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Orlando City vs. Tigres UANL, Concacaf Champions Cup: Final Score 4-2 as Lions Bounced from Tournament

It was anything but Orlando’s night in Monterrey as the Lions got trounced on the road.



Image courtesy of Orlando City SC / Mark Thor

Orlando City did not fare as well in its second trip to Estadio Universitario in San Nicolas de los Garza, Mexico, near Monterrey. Tigres pounced on the Lions early and often, routing Orlando 4-2, despite going a man down for the final 20 minutes at El Volcan. Facundo Torres scored Orlando’s first goal in Mexico and Martin Ojeda added a second one late, but Marcelo Flores, Andre-Pierre Gignac (penalty), Fernando Gorriaran, and Sebastian Cordova all struck for the hosts in a comprehensive win.

Tigres claimed the first victory in the series after the teams drew in their first three meetings and moves on to the quarterfinals of the competition.

Pareja’s lineup included Pedro Gallese in net behind a back line of Kyle Smith, Robin Jansson, David Brekalo, and Dagur Dan Thorhallsson. Wilder Cartagena lined up in central midfield with Felipe behind an attacking midfield line of Ivan Angulo, Nico Lodeiro, and Torres with Luis Muriel up top.

Orlando City got played off the pitch in the early going. Tigres had more energy and gave the Lions fits with their pressure. While the Mexican side was happy to stay back and look for counter chances a week ago, the plan was different at home. Tigres’ fullbacks and central midfielders were much quicker to jump into the attack and the wingers were happy to take on Orlando’s fullbacks. Thorhallsson and Smith struggled with their quickness much of the night, although the former was much better in the second half.

Tigres fired some early warning shots, with a header from the top of the box skipping just wide in the fifth minute and a weak header from Guido Pizarro on a set piece also going wide.

Orlando’s first chance came off a corner kick that pinged around off several heads in the box and fell to Brekalo. The defender stabbed a shot toward goal but hit it straight at goalkeeper Felipe Rodriguez.

A minute later, Tigres took the lead. Thorhallsson allowed Flores to get inside onto his right foot. He unleashed a shot through traffic that Gallese didn’t see at first, and it bounced just in front of the goalkeeper, skipping off the turf and over his outstretched arms and in to make it 1-0.

Things got worse five minutes later. Thorhallsson bumped Flores from behind in the box, and although there wasn’t much in it, referee Ivan Barton pointed to the spot. Gignac sent Gallese the wrong way and made it 2-0 in the 20th minute.

Orlando got a soft penalty of its own two minutes later. Gignac shoved Jansson during a free kick and again Barton pointed to the spot. Facundo Torres blasted an unstoppable penalty past a diving Rodriguez to make it 2-1 in the 24th minute.

Brekalo was stripped of the ball shortly after the restart and Gignac fired a shot just wide at the end of the transition opportunity. Jesús Angulo then fired just wide moments later as Tigres tried to restore momentum. The Lions then took a couple of yellow cards in quick succession as Smith and Lodeiro were cautioned.

Gallese kept the deficit at just one in the 32nd minute with an outstanding stop, however, the goal would not have counted. A free kick conceded by Thorhallsson was sent into the box and flicked on by Tigres center back Samir. It landed in front of goal and Jesús Angulo got to it first. Gallese made himself big and saved the shot, but the flag came up anyway.

That was the last meaningful opportunity for either side in the opening 45 minutes.

Tigres held the statistical advantage in possession (59.9%-40.1%), shots (7-3), and passing accuracy (87.9%-85.3%). Each team put two shots on target.

The early part of the second half consisted of some decent attacks but no clear chances. Orlando should have had a chance in the 56th minute when Muriel did well to find Torres in the box. The Uruguayan tried to dribble past two defenders in the box and was dispossessed when he might have been better served to shoot it with his first touch.

Jansson did well to get in front of a Quinones shot in the 58th minute and then Gallese made a pair of sparkling saves on the ensuing corner that didn’t count because Gignac was offside before either shot.

Thorhallsson tried to lay off a pass for Muriel in the 60th but the pass was a little behind the Colombian and he couldn’t gather it in for a shot.

Gallese stopped a weak Quinones shot in the 62nd minute but Tigres put the game away six minutes later on a play that should never have happened.

Lodeiro turned the ball over with a wayward volley attempt that was unnecessary. He mishit the ball badly and turned it over to Gignac. The Frenchman saw Gorriaran breaking at the far post and Smith wasn’t aware of him in the chaos of the transition break until he was beaten.

Gallese got his hand to the Gorriaran header. It came off his arm and hit the underside of the crossbar and appeared to stay out, but the goal was given. FOX showed only one angle and it wasn’t conclusive, but the goal was given, and Tigres had its two-goal advantage back in the 68th minute.

Orlando caught a potential break four minutes after the goal. Rafael Carioca was sent off for a dangerous challenge when his boot came up and struck Ramiro Enrique in the face. It was a clear red and the Lions had about 20 minutes to make up the two-goal difference.

However, Orlando City was never able to close the gap. Ojeda overcooked a cross to the back post to waste a promising attack in the 75th minute. A minute later, Enrique took a pass at the top of the box that skipped up on him and by the time he tried his shot, Samir had gotten a leg in between his foot and the ball.

The Lions’ chances went from slim to none in the 81st minute after another turnover launched a Tigres counter. Gallese had lost his positioning, straying too far off his line. Sebastian Cordova sent an embarrassing goal over the Peruvian to put an exclamation point on the win for the Mexican club.

After the fourth goal, the Lions fired a couple of shots over the bar and had one deflect over off Samir’s head.

The Lions eventually won a second penalty off a corner that Cartagena headed to Jansson. The defender volleyed his shot off the arm of a defender in front of goal. The penalty was obvious and second-half sub Ojeda sent the keeper the wrong way and made it 4-2 with a consolation goal in the 91st minute.

Tigres had the better looks at goal in the final seven minutes of stoppage time, but no more goals were scored, and Orlando found itself outside the competition with the road loss.

Orlando City closed the gap in the statistical disadvantage, but Tigres finished with the edge in possession (52.9%-47.1%), shots (17-12), shots on goal (8-4), and corners (8-5). The Lions held a slight advantage in passing accuracy (84.5%-83.2%).

Orlando City is out of Champions Cup but returns to MLS action on short rest again as the Lions travel to Georgia to take on Atlanta United on Sunday at 7:30 p.m.

Lion Links

Lion Links: 6/13/24

Orlando City B hosts Chattanooga FC tonight, USMNT earns draw against Brazil, MLS’ Juneteenth celebrations, and more.



Image courtesy of Orlando City SC / Mark Thor

How’s it going, Mane Landers? Between my cat finally deciding I’m worth hanging out with and reading a pair of books that have been collecting dust on my shelf, I’ve been having a pretty good week. I’m looking forward to the feast of soccer both in Orlando and abroad over the next few days as well. But for now, let’s get this Thursday started with today’s links!

Orlando City B Hosts Chattanooga FC Tonight

In an enticing midweek match tonight at 7 p.m., Orlando City B will take on Chattanooga FC at Osceola Heritage Park. If not heading to watch OCB in person, you can catch the game on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV+. The last time these two teams squared off was on May 4, with Chattanooga winning the penalty shootout for an extra point after a 1-1 draw in Tennessee. The Young Lions are coming off of a 2-2 draw with one of the league’s worst teams this season, Carolina Core FC, but winning the shootout after a late rally could give them the kind of momentum needed to take down Chattanooga. Beating one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference would be quite the statement from OCB during what’s been a middling season so far.

USMNT Draws With Brazil in Orlando

Playing in Orlando at Camping World Stadium, the United States Men’s National Team drew 1-1 against Brazil in a friendly billed as the Continental Clasico. Brazil scored first, but Matt Turner and the USMNT didn’t collapse under the pressure and earned the team’s first ever draw against the South American powerhouse. All in all, it was a much better result than the USMNT’s 5-1 loss to Colombia on Saturday. This was the USMNT’s final match until Copa America later this month. The Yanks will start their campaign against Bolivia on June 23 before playing Panama on June 27 and Uruguay on July 1.

MLS Announces Initiatives for Juneteenth

In partnership with Black Players for Change and Adidas, MLS announced some of the ways the league will be celebrating Juneteenth. Pre-match shirts acknowledging the change players can provide will be worn during warm-ups and fans can buy their own shirts as well, with a portion of the proceeds going toward organizations focused on racial equity and social justice. There will also be a campaign highlighting the connection between professional and academy players, as well as educational content across the league’s social media to raise awareness of the holiday.

Euro 2024 Kicks Off on Friday

A loaded gauntlet of summer tournaments finally begins Friday, as Germany hosts Scotland for the first match of Euro 2024. From Cristiano Ronaldo’s potential swan song to a brutal group that includes Spain, Italy, and Croatia, storylines abound for the tournament and each team brings something worth watching to the table. For Orlando City fans, defender David Brekalo was called up by Slovenia, which was drawn in a group with England, Denmark, and Serbia. I’m looking forward to seeing which underdogs prevail and which players make a name for themselves in this tournament.

2026 World Cup Schedule Revealed

The full schedule for the 2026 World Cup was unveiled, which gives a slight glimpse at the paths each host nation could take in the tournament. If the U.S. wins Group D after matches in Los Angeles and Seattle, it will stay on the West Coast for a knockout game in San Francisco before a potential round of 16 game in Seattle and quarterfinal in Los Angeles. Mexico and Canada have similar incentives to win their groups, as they will then host in their country until heading to the U.S. for the quarterfinals, should they make it that far. Here in Florida, Hard Rock Stadium in Miami will serve as the venue for four group games, a round of 32 match on July 3, a quarterfinal on July 11, and the third-place match on July 18.

Free Kicks

  • Orlando Pride Assistant Coach Yolanda Thomas was announced as a panelist for the Black Soccer Coaches’ summer symposium on July 22. She will also have a field session at the event to discuss the role of the midfield when building out of the back.

That’s all I have for you today. I hope you all have a wonderful Thursday and rest of your week!

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Lion Links

Lion Links: 6/12/24

Leagues Cup forgets Orlando’s U.S. Open Cup win, USMNT U-23 loses to Japan, NWSL expansion options, and more.



Image courtesy of Orlando City SC

Welcome to Wednesday, Mane Landers. The USMNT plays tonight in Orlando, and I hope that you have tickets. If not, we can still watch as we wait for the Orlando City and Orlando Pride matches this Saturday. On a personal note, this Friday will mark my ninth anniversary with The Mane Land. It’s been a heck of a ride, and I’m glad you’ve been there with us. Here’s to many more years to come. Let’s get to the links.

Leagues Cup Forgets Orlando’s U.S. Open Cup Win

Orlando City is playing in the Leagues Cup starting at the end of July and here’s a nice guide to Orlando’s group for the tournament. Of course, the Leagues Cup organizers want you to be pumped so that you watch and buy tickets. I think that is something we should do simply to support the club. However, I don’t think they went about promoting the competition in quite the right way. In a tweet that has since been deleted, the tournament’s social media team stated the Leagues Cup would be Orlando’s chance to win its first trophy. Did you catch the mistake? Taylor Twellman did.

Good on you, Taylor. Facundo Torres was indeed brilliant in that match, as was Benji Michel. Of course, there were others that caught the faux pas as well.

I think we should also be mentioning the USL Championships, but what do I know? Evidently, more than the Leagues Cup’s social media team.

USMNT to Honor Pulse Victims

There’s plenty of fake, corporate shows of support for Pride Month , but in general I think that the USMNT and USWNT have done a good job of being legitimate allies to the LGBTQIA+ community. Tonight, the USMNT will play a friendly against Brazil at Camping World Stadium on the anniversary of the Pulse nightclub shooting. The players will be wearing Pride jerseys to honor those who lost their lives so senselessly eight years ago.

In terms of the game, the USMNT will be without Josh Sargent for the match, and Tyler Adams will only get limited minutes if he plays, as both are coming back from injuries. Get well before the Copa America, lads.

Lions on International Duty

The United States U-23 Men’s National Team lost 2-0 to Japan in its final friendly match before the Olympics. Orlando City’s Duncan McGuire found himself on a bit of an island up top as the U.S. had difficulty moving the ball through the midfield. Hopefully, the U.S. got such play out of its system heading into the Olympics.

OCB’s Wilfredo Rivera made the most of his time playing in Puerto Rico’s World Cup qualifier against Anguilla, scoring a brace in the 8-0 victory. This win comes after a scoreless draw with El Salvador last week and Puerto Rico’s remaining group games during this round of qualifying will be next June.

Exploring NWSL Expansion Options

The NWSL will be expanding to 16 teams in 2026 with many cities vying for the next franchise. The leaders include Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Minneapolis. Atlanta, Denver, and Jacksonville are potential choices as well. If it was to be given to either Atlanta or Jacksonville they would be regional rivals for the Orlando Pride. The league is expected to make a decision by the fourth quarter of 2024.

Free Kicks

  • Congratulations to the U-15 United States Women’s National Team, which won 4-0 over Germany.
  • Did you ever have one of those dreams that was a little scary, but also absolutely hilarious? This preview of Inter Miami’s new mascot is a bit like that. To misquote Jaws: “Ever seen an Inter Miami mascot’s eyes, Chief? He’s got lifeless eyes, black eyes, like a doll’s eyes.”
  • The Cayman Islands Men’s National Football Team forfeited its match against Cuba because many of its players are on visas in the United States. If those players were to travel to Cuba, the U.S. may have canceled those visas due to travel restrictions.
  • This is one of the most ridiculous no-calls I’ve ever seen. India got royally hosed.

That will do it for today. Check back as we get you ready for the Orlando City and Orlando Pride matches this Saturday night. Vamos Orlando!

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Lion Links

Lion Links: 6/11/24

Julie Doyle up for Goal of the Week, scouting Brazil ahead of USMNT match, Valencia fans convicted of racial abuse, and more.



Dan MacDonald, The Mane Land

Happy Tuesday, everyone. After a brief break, Orlando City will be back in action when it takes on LAFC at home on Saturday. The Orlando Pride will visit a struggling North Carolina Courage side on the same day, while Orlando City B will have an oddly placed Thursday match against Chattanooga FC. With such a busy week ahead of us, it’s little surprise that we have a lot to talk over this morning. Let’s get into it.

Julie Doyle Up for Goal of the Week

Pride forward Julie Doyle has been nominated for NWSL Goal of the Week for her strike against the San Diego Wave during Friday’s 1-1 draw. Doyle opened the scoring in the 36th minute with an extremely well taken goal that came from a Barbra Banda assist. The Zambian forward made a run down the right wing and crossed for Doyle, but the ball was a little behind her and the chance looked to have gone. It hadn’t though, because Doyle contorted her body, hung out a foot, and let the momentum from the ball carry it into the back of San Diego’s net. Make sure you go vote for her to win!

Brazil Scouting Report

The United States Men’s National Team will play its final friendly before Copa America Wednesday night at Camping World Stadium in Orlando. The idea of any USMNT game is slightly nauseating after the Yanks were throttled 5-1 by Colombia on Saturday, but the fact that they’ll square off against a loaded Brazil side means things aren’t going to be any easier. While Brazil has struggled early in World Cup qualifying, it will likely run out a front three of Rodrygo, Vinicius Jr., and Raphina that’s capable of causing plenty of damage. Brazil prefers to control the ball and build from the back with short passing movements, but has no qualms about ceding possession and breaking on the counter, something that caused no shortage of issues for the U.S. against Colombia.

Valencia Fans Convicted of Racial Abuse

A trio of Valencia fans will serve eight months in prison after being convicted of racially abusing Vinicius Jr. Additionally, they are barred from entering soccer stadiums for two years and will pay for court proceedings. The convictions are the first for racism in professional soccer in Spain, and a case was opened after the fans made monkey noises and gestures during a game in May of 2023. The Brazilian forward in particular has faced racial abuse during his time playing in Spain, but he’s far from the only player, as the trial for a fan accused of abusing Inaki Williams during a match in 2020 has still yet to even begin.

The Soccer Tournament Concludes

The Soccer Tournament wrapped up Monday night with a pair of engrossing championship matches. In the women’s bracket, US Women defeated the North Carolina Courage 6-3, with Talia Dellapuerta scoring the winning goal. US Women featured United States Women’s National Team greats Heather O’Reilly and Ali Kreiger, and the team won the first women’s edition of the tournament and the $1 million prize that comes with it.

On the men’s side, former Orlando City player Nani and his team, Nani FC, fell to La Bombonera, which scored mere minutes into the match and never looked back on its way to a convincing 4-0 win. La Bombonera becomes the second team to win it all following Newtown Pride FC’s victory in last year’s inaugural tournament.

Free Kicks

That’s all I have for you this morning. Vamos Orlando!

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