Lion Links: 5/20/23
Orlando City travels to Inter Miami, Pride host top-ranked Washington Spirit, OCB draws Atlanta United 2, and more.
You know what day it is. You have had this one circled on the calendar for months. Are you headed south already towards Miami? Or are you staying put and supporting the Pride? Unfortunately, I live too far north to make the rivalry match but I will be watching from afar.
Speaking of watching things, my wife and I just watched Fast X last night. If you’re a fan of explosions and Jason Momoa, then Vin Diesel really made a movie for you. I’m not the biggest fan of the series after the first two, but this one wasn’t half bad. I’m actually looking forward to the next movie for once. (Don’t forget to sit through those credits if you want the next teaser.) But enough about fast cars, let’s dive into today’s links because we have matches upon us!
Lions Travel to Fort Lauderdale
Orlando City enters tonight’s match against Inter Miami CF with a bitter taste following a midweek draw at the death against New York City FC. The match was one that saw forward Ercan Kara score his third goal in league play and fourth of the year, as he added another in the Concacaf Champions League. Goalkeeper Pedro Gallese matched his season high in saves and earned Team of the Matchday honors. Additionally, defender Kyle Smith became the third Lion in the MLS era to reach 120 appearances in all competitions, joining Robin Jansson and former Lion Chris Mueller at the milestone.
Inter Miami is also eager to correct its own midweek mistakes following a 2-1 road loss to Nashville SC on Wednesday in which the team played “the poorest first half” of the season according to Head Coach Phil Neville. A large home contingent is expected for the match and will surely push the Herons forward. Inter Miami is averaging 17,061 fans through six games at 18,000-seat capacity DRV PNK Stadium this season, which is an increase of 35% from last year.
“We lost, and we were mad, but this group has a good mentality and now we have an important game against our rival,” Miami forward Leo Campana said. “We need to get those three points. I hope the stadium will be packed. Our fans will be really important for this game.”
Orlando Pride Look to Continue Unbeaten Run
The Pride head into today’s match against the Washington Spirit on a three-game unbeaten run in league play. The streak began at the end of April with a road win against the San Diego Wave before heading home to take a 1-0 shutout win over Racing Louisville. Most recently, the team battled to a scoreless draw at Gotham, where goalkeeper Anna Moorhouse recorded her second-consecutive clean sheet. The player to watch will be Brazilian forward Adriana, who currently leads the league with 17 chances created, and she leads the club with nine of her 15 shots on target in her seven matches. For the Washington Spirit, the team is in top form and leading the NWSL power rankings thanks to the efforts of Trinity Rodman, Ashley Sanchez, and Ashley Hatch.
Orlando City B Draws Atlanta United 2
Last night, the Young Lions of OCB squared off against Atlanta United 2 at Osceola County Stadium. The visitors struck first in the sixth minute to take an early lead and extended the lead to 2-0 in the 51st from the penalty spot. Jack Lynn scored the first for the Lions a minute later and again in the 68th minute to secure the 2-2 draw. In the end, it was Atlanta that walked away with the extra point from the shootout, 5-4.
OCSC Academy Performs Well at MLS NEXT Flex Tournament
The U-15 and U-17 academy Lions recently traveled to take part in the MLS NEXT Flex tournament. The U-17s grabbed a 3-0 win over Albion San Diego following two losses. The U-17s take on Atlanta United in league play today with a chance to clinch their division with a win. For the U-15s, the tournament was much more successful. They won all three of their matches and clinched a spot in the MLS NEXT Cup playoffs. The U-15 Lions captured a 3-1 victory over FC Dallas, a 6-0 win against SC Del Sol, and a 1-0 win over CF Montréal. The U-15s clinched their division with a win last weekend and will also face off against Atlanta United in league play today.
- Orlando City midfielder César Araújo has been fined for simulation in the 25th minute and 45th+1 minute of Wednesday’s match against NYCFC.
- Minnesota United midfielder Robin Lod has suffered a meniscus tear in his right knee.
- The Young Yanks of the USMNT U-20s are ready for Ecuador and the U-20 World Cup.
- The USMNT just added the latest striker to the pool. Check out where to catch Folarin Balogun and the rest of the Yanks this weekend.
- If you’re wondering how soccer leagues around the world are shaping out, here is what is left to play for abroad.
- Did you know Arsenal have a one-year old training ground dog named Win?
- Juventus will take part in a trial for alleged irregularities in the club’s payments to players as well as “undue relationships” with player’s agents and other clubs.
- Defender Phil Jones will leave Manchester United this summer after 12 years at Old Trafford amid his lack of playing time. He leaves having played 229 games for the club, scoring six goals.
That’s all for today. If you’re headed to Fort Lauderdale remember to be civil, stay hydrated, and out-class the opponents in the stands. Hopefully, the boys will do their part on the pitch to shut up all the haters. Vamos Orlando!