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Lion Links: 8/19/18

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Pride and Courage postponed, Paul McDonough’s first interview as Miami’s GM, CR7’s Serie A debut, and more.

Orlando City SC v Los Angeles Galaxy Photo by Katharine Lotze/Getty Images

Hey there, Mane Landers! Happy Sunday. I trust you’re all doing well. If you’re not, pick it up! A very good friend of mine has introduced me to the Law of Attraction. I highly suggest that you, after reading these Links, give it a Google search and learn about it. It’s changing my life by the day, and I’d be honored to introduce you to it and have a positive influence on your day-to-day routine.

Okay, sorry, I went a little off the rails there. It’s a slow day, but eat up, because here’s your Sunday helping of Lion Links!

Pride vs. Courage Postponed

This one started with a 90-minute lightning delay and ended in a lightning postponement. The Pride and Courage (both admirable traits, might I add) finally took the field around 8:30 last night to battle it out in an important fixture with major playoff implications for the Pride. But only 22 minutes were played before that pesky sky electricity returned and forced the game to be abandoned. It will be picked up again later this morning at 10 a.m. right where it left off. Don’t worry, the league will still be streaming it.

Paul McDonough’s First Interview as Miami GM

The name Paul McDonough should be familiar to you. In case it’s not, he was once a vice president within the halls of Atlanta United, and before that he was one of the key figures in Orlando City’s rise into MLS. Now? He’s been appointed general manager of David Beckham’s new MLS franchise, based in Miami. Set to begin MLS play in 2020, Paul has a lot of work set out for him in order to ensure a successful launch and maiden voyage season. He’s certainly experienced, and he’s clearly excited about his new project. During his first interview as Miami’s GM, he was asked about the differences between Atlanta, Miami, and Orlando (the question that struck me as the most interesting) here’s how he responded:

“This is a melting pot, so much diversity. The people here have been dying for soccer. Soccer is in the blood of the people here. In Atlanta, there are transplants, but there is a big youth soccer community and no one really knew how it was going to take off. A lot of kids play soccer, you just didn’t know it was going to catch on as well as it did. Orlando is a city that had never really done well in professional sports and no one ever thought the millennials would take to it like they did and were so passionate.”

Let the intense derby matches begin...in 2020, of course.

President of Napoli Accuses Roma and Liverpool of Collusion

Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has always been known to speak his mind...and boy, has he spoken. De Laurentiis has come out with an explosive accusation, claiming that fellow Italian side Roma and Premier League side Liverpool are in cahoots, colluding together to ensure success for the two clubs. It’s not that surprising of an idea, considering Liverpool is owned by the John Henry-led Fenway Sports Group, while Roma is steered by the Massachusetts-born James Palotta. Due to the close proximity of the two American owners, there could be something here, but it’s still a surprising public statement to make to the media by Napoli’s president. He believes that if there’s evidence to support his claim, that both clubs should not be permitted to play in the UEFA Champion’s League; arguably the most important tournament for top tier clubs worldwide.

“I always had a suspicion that the real owner of Roma is the same as Liverpool, and if this were the case, the two clubs should not be allowed to play in the Champions League,”

He may have a point, or he may just have a tinfoil hat on his head. Who knows? What I do know is that whoever runs Roma’s English twitter account is hysterical.

Ronaldo Makes Serie A Debut for Juventus in a Dramatic 3-2 Win

He, surprisingly, didn’t find the back of the net, but Cristiano Ronaldo’s first Serie A match with his new teammates went well, as The Old Lady dramatically snatched all three points at the death with a Bernardeschi goal in stoppage time. The scene on hand prior to the match was also a show, though, as tens of thousands descended upon Verona in hopes of catching just a glimpse of the Portuguese star as his team’s bus pulled into the venue. According to ESPN’s James Horncastle, a circus of this magnitude hadn’t been experienced in the small Italian town with a population of just over a quarter of a million people since the 2006 visit of Pope Benedict XVI. CR7 is going to take over Italy, and he might just push The Old Lady over the top in the Champions League. We’ll see, but man, is this going to be an exciting year for Juventus and their supporters.

Free Kicks
  • Right in the feels: Orlando City goalkeeper Mason Stajduhar (who, like myself, was born in Salem, MA — that bonds us somehow, right?) has been back and training with the first team but it’s always nice to see pictures of him actually out there doing it. There’s no doubt everyone, and I mean everyone, is grateful to see it.

@m_staj #FaceOfCity

A post shared by Orlando City SC (@orlandocitysc) on

  • Former Lion and and international star at several clubs (see below), Julio Baptista has made a triumphant return from retirement at the age of 36. Congratulations, Julio! We wish the best for “The Beast.”
  • Can you execute the #DeleAlliChallenge? The Englishman’s signature celebration has gone viral, and the Pride’s Alanna Kennedy and Sydney Leroux got in on the action. I must say, I’m quite impressed...because I look like crazy when I try it.
  • Finally. Mane Landers, the sauce has arrived.
  • Personally, I like Juan Carlos Osorio. I think he’s a strong leader and I felt he did an excellent job managing the Mexican national team...but apparently he won’t be managing the USMNT any time soon.

As my mother would say, “that’s about all that’s fit to print today.” Enjoy your Sunday, Mane Landers, and check out the Pride and Courage at 10 a.m. And it’s not too early to start getting pumped (or anxious?) about this Friday’s home match against rival side Atlanta United FC. I wish I could say I have a good feeling, I really do. But I don’t.

Regardless, Vamos Orlando!