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Lion Links: 1/27/18



Happy Saturday, everyone! I hope that you all are having a great start to the weekend.

As the Lions are training up in Jacksonville, working on their game and their team bonding, the Pride have added a key piece to their defense helping solidify their dominant squad. There have been some great things happening this week and Friday did not disappoint either. Oh and if it helps, only five more Saturdays until Orlando City soccer returns, so get pumped!

On to the links!

The Cyle Larin Saga reaching its end?

Yesterday morning, there were multiple reports out of Turkey claiming that Orlando City and Besiktas had reached an agreement for a fee regarding Cyle Larin. Many of us were thinking, ‘yay the saga is over,’ however, not so fast! Shortly after these reports came out, quoted a team spokesman saying that the club had no deal in place with Besiktas and nothing was finalized. So, it would appear that the saga goes on for now, with a resolution coming soon, hopefully. Also, it appears that Cyle was taking in Besiktas’ game against Kasimpasa. He looks a little chilly to me.

MLS to Miami Shares Big Invite for Monday

MLS soccer appears to be returning to Miami with an official announcement coming Monday. The MLS movement to bring soccer back to Miami has been an ongoing discussion over the last few years with the bid being led by David Beckham. Guests such as MLS Commissioner Don Garber, David Beckham, and Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure are expected to be in attendance. Free tickets can be claimed on their new website, as this event will be a fun one to witness. I for one, am very excited for an in-state rival as it’ll give our fans a chance to show their true colors and develop a true, hardy rivalry.

Anonymous Group Forms to Save the Boston Breakers

It would appear that the Boston Breakers may not be dead after all. A report was released that a small group of anonymous local investors are attempting to band together and put forth the money in order to keep the club afloat and competitive. It came out earlier this week that the Breakers were going to fold due to financial difficulties, though no official announcement came from NWSL (there were various tweets claiming players and coaches were informed that the club would fold). NWSL was expected to announce the folding yesterday but this group of investors has prolonged the announcement for the time being. If the Breakers can stay afloat, it would really show the grit of the league and further prove its importance in women’s soccer. And it would allow the league to remain at 10 teams, so one team wouldn’t be off every weekend.

Anthony Precourt in Talks with Local Columbus Investors

The #SaveTheCrew movement has been weighing on many MLS fans’ minds. It was announced last season that the Columbus Crew owner Anthony Precourt had a clause in the purchase contract of the club which stated the team could be moved to Austin, TX. Since the Crew’s playoff run, it’s been assumed by most that the club is pulling up stakes and moving to Texas after the 2018 season. Some players, such as Ola Kamara and Justin Meram began asking for trades ahead of the move after this season. It was reported yesterday that Precourt was talking with various investors about the club, taking positive steps toward keep the club in Columbus and one potential Austin stadium site is now off the table. Here’s to hoping that the Crew can continue playing in Columbus!

Gregg Berhalter Should be in the USMNT Coach Conversation

Continuing on the Columbus Crew train, Sam Stejskal with MLS soccer and a writer with FourFourTwo, wrote a story about how Gregg Berhalter, the manager of Columbus Crew, should be considered for the USMNT coaching job when the USSF holds its election and narrows down its coaching search. Stejskal writes that out of all the managers in MLS, Berhalter has some of the best experience with coaching and playing in the top league in soccer. He currently sits as the manager and technical director of the Columbus Crew. Berhalter has expressed interest in the job but feels he isn’t ready to take that step yet.

Berhalter seems like he’d be a solid choice to help U.S. Soccer fix some of its problems in boys’ youth development. Through working in MLS and observing U.S. Soccer (where, it should be noted, his brother, Jay, is a high-powered executive), Berhalter likely has an idea of where some of the holes are and has an idea of how he’d like to correct them. At the same time, he’s not in too deep. He didn’t work to build the current system, and I doubt he’d have any compunction about making necessary changes.

-Sam Stejskal

Berhalter is one of several MLS coaches that will be considered when it comes time to choose a skipper for the USMNT, but I would argue an underrated choice. Berhalter could be just what the national team needs to reboot itself and climb out of the massive hole that U.S. Men’s Soccer is currently in.

Free Kicks

  • Semi-professional Soccer is coming to Lincoln, NE! Bugeaters FC (I’m not joking with that name) will be starting league play in April, joining the United Premier Soccer League for this upcoming season. They held a small launch party with 100 supporters in attendance.

  • Carlos Carmona’s time at Atlanta United has come to an end as the Chilean will return to Chile so he can be closer to his family. This rumor has been around for a few weeks but some details of the impending transfer have surfaced via Sam Stejskal. This could be a sizable hit to Atlanta’s defensive efforts as Carmona was a key piece for them.
  • named a list of five players with a new opportunity next season. Players on the list include Reggie Cannon (FC Dallas), Marlon Hairston (Colorado Rapids), Nouhou (Seattle Sounders), Jackson Yueill (San Jose Earthquakes), and former Orlando City player Carlos Rivas (New York Red Bulls). On the list of “Honorable mentions” is Orlando City player Dillon Powers, along with Jeremy Ebobisse (Portland Timbers) and Paxton Pomykal (FC Dallas).
  • The U-20 USWNT has made the U-20 World Cup which will be held in France later this year. The Yanks blew a 1-0 lead to the 10-player Haitians in stoppage but then edged them out in penalties, winning the shootout, 3-0, and bringing the team back to the U-20 World Cup.

This week for my positive media of the week, I share Will Johnson’s comments on the upcoming season for Orlando City. He says a lot of positive things about the team coming into camp and really displays his passion for this team. Please give it a watch regardless of your feelings for Johnson. It’s a good watch for sure!

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.



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.



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.



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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