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Lion Links: 2/4/17

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Great morning Mane Land readers. I hope everyone’s weekend is off to a really good start. Welcome to this morning’s news. We are getting closer to the beginning of the season and we have some updates to share with you all. So sit tight and enjoy this quick review.

Nocerino and Kaka Put on a Show While Heading to Training

Looks like the preseason is going great for the team. Despite the hard work and the heavy training, our team has the time for some fun. Here’s a clip of Antonio Nocerino demonstrating his singing talents for us.

And our captain Kaká didn’t want to fall behind and joined Noce in this Enrique Iglesias song. Great way to show the motivation and teamwork is happening in the preseason.

Former Columbia MF Rhys Williams Gets a Shot with OCB

After a successful year with Columbia in which he won the Ivy League title, Rhys Williams will have an opportunity with Orlando City B for a spot in the team. Rhys earned a second-team all-conference spot during his sophomore year due to his seven goals and five assists. During the last season he faced few injuries, but he was able to play in 16 games, including, as I mentioned before, in the championship game.

USMNT Wins 1-0 Against Jamaica in the Final Pre-Hex Match

The USMNT had a decent presentation against Jamaica with a 1-0 victory last night, with the goal scored by Sounders’ forward Jordan Morris at the 69th minute. Bruce Arena played many guys that didn’t have the opportunity in the first friendly match against Serbia. With great production in the first 20 minutes of each half, the Americans pushed the Reggae Boyz into their own third most of the time. The USMNT had to deal with a team compacted between lines, leaving little to no space for tactical moves. The breakthrough of the game came after a nice team play between Benny Feilhaber and Morris at the top of the box, with Morris finishing the move scoring between the post and goalkeeper. Most of the game had the U.S. pushing forward and Jamaica waiting for the counter attack opportunity.

The USMNT will return to play March 24 against Honduras with the opportunity to change how the competition is going in the Hexagonal to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

USMNT Will Have a Third Kit for First Time since 2011

Our friends from Footy Headlines surprised us by showing us the National Teams’ third kit. The new kit color has red as the main and only color. This is the first time since 2011 the National Teams will have a third kit. Take a look at our new third kit.

Orlando City’s Jordan Bender Part of U.S. U-16 BNT Squad for Argentina Camp

Our U-16 BNT is heading to Argentina today until Feb. 12 to start the preparation for this year’s tournaments. Head Coach Shaun Tsakiris called 21 players to participate in this 10-day camp. The Orlando City Youth Program will be represented by midfielder Jordan Bender. Tsakiris had some words about the decision to hold the training camp in Argentina this year:

“I think this is a little more along the lines of what our players will face in CONCACAF and I think that the style matches that and prepares our players a little bit better. So, anytime we can go to Argentina or Chile or Brazil or any of these top countries, I think it’s a great challenge for our players and ultimately, we want to prepare our players by giving them international experience.”

The team will have three friendly matches while in Argentina against teams located in Buenos Aires: A.A. Argentinos Juniors, San Lorenzo de Almagro, and Racing de Avellaneda.

Only 1,000 spots left for the Purple Pride 5k run

Orlando City’s Kickoff Week is around the corner. Fans are running out of time to register for the Purple Pride 5K run that will be held Saturday, Feb. 25, at 9 a.m. This will be the first fan event in celebration of the new stadium.

OCSC is running a promotion for any fan that registers before Feb. 17 at $32. From Feb. 18-22, the price to participate in the event will be between $35 to $40. Everyone participating in this run will receive a t-shirt, a ticket for a future Orlando City match, and an exclusive die-cast medal commemorating the stadium opening.

Other prizes will be $1,000 in Publix gift cards, which will be awarded to the top three male and female finishers. In addition, more than $700 in Academy Sports and Outdoors gift cards will be awarded to randomly selected finishers throughout the run. 

This is the link for fans to register for the 5K run.

Also, the same day of the run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., fans will have the opportunity to tour the new stadium during the House Party. You can have an opportunity to check out the pitch and views from the different seats.

Nat Borchers Announces Retirement from Professional Soccer

In a message on his personal Twitter account, the two-time MLS Cup champion Nat Borchers announced that last season was his final one in a 14-year career. Borchers played for three MLS teams (Colorado Rapids, Real Salt Lake, and Portland Timbers) and in Norway with Odds BK. With the National Team he had three matches from 2005 to 2010. Together with the announcement of his retirement Nat, confirmed that he will join the broadcasting team in Portland.

This is it for this morning’s news. Keep up to date with all the news related to the Orlando teams in our Twitter account @themaneland and also on Facebook under the name The Mane Land. Feel free to follow me on Twitter also for your daily soccer doses at @el_flako_87.

Lion Links

Lion Links: 5/29/24

Orlando City faces the Chicago Fire tonight, Kaká to be honored, Pride linked to Grace Chanda, and more.

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Nick Leyva, The Mane Land

Welcome to Wednesday, Mane Landers. It’s match day for Orlando City as the Lions travel to the Windy City to take on the Chicago Fire. Orlando City looks to get back to its winning ways in the midweek matchup and we will have all the coverage you need during the match on our Twitter account, and after the match right here at The Mane Land.

We would also like to wish Orlando Pride Head Coach Seb Hines a very happy birthday! Frankly, it’s the least we can do given everything he has done so far this NWSL season. For now, let’s get to the links.

Lions Prepare for the Fire

Orlando City faces the Chicago Fire tonight at 8:30 p.m. at Soldier Field. The Lions will look to extend a three-match winning streak over the Fire. Facundo Torres has been particularly effective against Chicago, so hopefully he can start scoring some more goals as well. We will have our match preview a little later today.

Kaká to Become First Member of Legends Terrace at Inter&Co Stadium

Orlando City and the Orlando Pride are creating a “Legends Terrace” at Inter&Co Stadium to permanently honor those who have made a lasting impact with either club. Unsurprisingly, the first inductee will be the one and only Kaká. The ceremony will take place following the July 6 match against D.C. United. There will also be a concert featuring Latin performer Jota Quest in the Publix Mane Street Plaza outside the stadium prior to the match.

Orlando Pride Linked With Grace Chanda

Do you like Barbra Banda and what she has done since joining the Pride? Do you find yourself wondering, “got anymore of those Zambian strikers?” Well, it just so happens that the Orlando Pride are reportedly interested in signing Zambian forward Grace Chanda. According to the report, the San Diego Wave, Racing Louisville, and the Pride are all interested in signing Chanda. Given the Pride are serious about contending for a title this season, adding another quality attacker is a good move. Let’s hope the rumor is true.

Pride’s Summer Cup Schedule Adjusted

The Olympics won’t be the only women’s soccer competition this summer, as the inaugural NWSL x LIGA MX Femenil Summer Cup will start on July 19. We have learned that the Orlando Pride match against C.F. Monterrey at Inter&Co Stadium has been moved up from Sunday, July 28 to Saturday, July 27. The move does not affect Orlando City’s schedule, as the Lions play a rare Friday match that week. You can check out more information on the competition here.

Free Kicks

  • I know that there are those who are upset with the Leagues Cup as it definitely impacted the U.S. Open Cup this year. However, if you do decide to go to a match, at least part of the ticket price will go to a good cause.
  • Congratulations to Felipe. That is a lot of matches and we appreciate him being with our beloved Orlando City.
  • Congratulations also go out to Orlando City academy player Camilio Guerrero for earning a call-up to a U.S. U-14 national talent identification camp.
  • USMNT winger Tim Weah is making money moves in the Big Apple.

That will do it for today. We will see you on the other side of the match tonight. Vamos Orlando!

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Lion Links

Lion Links: 5/28/24

Yutaro Tsukada earns recognition, Americans in midweek action, European coaching updates, and more.

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Image courtesy of Orlando City B

Happy Tuesday, everyone! I hope you all had a restful holiday weekend, and if you didn’t, then I hope you’re well on the way to recovery. We’ve got an exciting schedule this week, with two Orlando City games before an Orlando City B game on Sunday. It’s also OCB forward Yeiler Valencia’s birthday today, so let’s wish him well and jump into today’s links!

Yutaro Tsukada Earns MLS NEXT Pro Honors

OCB winger Yutaro Tsukada was named MLS NEXT Pro Player of Matchweek 11 for his performance in the team’s 5-0 home win against Huntsville City FC. The 22-year-old provided the assist on OCB’s first goal after using some nice skill on the ball to shake his defender. Tsukada then scored a goal of his own off of a free kick in the second half. The rookie has been electric for the Young Lions this season, recording four goals and four assists so far. Hopefully he can keep the momentum rolling when OCB faces Inter Miami II this Sunday.

Major League Soccer Stock Watch

Every week gives us a better idea of each MLS team’s capabilities, so let’s check in on how things are looking following the latest matchday. LAFC is on a great trajectory, as it’s won three consecutive league games and five straight in all competitions. Elsewhere in the Western Conference, Real Salt Lake scored three goals in the final 30 minutes of play to stretch its unbeaten streak to 11 games, and Cristian Arango didn’t have to do all of the heavy lifting. At the other end of things, the New England Revolution have lost three straight games, and six of their last seven. Likewise, the shine looks to have worn off from St. Louis City’s expansion season, as the team has also lost three straight games and simply doesn’t look the same as last year.

Americans in Midweek Action

With most of the European club seasons having concluded, there aren’t as many United States Men’s National Team players in action during the working week, but there are still some important games to make note of. Chief among those is Venezia’s game against Cremonese on Thursday. Tanner Tessmann, Gianluca Busio and Venezia will take on Cremonese over two legs, with the winner gaining promotion to Serie A. Left back Jonathan Gomez may take the field tomorrow morning in Real Sociedad’s friendly against Tokyo Verde as well.

In a pair of friendlies on Friday, Mexico plays Bolivia and Uruguay takes on Costa Rica. With the USMNT set to face both Bolivia and Uruguay in group play of this summer’s Copa America, the two matches present a good chance to better gauge the Yanks’ opponents.

European Coaching Updates

Several notable European club teams have coaching vacancies to fill this summer, and there are some updates on a few of those positions. Chelsea has reportedly made an approach for Leicester City’s Enzo Maresca, and has requested permission to talk to the manager who guided the Foxes back to the Premier League in his first year with the club. Meanwhile, despite interest from Manchester United, Kieran McKenna is reportedly set to stay at Ipswich Town, and has had talks about extending his contract. Finally, Aston Villa has extended Unai Emery’s contract, with his new deal keeping him at the club until 2029.

Transfer Rumor Roundup

Transfer season is kicking into gear, and we have several rumors to sift through this morning. Up first, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United, Bayer Leverkusen and Bayern Munich are reportedly all in hot pursuit of Stade Rennais winger Desire Doue. Casemiro reportedly has a deal lined up with a team in the Saudi Pro League, and may have played his last game for Manchester United. Newly promoted Southampton is reportedly interested in signing Adam Lallana as a free agent. Finally, Paris Saint-Germain is said to have entered the race to sign Bruno Guimaraes, and will face stiff competition from Manchester City and Arsenal.

Free Kicks


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

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Lion Links

Lion Links: 5/27/24

Orlando City loses to the Crew, Pride and OCB win, Southampton seals return to Premier League, and more.

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Image courtesy of Orlando Pride / Jeremy Reper

Happy Memorial Day, Mane Landers! I hope you all had a good holiday weekend. I worked at Under Armour all weekend while wrapping up my high school sports coverage for the spring season. It was a mixed weekend for our teams. Orlando City lost, but both the Pride and OCB won their matches. We’ve got plenty to cover today, so let’s get to the links. 

Lions Lose at Home to Columbus Crew

Orlando City lost 2-0 to the Columbus Crew on Saturday at Inter&Co Stadium and saw its three-match unbeaten streak end. The match’s first goal was controversial as the referee, Jair Marrufo, initially awarded the Lions a penalty late in the first half but went to the monitor and reviewed a play at the other end of the pitch. He instead awarded Columbus a penalty kick. Diego Rossi scored from the spot to put the Crew ahead 1-0 before halftime. Columbus extended its winning streak to three matches. Orlando has struggled at home, going just 1-3-4 so far this season. The Lions have not scored a goal at home since April 27. Despite the loss, the Lions still remain in 10th in the Eastern Conference with 16 points. Next up for Orlando is a pair of road matches this week, starting Wednesday at the Chicago Fire, followed by a Saturday night matchup against the New York Red Bulls. 

Pride Win at Home Over Portland Thorns

The Orlando Pride won their record-setting eighth straight match with a 2-1 victory at Inter&Co Stadium against the Portland Thorns Friday. Barbra Banda scored two goals in the first half to give the Pride a 2-0 lead going into halftime. Portland pulled one back, but the Pride held on for the victory and claimed three points. Orlando remains undefeated in league play after 11 matches, and the Pride stay atop the NWSL table with 27 points. The Pride are off this week but will return to action on the road next Friday, June 7, against the San Diego Wave.

OCB Win at Home against Huntsville City FC

On Sunday, Orlando City B bounced back with a season-high five goals in a 5-0 win over Hunstville City FC at Osceola County Stadium. Jhon Solis, Yutaro Tsukada, and Shak Mohammed put OCB ahead 3-0, while Yeiler Valencia scored his first two OCB goals to seal the win for the Young Lions. OCB is now in sixth in the Eastern Conference with 16 points. Meanwhile, Huntsville City FC remains winless through 10 matches and stays at the bottom of the Eastern Conference. OCB’s next match will be on the road Sunday at Inter Miami CF II. 

Southampton Clinches Promotion to Premier League

Southampton booked its return to the Premier League with a 1-0 over Leeds United in the EFL Championship playoff final at Wembley Sunday. Adam Armstrong scored the lone goal in this match as the Saints returned to the top flight after being relegated the previous season. Southampton joins Leicester City and Ipswich Town, securing promotion to the Premier League. Despite finishing third in the table, Leeds’ playoff woes continue as this is the sixth time it missed out on securing promotion and finished its season with only one win out of its last six matches. 

Free Kicks


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

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