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Lion Links: 7/16/20



Happy Thursday, Lionesses and Lions, I sincerely hope you overcame your hump day with ease. Given the fact that the Philadelphia Union cruised past Inter Miami and the fact that Orlando City already has two wins of its own, Oscar Pareja’s men have officially qualified for the round of 16. With that, let’s get into the links.

Lions Linked with Club Leon Striker Leo Ramos

Always looking to improve the roster, Luiz Muzzi was thought to be looking at perhaps adding a striker heading into 2020. While the team addressed that need in the MLS SuperDraft, there was no veteran signing in the off-season at the forward spot. However, reports indicate that the Lions could be interested in bringing in Club Leon striker Leonardo Ramos from Liga MX. The Argentinean has scored six goals in 20 appearances with Leon since 2019, but previously struck 16 times in 23 appearances with Lobos BUAP. The Mane Land is looking into these rumors and will post something later today.

Orlando CIty Signs Michael Halliday to Homegrown Contract

Orlando City signed Michael Halliday to a Homegrown Player contract. The 17-year-old right back is the second youngest academy player the club has ever signed to a professional deal, with Tommy Redding being the only signing that was ever made at a younger age. The Apopka-born defender, who is apparently known for being pacey, is deemed a really exciting prospect by many within the club including the Orlando CIty’s Executive Vice President of Soccer Operations Luiz Muzzi.

Michael is another example of the vision we have for the future of the Orlando City development pyramid, making the journey from the Academy to our MLS side,” Orlando City EVP of Soccer Operations Luiz Muzzi said. “After starting out in our academy and signing with Orlando City B, Michael has been able to train with our First Team, including during our time in Mexico this preseason. He has continuously showcased his potential and we are very excited to see him continue to grow as a member of our Club.”

Orlando City Round of 16 Date Announced

Orlando goes toe to toe with the Philadelphia Union on Monday. That date is not the only one that has been decided, the dates for the forthcoming round of 16 have also been announced as well. If the Lions win they will top the group and face the third place side from either Group C, D, or E. If they fall short and lose to the Union, Orlando City will take on the second place team in Group C.

Mueller Feeling Confident After a Red-Hot Start to MLS is Back

Chris Mueller is feeling confident in the return of soccer for Orlando City. After a goal in the first match of the MLS is Back Tournament against Inter Miami and a brace against NYCFC, the American 23-year-old is on cloud nine due to his excellent run of form. Mueller was sure to acknowledge and heap praise on Oscar Pareja, saying the 2016 manager of the year is hugely responsible for his and his teammates stellar performances. Pareja is always sure to let the players express themselves.

Obviously I’ve enjoyed working with Oscar, for sure. When a coach manages the players so well and gives you the confidence to go out and play your own game and show some personality on the field, I think that that’s all you can ask for,” Mueller said of Pareja. “I think that he’s done that really well, especially with me. I feel confident to go out and play my own game and just let the pieces kind of fall as they do and focus on playing my game.”

Orlando Pride’s Konya Plummer Nominated for 2020 NCAA Woman of the Year

Konya Plummer, the Orlando Pride’s 2020 no. 10 draft pick has been nominated for the 2020 NCAA Woman of the Year Award. The Jamaica-born central defender became the first Jamaican national to be drafted to the NWSL, and she also had a terrific season with the UCF Knights.

In her two seasons with the Knights, Plummer appeared in 25 matches and scored one goal. She started 16 of 17 regular season matches last season and anchored a UCF back line that allowed just seven goals on the year.

Free Kicks

  • Orlando CIty celebrated the hard-fought win over NYCFC with a relaxing putt-putt outing.
  • MLS has announced the reward Mueller — or someone — will be given if he wins the golden boot. To help the growth of soccer, MLS will grant the top scorer of the tournament an additional $10,000 for his academy club.
  • Here’s a quick preview of OCB’s League One season.
  • The Qatar-based 2022 World Cup will feature an unprecedented four games per day. The main goal of this is to grant each team more rest between fixtures.
  • FIFA has granted permission for the Premier League to keep the five subs rule until Aug. 2021. No decision has been made by the league as of yet.
  • Arsenal committed an incredible smash and grab against Liverpool to edge past the Premier League champions. After enduring 24 shots and only taking 3 of their own, the Gunners incredibly managed to win 2-1.

That’ll do, pig. That is all the links for this Thursday. Be sure to keep showing relentless support for Orlando City from the confines of your home. Clearly the Lions can feel the energy seeping out through the cameras at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. It’s really important that the Lions maintain momentum and secure a win against the Philadelphia Union so a more favorable draw is achieved. Until then, catch you on the flip side.

Lion Links

Lion Links: 4/24/24

Orlando City and Orlando Pride power rankings, USMNT player news, USWNT will host Costa Rica, and more.



Image courtesy of Orlando City SC / Mark Thor

Welcome to Wednesday, Mane Landers. It’s that time of the week for some tasty links. Two seven-point weekends for Orlando’s soccer teams is nothing to sneeze at, unlike the pollen that coats my hometown of Tallahassee. It’s the time of the year that I make my money back with the unlimited car wash next to my work. Enough with my weather-related car issues, let’s get to the links.

Lions Move Up (and Down) in Power Rankings

There’s nothing that shows the value of “power rankings” better than when you can compare two different ranking lists for the same week for any given club. We all know Orlando City is undefeated in its last four matches thanks to the late heroics of Ivan Angulo to draw CF Montreal over the weekend. But, did you know that was both good and bad?

In ESPN‘s MLS power rankings, Orlando City dropped a spot from 16th to 17th despite “treading water” with a point on the road in Montreal. Meanwhile, the Lions roared ahead three spots from 21st to 18th in’s power rankings. So, do you like that Orlando is 17th in the ESPN piece despite the drop? Or do you prefer the positivity of a three-spot jump to 18th in the rankings?

Orlando Pride Rise in Power Rankings

Forget everything I wrote up there regarding power rankings — at least as far as the Orlando Pride are concerned. After starting the season with three draws, the Pride now have two wins in a row. As such, ESPN moved the Pride up three spots from eighth to fifth in its NWSL power rankings. Their move up the list is entirely deserved and the writer was correct in their assessment. Of course, I’m kidding but it’s still nice to see the Pride get recognized for their results. Now, we just need the Pride to continue the winning streak.

Keeping Up With USMNT Players Abroad

As we shared yesterday, Sergino Dest will likely miss this summer’s Copa America thanks to a knee injury suffered during PSV Eindhoven training. That means the USMNT has a right back situation to address and there are quite a few well known candidates to step in for Dest.

Meanwhile, Weston McKennie has reportedly rejected Juventus’ latest extension offer. I can understand his decision given it doesn’t include any additional salary. McKennie has been very good for Juve, with 10 assists on the season. He’s not the only American making a difference, as Tim Weah provided the assist on Arkadiusz Milik’s goal to send Juventus to the Coppa Italia final.

USWNT Olympic Send-Off Match

The United States Women’s National Team will play a match against Costa Rica at Audi Field on July 16. It will be the final match for the USWNT prior to the Olympics that start nine days later against Zambia. New coach Emma Hayes will join the team on June 1, which isn’t a ton of time before the Olympics start, but she has been a part of the process for months.

Free Kicks

  • The New England Revolution have acquired veteran defender Xavier Arreaga from the Seattle Sounders for a 2025 international roster slot, and up to $75,000 in General Allocation Money depending on performance.
  • Inter Miami’s Jordi Alba will be out for several weeks due to a hamstring injury. Fortunately, he is expected to be back in time for the match against Orlando City on May 15. Where did I put the sarcasm font?

That will do it for today. Check back as we get you ready for the Pride’s match against the Washington Spirit this Friday, and Orlando City’s match against Toronto FC on Saturday. Vamos Orlando!

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Lion Links

Lion Links: 4/23/24

Ivan Angulo makes Team of the Matchday bench, Americans in action, Sergino Dest to miss Copa America, and more.



Image courtesy of Orlando City SC / Mark Thor

Happy Tuesday, everyone! It was an excellent weekend for Orlando’s soccer teams, as the three sides took seven of the nine points on offer. There’s no rest for the wicked this week as the Orlando Pride travel to play the Washington Spirit on Friday, Orlando City hosts Toronto FC on Saturday, and Orlando City B finishes things up at home against Toronto FC II on Sunday. Let’s take a look at today’s links.

Ivan Angulo Earns Recognition

Ivan Angulo has been named to the bench of the latest edition of the MLS Team of the Matchday. The Colombian got the start on Saturday up in Montreal, and had a good game, going the distance and completing 82% of his passes and putting one of his two shots on target. That shot was an important one, as it gave the Lions a late equalizer and helped them salvage a valuable point on the road. Sean Rollins gave him a grade of 6 in his player grades from the match, a rating that likely would have been higher had Martin Ojeda’s pass been accurate enough to allow Angulo to grab a possible winner just a few minutes after he equalized. Here’s hoping he keeps up the good work!

Americans in Midweek Action

There are a number of Americans taking part in big games this week, and the good people over at Stars and Stripes FC have you covered with the whole rundown. First up, Weston McKennie, Tim Weah, and Juventus will try to advance to the Coppa Italia final this afternoon, as they enter the second leg of the semifinal against Lazio with a 2-0 lead on aggregate. Tomorrow sees Monaco and Folarin Balogun meet Lille in Ligue 1 action, while Chris Richards and Crystal Palace host Newcastle United in the Premier League. Things wrap up on Friday in Serie B when Gianluca Busio, Tanner Tessman, and third-place Venezia face Cremonese as they try to overtake Como and finish in one of Serie B’s two guaranteed promotion places.

Sergino Dest Sidelined Long Term

Following up on a story from yesterday’s Lion Links, The Athletic is reporting that the knee injury suffered by Sergino Dest will keep him out of Copa America, and sideline him for the rest of the year. That would be a big blow for the United States Men’s National Team, as Dest has been the nailed-on starter at right back since winning a place in the team during the qualifying cycle for the 2022 World Cup. The Yanks aren’t without options at the position, as Joe Scally could step in for Dest, or Gregg Berhalter could try deploying Weah there, but neither of the two possesses Dest’s level of offensive threat.

Inter Milan Wins Serie A

Inter Milan dispatched rival AC Milan 2-1 guaranteed that Inter will win its 20th Serie A title in club history. Fikayo Tomori’s goal in the 80th minute was the closest Christian Pulisic and Yunus Musah’s club could get to leveling the score, and Inter is now a whopping 17 points clear of AC Milan with five games left to play. Inter has been imperious on its way to a 20th Scudetto, scoring the most goals in the league while also conceding the fewest and losing only once this season.

Free Kicks

  • The Orlando Pride and Orlando City hosted a clean-up effort in honor of Earth Day on Monday.

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

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Lion Links

Lion Links: 4/22/24

Orlando City draws CF Montreal, Pride and OCB win, FA Cup drama, and more.



Image courtesy of Orlando Pride / Jeremy Reper

Hello, Mane Landers. I hope all is well with you down in Florida. Orlando City drew, while the Pride and OCB both won over the weekend. I had friends in town, so I went to Wrigley Field to check out a Cubs game and show them around Chicago. Let’s wish former Orlando City midfielder Kaka and Pride defender Brianna Martinez a happy birthday! There is plenty to cover today, so let’s get to the links.

Lions Draw at CF Montreal

Orlando City again had to overcome a 2-1 deficit on the road when it faced CF Montreal Saturday night. The Lions needed a late stoppage-time goal from Ivan Angulo to walk out of Stade Saputo with a 2-2 draw. Orlando has now picked up points in each of the last four matches. Orlando City will face CF Montreal again on July 26 in the MLS Leagues Cup during the competition’s group stage. The Lions’ next match will be Saturday at Inter&Co Stadium as it takes on Toronto FC.

Orlando Pride Defeat San Diego Wave

The Orlando Pride shut out the San Diego Wave 1-0 on Friday at Inter&Co Stadium and got their second consecutive win with that same scoreline. Summer Yates scored the lone goal in the first half to seal the win for Orlando. Zambian international striker Barbra Banda made her debut for the Pride, coming off the bench in the second half. The Pride remain undefeated through five league matches and are fifth in the NWSL table with nine points. The team will be on the road to face the Washington Spirit Friday.

OCB Wins on the Road at Crown Legacy FC

Orlando City B got a 2-0 win against Crown Legacy FC at the Sportsplex at Matthews on Friday. Alex Freeman and Shak Mohammed scored for the Young Lions, and Javier Otero made six saves. OCB completed its two-match road trip, securing four out of a possible six points, and has kept its unbeaten streak on the road alive at four matches. OCB is in fifth in the MLS NEXT Pro Eastern Conference with nine points, while Crown Legacy is winless in five matches. OCB will be back in action this Sunday as it hosts Toronto FC II at Osceola County Stadium.

Manchester United and Manchester City Advance to FA Cup Final

Manchester United won 4-2 on penalties after a 3-3 draw against Coventry City in the FA Cup semifinals to advance to the final. It was a thrilling match at Wembley as United had a 3-0 lead before Coventry City rallied to get back into the match. USMNT forward Haji Wright scored the equalizer to tie the match 3-3 late into stoppage time. Coventry City thought it scored the game-winning goal late into extra time from Victor Torp, but it was ruled offside after video review. Casemiro missed his penalty for United, while Wright and Torp gave Coventry City a 2-1 advantage. United converted four straight penalties while Coventry City missed two to seal the win for the Red Devils. Manchester City edged past Chelsea 1-0 in their semifinal matchup, with Bernardo Silva scoring the lone goal in the second half. The FA Cup final will be played at the end of May and will feature a Manchester Derby for the second consecutive time.

Free Kicks

  • In case you missed it, check out this video on Orlando City’s social media page on Ivan Angulo’s equalizer to tie the match in stoppage time against CF Montreal on Saturday.

According to OptaJack, the Pride have secured the most points at home during the regular season since last May, with 26.

  • USMNT defender Sergino Dest suffered a knee injury during training with PSV Eindhoven over the weekend. Dest will miss the remainder of the Eredivisie season and could miss the 2024 Copa America this summer.
  • Real Madrid came back from being 2-1 down to defeat Barcelona 3-2 and stay ahead of its rivals by 11 points with six league matches left.
  • Bayer Leverkusen extended its unbeaten run to 45 matches after scoring a late goal from Josip Stanisic in stoppage time to get a 1-1 draw against Borussia Dortmund.
  • Serie A side Udinese is reportedly set to hire former Juventus and Real Madrid player Fabio Cannavaro as its next head coach.

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

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