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Lion Links: 6/30/19

Lions win on the road, Berhalter coy on striker selection, celebrating pride, Pierre Da Silva scores on loan, and more.

MLS: Orlando City SC at Columbus Crew SC Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Sunday, Mane Landers. We’re in the midst of amazing soccer abundance with the World Cup, Gold Cup, Copa America, MLS, and NWSL in full swing. The Lions, who fell victim to an amazing Wayne Rooney half-field strike last Wednesday, were back in action against the Columbus Crew. Fortunately they walked away with a clean sheet and the full three points, and closed out a surprisingly successful June. Things are certainly looking up for the Lions.

Anyway, let’s get to it. Here’s your Sunday serving of Lion Links. Enjoy.

Lions Travel to Columbus, Win 2-0

Orlando City took on the Crew in a testy, back-and-forth affair that saw the boys in purple walk away with a 2-0 win. The first goal came early on when Nani found Chris Mueller with a deft flick, with Mueller taking a good first touch towards goal and burying it in the 41st minute. Tesho Akindele added a second in the 66th minute, continuing to show his value to his new club with his sixth of the season. From there, the Lions coasted to a comfortable road win, adding to an impressive month of June results.

Keep an eye out for David Rohe’s five takeaways from the match later this morning, too!

Berhalter Won’t Reveal Striker Plans

With tonight’s much-anticipated clash between the U.S. Men’s National Team and Curaçao upon us, U.S. Head Coach Gregg Berhalter is holding off on naming his starting striker between Gyasi Zardes and Jozy Altidore. When asked if he would name a starter, he reportedly responded with a simple “no.” It’s an interesting dilemma, if you want to call it that, for Berhalter and the USMNT to have. Both have performed well as of late, so in my opinion I’m not sure it makes much of a difference in tonight’s match. But what does strike me is the thought that neither of these men are in the early stages of their career, but rather in the later stages. I hope Berhalter has a succession plan in place for the era when these two don’t have enough left in the tank to suit up for their country.

Meanwhile, Berhalter says that his team can’t take Curaçao for granted.

Celebrating Pride: Collin Martin

A year ago yesterday, Collin Martin, a midfielder for Minnesota United FC, came out as gay to the public. Martin is the second active MLS player to come out, after Robbie Rogers, and remains a pioneer as the only active male team sports athlete in the five American major leagues to be out at the time of writing this. He reflects on the year that followed, noting that he received love and support from all of those around him. Meanwhile, the Loons demolished Cincinnati FC, 7-1.

Free Kicks
  • Lion on loan Pierre Da Silva scored a goal yesterday.
  • Former OCB Young Lion Austin Martz is hanging up the boots. Cheers, Austin!
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RETIREMENT- usually meaning to leave and cease one’s work. After 24 years of playing the sport that’s provided me so much joy, it’s time to say goodbye. In a worldly standard, retirement would be the end and it would be time to rest and relax. Yet, my eyes are set on greater things above and greater things to come. My work for the Lord and His kingdom is ongoing. It doesn’t have an end because eternity is forever. While a season of my life is coming to closure, a new season begins. Though the seasons change, His love remains and so does my desire to love others. I’ll be moving to Wilmington, NC for my next endeavor and I’m thankful that Jesus has been faithful to His promises of providing for my family and I. I’m thankful for Hannah, my amazing wife for being by my side and with me every step of the way through difficult decisions. I’m thankful to my parents for always believing in me and continuously supporting my needs in all circumstances. I’m thankful for every coach and mentor that has aided in my growth and built me up to be a better version of myself year after year. I’m thankful to every brother I’ve played alongside and the friendships have taught me what real community is supposed to look like. I’m thankful for every trainer, strength coach, kitman, chaplain, office staff member, nutritionist, friends in other roles, and so many more for constantly being there for me. God is so good and He blessed me tremendously through my platform as a professional to influence the next generation as often as possible. Nonetheless, it’s time to say goodbye and step into the future faithfully and full of confidence, knowing I’m cared for and loved by a good good father. Thank you Lord for a ride I’ll never forget.

A post shared by Austin Martz (@austinmartz2) on

All right folks, I won’t keep you much longer. Have a great Sunday, enjoy the Pride vs. Chicago and the USMNT’s match against Curaçao, and then have an excellent week!