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Lion Links: 9/9/19

O’Connor’s ire, Orlando City players up for weekly awards, the psychology of soccer, and more.

Orlando City Soccer vs. Atlanta United Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Merry Monday morning, Mane Landers! I know it’s disappointing to drop points late, but let’s be honest, prior to the match there wasn’t much hope for anything but a loss. I doubt many of you stayed up late enough to watch the Pride, but it wasn’t so bad after the weather delay. Of course, by that time it was too late. Now, I’m going back to bed.

But first, let’s wish Orlando City midfielder Sacha Kljestan a happy birthday.

Another Match, Same Story

James O’Connor was not at all happy dropping points at home to LAFC, especially given the calls and non-calls that affected the outcome. A Tyler Miller collision with Benji Michel that negated a Uri Rosell goal was particularly irksome. O’Connor was very careful to choose his words appropriately, so as to not earn any fines. He and the team were very proud of the shift put in against one of the best teams in MLS, but PRO is going to PRO.

Lions Nominated and Recognized

The draw may have been disappointing considering how close the team was to a big win, but the Lions still earned some recognition for a strong performance. Benji Michel is up for Goal of the Week for his strike after a good string of passes to give Orlando the lead. In the week’s top 10 plays, Orlando featured twice with each goal getting some love. But that’s not all, as Ruan is up for Player of the Week after his impressive return. Make sure to go out and vote!

No U.S. Soccer Decisions

Those hoping for a new U.S. Soccer CEO or United States Women’s National Team head coach will have to wait a bit longer. The U.S. Soccer Board met on Saturday, but made no decisions on replacing Jill Ellis or retiring CEO Dan Flynn. We did learn that the organization is falling short of projected budget figures by $3.7 million and is $289,000 short on marketing and sponsorship revenues as of July 31, 2019. Additionally, it looks like Jay Berhalter might be in line to replace Flynn despite his lack of support from U.S. fans. Answers to all these questions are likely to come during the December board meeting.

Psychology of Soccer

Most soccer supporters are well acquainted with the difficulties some players have adapting to a new club, a new country, or a new league. Josué Colmán is a good example of this. Despite his potential, he was never really able to get going at Orlando City, and was loaned back to Paraguayan side Cerro Porteño. The importance of language, food, culture, and weather can have an impact on a player’s ability to adapt to their new environment. Soccer is a thinking game at all levels.

Free Kicks
  • If you’ve been in the dark as to Ali Krieger’s recent absence from the USWNT and the Pride, here is some more information:
  • Both the UCF men’s and women’s soccer teams won yesterday. The men won off of a penalty kick in double overtime against the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley while the women had a shutout victory over the University of Florida.

Elsewhere, FSU women’s soccer followed up a thrilling 2-1 victory over the Florida Gators with a dominating 6-0 win over Samford on Sunday.

  • If you’re looking for the next generation of U.S. women’s soccer players overseas, you might want to check out Switzerland.
  • Iranian soccer players Masoud Shojaei and Vorya Ghaffouri are speaking out after a woman was arrested trying to attend a soccer match in the Islamic nation. The woman known as “Sara” is bipolar and set herself on fire following the incident. She is getting treatment currently.

That will do it to start the week. Try to stay cool, as we deal with this intense heat. Go City!