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Lion Links: 7/9/18

O’Connor’s debut, Carson Pickett featured, rescue of Thai boys soccer team continues, and more!

Nikita Taparia

Merry Monday morning, Mane Landers! No, the Lions weren’t able to pull out a result against LAFC, but Marta did put the Pride on her shoulders and brought joy back to Orlando City Stadium with a much-needed win over the Washington Spirit. Now, let’s get to the links!

O’Connor Debut was a Mixed Bag

It might not have been the ideal first match result for the new James O’Connor-led Lions, but it could have gone worse. Not by much, but it still could have been worse. At least Orlando City scored a goal! What’s more important is how O’Connor reacted to what he saw. We’ll still be waiting for more from the new gaffer, but he did say that the team needed more intensity, and it seemed that we got a little of that. Of course, if PRO didn’t PRO, maybe it wouldn’t have been so bad.

In case you were wondering MLS, the answer is no. It was not the right call, and spot shadowing Justin Meram when the ball is already halfway to him doesn’t illustrate anything useful.

Carson Pickett Featured

During halftime of the Orlando Pride match, the NWSL had a feature on Pride defender Carson Pickett and the challenges she has dealt with her entire life. If you didn’t get to see it Saturday, I encourage you to watch it now. As anyone who has watched Pickett can tell you, she doesn’t seem like the type to ask for, or need, help. Born without much of her left arm, Pickett has ascended to the top of her profession with determination and an unwavering sense of self. The part where her teammates joked about her taking throw-ins was also pretty funny. Make sure you check it out.

Thai Boys Soccer Team Update

Four of the 12 boys found in the cave system in Thailand have been evacuated to the hospital for evaluation and medical care. Efforts are ongoing to extract the remaining members of the team, and is progressing better than expected. The four boys that were brought out were the healthiest and most able to make the necessary swim. Each of the boys has to swim over a mile with full face masks with two divers guiding them and carrying their oxygen.

World Cup a Hit for FOX

It turns out that the USMNT not making the World Cup in Russia hasn’t overly impacted its popularity with the American soccer audience. The casual viewer might still be doing something else, but the match between Russia and Croatia was the most watched quarterfinal since the 1990 World Cup. The match drew 13.1 million views for the network, hopefully setting aside the idea that people in the U.S. aren’t willing to watch a soccer match that doesn’t feature the USMNT in the middle of the day when most are supposed to be at work. Well done, everyone.

Free Kicks
  • Carlos Rivas has passed his medical tests and is now officially with Colombian side Atlético Nacional. Congrats Carlos, and for you Atlético Nacional fans that sit behind and above either goal...stay alert!
  • When it comes to talking smack after a win, Croatia defender Domagoj Vida was so good (or bad) that FIFA officially warned Vida against further comments of the sort. Of course, he’s not wrong, and it’s always funny when FIFA tells someone else to be good.
  • New York Red Bulls midfielder Florian Valot will miss the remainder of the 2018 MLS season with an ACL tear in his left knee. It’s never a good thing when something like this happens no matter what team the player is on.
  • Here’s an interesting read on the teams and players in the National Premier Soccer League and how they could help the development of U.S. Soccer.
  • Finally, I couldn’t agree more with this tweet if I tried.

That’s going to do it for Monday’s links. Stay tuned to The Mane Land as we bring you all the Orlando City, Orlando Pride, U.S. Soccer, and World Cup news you can handle. Or at least as much as we can. See you next week!