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Lion Links: 7/5/18

Mueller set to prove himself to new coach, Dwyer and O’Connor become reunited, Kay Rawlins’ first Independence Day as a U.S. citizen, and more.

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

What’s up, guys? Hope you all had a wonderful, safe Fourth of July holiday and got some rest if you were hungover from celebrating your patriotism. Anyway, let’s get right into the links today.

Chris Mueller Set to Prove Himself to James O’Connor

Not too many rookies in MLS have had a season quite like Chris Mueller’s. The youngster from the University of Wisconsin started in the season opener and has made an impact on the team ever since. Mueller had never dealt with a coaching change at Wisconsin under John Trask but the 21-year-old will deal with one in his first season in MLS as James O’Connor inserts himself into the role after Jason Kreis’ firing. Despite all of this, Mueller seems to be content with the change and ready to prove himself to O’Connor.

“Just to continue to work hard in the sessions,” Mueller said. “You can’t really control who the coach is, you know? The only thing you can control is the attitude that you have and the effort that you put into the training sessions. At the end of the day, that’s all you can control. … Leave the ‘uncontrolables’ on their own.”

Mueller has been a team player all season and hopefully his contributions help O’Connor and the Lions get back in the win column.

Dom Dwyer and O’Connor Reunited Again at Orlando City

Dom Dwyer definitely knows his new head coach to say the least. With the introduction of O’Connor on Monday, Dwyer was reunited with a former teammate from 2013 as the two played together for Orlando City in the club’s USL days. Both Dwyer and O’Connor know each other are capable of great things and both showed admiration when O’Connor was brought in as the new head coach. In fact, Dwyer saw the coaching side of O’Connor in his playing days.

“He was basically a player coach then. He was very local,” Dwyer said. “I think he knows what this club is about. Someone who’s been there before. He’s passionate, and I think he’ll be a great addition for us.”

It should be interesting to see how the two work together with the roles being very different from what they were five years ago.

Kay Rawlins Celebrates First Fourth of July as a U.S. Citizen

As a co-founder of Orlando City, Kay Rawlins has always helped the community around her and believes in helping others. Yesterday she celebrated her first Fourth of July as an American citizen. Rawlins became a U.S. citizen on Jan. 12, as she is originally from England but has lived in the United States for nearly 13 years. Rawlins was asked by the Orlando Sentinel how the process of becoming a citizen was for her.

I came to this country to 2004 in Austin, Texas, and that’s when I started my Green Card process. I’m not very good sitting around and doing nothing but it did me a favor in a way because that got me learning about nonprofits. I started volunteering in two different nonprofits, including the Center for Child Protection. I ended up on their board. When we decided to start a team that’s why community became such a huge piece and pillar of the club.

My Green Card was due for renewal in 2019, so I had to start thinking do I want to keep renewing it or do I want to vote? And that was the driving piece for me. As a Green Card holder, you do everything an American does – you pay your taxes, you exist in your community, but the one thing you can’t do is vote. I want my vote to count.

ESPN Gets Creative With World Cup Coverage

For the first time since 1990, ESPN isn’t broadcasting the World Cup and has limitations on what they can show, but the network has gotten very creative with how they are covering the event. Taylor Twellman has basically been the spokesperson for the event on ESPN as he has appeared on Get Up!, First Take, and SC @ Night with Scott Van Pelt to cover the event and he has shown key events in the tournament using many fun and kiddish methods. He explained Argentina’s tactics through Legos, he had consistently using drawings from kids to explain what happened in certain games. It is actually very entertaining watching all of the different ways that the network has covered the event because you never know what they will do next. Check it out for yourself throughout the rest of the World Cup.

Free Kicks
  • I think Dom Dwyer will be grilling next Fourth of July.

To end the links today I wanted to thank all of you for reading my links and my features. I only started writing for the site a few months ago but I have really enjoyed it as I aspire to continue towards my dream of being a sports journalist. Again, thank you guys and enjoy the rest of your Thursday.