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Lion Links: 6/13/19

Lions enter U.S. Open Cup party, OCB hosts FC Tucson, Colmán loan becomes official, and more.

MLS: U.S. Open-Orlando City at Memphis 901 Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Did you ever have one of those weeks? I’m having one this week. I needed a tire repaired early in the week. I recorded a great episode of the podcast only to find out one of the settings was wrong so Dave’s voice didn’t record. I’ve had to watch dozens of people get #MadOnline about the USMNT not scoring any goals and the USWNT celebrating theirs. And now I am quite unexpectedly writing these very Lion Links. But hey, I’m all about that #BlogLyfe.

Before we go any further, let’s all wish a very happy birthday to Orlando Pride defender Morgan Reid, who turns 24 today.

Successful Start to U.S. Open Cup for Lions

Orlando City went to Memphis and for much of the game it seemed like the Lions were content to just control the midfield and pass the ball around without much danger of finding the back of the net. But Sacha Kljestan scored twice — once from the spot — and Robin Jansson added his first goal with City to lead Orlando to a 3-1 win in the fourth round of the U.S. Open Cup. There was little doubt about the penalty that Shane O’Neill drew to help open the scoring but Memphis fans will feel hard done about the winning goal, which began with a clear foul on Cristian Higuita that wasn’t called. But hey, it’s nice to be on the winning end of a controversial call every now and then. The Lions will learn their fifth round opponents later this morning.

OCB Sees Unbeaten Run Snapped

An abysmal end to the first half led to Orlando City B’s first loss in weeks as the Young Lions saw their four-game unbeaten streak halted in a 2-1 loss to FC Tucson. OCB was nearly in the locker room when Tucson’s first goal — in the 44th minute — came from distance and it looked like goalkeeper Christian Herrera was late in seeing it. The second came in first-half stoppage on a scramble in the box. The Young Lions fought back to get within one but couldn’t find any late magic.

Orlando City Dumps Colmán Loan News

And I do mean “dumps.” The club announced the Josué Colmán loan that we wrote about three days ago just as OCB was kicking off last night’s match and an hour before the Lions took to the field against Memphis 901 FC. I know from experience that sometimes the timing of these things can’t be helped but this seems to happen more than it should. (For example, the Lions dropped news just as the Pride were about to make a draft selection back in January.) Anyway, here’s what Luiz Muzzi had to say about the loan:

“As a club we feel this is a transaction that benefits both the player and the team,” Executive Vice President of Soccer Operations Luiz Muzzi said. “For Josué, this gives him an opportunity to play on a consistent basis in an environment he’s familiar with in his former club in Paraguay. For Orlando City, it gives us roster flexibility moving forward.”

As was previously reported, the club confirmed that the loan is for a year and a half, and the Lions have recall rights in January and next June.

Morgan Consoled Fellow Cal Graduate After Thailand Thrashing

Pride striker Alex Morgan has taken some heat for celebrating her fourth and fifth goals on Tuesday — the ones that allowed her to tie Michelle Akers’ World Cup record. Personally, if I scored any goals in a World Cup game, I’d take off my pants, regardless of the score. But, as there usually is, there’s more to the story. After the match, Morgan talked to Thailand international and fellow University of California graduate Suchawadee Nildhamrong (known more commonly as Miranda Nild).

“She said to keep my head up and that this is only the first game,” Nild said, both crying and smiling at the same time during postgame interviews. “I think that Thailand did the best they knew how to do. We’re a developing program. It was an amazing experience to be able to play against the States. They’re the reigning champs for a reason. I think it’s all hitting me at once. The experience was incredibly emotional.”

The phrase that got me in the feels: “Nild said, both crying and smiling at the same time...” Morgan told the 22-year-old to go after these next two games.

“I told her that it’s a dream of all of ours to play in a World Cup,” Morgan said. “And she has at least three games, and this is Game 1. And she still has at least two games to showcase herself, to get some goals, she’s a quality player, and to stay encouraged through this tournament.

“Because she’s living out a dream that most girls and women don’t get to.”

Free Kicks
  • MLS salaries were released yesterday. We’ll have more on this later today.
  • Atletico Madrid’s CEO says Antoine Griezmann is going to Barcelona. As an Atleti fan, I now hate everything.
  • La Liga is in a bit of hot water after using their app to listen in on fans to catch bars illegally streaming matches.
  • It seems that a lot more Americans are upset about the USWNT than fans of Thailand, who don’t seem all that bothered about things. To me, that’s a head scratcher.
  • Here’s a piece on former Lion Servando Carrasco, who is, of course, Alex Morgan’s husband. The Express called him an “LA Galaxy star,” which may be overstating it, but I always liked Servando’s hustle and he seems like a good dude.
  • Those born on this date include longtime Hollywood Squares center square holder Paul Lynde (1926), actor Malcolm McDowell (1943), actor Stellan Skarsgard (1951), Tim Allen (1953), “Brat Pack” actress Ally Sheedy (1962), Marvel Cinematic Universe actor Chris Evans (1981), and child-acting twins Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen (1986).

That’s all my time for today. Enjoy your Thursday as we get set for OCB and the Pride both in action this weekend, along with the USWNT.