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Lion Links: 2/3/19

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The Lions draw with the Red Bulls, the Yanks down Costa Rica, the SeaWolves win, and more.

Costa Rica v United States Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

Happy Super Bowl Sunday, Mane Landers! I’m a die hard Patriots fan, as I was born in Salem, MA. It’s incredible to have your favorite team go back to the big game for a third consecutive year! It glimmers in pale comparison to also being an Orlando City supporter these days, but hey, the only direction the Lions can go is up, right? I try to remain as optimistic as possible.

With that said, let’s dive right into the Links. Enjoy!

Orlando City Draws with the New York Red Bulls

In a closely contested friendly that was played behind closed doors with limited media access, the Lions fought to take home a 1-1 draw. It was the Lions’ new signing, Ecuadorian midfielder Sebas Mendez, who opened the scoring by netting the same spot kick that he earned himself. The Lions went into the break up 1-0. Unfortunately, New York’s newest Homegrown Player, Omir Fernandez, scored in the second half to earn a draw for the Red Bulls. Orlando will face off against Louisville City On Wednesday.

USMNT Beats Costa Rica, 2-0

It’s been a stellar start to the Gregg Berhalter era. The USMNT downed a persistent Costa Rican side, 2-0. It took a while, but the introduction of super sub Sebastian Lletget was the difference as the 26-year-old scored late in the 80th minute and then assisted Paul Arriola’s dagger that gave the USMNT its second consecutive win. The squad that we’ve seen play thus far under Berhalter is quite young, so it’ll be fascinating to see how the new man at the helm integrates some of the players that haven’t been available for selection as of late (such as Christian Pulisic). Regardless, over the last two matches, the Yanks have turned in two winning performances, the latest of which saw them dominate possession (59%), shots (12-6), and only asked goalkeeper Zack Steffen to make a single save. Things are looking bright for the USMNT.

USMNT Friendly Coming to Orlando City Stadium

That’s right, you read it correctly. The streaking USMNT, under new head coach Gregg Berhalter, will be facing off against Ecuador on March 21 in Orlando. I personally think this is excellent, as the venue is a perfect size for the typical turnout for a friendly. Some friendlies have been held in giant stadiums with much of the seating empty. A quaint and personal setting like Orlando City Stadium is the perfect ground for an intimate experience for both the fans and the players. I’m just hoping the ticket prices aren’t too expensive because I’d really like to see this one in person.

Orlando SeaWolves Beat St. Louis Ambush in 15-Goal Thriller

The Orlando SeaWolves improved to 4-5 after traveling to Missouri to face off against the St. Louis Ambush (7-8), in what has proven to be an entertaining clash between the two sides in recent months. This one was no different, as the SeaWolves saw themselves take the lead several times only for the Ambush to notch one of their own and level the score. At the final whistle, the SeaWolves were up 8-7 (check out all of the highlights on their team’s Twitter page), and were ecstatic to take home an important win.

Free Kicks
  • Ever wonder what Yoshi is up to? you go.
  • Nashville SC, scheduled to join MLS play in 2020, has decided against continuing the pursuit of Celtic defender Andrew Gutman. The reasoning behind the decision stems from Gutman’s MLS rights being owned by the Chicago Fire. They technically could have made the move, but likely didn’t want to upset the league a year off from their impending promotion. The league requested that they decline the move.
  • Toronto FC’s friendly against Vissel Kobe in California was forced to be cancelled due to flash flooding in the area, which, as many have pointed out, is painfully ironic considering California has suffered so greatly from wildfires as of late.
  • I recently adopted a kitten. Her name is Bean, and she’s a perfect little feline companion for me. It’s not a decision I regret, and she makes life just a little bit better. Why am I talking about my cat? Because this cat is one hell of a troll (or just really, really wants to see some playing time)...and I wish I could adopt it too!
  • Lionel Messi picked up a minor thigh injury in yesterday’s 2-2 draw against Valencia just a few days out from a Cup clash with heated rivals Real Madrid. Messi is expected to be fit, but it’s certainly something to keep an eye on in the meantime.
  • And last but not least, someone deserves a medal for this one...

Well, that’s all I’ve got for you today, folks. Before I take my leave, I want to extend a tryout invitation to anyone looking to join a highly competitive men’s 11-a-side team that will be playing in the Central Florida Soccer League in the coming weeks. We’re still having supplemental tryouts to fill the remainder of the roster, and a high level of play is required. There’s also a women’s team in the works, and they plan to begin play on Feb. 24. Drop a comment, follow the link, or reach out to me however you see fit and I would be happy to provide you with more information! Mane Landers unite (and let’s score some goals, baby)!

All right, any who, enjoy your Super Bowl Sunday safely and, most importantly, go Patriots!