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Lion Links: 8/27/19

Sané leads the defense, Pride players up for weekly awards, American players succeeding abroad, and more.

SOCCER: AUG 03 MLS - FC Dallas at Orlando City SC Photo by Joe Petro/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Greetings, Mane Landers, and welcome to the Tuesday edition of Lion Links. I know I’m a day late, but I hope you don’t mind my stopping in today. Hopefully your week has started out well, and we do have a ton of stuff to get to, so here are your Links!

Sané Leads the Lions Defense

Lamine Sané has been a bright spot for Orlando City this season, and has taken to his leadership role along the back line. James O’Connor has found his chosen center back pairing with Sané and Robin Jansson, and their chemistry has led Orlando City to tie its record for shutouts in a season with matches still to play. However, there has been a lot of rotation on either side of the pair, thanks to injuries. For Kyle Smith and Shane O’Neill, adjusting to their new positions has been easier thanks to Sané’s instruction, both in training and during matches. Under the leadership of Sané, Orlando City’s greatest area of improvement in 2019 has been the defense.

Pride Players Up for Weekly NWSL Awards

After splitting a pair of games last week on the road, the Orlando Pride have a pair of players up for weekly league awards. You could help them win these awards if you’re on Twitter, by visiting the accompanying tweet links and voting. Marta is up for NWSL Goal of the Week, so vote early and vote often. I’m assuming they gave her extra credit for the backward roll after scoring?

Ashlyn Harris is up for NWSL Save of the Week. Might as well try and make it two for two when you vote.

USMNT Players Abroad

More and more, USMNT players are seeing action in the top European leagues. Christian Pulisic earned an assist and helped set up another of Chelsea’s goals to secure the club’s first win of the season, defeating Norwich City, 3-2. Pulisic put in an 84-minute shift for the Blues. Over in the Bundesliga, John Brooks earned his second consecutive start for VFL Wolfsburg in a 3-0 victory over Hertha Berlin. Fabian Johnson also started and played 81 minutes in Borussia Monchengladbach’s 3-1 victory over Mainz. Weston McKennie, Tyler Boyd, Cameron Carter-Vickers, and Tim Ream all saw playing time as well as others.

Adding Depth to the USWNT

Casey Short and Kristen Hamilton have been added to the USWNT roster for the upcoming matches against Portugal. Short is a defender for the Chicago Red Stars and Hamilton is a forward for the North Carolina Courage. This is the first call-up for Hamilton, who is tied for second in goals in the NWSL this season. Short has 27 caps for the U.S. Between injuries to players like Alex Morgan, and keeping the World Cup players healthy for their clubs, adding depth to the roster helps everyone, and gets some newer blood for the U.S. going forward.

33 Minutes of Silence

If we’re being honest, the Portland Timbers/Seattle Sounders match is one of the best rivalries in MLS. The match is typically a raucous maelstrom of chants, singing, and tifos. This weekend, no one from either club’s supporters’ groups so much as whispered for 33 minutes. The reason was a coordinated protest against the MLS policy supported by the front offices of the clubs prohibiting shows of political protest. In particular, the flying of the Iron Front symbol. The Iron Front was a group that fought and protested the rise of fascism in 1930s Germany. Now, there are those in the U.S. who have adopted the symbol to protest the rise of white nationalism in this country. For 33 minutes, these rival supporter groups stood in silence together against MLS, their clubs’ ownership, and fascism. Those 33 minutes of silence spoke so very loudly that night.

Bolton Wanderers on the Brink

Last Friday, it looked as if a deal was about to be completed to keep the Bolton Wanderers in the EFL, and in existence as a soccer club. Now with the Wednesday deadline fast approaching, it seems one or more of the parties involved have reached an impasse. The result will be the closing of a club 145 years old, having been founded in 1874. Hundreds will lose jobs, and it could be devastating to the Bolton faithful. Here’s hoping someone can pull out a miracle.

Free Kicks
  • The newest MLS playoff projections have given Orlando City a 29% chance of making the playoffs.
  • Evidently Allstate wasn’t watching 20 seconds earlier, when Rowe kicked the ball directly to Atlanta United. I’m not saying the save wasn’t great, but he set himself up pretty poorly.
  • When Zlatan doesn’t want you in his wall.
  • Carli Lloyd will apparently get a look at placekicker in an NFL preseason game.
  • Skynet is ready to begin their takeover of humanity, and it looks like FIFA is helping that along. The world governing body of soccer is looking into replacing linesmen with robots. First VAR, and now this. Someone call John Connor!
  • Just look at Mateo Messi’s face, and Luis Suarez’s reaction to little Messi.
  • Finally, this isn’t at all soccer related, but it sure is impressive.

That will do it for today, good readers. Check back for more coverage of all things Orlando soccer. Go City!