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Lion Links: 7/24/18

Awards for Pride players, a new episode of Fun Chicks, U.S. Open Cup semifinals are set, and more.

MLS: Orlando City SC at Columbus Crew SC Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to Tuesday, folks. It’s a new day, full of promise. Go out there and seize it. No one ever seizes Tuesdays, so Tuesdays naturally feel left out about the whole thing.

The Lions are just two days away from a meeting with the baseball team from Manchester — or something — and it’s another opportunity to see how the club evolves under James O’Connor. The Pride, meanwhile, are off during the Tournament of Nations, which also kicks off on Thursday.

While we wait for Thursday’s matches, let’s find out what’s up.

Gregg Berhalter Agrees Penalty Call was Bad

Orlando City coaches, players, and fans all felt aggrieved after a late penalty threw the Columbus Crew a lifeline late in Saturday’s match, allowing Gyasi Zardes to tie the game two minutes from stoppage time. The Crew went on to win the game and pundits — even those employed by Major League Soccer — widely criticized the call. Well, it’s almost as unanimous as anything can be. Even the Crew’s manager didn’t see it as a penalty on RJ Allen.

“I think it’s a tough one,” Berhalter said on Monday. “I think if I’m Orlando, I’m disappointed that he called it... It’s one that leaves you kind of confused about why it’s called.”

Berhalter pointed out other plays in which he felt his team was the aggrieved party and while I have tremendous respect for Gregg and hope he gets a shot with the USMNT, I have to respectfully disagree with him about those other calls because...hey, maybe I’m just a wee bit biased. Certainly nothing else in the game was as egregious as the penalty. But we move on and look toward New York City FC and whatever fresh horrors await on Thursday.

Haley Kopmeyer, Toni Pressley Up for Weekly NWSL Awards

We don’t know what she can do against the rest of the league, but Orlando Pride goalkeeper Haley Kopmeyer sure does play well against her former club. Kop has two starts this season and both came against the Seattle Reign. Last time out, she won NWSL Save of the Week and she’s nominated for that honor again after Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Orlando City Stadium. Our Scott Carnevale has a story ready to drop later about how Kop has earned more starts as the 2018 season progresses. Go give Haley your vote so she can go two-for-two.

Toni Pressley is up for NWSL Goal of the Week (go vote) after her opener against the Reign on Saturday. Pressley smashed home her first goal of the season after a good spell of pressure from the Pride. She won Goal of the Week once last year, back in Week 13, so why not give her one for 2018?

Fun Chicks Episode 2 Released

Speaking of Kopmeyer...she and Pride teammate Christine Nairn have released the second episode of Fun Chicks on YouTube. In this episode the two select outfits for each other to try on, with a little help from the shop owner. Please watch in order to get context for great lines like: “All I could think about was the lack of leather that I personally owned.”

Jill Ellis Sends Two Home from USWNT Camp

USWNT Head Coach Jill Ellis finalized her Tournament of Nations roster by sending home Houston Dash forward Kealia Ohai and North Carolina Courage defender Jaelene Hinkle. The moves put the U.S. roster at 23 ahead of the tournament, which starts this week at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City. Orlando Pride stars Alex Morgan and Ashlyn Harris will be part of the team that faces Brazil, Australia, and Japan.

U.S. Open Cup Semifinals Set

The semis are set in the 2018 U.S. Open Cup. The Philadelphia Union will host the Chicago Fire and the Houston Dynamo will host LAFC. The semifinals will take place on Wednesday, Aug. 8. If the Fire beat Philly, they’ll host the final, otherwise the winner of Houston and LAFC will host the Union.

Free Kicks
  • Orlando City’s website picked out their selections for the top four games between the Lions and Thursday’s opponent, New York City FC.
  • Joe Bendik came off the bench and made the MLS save highlight reel for the week for his stop on Patrick Mullins — before his flop — to keep the Lions ahead at the time.
  • That reported deal between FC Dallas and the Colorado Rapids has officially happened and now Kellyn Acosta and Dominique Badji have swapped teams (some draft picks were also involved).
  • Christian Pulisic made the day brighter for a boy battling cancer when Dortmund beat Liverpool on Sunday, scoring twice and then giving the kid his game jersey (and signing it). Colin Donaldson was also welcomed into Dortmund’s locker room to meet the team.
  • The New England Revs have signed Bolivian midfielder/defender Cristhian Machado (I swear that first name is spelled correctly).
  • Those born on this date include The Three Musketeers writer Alexandre Dumas (1802), Amelia Earhart (1897), prop comic Gallagher (1946), Seinfeld’s Michael Richards (1949), Lynda “Wonder Woman” Carter (1951), basketball’s Karl Malone (1963), baseball’s Barry Bonds (1964), Jennifer Lopez (1969), actresses Elisabeth Moss and Anna Paquin (both 1982), Italian footballer and Daniele De Rossi (1983).

That’s all my time for today. Be sure to keep it here for all your Orlando City and Orlando Pride needs.