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Lion Links: 7/4/15

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Happy Independence day everyone! We here at The Mane Land hope your day is full of fireworks, BBQ, and family as we celebrate 'Merica day. Oh, and it's a match day, so…bonus! The best way to start off every epic holiday is, of course, some Lion Links.

Fun Key to Orlando City Success

The most important part of a winning team is everyone feeling comfortable together. Orlando City coach Adrian Heath has done everything in his power to make sure the Lions feel like a family. A fun-loving, butt kicking family. A staple in the USL days, Inchy has brought back his post training games where players try to score on a volley from outside the 18-yard box and if they miss, they get their butt kicked. Literally. Now, I'm not saying this is the cause for the Orlando City streak of positive results, but I'm also not saying it's not the reason. Regardless, it's good to see the squad having some fun as long as they perform on the pitch.

USMNT Beats Guatemala 4-0 in Gold Cup Send Off

If you follow our Twitter feed, and various other Twitter feeds, you would know that Timothy Chandler was both the worst and the best player for the team last night and we are 100% responsible for his spectacular goal. In all seriousness, the USMNT was able to spark their Gold Cup defense with an extraordinary 4-0 win over a distraught Guatemala side that was defeated ever since their own goal in the 18th minute. The Stars and Stripes face Honduras on July 7 in their first match of the Gold Cup.

MLS Core Player Rule Explained

In the never ending effort to decrypt the MLS rulebooks, Yahoo! Sports writer Kristian Dyer gives us a better understanding of the new "Core Player" rule that will allow players like Giovani Dos Santos and Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez to make the jump to MLS. While this may seem like a new Designated Player slot, it is actually just a new way to use allocation money. According to the report, a Core Player is a current Designated Player who makes more than the league's maximum salary of $436,000 but less than $750,000.

Aston Villa to Host First BPL Friday Match

On August 14, Aston Villa and Manchester United will face off in the first ever Friday night match in the Premier League. Due to TV deals and the fact that United plays on the following Tuesday, the teams are the first in the league’s 23-year history (this is using the official foundation of the English Premier League, not just top tier English football) to battle it out on a Friday.

Soccer Influenced The Clash's Greatest Album

Today’s last link is brought to us by The Mane Land’s resident historian, Kevin Mercer:

EightByEight writer Chris Salewicz has a fantastic article up discussing "How Football Shaped The Clash’s Greatest Album." It turns out one of punk’s most influential recordings has a lot to do with these British rockers having hours of pick-up games to help bring the musicians together and allow them to write London Calling, an album that Rolling Stone magazine named the eighth greatest album ever written.

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That's it for today folks. Go put on some pants, preferably red, white, and blue, and celebrate the independence of the greatest country in the history of the planet.

Lion Links

Lion Links: 6/11/24

Julie Doyle up for Goal of the Week, scouting Brazil ahead of USMNT match, Valencia fans convicted of racial abuse, and more.

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Dan MacDonald, The Mane Land

Happy Tuesday, everyone. After a brief break, Orlando City will be back in action when it takes on LAFC at home on Saturday. The Orlando Pride will visit a struggling North Carolina Courage side on the same day, while Orlando City B will have an oddly placed Thursday match against Chattanooga FC. With such a busy week ahead of us, it’s little surprise that we have a lot to talk over this morning. Let’s get into it.

Julie Doyle Up for Goal of the Week

Pride forward Julie Doyle has been nominated for NWSL Goal of the Week for her strike against the San Diego Wave during Friday’s 1-1 draw. Doyle opened the scoring in the 36th minute with an extremely well taken goal that came from a Barbra Banda assist. The Zambian forward made a run down the right wing and crossed for Doyle, but the ball was a little behind her and the chance looked to have gone. It hadn’t though, because Doyle contorted her body, hung out a foot, and let the momentum from the ball carry it into the back of San Diego’s net. Make sure you go vote for her to win!

Brazil Scouting Report

The United States Men’s National Team will play its final friendly before Copa America tomorrow at Camping World Stadium, right here in Orlando. The idea of any USMNT game is slightly nauseating after the Yanks were throttled 5-1 by Colombia on Saturday, but the fact that they’ll square off against a loaded Brazil side means things aren’t going to be any easier. While Brazil has struggled early on in World Cup qualifying, it will likely run out a front three of Rodrygo, Vinicius Jr., and Raphina that’s capable of causing plenty of damage. Brazil prefers to control the ball and build from the back with short passing movements, but has no qualms about ceding possession and breaking on the counter, something that caused no shortage of issues for the U.S. against Colombia.

Valencia Fans Convicted of Racial Abuse

A trio of Valencia fans will serve eight months in prison after being convicted of racially abusing Vinicius Jr. Additionally, they are barred from entering soccer stadiums for two years and will pay for court proceedings. The convictions are the first for racism in professional soccer in Spain, and a case was opened after the fans made monkey noises and gestures during a game in May of 2023. The Brazilian forward in particular has faced racial abuse during his time playing in Spain, but he’s far from the only player, as the trial for a fan accused of abusing Inaki Williams during a match in 2020 has still yet to even begin.

The Soccer Tournament Concludes

The Soccer Tournament wrapped up last night with a pair of engrossing championship matches. In the women’s bracket, US Women defeated the North Carolina Courage by a score of 6-3, with Talia Dellapuerta scoring the winning goal. US Women featured United States Women’s National Team greats Heather O’Reilly and Ali Kreiger, and the team won the first women’s edition of the tournament and the $1 million prize that comes with it.

On the men’s side, former Orlando City player Nani and his team Nani FC fell to La Bombonera, which scored mere minutes into the match and never looked back on its way to a convincing 4-0 win. La Bombonera becomes the second team to win it all following Newtown Pride FC’s victory in last year’s inaugural tournament.

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That’s all I have for you this morning. Vamos Orlando!

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Lion Links

Lion Links: 6/10/24

Facundo Torres and Cesar Araujo won’t play for Uruguay in Copa America, Pride and OCB draw, USMNT drilled by Colombia, and more.

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Image courtesy of Orlando City SC / Alex Corrie

Hello, Mane Landers! I hope all is well down in Florida. I was busy at Under Armour all weekend and managing the broadcast operations for the NISA league’s matches last night. The Lions were off this weekend, but we had the Orlando Pride and OCB in action. We’ve got plenty to cover today, so let’s get to the links. 

Torres and Araujo Not On Uruguay Squad for Copa America

Uruguay National Team manager Marcelo Bielsa confirmed his roster for the 2024 Copa America over the weekend, and Orlando City’s Facundo Torres and Cesar Araujo didn’t make the final roster.

Torres and Araujo played briefly in the second half in Uruguay’s 4-0 win over Mexico in a friendly match last week. Uruguay will now prepare for its upcoming group stage matches in the Copa America against Panama, Bolivia, and the United States. Torres and Araujo will be back with Orlando City this week to get ready for their upcoming matchup against LAFC on Saturday.

Orlando Pride, San Diego Wave Play to 1-1 Draw

The Orlando Pride drew 1-1 Friday against the San Diego Wave at Snapdragon Stadium and saw their NWSL record win streak end at eight matches. Julie Doyle scored the opener for the Pride, but the Wave were able to grab an equalizer in the second half as both sides got a point. The Pride remains unbeaten this season in the NWSL. After this weekend’s results across the league, Orlando and the Kansas City Current are tied with 28 points, but Kansas City is in first on goal differential. The Pride will be on the road again this weekend to take on the North Carolina Courage Saturday.

OCB Draws at Home vs. Carolina Core FC, Snags Shootout Point

On Friday, Orlando City B drew 2-2 against Carolina Core FC at Osceola County Stadium. The Young Lions were off to a poor start early in the match, trailing 2-0 in the first half. In the second half, OCB got things back on track with goals from Alex Freeman and Imanol Almaguer to tie the match. It went to penalties after finishing tied. OCB won the extra point with a 6-5 shootout win over Carolina. That result puts the Young Lions back in the playoff hunt in seventh in the Eastern Conference with 18 points. OCB will be back in action Thursday at home against Chattanooga FC.

Colombia Dominates USMNT in Friendly Action

The U.S. Men’s National Team fell 5-1 to Colombia Saturday at FedEx Field and suffered its heaviest defeat under Head Coach Gregg Berhalter. It wasn’t good from the start as the USMNT conceded two goals in the first 19 minutes of the match in the first half. Tim Weah pulled one back for the U.S. before Colombia added three more goals towards the end of the second half to seal the win. Colombia is on a seven-match winning streak and is unbeaten in 22 matches. The last time the USMNT gave up this many goals was in the 2009 Gold Cup final in a 5-0 defeat to Mexico. The U.S. needs to improve fast with its Copa America opener less than two weeks from now. It will be a quick turnaround for the Americans as they take on Brazil Wednesday at Camping World Stadium in their final friendly match before Copa America starts.

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  • FC Dallas has announced the departure of Head Coach Nico Estevez. Assistant Coach Peter Luccin will lead the team on an interim basis while the club begins its search for a new head coach. FC Dallas is 13th in the Western Conference with 14 points.
  • The Chicago Red Stars broke an NWSL attendance record in their match over the weekend as 35,038 fans showed up at Wrigley Field, but the Red Stars lost 2-1 to Bay FC.
  • Wrexham co-owner Rob McElhenney is renewing his efforts to lure former Real Madrid star Gareth Bale out of retirement to join the club. He also stated that the club’s offer is still on the table.
  • In Jesse Marsch’s second match as Canada’s head coach, Canada held France to a scoreless draw in a friendly match on Sunday.

That will do it for me today, Mane Landers. Enjoy your Monday and I’ll see you next time.

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Lion Links

Lion Links: 6/7/24

Orlando Pride play the San Diego Wave tonight, Barbra Banda wins Player of the Month, learn more about Marta and Adriana, and more.

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Image courtesy of Orlando Pride / Mark Thor

Happy Friday! It’s a fairly busy day with both the Orlando Pride and Orlando City B playing tonight. Hopefully both teams pull through and give us something to celebrate. I don’t have many plans this weekend beyond working and getting some reading done, but it should at least be a relaxing next few days for me. For now though, let’s get to the links!

Orlando Pride Face the San Diego Wave Tonight

The Orlando Pride are back in action tonight for a 10 p.m. road match against the San Diego Wave. It’s the fifth meeting between the two sides since the Wave joined the league and the Pride have only lost once in those games. They most recently met on April 19 in the City Beautiful, with Summer Yates scoring the decisive goal in a 1-0 win for the Pride. Orlando is unbeaten this year and enters this match on a historic eight-game win streak, while San Diego has only won one of its past five games. If Marta plays tonight, it will be her 100th regular-season appearance in the NWSL and all of those have been while with the Pride.

Barbra Banda Named NWSL Player of the Month

Orlando Pride forward Barbra Banda was selected as NWSL Player of the Month after scoring seven goals in the Pride’s five games in May. Banda was unstoppable last month, netting three braces to already tie a club record for the most braces in a season. She also had an assist in the Pride’s 4-1 win over the North Carolina Courage to start the month and drew the penalty in the the team’s 1-0 victory against Bay FC. The Zambian striker is a major reason why the Pride are at the top of the standings.

Getting to Marta and Adriana

Orlando Pride teammates Marta and Adriana both fielded questions regarding the growth of women’s soccer and the Pride’s title aspirations this season. Marta detailed the importance of the award created in her honor by FIFA, and how it represents the recognition of women’s soccer on the global stage. The club and country teammates also spoke on the growing number of Brazilians playing with the Pride and their hope that Orlando’s Brazilian community attends matches to cheer them on. Marta implored all fans to come out and attend games, so make sure to check out their schedule and come support the Pride!

Analyzing Colombia Ahead of USMNT Friendly

In preparation for the Copa America, the United Men’s National Team and Colombia will square off tomorrow at 5:30 p.m. in a friendly. It’s the 22nd meeting between the two nations and should be a good match as the U.S. is ranked 11th in the world while Colombia is 12th. Head Coach Nestor Lorenzo has Colombia on a 21-game unbeaten streak heading into this match as well. Plenty of attention will be on creative attacker James Rodriguez, but it’s the players out wide who could cause the most trouble for the U.S. defense. Liverpool winger Luis Diaz may have a field day with American right back Sergino Dest sidelined. The USMNT will need to limit turnovers to deny Colombia chances to counter, which is easier said than done considering the intense pressure Colombia can put on its opponent.

Predicting the USWNT Olympic Squad

Emma Hayes started her tenure as the United States Women’s National Team’s head coach with a pair of shutout wins against South Korea, but now she faces the tough task of deciding which players will head to the Olympics this summer. Midfielder Lily Yohannes, who scored in her USWNT debut earlier this week, is the biggest wild card in the mix. The 16-year-old did well in that friendly and could find herself making the trip to Paris over players like Korbin Albert or Andi Sullivan. As for the attack, I’m interested to see if former Pride forward Alex Morgan can earn a spot on the roster for what would likely be her final Olympic tournament.

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  • In case you missed it, Orlando midfielder Cesar Araujo made his debut for Uruguay and Facundo Torres featured as well in the team’s 4-0 win over Mexico.
  • In The Soccer Tournament, former Lion Nani secured a spot in the knockout stage after his team beat Sergio Aguero’s squad 6-2.

That’s all I have for you today. I hope you all have a fantastic Friday and rest of your weekend!

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