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Lion Links: 9/1/19

The Lions take on the Quakes out west, Kyle Smith is working hard to prove his worth in MLS, and more.

MLS: Orlando City SC at San Jose Earthquakes Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Sunday and welcome to September, Mane Landers! Personally speaking, this year has flown by. It’s already time to break out the NFL fantasy football cheat sheets and don your favorite university’s apparel. And, much to the chagrin of some, the return of pumpkin spice is here. My Seminoles managed to blow an 18-point lead to Boise State yesterday. I could go on a rant, but you’re not here for that sort of football.

Hurricane Dorian is still out there and time will tell where it ends up. Whether you’re from Florida or not, as long as this isn’t your first rodeo, you’ll probably be fine. It looked ominous for a while, but it appears we may have avoided the brunt of this one. Needless to say, you should be monitoring the situation and be prepared for the worst. Safety is of the utmost importance, but again, I have faith in Mane Landers, so I’m likely just preaching to the choir.

Before we dive in to today’s Links, we here at The Mane Land want to wish Head Coach James O’Connor a very special birthday! Forty is a huge milestone, so cheers to the gaffer!

With that out of the way, we can chow down. Here’s your Sunday serving of Lion Links. Enjoy!

Lions Buried Early by Earthquakes

The lads in purple traveled all the way to San Jose to take on the Earthquakes last night and maybe the time zone change caused some problems, because the Lions sure seemed sleepy at the 10:30 p.m. kickoff. San Jose jumped out to a lead just a few minutes into the game and scored all three goals in the first 33 minutes in a 3-0 loss. Michael Citro has your match recap and highlights.

Tune in later this morning for the bearded guy’s five takeaways and I’m sure someone will grab the player grades as soon as everyone wakes up.

Kyle Smith Working Hard to Prove He Belongs in MLS

Fullback Kyle Smith has filled in admirably in Ruan’s absences this season and after a bit of a shaky start he’s settled in and at least shown he can be a solid backup player in Major League Soccer. Smith’s not a flashy guy, but he keeps working hard and trying to improve every day. His work ethic is the key to his success, as the defender worked his regular job while trying to make it in professional soccer.

“He’s got this really good attitude towards training and work,” Orlando City assistant coach Sean McAuley said. “He doesn’t seem to get fazed by much. He doesn’t get nervous, he doesn’t get flustered, he just goes and does his job. It’s refreshing.”

Former MLSer Making Waves with FC Bayern Munich

Okay, I have to admit, I’m more than biased when it comes to this one, as I’m an avid FC Bayern supporter. Young Canadian Alphonso Davies was at it again for FC Bayern, coming on as a 68th-minute substitute and making his presence felt immediately. The winger got his name on the scoresheet with a goal in a 6-1 drubbing of Mainz. Now, to put an Orlando lens to this, the Lions currently roster a strong, young Canadian in versatile defender Kamal Miller. He could one day end up as a European commodity. In fact, there is a total of 15 other MLS players on the Canadian Men’s National Team. There’s a trend here, with some of them (I’m looking at you, Cyle Larin) moving abroad. The point here that I’m getting at is that the Canadian National Team and MLS are very closely tied, and that they both have become unexpected sources of talent for Europe to siphon.

Free Kicks
  • (Insert a lot, and I mean a lot, of heart emojis here).
  • Chioma Ubogagu signed her deal with Tacon.
  • The U.S. Olympic Para 7-a-side team is doing well in Lima, Peru with a match left to play for the right earn bronze medals. The tie comes after the team finished third on tiebreakers following a 10-0 rout of the host nation.
  • The U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team will launch a new cycle with two matches in Slovenia against Croatia and the United Arab Emirates U-23 sides. All of those called up for these matches are born in the year 2001, which, damn, if that doesn’t make you feel old, I don’t know what will.
  • Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez is on the move, but not to MLS. Reports indicate that the Mexican international has agreed to a move to Sevilla of La Liga.
  • Controversial striker Mauro Icardi is suing his current club, Inter Milan, for discrimination and the right to return to the first team to play, along with 1.5m euros. The tale of Icardi continues to unfold like a soap opera, so just keep an eye on it and enjoy, I guess.
  • A 16-year-old became the youngest scorer for FC Barcelona this weekend. Incredible. I don’t know what else to say.
  • There’s the cliche of getting an “A for effort,” but that wouldn’t properly sum up this defensive masterclass from the Russian Premier League.

All right, I’ll end it there. It’s due to be an interesting few days, regardless of where Dorian decides to make landfall. Batten down the hatches if it turns towards us and stay safe. See you on the other side!