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Lion Links: 7/2/18

O’Connor O’rrives, World Cup madness, Tragedy in Thailand, and a special birthday!

Alex Morgan
Alex Morgan addresses the media
Luis Hernandez

Merry Monday morning, Mane Landers! I know you may not be feeling very merry after the results from the weekend. However, consider that we’re in the middle of the World Cup, there’s a new gaffer coming to town, and we don’t have to play Atlanta again until August.

Before we hit the links, we’d like to wish a very happy 29th birthday to the Pride’s own Alex Morgan!

The Gaffer Starts Today

We weren’t sure if James O’Connor would officially be taking the reins today or Tuesday, but it turns out that we don’t have to wait.

Before he came here, he bid a very sincere farewell to Louisville City and its fans. Let’s face it, after Saturday’s match it’s definitely a good thing for O’Connor to get started as soon as possible. Stay tuned to The Mane Land for coverage on the presser later today.

World Cup Recap

The knockout rounds continued yesterday and they didn’t disappoint as both matches had to be decided by a penalty kick shootout. First up was Spain vs. Russia. The host team was an underdog, but was able to play outstanding defense and advance to the quarterfinals. In the second match of the day, Croatia was able to defeat Denmark in another shootout. It was a historic match, with both teams scoring in the first four minutes.

During the penalty kicks, Danijel Subasic made three saves to put Croatia through. His reward for such a performance?

Retirements Galore

Major events like the World Cup often prompt those near the end of their careers to hang it up after they’ve completed the event. Others decide to leave after disappointing results. Case in point, Jorge Sampaoli is stepping down as Argentina’s manager after the team was knocked out of the Cup following the group stage. Spanish midfielder Andres Iniesta retired from international competition following Spain’s loss to Russia.

Trouble in Thailand

A boys soccer team and its coach have been missing for over a week in a flooded cave complex. While it’s not a sure thing that the team will be found, rescuers have been able to get pumps down into the cave system to reduce the water level and let Thai Navy SEALS continue the search. We at The Mane Land hope they are successful in their search.

Free Kicks
  • The original Orlando City gaffer is very excited for the newest gaffer. Adrian Heath worked with James O’Connor in the USL days of Orlando City and he thinks that O’Connor has earned this opportunity.
  • American PRO referee Mark Geiger will head up the crew for the match between England and Colombia tomorrow.
  • Brazil is taking on Mexico today at 10 a.m. ET, but it seems that the big-haired Marcelo will not be in the starting lineup, as he will be recovering from a minor injury. That being said, don’t be surprised if you see the Brazilian left back if things aren’t going well for Brazil.
  • Croatia is literally on fire after advancing in the World Cup. Don’t worry, everyone is fine.

That’s going to do it for today’s links. Have fun watching the World Cup and we’ll see you as all the news keeps dropping.