Lion Links

Lion Links: 5/9/23

Julie Doyle signs new deal, Orlando City unveils documentary on U.S. Open Cup title run, MLS coaching carousel spins, and more.



Dan MacDonald, The Mane Land

Happy Tuesday, everyone! We have a busy week ahead of us, which will start with Orlando City’s U.S. Open Cup match against Charlotte FC tonight. Tomorrow, the Orlando Pride will play the Washington Spirit in the NWSL Challenge Cup as well.

Before we get into today’s news, we want to extend our sincere thanks to Don VanDemark and ‘Hometown Soccer Gal,’ who each signed up for premium membership subscriptions! You can join them by visiting our Buy Me a Coffee page and checking out the three membership tiers.

Julie Doyle Signs New Deal

The Orlando Pride have signed Julie Doyle to a new two-year contract, with the forward now under contract through the end of the 2024 NWSL season. Doyle joined the Pride last year as a first round pick in the NWSL Draft and has made 20 appearances for the team. The move locks down a player who has become a familiar face for Pride fans after enjoying a good rookie season. While an ankle injury has her on the sidelines for now, we’re looking forward to seeing more of her in purple.

Relive Orlando City’s 2022 U.S. Open Championship Campaign

Orlando City released a documentary detailing the club’s championship run in last year’s U.S. Open Cup. For Our City provides a look behind the scenes as the Lions captured their first trophy of the club’s MLS era. There is plenty of new content to check out, including interviews from players like Facundo Torres and Antonio Carlos. The Lions will begin their title defense tonight against Charlotte in their first road game in the tournament since 2019.

Chicago Fire and New York Red Bulls Fire Head Coaches

The Chicago Fire sacked Ezra Hendrickson, with the team second from the bottom of the Eastern Conference with 11 points through 10 games. Frank Klopas will serve as the interim coach for the rest of the season. Former Orlando City assistant coach C.J. Brown will remain with the Fire as well. Klopas will be thrown directly into the fire as Chicago takes on St. Louis City SC in the U.S. Open Cup tonight.

The only team in the Eastern Conference with fewer points than the Fire also made a coaching change, as the New York Red Bulls fired Gerhard Struber on Monday. The Red Bulls have nine points after 11 matches and just one win. The team has also struggled with off-field issues, with Struber criticized for how he handled the situation involving Dante Vanzeir’s use of racist language in a game last month. Troy Lesesne will take over as head coach for the rest of the season.

EPL Relegation Battle Heats Up

The relegation fight at the bottom of the English Premier League table took some interesting turns on Monday. Everton smashed Brighton and Hove Albion, 5-1, a result that lifted the Toffees two points clear of the relegation zone. Nottingham Forest squeaked past Southampton 4-3, and is now three points clear of Leicester City in 18th. Speaking of Leicester, the Foxes lost 5-3 to Fulham, and they’re level on points with Leeds, but have a better goal differential. Southampton’s relegation is all but assured as it sits in 20th place with 24 points and just three matches left to play. It was an absolutely wild day, as the three games saw a combined 21 goals scored overall.

VAR Audio to be Used on TV

Next week, Premier League fans will have a chance to hear audio of what happens during a video review. On Monday, a pilot TV show will air which contains audio and video footage from a number of video review decisions from this season in order to provide greater transparency and clarity about what happens when the video assistant referee (VAR) gets involved. Howard Webb heads the body that oversees referees in the English game and he has pushed for VAR audio and video to be released following matches, but not during the games themselves.

Free Kicks

  • Retired Lion Tesho Akindele got his U.S. Open Cup championship ring.
  • Congratulations to Orlando Pride fullback Celia for graduating with her MBA over the weekend!

That’s all I have for today. Vamos Orlando!


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