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Lion Links: 7/29/19

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MLS All-Star Week, Kljestan’s Open Cup, Rosell’s injury, and more.

Image courtesy of Major League Soccer Communications

Merry Monday morning, Mane Landers! MLS All-Star Week is upon us, and hopefully you’re as excited as Nani is on that boat sail. I’m hoping all of the hoopla surrounding the event muddled your memory of the Lions’ last match. In fact, that’s all I’m going to say about it, so let’s get to the links!

A Long Journey

It’s been a long trip for Orlando City when it comes to hosting the MLS All-Star Game. This club went through hoops when it came to joining MLS. Evidently, Don Garber tells other cities that want to join the league to ask Orlando for advice. Build a soccer-specific stadium? Done. Although I’m not sure the club should have had to do that. After all, Atlanta United FC didn’t, and it hosted the All-Star Game last season. Despite the discrepancies in how Orlando arrived at this point, majority owner Flávio Augusto da Silva is focused on making this year’s All-Star Game the best yet. Hopefully, the clubs will do their best on the field.

A Week of Events

As mentioned above, MLS has plenty of events planned for the MLS All-Star experience this week. Indeed, things kicked off last night with the eMLS challenge and Orlando City’s gamers won the whole thing on PKs. Well done, Abe and Anthony.

If you don’t live in Orlando, but are coming in for the festivities, you’ll need to know where to go. As for today’s activities, the MLS WORKS volunteer opportunities continue and the Men in Blazers live show is tonight at Ace Cafe

Kljestan and the Cup

Sacha Kljestan hasn’t been seen as much this season, but he’s still having an impact, especially in the U.S. Open Cup matches. Orlando City’s semifinal match against Atlanta United FC is only a little over a week away, and Kljestan could play a big role. Manfred “Manny” Schellscheidt was Kljestan’s coach and mentor at Seton Hall and he shared his own Open Cup experiences with Kljestan, imparting the importance of the Cup into his player. There is quite a bit of history surrounding the U.S. Open Cup, and Kljestan is hoping to add his name to that history.

The Women’s World Cup Bump

Ever since the United States Women’s National Team won the 2019 World Cup, the Orlando Pride and other NWSL clubs have enjoyed an uptick in attendance and interest. It’s exactly the type of thing the league needs, but most importantly, it is the type of thing that needs to be sustained. Having USWNT players on a club certainly sells tickets, but at some point the bump from the World Cup will end and the league needs to do something to keep momentum rolling.

Free Kicks
  • This is interesting and something worth keeping an eye on while the window is still open.
  • One of the Charleston Battery team buses was involved in an accident, and the game against Swope Park Rangers has been postponed. Fortunately, none of the passengers were seriously injured.
  • Remember when Uri Rosell was fouled by Brandon Bye in Saturday’s match? Bye was given a yellow card for the foul. I’m not sure why, but I feel like it might have been worse than that.
  • Ten lucky people with the first, middle, or last name of Morgan will get a free ticket to the MLS All-Star Game courtesy of Captain Morgan. I’m guessing Alex Morgan isn’t eligible.
  • Finally, if you’re in Orlando today, and not opposed to running, there’s a pick-up game.

Have a great week, and make sure to check back throughout the day for more Orlando soccer news. Go Lions!