Lion Links

Lion Links: 5/7/24

Barbra Banda up for NWSL Goal of the Week, Americans in midweek action, Champions League preview, and more.



Image courtesy of Orlando Pride / Jeremy Reper

Happy Tuesday, everyone. It was a mixed bag for Orlando’s teams over the weekend, as Orlando City B drew 1-1 with Chattanooga FC and lost the subsequent shootout, Orlando City lost 1-0 to FC Cincinnati, and the Orlando Pride won 1-0 over Racing Louisville. As usual, we have a lot to talk through this morning, so let’s dig into the links.

Barbra Banda Up for Goal of the Week

Orlando Pride forward Barbra Banda has been nominated for the NWSL Goal of the Week for her strike in the 77th minute against the North Carolina Courage last Wednesday. Banda controlled the ball off a throw-in, turned, and drove across the box before slotting a low shot past Casey Murphy for the Pride’s fourth and final goal of the game. She scored twice in that game and scored again in Sunday’s win over Racing Louisville. Banda now has four goals in four games — including at least one in each of her three starts since appearing off the bench in her debut — and shows no sign of slowing down. Make sure you go vote for her to win this week’s award!

Americans in Midweek Action

As usual, there are a number of Americans playing games this week, so make sure you mark down any that you want to tune in for. Wednesday has Brandon Vazquez and Monterrey traveling to El Volcan to take on Tigres in the quarterfinals of the Clausura. Moving to Friday, Tanner Tessmann, Gianluca Busio, and Venezia have a chance to gain promotion to Serie A if they beat Spezia and Como loses. On the other side of things, former Lion Nicholas Gioacchini and Como play Cosenza, and will secure automatic promotion as long as they don’t have a worse result than Venezia.

UEFA Champions League Preview

The UEFA Champions League continues this week with the second legs of the two semifinal matchups. In this afternoon’s game, Paris Saint-Germain coach Luis Enrique has said that even Kylian Mbappe will have to work hard defensively if his team is going to progress to the final. Borussia Dortmund leads that tie 1-0, and will need to rely on a defense that has kept five clean sheets in this year’s tournament. However, the German club has a concerning record away from home, where it has lost nine of its last 11 games. In tomorrow’s game between Bayern Munich and Real Madrid, this season’s La Liga winner will hope its finishing prowess continues from the first leg, when it turned two chances into two goals.

European Transfer Rumor Roundup

With European seasons drawing to a close, the transfer rumor mill is starting to heat up, which means there are several items worth discussing today. First, Manchester United will reportedly face competition to sign Crystal Palace star Michael Olise. Chelsea and PSG are said to also be interested in signing the Frenchman, who was instrumental in his side’s 4-0 drubbing of the Red Devils yesterday. Staying in the Premier League, Virgil van Dijk has said he intends to be part of the transition following Jurgen Klopp’s departure from Liverpool, confirming that he does not intend to leave in the summer. Elsewhere, Bayern Munich is said to have agreed to personal terms with AC Milan’s Theo Hernandez. David Moyes has confirmed he will leave West Ham at the end of the season, with reports suggesting that the Hammers have reached an agreement with Julen Lopetegui to be the team’s new manager.

Free Kicks

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


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