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Orlando City vs. Nashville SC: Final Score 1-1 as Allen Chapman Chalks Off Winning Orlando Goal

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It looked like the Lions had won it. Andres Perea’s put-back of an Alexandre Pato free kick that hit the crossbar and goalkeeper Joe Willis deep in stoppage time appeared to punch Orlando City’s ticket into the postseason. But referee Allen Chapman went to the monitor and waved off a goal for what he deemed a clear and obvious foul on Daryl Dike, allowing Nashville SC (12-4-17, 53 points) to escape with a 1-1 draw against Orlando (12-9-12, 48 points) as the teams tied for the third time in as many meetings in 2021.

The Lions crept closer to clinching but that disallowed goal could be a killer after Daryl Dike had provided an early lead, only to see Hany Mukhtar equalize in the second half at Exploria Stadium in Orlando’s home regular-season finale.

“It’s a very sad day for the league, a league that has been growing immensely,” an obviously upset Orlando City Head Coach Oscar Pareja said after the match. “There are no explanations on the play that was so evident and destroyed the joy of our people — the people that believe in this project. It’s a very sad day. Allow me not to say more. It is incredible what happened tonight.”

Pareja had nearly a first-choice starting XI for this one, with only left back Joao Moutinho missing of the expected starting lineup. Pedro Gallese slotted in behind a back line of Emmanuel Mas, Robin Jansson, Antonio Carlos, and Ruan. Sebas Mendez and Junior Urso took their place in central midfield, behind attackers Nani, Mauricio Pereyra, and Chris Mueller and striker Dike.

Orlando came out and played a patient opening half, building slowly and methodically when in possession, looking for a way through the organized Nashville defense. The chances were few but the Lions managed to create some. Nani put a good cross into the area to Pereyra in the eighth minute but the Uruguayan opted to flick on for Dike rather than go for goal and the connection didn’t quite come off.

Nashville got a series of corner kicks and came close to cashing in on one when Walker Zimmerman got a good pick and came free, but his header was saved by Gallese in the 10th minute.

Orlando earned a set piece in the 13th minute when Dike was fouled by Jack Maher near the corner. Nani found Pereyra at the top of the area but the midfielder didn’t make good contact on his one-time shot attempt and popped it up over the bar.

The Lions found an opener in the 18th minute on a sustained spell of possession that began with Pereyra winning the ball back in the corner after a set piece. Orlando worked the ball around the top of the area left to right and Nani found Mueller breaking toward the end line. Mueller cut a cross back through the area and Dike redirected it in for his ninth goal of the year.

Nashville started pressing higher after the Orlando goal and the Lions did well to stay patient and composed as the visitors tried to work the ball into a good shooting position. There were a few nervy moments but Nashville couldn’t create a clear-cut opportunity.

Orlando nearly doubled the lead in the 34th minute. Ruan tried to cut a pass back for a teammate but it went off Sapong and deflected out for a corner. The ensuing cross was headed back into the mix at the top of the box by Carlos and fell for Urso, who had his back to goal. Urso sent a spinning half-bike kick attempt toward goal but it hit the post and stayed out. Mas was called for a foul trying to get to the rebound ahead of a defender.

That was it for the good chances in the opening half. Nashville attempted more shots (7-5) and got more on target (4-1) but asided from Zimmerman’s there wasn’t much danger. The Lions held more possession (58.8%-41.2%), and passed more accurately (88.2%-84.4%), while Nashville won more corners (4-1).

Early in the second half, Mukhtar went down after a Carlos clearance looking to get a penalty call. Chapman wasn’t interested and he never looked at the monitor although the VAR certainly looked at the replay and determined there was no penalty. Mukhtar laid on the field for a good while and yet never got a visit from the trainers.

A few minutes later he got his “revenge” for the perceived slight, scoring his 15th goal of the season in the 53rd minute to tie the game. The goal came in transition after Nani tried to flick a pass through to send Dike in behind but didn’t get the touch quite right. Mukhtar milked the moment by preening in front of The Wall on the north end of the stadium.

Two minutes later, it was Orlando’s turn to shout for a penalty. Urso played a ball in behind the defense and would have been through on goal if not for being obstructed by the defense. Chapman immediately waved Urso to get up.

Nashville got a dangerous scoring opportunity in the 58th minute after Alex Muyl clipped Mueller from behind and Chapman not only didn’t make a call but he mimed that Mueller dove. Mueller may have tried to make sure the foul was seen, but replay showed there was clear contact between Muyl’s boot and Mueller’s ankle. Nashville ended up firing a shot on target that Gallese saved. Three minutes later, Eric Miller was able to sneak down the left channel and beat Ruan to a through ball firing a shot at Gallese.

In the 69th minute, it was Nani getting spun around by a defender in the attacking third and again there was no call. Nashville countered and Randall Leal fired wide of the goal on the other end.

Orlando continued to attack. Mas got free on the left but had his shot blocked in the 71st minute and the rebound fell to Mueller, who fired just off target. Two minutes later, Mueller got free at the top of the area but got under his shot and was visibly upset when it sailed over the net. It was Mueller’s last involvement of the game as he was subbed off for Benji Michel. It will be his last moment on the Exploria Stadium pitch unless the Lions somehow get a home playoff match. That’ll be more difficult after Chapman’s final decision in the match.

Pereyra got a good look at the top of the box in the 75th minute but fired a blast straight at Willis. Moments later, Nani drew a foul about 40 yards out from goal but Pereyra’s service was just slightly over everyone. The Lions then forced a turnover on the ensuing goal kick but Urso fired high in the 77th minute.

Nani went for glory from outside the area in the 85th minute and his blast didn’t miss the top right corner by much.

The only talking point that truly matters came in stoppage time. Pato drew a free kick about 25 yards straight out from goal and stepped up to take it himself. He smashed a laser shot that caught the bottom of the crossbar and hit Willis, then bounced off the right post and crawled tantalizingly out in front of the goal. Dike tried to get to the ball first. Alistair Johnston came in from behind and there was contact, with both players ending up in the net. Perea was first to get to the loose ball, scoring the apparent winner.

Exploria Stadium erupted and the Lions were still celebrating when Chapman went to the monitor to look at the play. After a short review, he signaled that there was no goal following replay.

“Orlando player Daryl Dike kicked Nashville player Alistair Johnston’s leg as Johnston was attempting to clear the ball. It was determined to be a foul prior to the goal being scored,” the referee responded to a pool reporter’s question after the match. “In the opinion of the match officials, Daryl Dike prevented Johnston from clearing the ball.”

While the replay shows some contact, it’s questionable at best whether Johnston could clear the ball or if he might even have knocked it into inside netting and there was certainly no intent to do anything but score by Dike. It appears to this writer that Johnston stuck his leg in front of Dike’s as if to prevent the forward from getting to it, rather than trying to make a play to clear it. Either way, it’s a stretch to call this a clear and obvious error.

“There is not any explanation that gets even close to (us) accepting that decision,” Pareja said. “That’s not going to be a resource for us, trying to make the players understand that it was a foul. We can’t get there. There’s no way to do it. I already saw 30 times the clip.”

Both teams ended up with 14 shots, with Nashville getting more on target (7-2). Orlando held more possession (54.9%-45.1%) and passed more accurately (87.7%-84.8%), while the visitors got more corners (7-2).

Orlando will need to regroup after a draw that should have been a win.

“Today was really hard for us because we we did our best on the field and we’re a little bit frustrated to not get three points,” Urso said. “We played well I think but we have to look forward because we need one more point to be in the playoffs.”

“Just put it behind us. It will take obviously certain time. I hope the boys can just shake it off and then refocus on what is coming because that’s our responsibility. I can tell you how disappointed they are with what just happened, and just let them absorb it first, and tomorrow will be another day. This is a beautiful sport and we have to move on and just try to make things happen in Montreal.”


The Lions will close out the regular season one week from today, heading north of the border to take on CF Montreal on Decision Day.

Lion Links

Lion Links: 6/12/24

Leagues Cup forgets Orlando’s U.S. Open Cup win, USMNT U-23 loses to Japan, NWSL expansion options, and more.

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Image courtesy of Orlando City SC

Welcome to Wednesday, Mane Landers. The USMNT plays tonight in Orlando, and I hope that you have tickets. If not, we can still watch as we wait for the Orlando City and Orlando Pride matches this Saturday. On a personal note, this Friday will mark my ninth anniversary with The Mane Land. It’s been a heck of a ride, and I’m glad you’ve been there with us. Here’s to many more years to come. Let’s get to the links.

Leagues Cup Forgets Orlando’s U.S. Open Cup Win

Orlando City is playing in the Leagues Cup starting at the end of July and here’s a nice guide to Orlando’s group for the tournament. Of course, the Leagues Cup organizers want you to be pumped so that you watch and buy tickets. I think that is something we should do simply to support the club. However, I don’t think they went about promoting the competition in quite the right way. In a tweet that has since been deleted, the tournament’s social media team stated the Leagues Cup would be Orlando’s chance to win its first trophy. Did you catch the mistake? Taylor Twellman did.

Good on you, Taylor. Facundo Torres was indeed brilliant in that match, as was Benji Michel. Of course, there were others that caught the faux pas as well.

I think we should also be mentioning the USL Championships, but what do I know? Evidently, more than the Leagues Cup’s social media team.

USMNT to Honor Pulse Victims

There’s plenty of fake, corporate shows of support for Pride Month , but in general I think that the USMNT and USWNT have done a good job of being legitimate allies to the LGBTQIA+ community. Tonight, the USMNT will play a friendly against Brazil at Camping World Stadium on the anniversary of the Pulse nightclub shooting. The players will be wearing Pride jerseys to honor those that lost their lives so senselessly eight years ago.

In terms of the game, the USMNT will be without Josh Sargent for the match, and Tyler Adams will only get limited minutes if he plays, as both are coming back from injuries. Get well before the Copa America, lads.

Lions on International Duty

The United States U-23 Men’s National Team lost 2-0 to Japan in its final friendly match before the Olympics. Orlando City’s Duncan McGuire found himself on a bit of an island up top as the U.S. had difficulty moving the ball through the midfield. Hopefully, the U.S. got such play out of their system heading into the Olympics.

OCB’s Wilfredo Rivera made the most of his time playing in Puerto Rico’s World Cup qualifier against Anguilla, scoring a brace in the 8-0 victory. This win comes after a scoreless draw with El Salvador last week and Puerto Rico’s remaining group games during this round of qualifying will be next June.

Exploring NWSL Expansion Options

The NWSL will be expanding to 16 teams in 2026 with many cities vying for the next franchise. The leaders include Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Minneapolis. Atlanta, Denver, and Jacksonville are potential choices as well. If it was to be given to either Atlanta or Jacksonville they would be regional rivals for the Orlando Pride. The league is expected to make a decision by the fourth quarter of 2024.

Free Kicks

  • Congratulations to the United States U-15 Women’s National Team, which won 4-0 over Germany.
  • Did you ever have one of those dreams that was a little scary, but also absolutely hilarious? This preview of Inter Miami’s new mascot is a bit like that. To misquote Jaws: “Ever seen an Inter Miami mascot’s eyes, Chief? He’s got lifeless eyes, black eyes, like a doll’s eyes.”
  • The Cayman Islands Men’s National Football Team forfeited its match against Cuba because many of its players are on visas in the United States. If those players were to travel to Cuba, the U.S. may have canceled those visas due to travel restrictions.
  • This is one of the most ridiculous no-calls I’ve ever seen. India got royally hosed.

That will do it for today. Check back as we get you ready for the Orlando City and Orlando Pride matches this Saturday night. Vamos Orlando!

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Lion Links

Lion Links: 6/11/24

Julie Doyle up for Goal of the Week, scouting Brazil ahead of USMNT match, Valencia fans convicted of racial abuse, and more.

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Dan MacDonald, The Mane Land

Happy Tuesday, everyone. After a brief break, Orlando City will be back in action when it takes on LAFC at home on Saturday. The Orlando Pride will visit a struggling North Carolina Courage side on the same day, while Orlando City B will have an oddly placed Thursday match against Chattanooga FC. With such a busy week ahead of us, it’s little surprise that we have a lot to talk over this morning. Let’s get into it.

Julie Doyle Up for Goal of the Week

Pride forward Julie Doyle has been nominated for NWSL Goal of the Week for her strike against the San Diego Wave during Friday’s 1-1 draw. Doyle opened the scoring in the 36th minute with an extremely well taken goal that came from a Barbra Banda assist. The Zambian forward made a run down the right wing and crossed for Doyle, but the ball was a little behind her and the chance looked to have gone. It hadn’t though, because Doyle contorted her body, hung out a foot, and let the momentum from the ball carry it into the back of San Diego’s net. Make sure you go vote for her to win!

Brazil Scouting Report

The United States Men’s National Team will play its final friendly before Copa America tomorrow at Camping World Stadium, right here in Orlando. The idea of any USMNT game is slightly nauseating after the Yanks were throttled 5-1 by Colombia on Saturday, but the fact that they’ll square off against a loaded Brazil side means things aren’t going to be any easier. While Brazil has struggled early on in World Cup qualifying, it will likely run out a front three of Rodrygo, Vinicius Jr., and Raphina that’s capable of causing plenty of damage. Brazil prefers to control the ball and build from the back with short passing movements, but has no qualms about ceding possession and breaking on the counter, something that caused no shortage of issues for the U.S. against Colombia.

Valencia Fans Convicted of Racial Abuse

A trio of Valencia fans will serve eight months in prison after being convicted of racially abusing Vinicius Jr. Additionally, they are barred from entering soccer stadiums for two years and will pay for court proceedings. The convictions are the first for racism in professional soccer in Spain, and a case was opened after the fans made monkey noises and gestures during a game in May of 2023. The Brazilian forward in particular has faced racial abuse during his time playing in Spain, but he’s far from the only player, as the trial for a fan accused of abusing Inaki Williams during a match in 2020 has still yet to even begin.

The Soccer Tournament Concludes

The Soccer Tournament wrapped up last night with a pair of engrossing championship matches. In the women’s bracket, US Women defeated the North Carolina Courage by a score of 6-3, with Talia Dellapuerta scoring the winning goal. US Women featured United States Women’s National Team greats Heather O’Reilly and Ali Kreiger, and the team won the first women’s edition of the tournament and the $1 million prize that comes with it.

On the men’s side, former Orlando City player Nani and his team Nani FC fell to La Bombonera, which scored mere minutes into the match and never looked back on its way to a convincing 4-0 win. La Bombonera becomes the second team to win it all following Newtown Pride FC’s victory in last year’s inaugural tournament.

Free Kicks


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

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Lion Links

Lion Links: 6/10/24

Facundo Torres and Cesar Araujo won’t play for Uruguay in Copa America, Pride and OCB draw, USMNT drilled by Colombia, and more.

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Image courtesy of Orlando City SC / Alex Corrie

Hello, Mane Landers! I hope all is well down in Florida. I was busy at Under Armour all weekend and managing the broadcast operations for the NISA league’s matches last night. The Lions were off this weekend, but we had the Orlando Pride and OCB in action. We’ve got plenty to cover today, so let’s get to the links. 

Torres and Araujo Not On Uruguay Squad for Copa America

Uruguay National Team manager Marcelo Bielsa confirmed his roster for the 2024 Copa America over the weekend, and Orlando City’s Facundo Torres and Cesar Araujo didn’t make the final roster.

Torres and Araujo played briefly in the second half in Uruguay’s 4-0 win over Mexico in a friendly match last week. Uruguay will now prepare for its upcoming group stage matches in the Copa America against Panama, Bolivia, and the United States. Torres and Araujo will be back with Orlando City this week to get ready for their upcoming matchup against LAFC on Saturday.

Orlando Pride, San Diego Wave Play to 1-1 Draw

The Orlando Pride drew 1-1 Friday against the San Diego Wave at Snapdragon Stadium and saw their NWSL record win streak end at eight matches. Julie Doyle scored the opener for the Pride, but the Wave were able to grab an equalizer in the second half as both sides got a point. The Pride remains unbeaten this season in the NWSL. After this weekend’s results across the league, Orlando and the Kansas City Current are tied with 28 points, but Kansas City is in first on goal differential. The Pride will be on the road again this weekend to take on the North Carolina Courage Saturday.

OCB Draws at Home vs. Carolina Core FC, Snags Shootout Point

On Friday, Orlando City B drew 2-2 against Carolina Core FC at Osceola County Stadium. The Young Lions were off to a poor start early in the match, trailing 2-0 in the first half. In the second half, OCB got things back on track with goals from Alex Freeman and Imanol Almaguer to tie the match. It went to penalties after finishing tied. OCB won the extra point with a 6-5 shootout win over Carolina. That result puts the Young Lions back in the playoff hunt in seventh in the Eastern Conference with 18 points. OCB will be back in action Thursday at home against Chattanooga FC.

Colombia Dominates USMNT in Friendly Action

The U.S. Men’s National Team fell 5-1 to Colombia Saturday at FedEx Field and suffered its heaviest defeat under Head Coach Gregg Berhalter. It wasn’t good from the start as the USMNT conceded two goals in the first 19 minutes of the match in the first half. Tim Weah pulled one back for the U.S. before Colombia added three more goals towards the end of the second half to seal the win. Colombia is on a seven-match winning streak and is unbeaten in 22 matches. The last time the USMNT gave up this many goals was in the 2009 Gold Cup final in a 5-0 defeat to Mexico. The U.S. needs to improve fast with its Copa America opener less than two weeks from now. It will be a quick turnaround for the Americans as they take on Brazil Wednesday at Camping World Stadium in their final friendly match before Copa America starts.

Free Kicks

  • FC Dallas has announced the departure of Head Coach Nico Estevez. Assistant Coach Peter Luccin will lead the team on an interim basis while the club begins its search for a new head coach. FC Dallas is 13th in the Western Conference with 14 points.
  • The Chicago Red Stars broke an NWSL attendance record in their match over the weekend as 35,038 fans showed up at Wrigley Field, but the Red Stars lost 2-1 to Bay FC.
  • Wrexham co-owner Rob McElhenney is renewing his efforts to lure former Real Madrid star Gareth Bale out of retirement to join the club. He also stated that the club’s offer is still on the table.
  • In Jesse Marsch’s second match as Canada’s head coach, Canada held France to a scoreless draw in a friendly match on Sunday.

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

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