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Lion Links: 8/4/19

The Lions win, the Young Lions lose, the USWNT kicks off the Victory Tour, Don Garber celebrates 20 years as commissioner, and more.

MLS: FC Dallas at Orlando City SC Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Sunday, Mane Landers. August really came out of nowhere this year, but here we are. As you read this, my club team, Orlando United FC, will be having friendly matches with FC Pegasus and Highland Hooligans, two local teams in the Orlando area. The Central Florida Soccer League season starts in mere weeks, and I can’t wait. The schedule will be busy but I’ll still be here to serve you up your Sunday Links.

Speaking of, we have a decent dish ahead of us today, so let’s dive in. Here’s your Sunday helping of Lion Links. Enjoy!

The Lions Host FC Dallas, Win 2-0

Tesho Akindele, the former Dallas player, was handed the captain’s armband for this home match against the Texas club and he didn’t disappoint, scoring early on in the first half after an excellent cut and pass from Ruan. The teams went into the break with a scoreline of 1-0, and the Lions looked determined to cap off their strong first half performance with a win. The Lions got their wish. Carlos Ascues scored in stoppage time to give the lads in purple some breathing room, and they held on from there to claim an important home win against strong opposition.

Also, keep an eye out later this morning for Dave Rohe’s player grades and Man of the Match, Jenn Glasheen’s five takeaways, and a photo gallery from Carlos Romero!

The Young Lions Lose 2-0 in Lansing

The Young Lions of OCB traveled to Michigan to take on Lansing Ignite FC, and things started off quite poorly for the young men in purple (which seems to have become a trend this season). Orlando City B went into the half trailing, 2-0, and were largely outplayed by Lansing, ultimately losing 3-0. Notably, OCB lacked man marking, which ultimately led to both goals conceded in the first half. It didn’t get much better in the second half either.

The U.S. Women Begin Victory Tour

The USWNT faced off against the Republic of Ireland in an international friendly last night, a match that kicked off the team’s 2019 World Cup win’s celebratory tour. Tobin Heath (16’), Lindsey Horan (31’), and Carli Lloyd (41’) all got their names on the scoresheet in the first half, as the Stars & Stripes cruised to a 3-0 win.

Don Garber Celebrates 20th Year as Commissioner

Twenty years ago today, Don Garber became the commissioner of Major League Soccer. At the time, the league consisted of just 12 teams, a number now dwarfed by the 24 in MLS. Garber has helped MLS see tremendous growth in all facets of the league, working to make MLS one of the top 10 leagues in attendance. He recalls getting the job:

“I could remember like it was yesterday the opening press conference in New York and the reaction, much of it negative, to me taking the job,” Garber told the AP. “I expected when I took the job that the soccer community would be excited about a young, experienced sports marketing executive coming over and taking over this fledgling soccer league. I realized quickly that soccer is a unique sport and it took a while to really earn the credibility and the respect of all the constituents. I remember walking home from that press conference and saying, ‘Oh my goodness, what did I get myself into?’”

Under Garber, MLS has grown in attendance, number of clubs, and amount of investment, with the league also establishing a positive relationship with the Mexican first division, Liga MX. MLS will continue to expand, but Garber’s impact shouldn’t go unrecognized.

Free Kicks
  • Check out the inspiring story of Jack Gourlay, a young soccer player who represented Orlando City at the Special Olympics All-Star match. Spoiler: He also scored a brace.
  • Who doesn’t like seeing some disarray in Atlanta? There’s a lot of chatter going around up there, and some on the team don’t fancy it.
  • Some Americans made the starting 11 for their respective sides in the Championship season openers.
  • Exciting stuff from another American, Werder Bremen striker Josh Sargent!

All right folks, that’s all I’ve got for you today. Enjoy your Sunday and have a great week!