Lion Links

Lion Links: 4/24/23

Duncan McGuire in good company, the Pride lose in KC, OCB draws but wins spot kicks, U.S. Soccer reportedly chooses sporting director, and more.



Image courtesy of Orlando City B / Mark Thor

Merry Monday morning, Mane Landers. I’ll be honest, I’m not exactly feeling very merry. It wasn’t a good weekend for those who follow the club. Losses by Orlando City and the Orlando Pride were disappointing. OCB’s draw with the extra point for the penalty shootout win wasn’t the result we wanted, but was better than the rest. Still, it is a new week and hope springs eternal. Let’s get to the links.

McGuire Making History

If anyone had Duncan McGuire as Orlando City’s top scorer eight matches into the regular season on their bingo card, you might be a winner. The rookie has three goals in only 247 minutes over six matches. He is the first SuperDraft selection since Daryl Dike to score three goals in his first six matches.

I’m not saying that McGuire is another Dike, but I’m open to the possibility if the youngster keeps scoring. With Ercan Kara just coming back from injury, and MGuire having the hot foot, he should get more chances to do so. Someone has to score the goals, so it might as well be McGuire.

The Pride Fall in Kansas City

The Orlando Pride traveled to Kansas to take on the Kansas City Current on Sunday resulting in a 2-0 loss. The Pride’s Brazilians — Marta and Adriana— were not able to produce what Debinha was able to for the Current. Of course, it’s not only their fault, but it is a disappointing, if not unsurprising fact that the Current finally got a win this season at the expense of the Pride. If you are sensing some ire from me regarding Debinha choosing to go to the Current for (reportedly) less money than the Pride offered, you are correct. The Pride are back in action next Saturday at 10 p.m. against the San Diego Wave.

OCB Wins (Sort of)

The Young Lions hosted NYCFC II at Osceola County Stadium on Sunday night. Defender Nabi Kibunguchy scored a first-half brace for the Young Lions to give Orlando a good lead, but unfortunately it didn’t last, with the baby Pigeons clawing back both goals in the second half. 

There were plenty of fouls flying, with both Orlando and New York City having players sent off due to second yellow cards. The match went to kicks from the spot after the draw — a quirk of MLS NEXT Pro matches — with OCB finally putting it away after nine kicks. Sean Rollins has your match recap.

Report: U.S. Soccer Chooses Matt Crocker as Sporting Director

The U.S. Soccer Federation is reportedly hiring Southampton Director of Football Operations Matt Crocker as the organization’s new sporting director — first reported by The Athletic. U.S. Soccer has stated that a sporting director will be hired before any decisions will be made regarding a manager for the USMNT. Assuming Crocker is indeed the choice, that will allow the organization to either bring back Gregg Berhalter or move on to a new candidate.

Free Kicks

  • Wrexham AFC defeated Boreham Wood 3-1 after going down a goal in the first minute to the visitors on Saturday. An equalizer from Elliot Lee and a brace from Paul Mullin secured Wrexham’s promotion to League Two of the English Football League. Needless to say, Wrexham’s owners Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney were happy and appropriately humble.
  • A third-tier German football match was suspended after a referee was doused with beer following a penalty call he made that a fan didn’t like. There are a couple of problems with this. First, don’t throw stuff in people’s faces — even referees — as it’s not acceptable. Second, why the heck are you wasting beer like that? It’s just a bad decision all around.
  • Mo Salah moved to sixth on Liverpool’s all-time scorers list with a goal in the club’s 3-2 win over Nottingham Forest this past weekend. He also now has the most left-footed goals in league history, with 108.
  • Manchester United advanced to the FA Cup final on a penalty shootout over Brighton & Hove Albion. United will now meet rival Manchester City in the final in June. It’s going to be really weird for me pulling for United to keep City from completing the treble.

That will do it for today. Check back for more coverage of all things Orlando soccer. Also, check out and subscribe to our new Pride podcast — SkoPurp Soccer – An Orlando Pride PawedCast. Vamos Orlando!


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