Connect with us

Lion Links

Lion Links: 4/6/17

Published

on

Hello to all and welcome to Thursday’s edition of Lion Links. As we gear up for another week of Major League Soccer, let’s get you caught up on the news surrounding the league. And as we ready ourselves for game day this weekend against the New York Red Bulls, remember one thing: #NeverHuntAlone.

For now, let’s get to some links.

Luis Gil loaned out to OCSC

The former Real Salt Lake midfielder is set to return to Major League Soccer after spending some time with Mexican club Querétaro FC of Liga MX. Gil will join Orlando City on loan with the Lions having the option to buy at the close of the season.

As part of the deal, Orlando City will have an option to purchase at the end of the 2017 MLS season. To pacify Real Salt Lake — the club that owns Gil’s MLS rights — the Lions will send $100,000 of Targeted Allocation Money to RSL in 2018, and that total drops to $50,000 if Gil doesn’t remain with Orlando.

This move is sure to help bolster Orlando City’s midfield and help make the depth chart a little deeper as the season still has a long way to go.

Donny Toia’s Journey to Orlando City

Check out this quick interview on OCSC’s left back Donny Toia. He has gone from dreams of being a race car driver, to a striker, and is now a defender. Take a listen to what he has to say about his career and his growth as a player.

USWNT Labor Saga Comes to an End

U.S. Soccer and the U.S. Women’s National Team have finally come together to ratify a new labor agreement. With a settlement being reached, members of the USWNT will now be paid much more for their contributions to American soccer. They did not successfully negotiate a deal that guarantees equal pay with the men’s national team, but they did broker needed changes, and for the most part it has brought solidarity between both parties.

“We tried to completely change the methodology for how to define our value, and we made progress in that regard, and it changes the equation for the future,” Becca Roux, the union’s executive director, said.

Alex Morgan appears to be happy about the changes in the USWNT contract and I believe her Orlando Pride supporters will be happy for her and all the U.S. women on their progress.

Ashlyn Harris Shares Some of Her Life Through Photos

USWNT goalkeeper and Orlando Pride’s very own Ashlyn Harris was recently followed for a photo shoot as she prepared for a day of training camp. Check out some of her quotes along the way as well.

“At lifting I usually spend time on my shoulders and continue to strengthen my back; things I need as goalkeeper. Every day I hit the ground, so I have to make sure my arms are strong. Shoulder strength and shoulder stability are key to make sure my arms are moving well and to prevent any injuries.”

Pride Trialist Carol Rodrigues Caught in Numbers Game

UCF product Carol Rodrigues is having an outstanding preseason as a trialist with the Orlando Pride. But that doesn’t mean she’ll make Tom Sermanni’s 2017 squad. Because she’s Brazilian, Rodrigues requires a coveted international slot and NWSL teams generally use those on veteran players from overseas (Marta, anyone?). So, Rodrigues will likely end up overseas herself, writes the Orlando Sentinel’s Alicia DelGallo.

“Having the international tag is really hard for me, actually, because I’m right out of college and most people want to use those spots on more experienced players,” Rodrigues said. “So, I’ll probably go overseas. I have some opportunities there, and maybe years from now I can come back to the American league.”

Rodrigues said she’s interested in a spot in Germany, Norway, or Sweden.

Orlando City Foundation Hosting 4th Annual PlayBingo Event

June 10 will bring the 4th Annual PlayBingo Ladies Luncheon brought to you by the Orlando City Foundation. The event will take place at the Hyatt Regency Hotel with the goal of bringing ladies together for a great cause. Before Bingo, there will be an auction and lunch.

Orlando Rising

The City Beautiful has gone through an evolutionary adventure over the years and the payoff has been prodigious. Not only does Orlando have a thriving MLS franchise, but the city itself is thriving as well — it was even called “the only proper city in the state.” Over the years, Orlando’s trustees have seen it flourish, and “The Happiest City on Earth” has risen to become more than just a place that people go to because of Disney.

Orlando has quietly been growing beyond its theme-park roots. No longer a mere glut of vacationers and every chain restaurant in history, it's one of America's most surprisingly dynamic places. Almost 50 years after Disney put training wheels on Orlando, you'll find a real city there — in one of the country's 30 largest metro areas — with a real identity. And it's attracting young, creative people looking for a cheap place to set up shop, amid a town that's uncommonly savvy about how it wants to evolve. 

St. Louis MLS Bid Suffers Huge Defeat

The citizens of St. Louis, Missouri have voted against the funding needed to build a proper stadium to support a Major League Soccer franchise. With this vote that means more cities will now become available as options in MLS’ expansion efforts.

It looks like St. Louis will remain a two-sport town after voters defeated a measure that would have helped pay for a stadium as part of an effort to lure a Major League Soccer franchise.

City voters turned down Proposition 2 on Tuesday by a 53 percent to 47 percent vote. It would have provided $60 million from a business-use tax to help fund a soccer stadium.

Those are all of the links from us here today. The Orlando City-New York Red Bulls game is days away, and I can’t wait. You can catch the game this Sunday on ESPN starting at 4 p.m. If you want more of me, then this is where you find it: @awesomeniemeier.

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.

Published

on

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!

Continue Reading

Lion Links

Lion Links: 5/28/24

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

Published

on

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!

Continue Reading

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.

Published

on

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.

Continue Reading

Trending