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Lion Links: 12/15/19

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The SeaWolves fall again, Chris Mueller is engaged, Matthew McConaughey speaks on the rise of soccer, and more.

MLS: Atlanta United FC at Orlando City SC Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Sunday, Mane Landers. Before we jump into these Links, quick tangent; Lamar Jackson of the Baltimore Ravens is good at football, and he will be the sole reason both of my fantasy football teams lose in the semifinals (but any given Sunday, right?).

Okay, back to the important stuff. We’ve got some fun Links for you today, so let’s hop to it.

Orlando SeaWolves Remain Winless

The SeaWolves took on the Florida Tropics in Lakeland yesterday with the goal of bouncing back after three demoralizing losses. Unfortunately, another demoralizing loss is exactly what the in-state rivals handed them, with the SeaWolves suffering a 6-3 loss. Eduardo Cruz, Jonny Mendoza and Richard Schmermund all found the back of the net for the SeaWolves, but it clearly wasn’t enough as the club fell to a four-match loss streak. The SeaWolves are back in action at Silver Spurs Arena next Saturday at 7:35 p.m., against the Milwaukee Wave.

A Lion Finds his Lioness

A massive congratulations are in store for Orlando City forward Chris Mueller, because she said yes! Mueller proposed to his longtime girlfriend yesterday — on her birthday nonetheless (happy birthday, Alyssa!) — and he has the picture to prove it!

Again, congratulations to one of the club’s premier talents and fan favorites. We here at The Mane Land can’t wait to see you build a happy and successful family together in Orlando! #WeddingSzn

MLS Stat Leaders: A Decade in Retrospect

Thanks to the fine folks over at mlssoccer.com, we can take a deep dive into some statistics of the league, its clubs, and stars over the past 10 years. One of the more surprising revelations, at least to me, was that Dom Dwyer has scored 84 goals over the past decade. That’s a nice number, but I sure wish he had added more to that tally this season. Unsurprisingly, Chris Wondolowski has led the league in goals in the past decade, scoring 154 times during that span. Jeff Larentowicz played an astounding 325 matches, but Wondo wasn’t too far behind him with 312 matches played. Zlatan led in goals per 90 minutes with a ratio of 0.97 — essentially a goal per match. Quite impressive, even for the enigmatic icon. Oscar Pareja made it on a list that tallies awards, but other than he and Dom, Orlando City SC is absent from the lists. But the club was only around half of that decade anyway.

Matthew McConaughey Says Soccer is on the Rise

Austin FC minority owner and Hollywood star Matthew McConaughey has a few things to say when it comes to the prospect of soccer overcoming some of the most popular sports as a fan favorite in the United States, claiming that soccer is primed for more success in the country than baseball and hockey. He’s also quite insightful when it comes to his plan of laying down a foundation and working with the youth players available in this country — a welcome gesture that should only increase the talent pool for future U.S. Men’s National Team selections.

“Hopefully we can see more of that,” McConaughey told ESPN. “Youth soccer in America is big, it is huge. There’s a real commitment there. My hope is that in eight to 10 years you’re going to see that generation actually having something to do with soccer around the world at a high level. We’ll see. I don’t think it’s ever going to take over American football or American basketball, but it may take over hockey and baseball, soccer in America.”

Time will certainly tell, Mr. McConaughey, but I’m with you, even if your advertisements for Lincoln make me cringe. Still, you have to love the guy, right?

Free Kicks
  • It looks like the 2019 Winter Jamboree, held by the Orlando City Foundation, went well!
  • Should Carlo Ancelotti bring his managerial magic to MLS? Some think so, with the Chicago Fire, Inter Miami, and New York City FC all potentially in the market.
  • I don’t think I can do this story justice with a description, but I’ll leave you with a spoiler: it begins with DaMarcus Beasley finding a chicken head at his feet, and ends with one of the most improbable and historic runs in U-17 U.S. Men’s National Team’s history.
  • The NCAA College Cup Final is upon us, as Virginia will take on Georgetown for all the marbles today at 6 p.m. on ESPNU. I’m taking Virginia in this one. Who ya got?
  • And to end...is Orlando City looking into this prospect? The Lions sure could use the goal scoring prowess (and enthusiasm).

Okay, I think that’s it for me today. Orlando United FC has a preseason match this morning against Mexico FC, so I’ll be dead tired as I watch my fantasy football teams wilt away at the hands of Lamar Jackson. At least it was a good season. I hope your Sunday is as fun (and/or depressing) as mine. Cheers!