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Lion Links: 11/9/20

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Merry Monday morning, Mane Landers! While it might not have been the end of the regular season that we wanted, for the first time for Orlando City in Major League Soccer it isn’t over! We will not go quietly into the night! We will not vanish without a fight! We’re going to live on! We’re going to survive! No, wait. That’s from Independence Day.

Regardless, Orlando City will play again this year. Let’s get to the links.

Orlando City Falls to Nashville

Orlando City hosted Nashville SC at Exploria Stadium on Decision Day. Of course, the only thing being decided for the Lions was which team they would host in the playoffs. That turned out to be a good thing since Orlando City conceded two goals in the last few minutes to lose the final match of the regular season, 3-2. Nani’s free kick goal is up for MLS Goal of the Week, so go vote for it. The Lions will now host New York City FC in the first round of the MLS playoffs. Michael Citro has your match recap.

Check back later today for the player grades and Man of the Match from Christopher Adams, as well as Sean Rollins’ five takeaways from the match.

Daryl Dike’s National Team Options

With as good a rookie year as Dike is having, the talks about him deserving a United States Men’s National Team call-up have gotten louder with each goal. Of course, Dike has the option to play for the U.S. or Nigeria, as that is the home country of both of his parents. Dike’s older brother, Bright Dike, previously played for Nigeria and that could make a difference. Of course, for the moment, Dike is just focusing on Orlando City.

“When you’re younger, you’re always sitting there, thinking about international, and I know I’ve had my siblings play for Nigeria,” Dike told Twellman in the an interview which begins above at around the 20-minute mark. ”And I know I have the opportunity for Nigeria or the USA if I get the chance. But right now I just kind of play my game. I focus on what I’m doing with Orlando City, and if either/or comes, that decision will come when it comes.”

Emily van Egmond Lifts West Ham to Victory

Over in England, Orlando Pride midfielder Emily van Egmond gave West Ham United a 2-1 victory over Birmingham City with her header in the 73rd minute. It is the Hammers’ first win of the Barclays FA Women’s Super League season. Van Egmond has now scored in three straight games with West Ham while on loan.

MLS Eastern Conference Results

The Philadelphia Union took care of business by dispatching the New England Revolution 2-1 to win the MLS Supporters’ Shield and secure the top spot in the Eastern Conference. Following a 4-3 win over the Chicago Fire, NYCFC will face Orlando City in the first round of the playoffs. It was quite a barn burner in the first half, with Valentin Castellanos scoring the winner for New York in the 77th minute. The Columbus Crew defeated Atlanta United, earning a home playoff game and bumping Atlanta from playoff contention at the same time. Well done, Columbus.

Elsewhere, the Montreal Impact defeated D.C. United 3-2 in a match that saw the Impact make the playoffs while D.C missed out. Inter Miami CF secured a playoff berth with a 2-1 victory over FC Cincinnati. Former Lion Mikey Ambrose scored his first MLS goal for Miami. Things didn’t go Toronto FC’s way when it fell 2-1 to the New York Red Bulls thanks to two first-half goals.

MLS Western Conference Results

Decision Day in the Western Conference wasn’t quite as exciting as the other side of the league, as the matches just determined the seeding. The Colorado Rapids defeated the last place Houston Dynamo to continue their three-game winning streak. The third place Portland Timbers drew with LAFC on Jorge Villafana’s 90th-minute equalizer. Minnesota United and FC Dallas were secure in making the playoffs, even after Minnesota’s 3-0 win over Dallas.

At the top of the table, Sporting KC finished a great season with a 2-0 win over Real Salt Lake. Despite losing 4-1 to the Seattle Sounders, the San Jose Earthquakes are in the playoffs and will take on Sporting KC. Finally, in the match of no consequence, the Vancouver Whitecaps defeated the LA Galaxy 3-0.

Free Kicks

  • It’s kind of weird that Orlando City’s Chris Mueller didn’t make the MLS MVP nomination list, especially when you look at his production.

  • LAFC’s Diego Rossi won the MLS Golden Boot for the 2020 season. Rossi finished with 14 goals through 19 matches.
  • I don’t particularly like being reminded about Wayne Rooney’s long distance goal against Orlando City. However, it seems that little brother John Rooney is carrying on the family tradition in Stockport County’s win over Rochdale A.F.C by scoring from his own half. The younger Rooney also played for Orlando City in 2012 during the USL days.
  • Tim Weah made his return for Lille OSC in the club’s loss to Stade Brestois 29 in Ligue 1, and Weston McKennie came on in the 77th minute for Juventus in its 1-1 draw with Lazio. Plenty of other USMNT players saw some action as well.
  • This goal from Valentino Lazaro is easily the wildest goal you’ve seen this week. Maybe this month, and possibly this year. I’m not even sure how to describe it. It didn’t win the match for Borussia Mönchengladbach against Bayer Leverkusen, but it could win the Puskas Award.


That will do it for today’s Links. Now we get to look forward to Orlando City’s first postseason. Vamos Orlando!

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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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