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Lion Links: 1/27/19

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O’Connor pleased with preseason so far, OCSC releases second-round pick Tommy Madden, Inter Miami faces more roadblocks, and more.

Manchester United v Real Salt Lake Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images

Happy Sunday, Mane Landers. I hope you’re all doing well this fine Sunday. It’s a bit nippy, but it’s always nice to stay inside of a warm home and kick back with your pets or kids and watch some movies. Or maybe you made it out to your local kickarounds? It’s actually the ideal time to get out there, as the mosquito hordes are rebuffed by the cool weather. No matter what you’ve been up to, I’ve been preparing your Sunday helping of Lion Links; I hope you’re hungry. Extra salt, right?

Loanee Danilo Acosta Focused On Becoming Starter

It appears that the recent loan move sending Danilo Acosta to Sunshine State from Real Salt Lake has lit a fire under his season’s ambitions, with the defender vying for a starting spot. Training camp is well underway, and that means that battles are waging on a daily basis to win coveted spots in the club’s starting 11. Acosta, while young at just 21 years of age, isn’t afraid of the task at hand — nor is he ill equipped for it. Acosta has tremendous experience already at both the professional and international levels, highlighting one of the many reasons why he was brought to the club.

“It’s day-by-day. It’s whatever you put on the field that’s what you’re going to get,” said Acosta. “At the end of the day, it’s how much you want it. If you want it really bad you have to work really hard for it, and that’s what I’m going to do. It’s day-by-day because at the end of the day it’s all about competition, so I’m trying to do anything I possibly can to win this spot.”

It’s clear Acosta is here to play. And that’ll only push his teammates to work harder as well. Something to admire about Acosta? His versatility, tenacity in the defensive third, and fighting spirit.

“I’m just here to do anything that I can do for the team to help them out,” said Acosta. “Whatever possible position I can be, it can be on the left side, it can be at center back, whatever the coach wants me to play I’ll try my best.”

JOC Pleased with Start to Camp at IMG Academy

Coaches say this every year, but James O’Connor is generally pleased with what he’s seen from his team after just one week of preseason training at IMG Academy in Bradenton.

“We’ve been really pleased,” O’Connor told Pro Soccer USA. “I think the attitude and the application has been very good. I think the intensity has been great. I think we’ve seen some good glimpses of camaraderie, which is important. We’ve been working really hard and we’ve been pleased with what we’re seeing.”

OCSC Releases 2019 Second Round Pick Tommy Madden

Well...that was short. After being drafted with the 38th overall pick in the second round by the Lions in the 2019 MLS SuperDraft, midfielder Tommy Madden has been released. It’s an unfortunate speed bump in the career of the young, talented midfielder, but there’s always opportunities with Orlando City B or with another club elsewhere. Something tells me he’ll find work sooner rather than later, as Tommy was a stalwart in the midfield for UNC-Charlotte, where he made 72 appearances over an illustrious collegiate career. We wish you the best, Tommy!

David Beckham’s Miami MLS Franchise Faces New Lawsuits

Apparently, a Miami attorney has filed two lawsuits aiming to prevent the club from building its new stadium on a city-owned golf course and complex. Yet another wrench in the seemingly never-ending drama that is Inter Miami, this first raises questions regarding whether or not the city appropriately described the land that would be leased for the construction of the stadium and grounds. The second focuses on laws requiring Beckham and his business associates to disclose the ownership of the corporation being represented. It’s getting hairy down in Miami...be sure to keep an eye on the developing hurricane (pun intended, but go Noles).

Gregg Berhalter Defends Michael Bradley’s USMNT Inclusion

Despite a run of poor form for, well, for a while, Berhalter didn’t hesitate in naming Toronto FC stalwart and USMNT regular Michael Bradley to his roster for today’s match against Panama. Berhalter believes “it’s clear that he has the quality.” This may be true, but it’s also a decision that many have criticized, considering the emergence of young talents both domestically and internationally, and the decline of a midfielder that is clearly in the twilight of an amazing career.

“It’s hard for me to understand how people gather that opinion, because when I see [Bradley] up close, it’s clear that he has quality,” Berhalter said. “When you look at his quality level in this group, it’s high.”

It’s clear that Berhalter respects what Bradley still has left in the tank.

”If [a player is] good enough to perform and he can fit and execute in the roles and responsibilities that we have for that position then he should be able to play, whether that’s old or young,” he said. “Michael is a good example of that. He’s been doing well in camp. His leadership has been good, but also his execution has been excellent.”

Free Kicks
  • Want you or your youngin’ to be a badass goalkeeper like Ashlyn Harris? Great news. She’s hosting some goalkeeper training sessions with Ali Kreiger Football Camps!
  • New U.S. Men’s National Team manager Gregg Berhalter addressed the media ahead of today’s match against Panama.
  • Speaking of that match against Panama...the turnout isn’t looking too great so far. Maybe some emphatic wins through exciting play can start turning these numbers around?

That’s all I’ve got for you today folks...footy-wise. I do want leave you with a personal recommendation on a podcast that I’ve really grown to enjoy. It’s a true crime podcast called My Favorite Murder, hosted by Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark. It has an acquired taste, and it can be quite explicit, but the humor along with the intrigue that comes with the excellent story-telling of horrifying tales by these two ladies makes the time fly — whether it be during exercising, at work, or just driving around during errands. I highly recommend you give them a listen, if you can take it.

Anyway, have a great week folks. Stay sexy and don’t get murdered.