Lion Links

Lion Links: 5/2/23

Lions earn recognition for weekend performances, U.S. Open Cup rings unveiled, Orlando’s academy teams win, and more.



Image courtesy of Orlando City SC / Mark Thor

Happy Tuesday, everyone! It’s been a great start to the week as all three Orlando City teams picked up wins over the weekend, which means we got to celebrate a nine-point Monday. It doesn’t get much better than that! There’s a lot to talk through today, so let’s get right into it.

Lions Earn Recognition After Home Win

Three Orlando City players earned recognition for their efforts in the Lions’ win over the LA Galaxy on Saturday. Facundo Torres was named to the starting lineup of the latest MLS Team of the Matchday, while Ercan Kara was named to the bench. Frankly, it seems a little odd for it not to be the other way around given Facu notched a goal while Kara had a goal and an assist, but it’s hard to be too picky. Torres was also nominated for Player of the Matchday, although the honor went to Inter Miami’s Leonardo Campana.

Mikey Halliday also got some props as one of the best young players of the weekend. He grabbed his first ever MLS assist on Kara’s opener and grew into the game well as it progressed. Congrats to all three guys!

Orlando City Unveils Championship Rings

Not only did we get to celebrate a nine-point weekend, but the Lions took the good vibes up a notch by unveiling the team’s 2022 U.S. Open Cup championship rings. The bling is pretty sweet looking, and features six purple stones representing each of the matches OCSC played in its run to the trophy. There’s also a brick motif as a nod to The Wall, and an engraving of the date on the inside of the ring, and several other really cool touches. Feast your eyes on this.

Young Lions Have Strong Weekend

Orlando City’s U-15 and U-17 teams each played two matches over the weekend, and both teams fared very well. The U-17 team beat Nashville SC, 3-2, and then drubbed New York City FC, 3-0, putting Orlando on top of its division. The U-15 squad had a similarly successful time as it beat Nashville, 2-1, and drew NYCFC, 2-2. Like its older counterpart, the U-15 team also sits atop its division. Both age groups will play Inter Miami at Osceola Heritage Park this Saturday. Keep up the good work!

USMNT Players Suffer Injuries

A pair of United States Men’s National Team defenders have suffered season-ending injuries. Tim Ream broke his right arm in Fulham’s 2-1 defeat to Manchester City on Sunday. Julian Alvarez stepped on the center back’s arm in the 22nd minute and, while he walked off the field under his own power, he was unable to continue. Meanwhile, Cameron Carter-Vickers will undergo knee surgery, which will end his season. Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou said that the center back has been struggling with a knee injury for a few weeks now, and the time has come for him to have the injury repaired. We wish both guys the best of luck in their recoveries.

Free Kicks

  • Adriana came third in the voting for the NWSL Player of the Week. The Brazilian had a goal and an assist in the Pride’s first win of the season on Saturday.
  • Nashville has terminated the Ake Loba’s contract, opening up a Designated Player spot.
  • JJ and Kealia Watt have invested in Burnley FC, which has already secured promotion to the English Premier League next season.
  • Leeds United could fire head coach Javi Gracia, with a decision reportedly set to be made soon.

That’s all I have for you today. Y’all stay safe out there.


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