To get everyone ready for Atlanta United's clash against Orlando City, we spoke with The Mane Land's Michael Citro to get his take on a potential rivalry, Cyle Larin, and potential All-Star snubs from Orlando.
DSS: How does the Orlando fanbase feel about this potential rivalry with Atlanta United?
TML: I think Orlando City fans are pretty excited to have a team within driving distance and about the potential to have a geographic rival in Major League Soccer. I'm personally more of a "show me" kind of guy and although I suspect that a heated rivalry may be on the way, I'm not quite ready to go all-in the way some fans on both sides already have. Geography usually does play a role in great rivalries but there's also typically a flashpoint that sets both sides into a frenzy. Maybe we'll get that soon with the back-to-back games coming up.
DSS: How does it feel to have Cyle Larin back after his short dismissal, and what was the impact on Orlando when he wasn't available?
TML: It was good to see Cyle get on the field and start to put his troubles behind him. It was a shock to see Larin get into that kind of trouble and thankfully he didn't hurt himself or anyone else as a result of his poor judgment. The hope is that he can learn from that and perhaps speak out against that kind of behavior to put his celebrity status to good use. He was clearly not fully fit after no team activity for a couple of weeks but he still occupies a lot of the opposition's attention, so it was good to have him back on the field. However, now the Canadian National Team has stolen him away for the remainder of the Gold Cup.
DSS: Other than Kaka, were there any other Orlando players worthy of being in the All-Star Game?
TML: With only one team from the MLS it was always going to be a stretch to see a second Lion on the squad, although in all honesty I think Jonathan Spector (and perhaps Scott Sutter) were deserving of the honor. Larin tailed off after a bright start and with his DUI arrest he was never making this year's team. Joe Bendik isn't a big enough name, although he's played like an All-Star most of the year. In the end, it's probably best not to have our players putting in more travel and play away from the team as the Lions have to re-focus and get back to where they were early in the year.