Happy Sunday, Mane Landers. I would remiss to not start out this installment of Lion Links without first wishing Orlando City midfielder, and all around awesome human being Sacha Kljestan a very special happy birthday! Not only is he instrumental in stringing together passes in the middle and attacking third of the Lions’ setup, but he’s also just a down to earth, well-grounded professional who stands for what he believes in.
There’s no doubt that it’s been a rough year, but having a player like Kljestan to look up to is a privilege, so make sure you wish him a happy birthday via your social media of choice! We’re lucky to have you, Sacha. The community cherishes your play, and more importantly, your values and mindset.
With that said, here’s your Sunday helping of Links. Enjoy!
Orlando City Falls at Sporting Kansas City
In what was sure to be a touching return and reunion for Dom Dwyer and Uri Rosell, the Lions traveled to Kansas City for a clash surrounded in playing-against-your-former-side hype. But it didn’t go well and the club won’t be bringing any points back after a 1-0 loss.
- Michael Citro has your match recap.
- Our Bearded Guy doled out player grades and Man of the Match.
- The view from the other side comes to us from The Blue Testament.
Be sure to keep an eye out for David Rohe’s five takeaways later this morning.
The Pride End Their Season with a 1-0 Loss at Sky Blue FC
I’m not really sure where to begin with this one...and quite frankly, I’m not even sure what to say. Facing off against Carli Lloyd’s bottom-of-the-table Sky Blue FC, the Pride failed to find the back of the net in a 1-0 road loss and failed to really make a lasting impact on the match. Sure, the Pride dominated all of the statistics, but dominant statistics don’t win matches. It was certainly, to say the least, a disappointing finish to what initially looked like a playoff-bound season, but the women in purple ended their season placed seventh in a nine-team conference.
World Cup Winner Antoine Griezmann to MLS?
In a stunning (well, to me at least) announcement, French and Atletico Madrid striker Antoine Griezmann has made the bold statement that he’s interested in moving to MLS at some point in his future. It’s great news, to be honest, as the legitimacy of the league will only continue to grow as premier, top-shelf talent makes its way across the pond and into MLS kits. During an interview with French publication L’Equipe, the enigmatic striker claimed that he could see himself in Miami or Los Angeles at some point in his career. The recent World Cup winner, still in his prime at 27 years old, stated that the showmanship and style of MLS appeals to him.
“If he [Beckham] wants me in his club, then I’ll go. I want to finish my career in the US,” said Griezmann. “I don’t know yet if it’s going to be in Miami or LA. They are two great cities. I like the mentality and the show culture of the United States.”
El-Munir Sees 90 Minutes as Libya holds South Africa to a 0-0 Draw
If you’ve kept up with my personal articles, you’ll know that my favorite Lion is Mohamed El-Munir. I’m happy to see that he’s getting significant playing time with his Libyan national team, which fought to a scoreless draw in South Africa. Meanwhile, Egypt manhandled Niger, 6-0. Unfortunately, Orlando City defender Amro Tarek didn’t make his way into the match, but it’s still promising to see him kept in the discussion with the Egyptian national team.
- Congratulations are in order to Orlando City’s U-12 side for a 3-0 win over the Tampa Bay Rowdies’ side of the same age group. The future is purple!
- USMNT defender DeAndre Yedlin is one funny (and honest) guy.
Yoo Yedlin has me dying over here, making fun of Neymar and his dives.— Roger Gonzalez (@RGonzalezCBS) September 8, 2018
"Did you watch the World Cup???"
- Shout out to my alma mater, FSU, which took down its Florida Gator rivals with a last-minute goal, 1-0. The team is looking great, and I absolutely love Deyna Castellanos. It should be a great season for the Seminoles...which is nice, because it doesn’t look good for the football program under new head coach Willie Taggart.
- This weekend’s USMNT clash with powerhouse side Brazil proved to be too much for the Yanks, who fell 2-0, in part due to some inconsistent play by the young midfielders of the Stars and Stripes.
- In regards to the aforementioned USMNT clash with Brazil, mlsosccer.com’s Greg Seltzer dished out some interesting player grades. What do you think?
- Speaking of the USMNT, defender John Brooks has departed training camp to rejoin his club side, Wolfsburg. I can’t wait to see more of him donning the green and white — hopefully scoring more goals (which is quite the rarity for Brooks).
This isn’t footy-related, but I have to mention it, as the man was a positive influence in my life as I grew into the individual I am today. Respected musician and producer, Mac Miller, passed away on Friday due to cardiac arrest, likely related to a drug overdose. He was only 26 years old. I can’t put into words how deeply this news hit me, and the industry will never be the same without him. Rest in peace, Mac. Your body of work will forever be in rotation, and I still can’t believe you’re gone. Remember Mane Landers, Live Free (2009).
Beyond that, I have nothing left in the tank for you today, folks. Have a great Sunday, and have an even better week.