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Lion Links: 7/18/19

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Help make Nani the MLS All-Star captain, USWNT stars ready to help the Pride, Ali Krieger is good right now, and more.

Photo by Andrew Bershaw/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Happy Orlando City match day, Mane Landers! It’s quite odd to say that on a Thursday morning. The Lions’ schedule of late has been interesting, to say the very least. Thanks to tonight’s game being on the opposite cost, Orlando will face the Portland Timbers at 10 p.m. ET. If you need some light reading to get through your work day prior to that, I’ve got you covered.

Before we get to that, let’s wish midfielder Cam Lindley a happy 22nd birthday. He may be away on loan with Memphis 901 FC, but he’s still our dude.

Nani Up for MLS All-Star Captain

Orlando City superstar Nani, the man who wears the armband for the Lions every time he’s on the pitch, is one of four Major League Soccer All-Stars nominated for captain of this year’s All-Star Game. It’s easy to vote via Twitter for our leading man, so there’s no excuse not to get your vote in. We here at The Mane Land have even provided the tweet — all you need to do is retweet it!

Wayne freaking Rooney, Chris Wondolowski, and Carlos Vela are the other three nominees, not that it should matter. If for some reason you still need convincing, Nani himself posted a skills compilation video since he is also participating in the All-Star Skills Challenge.

“Confident” Lions Travel to Portland on Another Short Week

The signing of new Orlando City player Robinho certainly couldn’t have come at a better time, considering the Lions made the 2,500-mile trek to the Pacific northwest on Tuesday afternoon for this evening’s match against the Portland Timbers. Head Coach James O’Connor told ProSoccerUSA’s Julia Poe that the former Columbus Crew SC midfielder, who will sport the No. 95, is “someone who we think can help us, so fingers crossed he’ll be able to come in soon and be able to give us a little bit of something.” Stalwart center back Robin Jansson added the following.

“I think we’re feeling quite good actually. We have tired bodies here and there, but that’s normal when you play a lot of games in a small amount of days. We’re feeling that we’re in a good mood and that we need to transition that into a good energy on the field.”

Danilo Acosta has definitely gotten some minutes in recent matches because of O’Connor’s need to heavily rotate his squad. Take a look at Acosta’s journey from Honduras to Orlando in this clip. Of course, the men in purple will make the return trip quickly in order to prepare for Sunday’s home battle with the New York Red Bulls. Provided Chris Mueller isn’t too exhausted to function, he’s got a meet-and-greet scheduled for Tuesday, July 23.

And yes, Orlando City got in on the aging-your-players-in-pictures craze that’s all over social media currently.

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Sometimes stoppage time really does feel that long.

A post shared by Orlando City SC (@orlandocitysc) on

USWNT World Cup Stars Ready to Help Pride

Alex Morgan, Ashlyn Harris, and Ali Krieger (how am I just now noticing that all of their names start with “A”?) were finally back in Orlando Pride training Wednesday morning. Our own Scott Carnevale was there to cover it and reported that Morgan “was sitting off to the side resting her knee.” Head Coach Marc Skinner later cleared up the situation, telling the media that the star striker’s injury is just a “niggle” that she suffered during the United States Women’s National Team’s historic World Cup run.

The Pride will continue the welcome back party for the champions on Saturday with the home game versus Sky Blue FC. Morgan, Harris, and Krieger want to see us all there — make sure you don’t let them down! This match will unfortunately not be one of ESPN’s featured National Women’s Soccer League games (even more of a reason to get to the stadium). The viewing numbers, however, for last Sunday’s loss to Portland Thorns FC were released and seem to be decent.

Krieger and Harris Discuss World Cup, Legacies

Krieger, fresh off her Women’s World Cup after not being a part of the USWNT for nearly two years, is “good right now” and wants you to know it. In this excellent piece for The Players’ Tribune, the defender describes both the “shock” of finding out her USWNT contract had been terminated and the “validation” of receiving the call-up this past March. It’s an absolute must-read for any soccer fan, as Krieger’s fierce determination is something we can all admire.

Meanwhile, Krieger’s fiance and teammate, Ashlyn Harris, spoke about the legacy of this year’s WWC winning squad.

Free Kicks
  • The Area 51 memes are already wearing extremely thin as far as I’m concerned, but this one is simply perfection.
  • Liverpool FC fans are apparently the sexiest of the English Premier League. Somehow, I doubt that’s scientific.
  • I have no words for the new Huddersfield Town home kit.
  • After exposing your eyes to whatever is going on with the above kit, I must now grace you with the clean beauty that is Chelsea FC’s 2019/20 away kit.
  • Speaking of my EPL club, Italian side Fiorentina are looking to sign current Chelsea player Matt Miazga due to his nationality.
  • On to the two wonderful pieces of VfL Wolfsburg news. Women’s World Cup bronze medal-winning Swedish goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl has signed with the VfL Ladies. I’m obviously sad to see her leave Chelsea, though you won’t hear me complain about her joining my Wolves!
  • Lastly, the Wolves defeated PSV Eindhoven 2-0 in a preseason friendly.

Now go count the hours until we can watch Orlando City take on Portland tonight. I know I will be. Go City!