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Lion Links: 8/13/19

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Miller steps up, getting to know Mauricio Pereyra, a Lion in the MLS Team of the Week, and more.

MLS: Orlando City SC at Toronto FC Gerry Angus-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Tuesday, Mane Landers. It wasn’t the easiest of weekends to be an Orlando soccer fan, as the players in purple only claimed one point from an available six. Life goes on though and there’s plenty to talk about today, so we’re going to jump right in.

Miller Steps Up Against Toronto

Kamal Miller stepped up in a big way on Saturday during the road draw with Toronto FC. Not only was the rookie thrust into the starting lineup on the road against a team directly above the Lions in the Eastern Conference standings, but he was also playing a mere 20 minutes from his hometown in front of a healthy collection of his friends and family. You never would have guessed it was a high-pressure situation though, as he made three tackles, two clearances, passed the ball at a 90% clip, and was generally a calming presence across the back line. While the team wasn’t able to keep a clean sheet, Miller played a big part in salvaging a road point for the Lions, especially as the intensity ratcheted up in the second half. Hopefully Saturday will be one of many assured performances to come from the rookie.

Talking With Mauricio Pereyra

Mauricio Pereyra took some time to talk with OCSC’s site and tell fans of his new club a little about himself. He acknowledges while he isn’t necessarily the greatest goal scorer, he is always looking to play the key pass and create assists, and he spoke about his time playing in South America, as well as his six seasons with FC Krasnodar in Russia’s Premier League. Interesting for me were the comments of some Krasnodar fans on the video that was posted to Orlando City’s Twitter feed. They seem to hold him in very high regard, and praise his passing ability and energy on the field — both qualities that Orlando can certainly make use of.

Lion in Team of the Week

Following a solid performance in the midfield of the 1-1 draw with Toronto, Carlos Ascues was named to the bench of the latest edition of the MLS Team of the Week. It was a strong start for Ascues and he initially provided a lot of energy through the midfield. He passed the ball at a very well at an 89% rate and also made one clearance and completed one dribble. While he did fade a little bit, he wasn’t the only one guilty of that, and he helped to anchor the penalty area during Toronto’s second half barrage. Congratulations to Carlos!

USSF Announces Promotions

The United States Soccer Federation made a pair of hiring announcements yesterday. First, Kate Markgraf was named as the first general manager of the U.S. Women’s National Team; and then Earnie Stewart was named the federation’s first sporting director. Markgraf will be tasked with finding a replacement for Jill Ellis, who announced last month that she’ll be stepping down as the head coach of the USWNT after the Victory Tour. Stewart, meanwhile, will oversee the federation’s sports performance department, encompassing the senior and youth teams for both the men’s and women’s side of things. He will also be charged with appointing a replacement for his old role as general manager of the USMNT.

Free Kicks
  • The Orlando Pride became a rather unfortunate statistic during Saturday’s loss.
  • Miguel Almiron also became an unfortunate, if not altogether unsurprising, statistic.

That’s all I have for today. The Lions are right back in action tomorrow with a home game against Sporting Kansas City up next on the docket. Kickoff time is 7:30 p.m. E.T. at Exploria Stadium. Y’all stay safe out there.