Lion Links

Lion Links: 4/1/23



Image courtesy of Orlando City B / Mark Thor

Welcome to the new website, Mane Landers! It is officially my first time dropping an article since the transition away from SBNation, and boy, oh boy, do I love the new look. Just look how crisp and sleek this place is! Internally, we have all been stoked for you to check it out, and I am glad you all can now. In local soccer news, it is a hometown match day for the Lions (or should I say, Sea Cows) tonight as Nashville SC comes to town. I don’t know about you, but personally, I love the Sea Cows merch drop each year. And this year’s pregame warm-up shirts look sweet! I just might have to grab one for myself.

Now, before we dive into today’s links, let’s all wish a happy birthday to Orlando City newcomer Abdi Salim!

Orlando City Returns Home to Face Nashville

Your Orlando City Lions return home tonight to host Nashville SC at 7:30 p.m. In Orlando’s last outing, there were quite a few notable attacking milestones and they will look to build upon that positive momentum. Lions captain Mauricio Pereyra notched his first goal contributions of the campaign, recording a pair of assists in the match against the Philadelphia Union. Designated Player Martín Ojeda scored his second goal and opened the scoring for the Lions in the second minute at Subaru Park. Iván Angulo scored his first goal as a Lion with the game winner to give Orlando the tough road victory.

While Orlando City did not battle Nashville SC in league play in 2022, the two sides did meet in the quarterfinal of the U.S. Open Cup at Exploria Stadium. Defender Rodrigo Schlegel was able to level the match in the 94th minute to force extra time and an eventual penalty-kick shootout, in which goalkeeper Pedro Gallese sent City through to the next round of the competition with a crucial save.

Alex Freeman’s Brace Leads OCB to Win in Home Opener

Orlando City Homegrown right back Alex Freeman had a career day in the Young Lions’ 2-1 win against Huntsville City FC Friday night at Osceola County Stadium in the team’s home opener. Freeman’s first professional goal came in the third minute as he collected the ball at the top of the box to strike it home with his left foot. In the 43rd minute, Freeman turned on the jets to show his speed down the right line and slot another one into the net but this time from his right foot. You can see clips of both goals in Sean Rollins’ recap, and once our domain transfer comes in, we’ll start linking to those types of internal stories. Thanks for your patience here in our temporary domain home.

Orlando Pride Prepare for Home Opener vs. Angel City

Both the Orlando Pride and Angel City FC left points on the table when they opened their seasons last week. Angel City lost 2-1 to Gotham at home, while the Pride were shut out 4-0 on the road against the reigning NWSL champion Portland Thorns. For Orlando Pride Head Coach Seb Hines and his team, they hope to turn the page quickly as they play their first home match of the 2023 campaign Sunday at 5:30 p.m. Angel City is keen to watch out for the Pride’s No. 3 overall pick draft pick in rookie forward Messiah Bright.

“She didn’t look like a rookie,” said Earnshaw of Bright’s performance last weekend. “She has multiple threats: she can threaten in behind with her speed. She’s really good checking in off the line with her back to goal. She’s an obvious target on any ball into the box, any set piece. She’s definitely someone we’ve got to be very mindful of.”

Orlando and Angel City have played twice before — both in 2022. Orlando won 1-0 on the road and drew 2-2 at home. Angel City also announced a new signing this week in Mexican international Scarlett Camberos. She previous played for Club América, where she led the team in scoring in 2022 with 11 goals in 16 appearances.

Free Kicks

Enjoy your home match day, Mane Landers. Be sure to head to Exploria Stadium early and get loud. Vamos Orlando!


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