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Lion Links: 7/16/19

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Lions get weekly honors, Pride players up for awards, USMNT friendly announced, and more.

MLS: Columbus Crew SC at Orlando City SC Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Tuesday, Mane Landers. It was a mixed bag over the weekend as a late goal lifted Orlando City to a win over the Columbus crew, while late goals led to the demise of both Orlando City B and the Orlando Pride. Life goes on though, and as always there’s lots to discuss today, so lets get straight to it.

Lions Feature in Team of the Week

After their exploits in Saturday’s 1-0 victory over the Columbus Crew, a pair of Lions were included in the latest edition of the MLS Team of the Week. Carlos Ascues, who The Mane Land’s own JGlash rated a 7.5, made the starting XI; while Lamine Sané (TML’s Man of the Match) nabbed a spot on the substitutes’ bench. Both players put in excellent shifts during the weekend victory, with Sané helping to anchor the back line to a shutout as well as playing an absolute peach of a pass to Ruan down the flank for a hockey assist on Benji Michel’s goal. Ascues was no slouch either, and won seven tackles while passing the ball at an 83% clip. Congratulations to both men.

Pride Players Up for Weekly Awards

Continuing in the trend of Orlando players being honored, two Orlando Pride players have been nominated for weekly awards. Marta was nominated for the NWSL Goal of the Week for her 61st-minute screamer that cut the deficit from 2-1 in the second half of Sunday’s loss. Next up is Haley Kopmeyer, who was nominated for the NWSL Save of the Week for tipping over a header from just outside of the six yard box in the 36th minute; a save which kept the score at 1-0. Although the Pride wouldn’t be able to take any points from the game, congratulations are in order nonetheless for the two players.

USMNT Friendly Announced

The United States Men’s National Team has announced that it will play Mexico in a friendly on Sept. 6 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ. Since the game will be played during an international break the U.S. will also be announcing a second friendly that will be played during the latter half of the window at a later date. This will mark the 70th all-time meeting between the two nations and it comes at a time when both teams will be making preparations for games in the new Concacaf Nations League that will kick off later in the year.

Make or Break Season for Big Players

The upcoming domestic season will be a big one for a number of the world’s more famous soccer players, and all for varying reasons. Alexis Sanchez might be the player most in need of a big season as his paltry return of five goals in 45 games since joining Manchester United means that his vast weekly wages are becoming more and more unattractive to the club by the day. While Gareth Bale has had more success during his time with Real Madrid, his struggles with injuries mean that he’s also likely to be playing for a new team before too long. A strong return to form will go a long way towards him having a more comfortable playing environment than he did in the Spanish capital.

Free Kicks
  • Nani has returned to full training this week following an episode of food poisoning that kept him unavailable for selection over the weekend. While food poisoning is anything but restful, hopefully him being able to take the weekend off will help recharge his batteries a bit.
  • Orlando City has risen a spot to 16th in ESPNFC’s MLS Power Rankings.
  • Alex Morgan has revealed one of her pump up songs for the Women’s World Cup.
  • The details are out for the eMLS All-Star Challenge.
  • T-Pain helped Tallahassee Soccer Club meet the goal for their GoFundMe to help cover the costs for their team traveling to play in its first playoff game.

The soccer continues to come thick and fast this week, with Orlando City kicking things off on Thursday with an away game against the Portland Timbers. Then Orlando City B and the Orlando Pride play Saturday games against Richmond and Sky Blue FC, respectively, with Orlando City finishing things off with a home game against the New York Red Bulls on Sunday. Y’all stay safe out there.