Lion Links

Lion Links: 10/28/23

High morale at OCSC training ground, Tamia and Grant Hill join Orlando City ownership, MLS Cup predictions, and more.



Image courtesy of Orlando City SC / Alex Corrie

Happy Saturday, Mane Landers. My parents came to visit me here in Kentucky as the local horse race season came to a close. I didn’t win big all day at the track yesterday, but I did win on at least a few races. Hopefully, I can find a nice payout on Monday night when the Lions host Nashville SC in their first playoff match of the series. Let’s get to the links!

Orlando City Prepares for Playoffs

The boys in purple have been putting together final preparations for the 7 p.m. match at Exploria Stadium on Monday. Morale is at an all-time high heading into the postseason on the training ground. For goalkeeper Pedro Gallese, he is a first-hand witness to rookie forward Duncan McGuire’s great form, receiving shot after shot from the Creighton kid. There is no doubt in my mind that this team has the potential to do something great in the coming weeks. Hopefully, winning ways and results can keep the smiles going throughout these final training sessions.

Orlando Ownership Group Grows

The ownership group for Orlando City and the Orlando Pride grew by two as Grammy Award-nominated artist Tamia Hill and 1996 Olympic gold medal-winning USA basketball “Dream Team” member Grant Hill joined as limited partners. The pair has supported the organization for many years as season ticket members for both teams.

“We’re very excited to add both Tamia and Grant Hill as part of our ownership group for Orlando City and Orlando Pride. Over the past few years, we have gotten to know and appreciate Tamia and Grant, their passion for our clubs, and their commitment to the community,” said Mark Wilf, club owner and chairman. “Both boast professional resumes that speak for themselves and are highly accomplished individuals in the business world but, more importantly, they are incredible contributors to the greater Orlando area.”

MLS Cup First-Round Predictions

MLS pundits are taking to their respective platforms to give their opinions on what the outcomes will be for the new Best-of-3 series. According to some of them, Orlando City is expected to move on in the tournament after just two matches. Nashville could play spoiler if the team can find its Leagues Cup form, but the team relies heavily on star playmaker Hany Mukhtar, who has been in a rare scoring drought of late. Meanwhile, the Lions have lost just three games since early May, tallying 49 points along the way. With a expert shot stopper in Gallese and red-hot McGuire, the team has enough to take care of business on its own. While we love to cheer for Orlando City, don’t forget about all the other series’ around the league.

English Premier League Preview

The English Premier League is shaping up to have a different team at the top of the table. Tottenham Hotspur now has a five-point lead with a 2-1 victory at Crystal Palace as its unbeaten start to the season continued on Friday. While Chelsea started off slowly, the Blues are now unbeaten as they make the trip to Brentford. Newcastle United would have been an outright favorite against Wolves, but manager Eddie Howe’s team lost at home against Borussia Dortmund during a mid-week Champions League game and will now be without suspended Sandro Tonali. Finally, EPL fans should be sure to tune into the match at on Sunday for the 191st Manchester derby. Both clubs enter the fixture following Champions League victories as United defeated Copenhagen 1-0, while City took the lead in Group G after a 3-1 win over BSC Young Boys.

Free Kicks

  • USL League One side Central Valley Fuego FC has its new boss in USMNT legend Jermaine Jones.
  • Three potential names have reportedly risen to the top of the United States Soccer Federation’s shortlist for a new USWNT head coach.
  • Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has claimed that the Premier League should consider expanding 25-man squads or allowing the use of 10 (!) substitutes.
  • It takes a lot for a team to be issued a lifetime red card, but it happened after a brawl in the United Premiere Soccer League.
  • Carlo Ancelotti said he doesn’t know if Florentino Pérez plans to boycott El Clásico after a Barcelona director insulted Vinícius Júnior on social media. The match is set for 10 a.m.

That’s a wrap for today, folks. I hope you enjoy your weekend. I can’t wait to tune in on Monday night. Vamos Orlando!


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