper Rainer Hauss has been called up to the Brazilian National Minifootball Team. Hauss joined Brazil for the Pan American Memorial Minifootball Cup, which is being held in Guatemala. Nine countries are competing to try to reach the 2019 World Minifootball Federation World Cup.

“It’s a great honor to represent my home country of Brazil,” said Hauss, “and it will also be the first time I can say I am there representing the Orlando SeaWolves as well, so I’m very excited.”

The tournament will be televised on Eleven Sports (channel 623 on DirecTV).

Free Kicks
  • Leicester City’s 32-year-old Austrian defender Christian Fuchs is interested in a move to MLS.
  • Soccer players in Georgia helped save a teammate who had a heart attack.
  • Those born on this date include guitar inventor Les Paul (1915), hoops broadcaster Dick Vitale (1939), former Deep Purple keyboard player Jon Lord (1941), former Major Leaguer Dave “The Cobra” Parker (1951), Michael J. Fox (1961), Johnny Depp (1963), Eric Wynalda (1969), former Germany striker Miroslav Klose (1978), former USWNT defender Heather Mitts (1978), Natalie Portman (1981), and Dutch midfielder Wesley Sneijder (1984).

That’s all from me today. Enjoy your match day and check back here for full coverage of both the USMNT and Orlando City.