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Lion Links: 7/31/19

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Nani clutch at skills challenge, all things Orlando City, Jill Ellis steps down, technology delivers the sweetness, and more!

Soccer: Womens World Cup-USA Press Conference Michael Chow-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Wednesday, Mane Landers! It’s Hump Day, which means it’s MLS All-Star Game day right here in our very own Exploria Stadium. A lot happened yesterday, so let’s go ahead and get to the links.

Nani Defines Clutch in MLS All-Star Skills Challenge

With time running out and the Lions needing points, Orlando City captain Nani fired one last shot from midfield and hit the crossbar in the “passing” event in the MLS All-Star Skills Challenge. In this case, hitting the woodwork is a good thing and his shot lifted Orlando City’s trio (which also included Chris Mueller and Sebas Mendez) to a win in the competition. Here’s how he did it.

All Things Orlando City

In what might be the most exciting piece of all the Orlando City happenings from yesterday, news broke early that Uruguayan midfielder Mauricio Pereyra will join the Lions in the DP spot for the remainder of the season and will transition to TAM next season. A lot of comments around social media were disappointed that the news wasn’t that of a striker. I’m excited for an attacking midfielder to serve our forwards, and (gasp) shoot from outside the box.

Also, Orlando City trolls FSU football and it’s pretty funny.

Next up: The Professional Soccer Scouts Association will be partnering with Orlando City across several disciplines regarding talent identification to include education and scouting. The PFSA will meet with key OCSC staff to deliver the first course of their program and will return at a later date for further education.

Finally, the club will celebrate Military Appreciation Night at the Saturday match against FC Dallas. Among the many opportunities to thank our veterans, active duty members, veterans and their families can purchase discounted tickets and receive 10% off merchandise at The Den.

USWNT Head Coach Jill Ellis Steps Down

The Equalizer has reported that Jill Ellis will step down as U.S. Women’s National Team head coach following back-to-back World Cup championships. She will remain with the team as it completes its five-game World Cup victory tour. Ellis said in a statement:

“When I accepted the head coaching position this was the time frame I envisioned. The timing is right to move on and the program is positioned to remain at the pinnacle of women’s soccer. Change is something I have always embraced in my life and for me and my family this is the right moment.”

As far as who will replace her? The world does not yet know, but what a stage he/she will have to prove him/herself with the 2020 Olympics quickly approaching.

Technology can be so Amazing

Experiencing all things All-Star is very exciting, especially with access to so many talented players right here in our backyard. For 14-year-old Lyman, Sporting Kansas City’s Graham Zusi is a favorite. As a patient of Children’s Mercy, he had the chance to “hang out” with Zusi and other All-Stars as Rex the Robot offered him the opportunity to experience an all-access pass. Sometimes good things happen.

Free Kicks

I think that’ll do it for me this morning, Mane Landers. Are you headed to the match tonight? I’ll be there!