Lion Links

Lion Links: 3/6/24

Orlando City draws against Tigres, Pride reportedly near deal for Barbra Banda, USWNT faces Canada tonight, and more.



Image courtesy of Orlando City SC / Mark Thor

Hello, Mane Landers. I hope all is well with you down in Florida. I was out covering high school water polo last night, and I’m hoping the Lions can pull through in the second leg against Tigres next week. There is plenty to cover today, so let’s get to the links.

Orlando City Draws Against Tigres in Concacaf Champions Cup

Orlando City and Tigres UANL played to a scoreless draw in Orlando in the first leg of their Concacaf Champions Cup round of 16 matchup. There weren’t many chances to score for either side, as it was a fairly defensive and physical match. Although neither team has a goal advantage heading into the second leg in Mexico next Tuesday, securing a clean sheet was important for the Lions. A scoreless draw was the same way the Concacaf Champions League series between Orlando and Tigres started last year, but now Orlando has the chance to oust Tigres through away goals if a tiebreaker is needed.

Orlando Pride Reportedly Close to Signing Barbra Banda

The Orlando Pride are reportedly close to signing Zambian striker Barbra Banda to a record deal. Banda plays in China with Shanghai Shengli and performed well during the Tokyo Olympics, scoring hat tricks against the Netherlands and China during the group stage. Banda has been in form, leading Zambia’s efforts to qualify for this summer’s Olympics. The 23-year-old would undoubtedly be a massive boost in the attack for the Pride after the departure of 2023 NWSL Rookie of the Year finalist Messiah Bright to Angel City FC.

USWNT Takes on Canada Tonight

The United States Women’s National Team will take on Canada in the Concacaf W Gold Cup semifinals tonight. The match will kick off at 10:15 p.m. at Snapdragon Stadium in San Diego, and you can watch the match on Paramount+. After finishing second place in its group after a stunning 2-0 loss to Mexico, the USWNT bounced back with a 3-0 shutout victory against Colombia in the quarterfinals. Canada needed extra time to beat Costa Rica 1-0, with Evelyne Viens scoring the lone goal. These two sides met last year in the 2023 SheBelieves Cup, with the USWNT winning 2-0. The winner of this match will either play Brazil or Mexico in the W Gold Cup final on Sunday.

USWNT to Play South Korea in June Friendlies

The USWNT will play South Korea in two international friendlies on June 1 and June 4. These will be the first matches with new USWNT head coach Emma Hayes at the helm. The first match will be played at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO. The two nations will then face off again at Allianz Field in St. Paul. The last time these two teams squared off was also at Allianz Field, with the USWNT winning 6-0 in a friendly in 2021. In the coming weeks, the U.S. Soccer Federation will announce the final two friendlies in July, just before the team heads off to Paris for the Olympics.

Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain Advance in Champions League

The UEFA Champions League’s round of 16 returned, with the second legs taking place to determine who will reach the quarterfinals. Bayern Munich overcame a 1-0 loss to Lazio in the first leg by cruising to a 3-0 win at home thanks to a brace from Harry Kane scoring twice. Paris Saint-Germain held on to win the second leg 2-1 against Real Sociedad and advance 4-1 on aggregate to the quarterfinals. There is more Champions League action today, as Manchester City hosts FC Copenhagen, already up 3-1 on aggregate, while Real Madrid takes on RB Leipzig with a 1-0 aggregate lead.

Free Kicks

  • The latest MLS power rankings have been released. Orlando City dropped six places to 14th after its 5-0 loss to Inter Miami this past weekend.
  • Former Lion Antonio Nocerino, who is now coaching Miami FC, is preparing his USL Championship side for its opening match against the Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC this weekend.
  • The Philadelphia Union and Pachuca played to a scoreless draw in the first leg of their Concacaf Champions Cup matchup at Subaru Park. The second leg will be played on March 12.
  • Here is the list of MLS Season Pass commentator assignments for Matchday 4 in MLS.

That will do it for me today, Mane Landers. Enjoy your Wednesday and I’ll see you next time.


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