clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Lion Links: 6/7/19

More Lions called up, OCB accolades, USMNT Gold Cup roster announced, and more.

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

What’s up, Mane Landers? It looks like there is plenty of rain in this weekend’s forecast, along with some great soccer ahead with Orlando City B in action tonight and the United States Men’s National Team playing Sunday. After those games, I hope you’re well prepared for tournament season with the FIFA Women’s World Cup, Concacaf Gold Cup, U.S. Open Cup, U-20 World Cup, and so many more competitions all in full gear this month. It’s going to be hectic, it’s going to be insane, and it’s going to be so much fun.

More Lions Called Up

You may already know that Will Johnson and Kamal Miller were called up for Canada’s Gold Cup roster, but two more Lions will be participating in the tournament. Goalkeeper Greg Ranjitsingh will be joining Trinidad and Tobago, while defender Danilo Acosta will be representing Honduras at the tournament.

That makes it a total of four Lions out of the 59 MLS players named to Gold Cup rosters, the most ever as the league becomes more talented and diverse.

The Quiet Case For Sebas Mendez

Let’s be honest, if any Lions are going to be named to this year’s MLS All-Star Game it’s likely going to be Nani or Ruan. It’s difficult for a non-offensive player to squeeze into a crowded midfield slot, but 22-year-old Sebas Mendez is making a case for his inclusion.

Mendez leads the Lions in both touches and passing accuracy and is third in MLS with an expected buildup percentage of 96.8%. I’m usually not a fan of stats that include “expected” in any capacity but this basically means that of all the chances Orlando City has had this year, Mendez was part of the buildup for nearly 97% of them, a percentage only bested by Michael Bradley and Wil Trapp.

Orlando City B Offense Recognized

Orlando’s three-game unbeaten streak has happened in large part thanks to an offense that has scored a whopping seven goals over that time. The Young Lions will look to keep the goals coming tonight at 7:30 p.m. ET when they host Forward Madison FC and will lean on their offensive-minded players like Rafael Santos, who won USL League One Goal of the Week for his long range strike last Friday.

That strike also earned Santos a nomination for Goal of the Month alongside teammate Serginho’s goal from distance as well. Make sure to get out there and vote.

U.S. Gold Cup Roster Finalized

Gregg Berhalter has named his USMNT 23-man roster for the Gold Cup and it looks just about as expected with Christian Pulisic, Tyler Adams, Walker Zimmerman, and Zack Steffen all featured. The biggest surprise comes from the omission of 19-year-old Josh Sargent, whose absence from the U-20 World Cup felt like a guarantee he would be in Jamaica this summer. According to Berhalter, an injury to utility man Sebastian Lletget removed some of the depth of the team to the point that Berhalter felt he couldn’t justify three strikers on the roster with Jozy Altidore and Gyasi Zardes edging Sargent out.

Free Kicks
  • With the World Cup looming, Alex Morgan took the time to field some fan questions.
  • In probably the flyest hat I’ve ever seen, Orlando Pride goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris pushes for individualism, loving yourself, and not being afraid to stand out.
  • Andrew Wiebe of decided to revise his MLS award predictions and this time he included Nani as a potential dark horse for Newcomer of the Year.
  • Orlando City Foundation Community Ambassador and former Lion Miguel Gallardo received quite the honor. It’s just a nomination, for now, so be sure to send him good vibes and support!

That’s all from me folks. I hope you are all ready for an exciting month of soccer. Stay hydrated and have a great weekend!