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Lion Links: 8/9/18

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Assistant coach hopes for consistency, Leitāo and Dwyer fined for social media comments, frustration mounting for the Pride, and more.

MLS: New England Revolution at Orlando City SC Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Hello, guys. I head back to college tomorrow so I am mentally and physically preparing myself for another “fun” semester at Georgia Southern. Enough about me; that’s not why you are here. Plenty of news today surrounding Orlando City, the Orlando Pride, some MLS returns, and more. Let’s get right into the links for today.

Sean McAuley Hopes Consistency Comes Soon for Orlando City

Sean McAuley was recently added to James O’Connor’s technical staff from the Portland Timbers and he hopes to bring a sense of consistency to Orlando. McAuley left English side Sheffield Wednesday in 2012 en route to Portland. He stuck with the club through multiple coaching changes and eventually helped lead Portland to an MLS Cup title in 2015 under Caleb Porter. McAuley spoke on bringing something similar to Orlando City.

“I’m hoping that I can do the same here and it’s not like, ‘Let’s come to a different club for a couple of years and see how that works out.’ We hope that we can get the momentum going and the results going and create some success. Then, once we get the success, then create the continuity. Once that happens, everybody keeps rolling and everybody enjoys the job.”

The challenge is set in front of McAuley as he is joining a side that has never made the playoffs and is likely out of that picture again this year. The Englishman has seen progress with Orlando City and hopes consistency is on the horizon for a struggling side in need of a push in the right direction.

MLS Fines Alex Leitāo and Dom Dwyer

MLS Commissioner Don Garber announced that Orlando City CEO Alex Leitāo and striker Dom Dwyer were fined undisclosed amounts for their social media comments on July 21. The comments, made following the club’s 3-2 loss to Columbus Crew SC, were said to be in violation with the MLS public criticism policy. You’ll recall that the Crew were awarded a questionable penalty that allowed a comeback in stoppage time and that the Professional Referee Organization later said the penalty shouldn’t have been awarded. You can see the comments both Letao and Dwyer made on Twitter, along with those from others in our story.

Orlando Pride Frustration Mounting During Final Push

The Orlando Pride have had an up-and-down season to say the least. The squad at times has seemed to be the best competitor to the NWSL-leading North Carolina Courage but has stumbled against lower competition. For example, the Pride allowed Sky Blue FC — the worst team in the league — to lead for the first time all season. The ladies came out with a draw but the performance was lackluster. Head Coach Tom Sermanni notices the frustration throughout the club and intends on getting this team into the playoffs. The Pride are currently third in the league at the moment but the table is so close that Orlando has some unfinished business if it wants to make the playoffs. With reigning champion Portland Thorns FC waiting this Saturday, Orlando plays arguably its most important match of the season in terms of playoffs implications.

Transfer Deadline Day Recap

The MLS secondary transfer window closed late last night and with that came numerous moves that could impact on the rest of the season. All of the moves can be found here. Here are the highlights:

Union, Dynamo Advance to U.S. Open Cup Final

The Philadelphia Union will play in the U.S. Open Cup final for the third time in five years after smashing the Chicago Fire last night, 3-0. Cory Burke scored a brace and C.J. Sapong added a third goal for the hosts. The Union will play Houston in the final after the Dynamo beat LAFC in a penalty shootout after a 3-3 draw. Houston was on the verge of winning in regulation but LAFC’s Diego Rossi completed his hat trick deep into stoppage time to force extra time and, eventually, penalties. The Dynamo fell behind in the penalty shootout when Óscar Boniek García was the first to miss but Joe Willis denied Laurent Ciman, LA’s fifth shooter, and the Dynamo went on to capture the shootout, 7-6. Houston will host Philadelphia on Sept. 26 in the final.

Free Kicks
  • The Orlando Pride ranked second in the world in most social media interactions during July 2018.
  • If you’re interested in Pride defender Toni Pressley’s cooking, she’s apparently having a bake sale on Sunday.
  • Bayern Munich appears to be ready for the upcoming season after a 20-2 victory over Rottach-Egern in a preseason friendly.
  • Ernst Tanner will be Earnie Stewart’s successor as he is moving from Red Bull Salzburg to become the Philadelphia Union’s sporting director.
  • Aaron Rodgers became NFL commissioner for a day with The Ringer as he gave a nice nod to the MLS All-Star Game in comparison to the Pro Bowl.
  • U.S. international Emerson Hyndman is going back to the Scottish Premiership, as AFC Bournemouth is loaning him to Hibernian FC.
  • Santos Laguna’s entire staff resigned after a reported conflict with the code of ethics.
  • The U.S. U-15 girls fell to Portugal in the Concacaf Girls U-15 Championship but they’re still alive for a potential semifinal appearance. (Portugal is playing as an invited guest team.)