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Lion Links: 1/14/19

Orlando City Stadium stands up to schedule, Gregg Berhalter’s approach, Lionel Messi’s milestone, and more.

MLS: SuperDraft Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Merry Monday morning, Mane Landers! Hopefully, 2019 is being kind to you and your family. It’s been quite the first two weeks for Orlando City as our own The Bearded Guy observed. For those of you who listen to The Mane Land Pawedcast, you’ll be happy to know that our fearless leader Michael Citro, is smack dab in the middle of finishing his move to his new home. Hopefully, he’ll have Mane Land Studios up and running in time for our next recording. As for me, I’m now done with American football until next season, and I am happy to give all of my attention back to soccer. Speaking of which, let’s hit the Links!

Orlando City Stadium Turf Stands Up to Tough Schedule

Props to Matt Bruderek and the Orlando City Stadium grounds crew for doing a phenomenal job, given how much action the field has seen lately. The purple palace got a workout over the last week, serving as the home to the MLS Player Combine for several days, as well as hosting three of the four 2019 Florida Cup matches.

Berhalter’s Detailed Approach

USMNT Head Coach Gregg Berhalter is bringing a very detail-oriented style of play to the United States Men’s National Team. It’s not only the style of play that is detailed, but Berhalter’s approach as well. His attention to detail and amount of information he expects his players to take in is well known by those who played for him in Columbus. Now he is bringing that same approach to the USMNT and the players are getting a taste of what he expects. According to Zack Steffen, this is what that entails:

“I think he’s just trying to give the guys a style of play, give us a sense of direction, and give us principles of what our style should be. He’s trying to give us characteristics which is just competing, moving the ball fast, warranting the defense, breaking lines and being very attacking. It’s cool to compare from Columbus to what he’s been showing us now.”

Here’s hoping they all buy in and that it comes together for the Yanks.

USMNT Player News

Gyasi Zardes scored 20 goals for the Columbus Crew in 2018, and has caught the eye of several English Premier League clubs as a result. Middlesbrough, Crystal Palace, Norwich City, Fulham, and Huddersfield Town are all potentially interested in signing the 27-year-old American forward. As we mentioned in yesterday’s Lion Links, Tyler Adams made his debut for RB Leipzig. We now have his reaction to his first 45 minutes.

Messi Scores 400th Goal

Lionel Messi has become the second player to score 400 goals in Europe’s top five leagues. The first was Cristiano Ronaldo who has scored 409 goals in 507 games. It only took Messi 435 games to reach the milestone compared to Ronaldo’s 498. The goal came in Barcelona’s 3-0 win over Eibar to stay five points clear at the top of the La Liga table. It will be interesting to see if he is able to catch Ronaldo, given that he’s only nine behind the Portuguese star.

Free Kicks
  • Orlando Pride winger Chioma Ubogagu scored the only goal in Brisbane Roar’s 1-0 win over Melbourne City in this weekend’s W-League action.
  • Kaká was in Orlando and enjoyed the took in the Orlando Magic game against the Houston Rockets.
  • 2018 MAC Hermann Trophy winner Andrew Gutman out of Indiana University has signed a contract with Scottish powerhouse Celtic.
  • Former Orlando City forward Hadji Barry has signed with Ironi Kiryat Shmona in Israel according to his “story” on his Instagram page.
  • I’m not a Bucs fan, but I am a Ryan Fitzpatrick fan, if for no other reasons than that glorious beard and great attitude. Unfortunately, it seems he’s a Spurs supporter. I’m not sure how the Glazers will take that.

That will do it for today. Enjoy your week, and keep checking back for all things Orlando City, Orlando Pride, OCB, and SeaWolves related.