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Lion Links: 6/25/19

MLS All-Star Game roster released, Orlando City recalls Stajduhar, the USWNT advances, and more.

MLS: U.S. Open Cup-New England Revolution at Orlando City FC Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Tuesday, Mane Landers. I’m currently out west for a conference and keep missing the first 20 or so minutes of the soccer games I want to watch because all the kickoff times are listed in eastern time online, so I really need to get it together. There’s lots to discuss today, so let’s have at it.

All-Star Game Roster Revealed

Major League Soccer released the full 26-man roster for next month’s MLS All-Star Game. The 26 individuals are made up of a pool comprising the Fan XI, two commissioner's choices, and then a further 13 picks by James O’Connor, who will be the head coach of this year’s MLS All-Star team. Of the 26, 12 are previous All-Stars with the remaining 14 players being debutantes. Among O’Connor’s selections are Josef Martinez, Chris Wondolowski, Bastian Schweinsteiger, and Nicolas Lodeiro. The two selections made by Commissioner Don Garber are Nick Rimando and Paxton Pomykal. Nani was selected as part of the Fan XI, but will be the only Orlando City player on the squad.

Orlando City Recalls Stajduhar

Orlando City has recalled Mason Stajduhar from his loan at the United Soccer League side Tulsa Roughnecks. Stajduhar was sent out on loan in mid March and started 11 matches for the Oklahoma-based team, recording two clean sheets and a record of 2-3-6. The 21-year-old goalkeeper played for Orlando City’s U-23 academy team before signing with Orlando City’s senior team as a Homegrown Player. He missed the 2018 season after being diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma but was cleared ahead of the current season and has obviously made a pretty successful return to the field. It will be interesting to see where he fits into the club’s plans with Orlando City currently having three goalkeepers on its senior roster.

USWNT Oust Spain

The United States Women’s National Team got the job done against Spain in the Round of 16 at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup as it beat the Iberians 2-1 thanks to a pair of Megan Rapinoe penalties. It was hardly a comfortable win for the Yanks though, as the team struggled to create good chances on the offensive end of the field while also making some sloppy defensive errors amid a shaky outing from Alyssa Naeher. While the two penalties were enough to see the U.S. through, it was not a performance that’s likely to inspire much confidence in the United States camp especially with bona-fide powerhouse and host nation France waiting in the quarterfinals. Hopefully the narrow win will serve as a wake-up call because while France was given its own scare in a 2-1 win over Brazil, a similar U.S. performance to this game will almost certainly see Les Bleus take advantage and advance to the semifinals.

Canada Sent Home

On the other side of the coin, the Canadian Women’s National Team lost 1-0 to Sweden in the Round of 16 to end the team’s World Cup dream. The win was made more painful for the Canadians considering that they had a penalty kick saved during the game, and also entered the tournament as the fifth-ranked team in the world. While the Canadians played well, they suffered from Orlando City-itis, or an inability to finish off quality chances and put the ball back into the net. While the saved penalty kick was the best example of that, there were also several good chances from open play that the team failed to make the most of. While the loss is unfortunate, it does mean that the Orlando Pride will get back defender Shelina Zadorsky, who will most definitely be a welcome reinforcement.

Free Kicks
  • Jordan Culver’s stories for keep trickling in but this is allegedly the last one and it’s a nice piece about Chris Mueller.
  • Orlando City rose one spot to 12th place in’s MLS Power Rankings. Go figure.
  • American-owned Real Mallorca has won promotion to La Liga following a 3-2 aggregate victory over Deportivo La Coruna to win the Segunda Division playoff. Stuart Holden and Steve Nash both own minority stakes in the club, and were rather pleased.
  • The iconic San Siro will be demolished to make way for a brand new stadium on the same plot of land, with Inter Milan and AC Milan to continue sharing the venue.

There’s a full week of soccer ahead with Orlando City and the USMNT both playing tomorrow, the USWNT playing France on Friday, and the various Orlando teams all playing at the weekend. Plan your calendar accordingly and enjoy!