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Lion Links: 7/16/18

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France wins the World Cup, O’Connor’s not satisfied, Inchy gets mad, and more.

Soccer: World Cup-Croatia vs France Witters Sport-USA TODAY Sports

Merry Monday morning, Mane Landers! All six points from Orlando City and the Orlando Pride make going back to work that much better, doesn’t it? We were also lucky enough to have the final two World Cup matches to watch. It was a wondrous soccer weekend. Let’s get to the Links!

Insights on Orlando City’s Win

Though effective, it was an interesting lineup that James O’Connor brought out against Toronto FC. No Justin Meram, Joe Bendik on the bench, and Chris Schuler getting the start along with Earl Edwards Jr. The message from the gaffer seems to be that players will need to earn their time on the pitch. Not only that, but O’Connor isn’t satisfied with the performance, despite the result, and wants more from his team. Let’s hope he gets it.

France Wins it All

The comeback kids of Croatia couldn’t quite pull out one more miracle against France in the World Cup final. France went up in the 18th minute on an own goal by Croatian forward Mario Mandžukić. The Croatian attacker was trying to defend a free kick, but his header sent the ball into the back of the net instead of going out. Croatia did manage to get back in it on a spectacular goal from Ivan Perišić in the 28th minute. Unfortunately, Perišić would get called for a hand ball in the box a mere 10 minutes later, and Antoine Griezmann gave Les Bleus the lead before the half. There was a bit of controversy on the handball call, but ultimately it was called a penalty after video review.

Things went south for Croatia in the second half as Paul Pogba scored in the 59th minute and Kylian Mbappé became only the second teenager to score a goal in a World Cup final in the 65th minute. Now down 4-1, Croatia got a weird one back when Mandžukić made up for his own goal by pickpocketing French goalkeeper Hugo Lloris as he tried to clear the ball. Croatia never gave up, but tired legs from three straight extra time matches and France’s good defense proved to be too much.

MLS Coaches Get Salty

If you didn’t watch the match between Minnesota United FC and Real Salt Lake, it was evidently a doozy! Minnesota was up 3-0 but gave up two late goals before winning 3-2. It seems that Mike Petke had some feelings on the officiating.

Likewise, it seems that Adrian Heath had some words for his own team’s defensive performance.

Now I wish I had watched the match!

Pussy Riot Interrupts Final

If you were watching the World Cup final, you saw the pitch invaders in the 51st minute of play in the second half. It turns out these weren’t just regular attention seekers, but members of the Russian feminist protest punk rock group, Pussy Riot. The band has performed protest art and music in Russia for years, and this was just the latest act they’re taking against Putin and the Russian government. They were quickly taken off the pitch, but not before one of them was able to double high-five Kylian Mbappé.

Free Kicks
  • France was so excited following its win, that the team interrupted the press conference following the match to sing the praises of its skipper.
  • Unfortunately, the Thai boys soccer team wasn’t able to watch the World Cup final in person or even live, as it was past their bedtime. They were, however, shown a recorded version once they got up for the day.
  • Former USMNT player Jermaine Jones was seen playing this weekend for Premier Development League side Ventura County Fusion. Was it just a bit of fun, or is he working his way back? I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
  • For those that care, Cristiano Ronaldo arrived in Turin on Sunday.

Now arriving in Turin: @cristiano! #CR7JUVE

A post shared by Juventus Football Club (@juventus) on

  • We have to end today’s links on a bit of puppy cuteness, as Orlando Pride defender Monica added a family member.

That’s going to do it for today. Just remember, today is the first day for the USMNT to work towards the 2022 World Cup.