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Lion Links: 6/23/19

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Happy Sunday, Mane Landers. It’s been an exciting weekend in the world of soccer. The Women’s World Cup, Copa America, Gold Cup, Major League Soccer, Orlando Pride, and Orlando City B have kept my thirst for footy to a minimum. That said, it also means that we have a lot of content for you to dig into today, so let’s get to it.

The Pride Visit New Jersey, Win 2-1

An Orlando Pride team lacking star power and a win on the season traveled to Yurcak Field yesterday to take on Sky Blue FC. The trip to New Jersey proved to be fruitful one, as the Pride took home all three points thanks to a spot kick from Chi Ubogagu and a late own goal from Sky Blue’s Gina Lewandowski, forced by Pride rookie Marisa Viggiano. This marks the team’s first win of the season, and hopefully, a turning point in which the Pride start to win more matches. The win ends a 15-match winless streak.

OCB Travels North, Loses 2-0

Orlando City B made a trip to Michigan to face off against Lansing Ignite FC, bringing home with them a disappointing 2-0 loss in the team’s first-ever clash with the club. The Michigan-based club dominated from the very beginning of this one, and the Young Lions failed to create a chance in the closing 22 minutes. That’s also three losses in a row for the Young Lions. They see action next when they host Greenville Triumph SC on Friday.

The U.S. Men’s National Team Impresses vs. Trinidad & Tobago

In a match that many dubbed as a revenge match, the USMNT faced off against Trinidad and Tobago in a crucial second group stage match in the Gold Cup. Christian Pulisic earned a beautiful assist with a cross to Aaron Long, who put it past the keeper on the back post with a diving header to open the scoring. After leading just 1-0 at the break, the Yanks crushed T&T 6-0 with five second-half goals. The victory clinches a berth in the Gold Cup knockout stages for the U.S. and eliminates T&T.

Another Women’s World Cup Update

Yesterday’s matches included Germany’s 3-0 win over Nigeria, with goals coming from Alexandra Popp, Sara Dabritz, and Lea Schuller. Nigeria is now staging a sit-in due to unpaid wages.

In the latter of the two matches, Norway staged a thrilling spot kick win over Australia. The match ended in heartbreak for the Matildas, who were led by arguably one of the best players on the planet in Sam Kerr. Unfortunately for Kerr, she missed a crucial spot kick and her country was subsequently knocked out of the tournament. Alanna Kennedy of the Pride, another one of the Matildas’ leaders, was sent off in extra time. Penalty kicks are an inevitable part of the tournament at this stage, but what’s a shootout all about? ESPN’s Sachin Dave Chandan took a deep dive to answer that exact question.

Today’s matches include England vs. Cameroon at 11 a.m. ET, and France vs. Brazil at 3 p.m. Can Pride stars Marta and Camila pull off the upset and knock out the hosts?

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  • Speaking of Brazil and Pride star Marta, congratulations to her for nailing this Vogue Brasil cover. Whew.

  • Birgit Prinz is Germany’s secret weapon.
  • Major props are in order to fledgling club New Mexico United for its efforts in getting supporters to their away U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal match in Minnesota!

  • Sam Kerr has reportedly been offered a two-year, $1 million contract to play with Chelsea FC in the FA women’s Super League.
  • Tallahassee SC won yet again, taking home three points after beating the Gulf Coast Rangers, 2-0.

  • Central Florida SC held a lead for much of this match, but ultimately drew with the Jacksonville Armada U-23s, 3-3.

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After a very dominating majority of the game by the Panthers, the curse of the set piece plagues us again as two corner kick goals in injury time enabled @jaxarmadafc to tie it right at end. The guys are disappointed but this is football. We are very proud of the effort they put on and continue to learn from each lesson. Let’s go Panthers! Next week we go to Miami to play Miami United! #Soccer #npsl #orlando #centralflorida #buildingchampions #futbol #inauguralseason #ussoccer #usa #sunshineconference #kissimmee #winterpark #wintergarden #sanford #lakemary #apopka #cfsl #goalie #striker #midfielder #defender #orlandocity #cityfutbol #citybeautiful #sponsorus #lookingforsponsors #cfpanthers #supportlocal

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  • Odell Beckham Jr. wants to see more passion at NFL games, citing the scenes he witnessed at soccer matches.

  • Matthijs De Ligt may have decided his next home, with rumors that he’s agreed to a move to Juventus, joining forces with Cristiano Ronaldo, who had made efforts to recruit the Dutch star following Portugal’s win in the UEFA Nation’s League final. Nothing is official just yet, so keep an eye on this club-changing defender.
  • And as always, keep track of results from around the league!

All right folks, that’s about it. Enjoy all of this soccer that we have at our fingertips at the moment, have a great Sunday, and an excellent week!

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. 

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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: 5/24/24

Orlando City prepares for the Crew, Barbra Banda an NWSL MVP favorite, Orlando Pride announce sleeve sponsor, and more.

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Image courtesy of Orlando Pride / Mark Thor

Happy Friday! The gauntlet of Orlando soccer home games starts tonight when the Orlando Pride take on the Portland Thorns in a clash of win streaks. I’m working for most of the weekend, but am looking forward to watching some soccer and playing my way through the Ace Attorney games during my spare time. For now though, let’s dive into today’s links from around the soccer world.

Orlando City Gets Ready to Host the Crew

Orlando City is on a three-game unbeaten run and will take on the Columbus Crew Saturday night in an Eastern Conference showdown. The last time these two sides met was in the 2023 Eastern Conference semifinals with the Crew winning in extra time to eliminate the Lions. It’s the third consecutive road game for the Crew after winning 3-1 against both CF Montreal and the Chicago Fire. Saturday’s match is also the Crew’s last match before the Concacaf Champions Cup final on June 1. Orlando City Head Coach Oscar Pareja spoke on how the Lions will be up to the task regardless of which players take the field for Columbus. Pareja also spoke about how Duncan McGuire is working his way back from the injury he suffered last week.

Barbra Banda Named MVP Frontrunner

ESPN updated its rankings of players in contention to be named NWSL MVP this season and Orlando Pride forward Barbra Banda tops the list. The Zambian forward hasn’t been with the Pride for long, but she has scored six goals in six games to help the Pride win seven straight games. Opposing defenses haven’t figured out a way to stop her, and it’s fair to think of her as an MVP favorite alongside fellow attackers in the league like Sophia Smith and Temwa Chawinga. Pride defender Emily Sams also earned herself a spot on the list, ranking 11th. It’s nice to see her get some deserved recognition for her role in the Pride’s stellar defense this year.

Orlando Pride Announce Sleeve Sponsor

A partnership was announced between the Orlando Pride and Heart of Florida United Way, a charity that’s supported families in Central Florida for the past 85 years. As part of the partnership, Heart of Florida United Way will become the first sleeve sponsor for the Pride and its logo will be on the right sleeve of both of the Pride’s jerseys this year. A new ticket program is also being created for 50 tickets to be donated to a local charity for each Pride home game.

Orlando City Unveils Watch Party Schedule

The schedule for this Orlando City season’s watch parties is out, along with the lineup of this year’s included pubs. Each pub will have MLS Season Pass access for fans to watch Orlando’s games this year and there will be chances to win tickets and autographed items at the watch parties as well. There are three new pubs added to the lineup this year, including The Castle Irish Pub at College Park, Paddywagon Irish Pub in Dr. Phillips, and Winter Garden’s Hagan O’Reilly’s. The first watch party will be at The Hammered Lamb in Ivanhoe Village on June 1 when the Lions face off against the New York Red Bulls.

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  • Pride midfielder Evelina Duljan was called up to join Sweden’s U-23 team for the upcoming Four Nations Tournament.
  • NWSL Commissioner Jessica Berman became the first woman to be named Sports Business Journal‘s Sports Executive of the Year.

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

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Lion Links

Lion Links: 5/23/24

Orlando Pride prepare for the Portland Thorns, Pride Brazilian trio called up, Atalanta wins Europa League, and more.

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Image courtesy of Orlando Pride

How’s it going, Mane Landers? I hope this Thursday finds you well as we all get ready for a busy next few days of Orlando soccer to enjoy. It’s been a fairly busy couple of days for me, and I plan on knocking out a few errands before enjoying the upcoming matches. Until then, let’s enjoy today’s links!

Pride Prepare to Host the Portland Thorns

The Orlando Pride have a huge home game against the Portland Thorns tomorrow night. It will be a clash of win streaks, as the Pride have won their past seven games and the Thorns have won their last six. Pride Head Coach Seb Hines is well aware that Portland is a formidable foe with talented players such as Sophia Smith, Becky Sauerbrunn, and Sam Coffey. He spoke on how tomorrow will be a challenge, as well as how playing at home will give the Pride a boost during the game.

Pride Trio Called Up by Brazil

The Pride’s Marta, Rafaelle, and Adriana were all called up for Brazil’s pair of friendlies against Jamaica in Brazil on June 1 and June 4.

These matches will help Brazil prepare for a tough group in the Olympics against Spain, Japan, and Nigeria. Angelina, who featured for Brazil during the SheBelieves Cup, was not called up due to an injury sustained while with the Pride. Although these games will take place during an international break, the Pride do have a road game against the San Diego Wave on June 7, so I wouldn’t be surprised if Hines gives them some rest for that match.

Assessing Emma Hayes’ Time With Chelsea

It felt like forever ago that it was announced Chelsea’s Emma Hayes would leave the club to replace Vlatko Andonovski and coach the USWNT. A great article by ESPN broke down what USWNT fans can learn from her time with Chelsea, including how she’s dealt with the adversity she’s faced both on and off the field. Her impending exit put a spotlight on Chelsea’s season, and she still managed to secure the league title despite the pressure. Chelsea also announced that five members of the coaching staff will leave the club to join Hayes at the USWNT. It’s a new era for the USWNT, and Hayes brings plenty of experience and leadership to the position.

Atalanta Crushes Leverkusen to Win Europa League

Italian club Atalanta lifted the Europa League trophy after a 3-0 win over Bayer Leverkusen in Dublin. The day belonged to Nigerian winger Ademola Lookman, who scored a hat trick that included this stunner that doubled Atalanta’s lead in the first half.

It’s Atalanta’s second trophy in club history, and first in 61 years. It’s also the first trophy for manager Gian Piero Gasperini after coaching in Italy for 30 years. This result snapped Leverkusen’s remarkable unbeaten streak at 51 games, and ended the club’s bid at a treble. Bayer Leverkusen will aim to bounce back Saturday when it plays FC Kaiserslautern in the German Cup final.

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  • Orlando City President of Business Operations Jarrod Dillon has issued a challenge to Orlando City fans for the upcoming trio of Orlando soccer home games, so it may be worth your while to get tickets for the Lions, Pride, and OCB this weekend.
  • Pride forward Amanda Allen placed 16th in ESPN‘s rankings of the 17 teenagers currently playing in the National Women’s Soccer League (the author deemed it unfair to assess Milly Clegg without seeing her on the field more). Allen mostly just hasn’t had much playing time, but that could change over the summer.
  • Former Pride player Camille Ashton (known as Cami Levin when she played in the Pride midfield in 2016 and 2017) has resigned as the general manager of the Kansas City Current.

That’s all I have for you today. I hope you all have a wonderful Thursday and rest of your week.

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