Lion Links

Lion Links: 3/31/23



Image courtesy of Orlando Pride

Hello, Mane Landers. I hope all is well with you down in Florida. Let’s wish a happy birthday to former Lion Tesho Akindele before we get started. We have plenty to cover today so let’s get to the links.

Seb Hines Wants Pride to Turn Exploria Stadium into a Fortress

After losing their season opener on the road against the Portland Thorns, the Orlando Pride are preparing for their home opener against Angel City FC. Head Coach Seb Hines gave his perspective on setting the club up for success at Exploria Stadium this season.

“Last year, we know we didn’t win enough games at home,” he said Wednesday. “That’s not good enough. We want to make [Exploria Stadium] a fortress. We want to make it a difficult place for teams to come and play, and what better way to do it in your home opener in front of a good crowd against Angel City so we also need to bounce back from this weekend and I think everyone’s excited to get out there and play again.”

– ORLANDO CITY Head Coach Seb Hines

Hines also said the Pride players did well in possession in last week’s match-up against the Portland Thorns but need to work on scoring goals. Kickoff for the Pride’s home opener is 5:30 p.m. Sunday, and you can watch the match on FOX 35 Plus or Paramount+.

OCB Takes on Hunstville City FC Tonight in Home Opener

Orlando City B will have its home opener tonight at Osceola County Stadium when it takes on Huntsville City FC. This will be the first meeting of the season between the two clubs. The match will kick off at 7 p.m. and you can watch the match with MLS Season Pass on Apple TV. OCB enters this match-up fresh off winning its season opener 3-1 on the road against Philadelphia Union II. Both Abdi Salim and Jack Lynn scored goals, while Cristofer Acuna scored a goal and added an assist for OCB. Huntsville City FC was also on the road last weekend, drawing 2-2 against Crown Legacy FC. Azaad Liadi scored both goals for Huntsville City. After tonight’s match, OCB will have another home game on Sunday, April 9 as the Young Lions host their instate rivals, Inter Miami CF II.

Orlando City U-17 and U-15 Updates

Both the U-17 and U-15 Orlando City academy teams were in action this past weekend. After defeating Nashville SC, The U-17 team was shut out Sunday in a 1-0 loss to D.C. United. However, the U-15 team was victorious with a 4-0 win against D.C. Axel Grimaud scored twice for the Lions, while Gustavo Caraballo and Ryan Basabe also added a goal apiece.

MLS MVP Race Power Rankings

We’ve only played five weeks in Major League Soccer and we have the latest MVP power rankings for the month of March. St. Louis City SC’s Joao Klauss has been the key to the expansion club’s fast start. The newcomers have five wins and are in first place in the Western Conference. Klauss has five goals on the season so far and is ranked third in the power rankings. Seattle Sounders forward Jordan Morris had a stellar performance in last weekend’s match against Sporting Kansas City, scoring four goals. Morris leads the league with seven goals and is ranked second. Top of the list is Atlanta United’s Thiago Almada, who has four goals and four assists for the Five Stripes. Check out the link to see the rest of the top five.

Free Kicks

  • On Thursday, Orlando City teased an announcement for today.
  • Orlando City Senior Vice President of Community Relations Kay Rollins gave her insight on the Orlando City Sea Cows, how the name started as an April Fools’ Day joke, and how fans have grown to like it and are buying the merchandise.
  • Herve Renard has been named the new manager for the France Women’s National Team as it prepares for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup this summer.

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


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