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Lion Links: 4/29/20

Former Lion Júlio Baptista talks OCSC, Miguel Gallardo breaks down Ruan’s game, Concacaf referee battling COVID-19 on the frontlines, and more.

SOCCER: JUL 13 MLS - Columbus Crew SC at Orlando City SC Photo by Joe Petro/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Good morning, Mane Landers! I hope this Wednesday morning finds everyone doing well. Let’s jump right into the links.

Orlando City Community Honors Long-Time Supporter

Jono Miklos joined the Iron Lion Firm in 2012 and never missed an event.

“It was just the little things,” fellow Iron Lion Firm member, Carlos Alvarado said. “He was always present. Whether we were creating a tifo, whether we had a chant practice, whether we had a volunteer project, he was always present and a really over the top nice guy.”

The 39-year-old passed away last week from complications during surgery to repair a torn aorta. Miklos will be buried in his Iron Lion Firm shirt and Orlando City hat.

Júlio Baptista Pops in

Former Lion Júlio Baptista popped in virtually to speak with Evan Weston for a little flashback. When asked what was special to him about Orlando City Baptista said:

“I feel maybe in Orlando, to stay with my family, that maybe I can help the team. I promised I would do more, but I couldn’t do it because I just stayed one year. It was an incredible time for me, Orlando, for my family, and for the fans. I thank you, the fans, for me. I don’t know what happened but they are so, so kind with me I was so happy to be part of the history with Orlando City.”

Miguel Gallardo Talks Ruan

Miguel Gallardo took the time to break down Ruan’s game. When we think about the Brazilian, we often think speed, but it’s how he uses that pace to benefit OCSC, which Gallardo noted. His confidence is showcased in the play against LAFC, in which he used his speed to cut inside instead of taking the more common route out wide. He then used his vision to put a perfectly weighted through ball for the assist on a Benji Michel goal.

Concacaf Referee is on the Covid-19 Frontlines

Concacaf referee Ekaterina “Katja” Koroleva officiates some of the region’s most important women’s national team tournaments. However, when she’s not on the field she’s battling COVID-19 as a Physician Assistant in the emergency room in San Jose, CA.

“It is exhausting, fulfilling, challenging and exciting. This is all new medicine,” Koroleva shared in an interview with “The virus is new in many ways. We are all finding new pathways on how to deal with this, learning from one another, trying to treat a large number of patients who are both anxious and worried about it. Many are ill, many are afraid of spreading the virus to their significant others, their families, so it is navigating new territory for everyone. But I think the community here in San Jose has done a great job of isolating, using social distancing and taking this seriously,” she added.

Free Kicks

That will do it for me today, Mane Landers. Have a great day and stay safe!