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Lion Links: 9/8/19

The Lions host LAFC, the Pride travel to Tacoma, Lions in Canada, and much more.

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

Happy Sunday, Mane Landers. It’s been a whirlwind of a weekend for me, beginning with a CycleBar event hosted by my employers which benefited the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) on Friday night. It didn’t slow down from there, as a good friend and I played disc golf Saturday morning.

Then the big news from the New England Patriots’ camp rolled in; Antonio Brown, after having been released by the Oakland Raiders just hours before, had signed a one-year contract. Wrong football, I know, but I’m a die hard Patriots fan, as I was born in Massachusetts. This weekend marks the full return of the NFL’s 100th season — an impressive feat (but more importantly, fantasy football returns). Get Schwifty and the Lake Mary Lakers, my two teams, are going to win me some money this season. Bank on it.

All that said, my Seminoles again turned in a dismal performance, barely scrapping by the University of Louisiana-Monroe in overtime (thanks to a missed PAT from ULM) despite being 23-point favorites. Sweet.

You still here? Thanks for sticking through that spiel. Let’s move from football to football, err, I mean soccer. Yeah, soccer. Let’s dive right in and devour these Links. I know you’re probably starving.

Orlando City Hosts Los Angeles FC, Draws 2-2

The lads in purple played host to league-topping Los Angeles FC last night in a surprisingly competitive and entertaining affair. The Lions trailed early courtesy of a 12th-minute goal from Adrien Perez, but Nani put one over the keeper just moments later to level it. It even made ESPN FC’s Twitter page:

The saw one more goal from the Lions, too, as Benji Michel notched one minutes later in the 20th minute. Diego Rossi made the Lions pay in the 78th minute, leveling things yet again. Both sides were stout from there on out, and the Lions stole a surprising point from the best team in Major League Soccer.

And be sure to keep an eye out for Ben Miller’s five takeaways and our player grades, slated for release later today.

Pride’s Late Show in Tacoma Doesn’t Go Well

The Orlando Pride have not been enjoying a successful season — there’s absolutely no way to see it any other way. The women in purple took on Reign FC late last night (for us on the east coast, at least), and it got even later when a weather delay reared its ugly head. The extreme weather might as well have continued through the night because the Pride got blasted, 3-1. All of the Reign’s damage came early before the long weather delay, but the Pride pulled only one of those goals back. Dave Rohe did the Lord’s work by staying up late to watch it and recap it for you.

Lions Suit Up for Canada vs. Cuba, Win 6-0

I hope you’re at least a tad confused by the header, but Kamal Miller, Tesho Akindele, and Will Johnson all suited up for the Canadian National Team last night in Toronto for the Concacaf Nations League match against Cuba in the Group A opener. Miller was given the nod to start, while Akindele and Johnson were relegated to watching from the bench. The Canadians dominated this one thoroughly, putting six past Cuba in a 6-0 win, and leaving no doubt that the proper side had come away withe full three points. Those that got their names on the score sheet. Former Lions Richie Laryea and Cyle Larin also played in the match. Canada will face Cuba again on Tuesday in the return leg.

USMNT Coach Berhalter Sees Progress Despite Loss

Despite losing 3-0 to rival nation Mexico, U.S. Men’s National Team Head Coach Gregg Berhalter has decided to highlight the positives rather than dwell on the negatives. The coach claims the performance was stronger, again despite the result, than when the two sides last clashed in the Gold Cup final.

“From my perspective, and you guys are going to think I’m crazy, I’m happier about this game than the Gold Cup final,” Berhalter said. “Because in the Gold Cup final, I felt like all we did was play the ball long. And that was our only solution. And now, at least we tried to play in the way we’re envisioning.”

Berhalter wasn’t the only one within the USMNT ranks that was optimistic following the match. Goalkeeper Zack Steffen compared the USMNT’s fight back into relevancy with the Philadelphia 76ers’ motto.

“It’s a process,” Steffen said. “We have our team goals, we have our style goals, we want to play. And we just got to keep going. These things are going to happen, it’s going to make us stronger. We’re not going to give up. It’s a process.”

Meanwhile, star midfielder Christian Pulisic claimed that the Yanks lacked creativity and confidence. Trust the process, young Pulisic. Trust the process.

Free Kicks

All right folks, that’s all I have for you today. Before I let you go, I just want to take a moment to acknowledge that a year ago yesterday, we lost a true talent in musician Mac Miller. Rest in peace, Mac. Here’s a throwback jam. I hope you have the Best Day Ever, Mane Landers. Much love.

“No matter where life takes me, find me with a smile. Pursuit to be happy, only laughing like a child. I never thought life would be this sweet, It got me cheesin’ from cheek to cheek. And I ain’t gonna wait for nothing, ‘cause that just ain’t my style. Life couldn’t get better. This gon’ be the best day ever.”