Lion Links

Lion Links: 5/31/19



What’s up, Mane Landers? It’s looking to be another weekend filled with soccer as Orlando City B plays late tonight and both the Lions and Pride are in action tomorrow evening to kick off the month of June. It’s going to be a busy month with both the Women’s World Cup and Concacaf Gold Cup starting and the U.S. Open Cup reaching its later stages. But before that, let’s start our last May day with some great links!

Orlando Pride Sign Claire Emslie

After rumblings surfaced that the Pride were looking to add players, they did just that by signing Scottish forward Claire Emslie. The 25-year-old attacking player has done well with Manchester City in the past two seasons, scoring 12 goals across all competitions with the team. Emslie will take up an international slot but will be representing Scotland at the Women’s World Cup this summer, so it may be some time before we see her in purple. Regardless, Pride General Manager Eric Ustruck is excited to have her join the team.

“Claire is a very dynamic forward that can provide the final ball that we’ve been looking for, with both feet. She loves to attack fullbacks for the full 90 minutes, she recovers well and she defends on the front foot,” Orlando Pride General Manager Erik Ustruck said. “Claire has the ability to change games and she brings a team-first mentality to the group that will enhance the culture that we’re trying to build. We’re looking forward to having her in Orlando.”

Lions Excited About Streamlined Training Facilities

The announcement earlier this week that Orlando City, Orlando City B, and the academy will all be sharing the same training facilities has many members of the club excited. With only five Homegrown Players signed in the club’s history, both players and coaching staff alike are hoping that this move will lead to a community of players who will grow up with the club and later play for the club.

A Homegrown product himself, Benji Michel believes that training with the first team is a great experience for younger players hoping to take their game to the next level.

“I think it’s really important for a young player,” Michel said. “You can know what the level’s at, and you can evaluate yourself to see where you’re at and where you have to be to get to the professional level.”

Orlando City Will Visit Familiar Faces in U.S. Open Cup

The last team from Florida remaining, Orlando City will join the U.S. Open Cup in the fourth round and is set to take on Memphis 901 FC at the Mike Rose Soccer Complex in Memphis, TN on June 12 at 8:30 p.m. ET. Orlando fans may recognize Memphis 901 FC as the destination Cam Lindley was loaned to at the start of this season. Lindley won’t be able to play in the match, but former Orlando goalkeeping coach Tim Mulqueen will be involved as he has become head coach for Memphis. It should be a fun southern showdown as both teams look to move on in the tournament.

Orlando City B Riding Momentum

Sure, OCB is still in last in the USL League One standings, but the Young Lions have won their past two games and are starting to find their footing after a tough start. Now, the team rides to Tucson, AZ for a rematch with Tucson FC tonight at 10:30 p.m. ET. The game will be a rematch of the clubs’ first game this season where Tucson crushed OCB, 3-1. Unlike then, OCB’s offense is coming together well, with five of their nine goals this season coming in the past two games. The Lions have yet to lose when scoring at least two goals and will hope to continue that trend tonight.

Young Yanks Advance to Knockout Round

In a game that may have been a little closer than anticipated, the United States Under-20 Men’s National Team was able to do enough to secure a 1-0 win over Qatar and earn a spot in the next round. Timothy Weah will end up with the most press by scoring after some fancy footwork in the box, but praise needs to be given to goalkeeper David Ochoa as well for huge saves and an important clean sheet. Still, here’s Weah’s goal in all its glory:

After finishing second in Group D behind Ukraine, the U.S. becomes the only Concacaf nation to survive the group stage and will face France or Mali in the knockout stage.

Free Kicks

  • Ali Krieger gave some insight into conversations she had with USWNT Head Coach Jill Ellis, as well as what it means for her to head to the World Cup with teammate and fiancée Ashlyn Harris.
  • Utah Royals midfielder Lo’eau LaBonta is suspended for two games after her brutal kick on Carson Pickett that left the Pride defender in a walking boot after the game.
  • It’s always nice to see Atlanta United on the losing end of a Goal of the Week, so thank you Jefferson Savarino for that last-second stunner for Real Salt Lake. It is appreciated.
  • Ignacio Piatti, Montreal Impact star and Lion killer, will be out for up to 12 weeks after another injury. He may not be Orlando’s favorite person, but we wish Piatti well as he battles back to recovery.
  • We end our links with an absolute mugging in Poland as Norway beat Honduras 12-0 in the U-20 World Cup. Erling Haland in particular had a great day with a whopping nine goals for what I believe is termed a triple hat trick? I’m not sure. But I do know its incredible.


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