Lion Links

Lion Links: 2/24/23



Welcome to the final day of the MLS preseason. Orlando City is back in action tomorrow, along with nearly every other MLS team. With so much soccer taking place all over the world, it’s an exciting time to be a fan of the beautiful game. I’ll be spending the weekend back in my hometown for a wedding, so make sure to cheer on my behalf at Exploria Stadium tomorrow. Now, let’s get to the links!

Orlando Pride Beat the Kansas City Current

In a preseason game open to the public, the Orlando Pride won 2-0 against the Kansas City Current Thursday night at Exploria Stadium. Draft picks Emily Madril and Messiah Bright both started for the Pride and it didn’t take long for Orlando to take the lead. Within the first minute of the game, Bright played a nice pass forward for Julie Doyle to score. Ally Watt doubled the Pride’s lead in the second half, getting on the end of an assist from draft pick Summer Yates. Although preseason games should be assessed with a grain of salt, it was a nice shutout win for the Pride at home.

Kerry Abello Signs a New Deal

Orlando Pride midfielder signed a new two-year contract that will keep her in the City Beautiful through the 2024 season, with an option for 2025 as well. The 23-year-old was drafted by the Pride in the third round of the 2021 NWSL Draft and made 24 appearances across all competitions as a rookie last year. The Pride already had Abello signed to a contract heading into 2022, but now the club won’t have to re-sign her following the upcoming season. It will be interesting to see how Abello fits into Seb Hines’ plans this year.

U.S. U-17 Men’s Team Takes on Canada Tonight

The United States U-17 Men’s National Team plays Canada tonight at 8 p.m. in the Concacaf U-17 Championship semifinals. These two teams met earlier in the tournament during the group stage, with the U.S. winning 1-0 thanks to Keyrol Figueroa’s goal. Figueroa has scored six goals during this competition — the most in the tournament, alongside Mexico’s Stephano Carrillo. The winner of this match will face either Mexico or Panama in the final on Sunday.

Europa League Round of 16 is Set

After a draw in the first leg, Manchester United hosted FC Barcelona and won 2-1 in one of many exciting games in the Europa League’s knockout stage. Robert Lewandowski gave Barcelona the lead, but Fred equalized soon after halftime and Antony scored a nice goal for the winner.

AS Monaco and Bayer Leverkusen played an exciting back-and-forth match that featured five goals and had to be settled with penalty kicks. Leverkusen came out on top, scoring on all five of its kicks. Elsewhere, Angel Di Maria had a hat trick in Juventus’ 3-0 win over Nantes, AS Roma beat RB Leipzig 2-0 to advance, and Ukrainian club Shakhtar Donetsk beat Rennes in penalty kicks.

In the Europa Conference League, Moldovan club Sheriff Tiraspol came back to win 3-1 against Partizan FC in Serbia. On the road in Belgium, Ludogorets took Anderlecht to penalties but missed all three attempts in the shootout. Lazio, FC Basel, and Fiorentina all advanced to the next round as well.

Free Kicks

That’s all I have for you today, Mane Landers. This weekend is looking like a scorcher, so be sure to stay hydrated while you’re out and about. Go Orlando!


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