Lion Links

Lion Links: 7/5/24

Orlando City picking up momentum, Orlando Pride gear up for big match, Euro quarterfinals begin today, and more.

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Image courtesy of Orlando City SC / Mark Thor

Happy Friday! I hope you all had a wonderful Fourth of July as we shift gears and get ready for a weekend filled with Orlando soccer. For those of you that took today off as well to parlay the holiday into a four-day weekend, know that I envy you but do wish you a relaxing next few days. Let’s get this Friday started with today’s links!

Orlando City Picks Up Momentum in Midweek Win

It’s been a rollercoaster of a season for Orlando City so far, but the Lions are riding high after a crucial win on the road against Toronto FC. Designated Player Martin Ojeda bagged his third goal of the season and the defense overcame an early disaster to secure victory. Last year, July was the start of a stretch that included 11 wins in the final 15 games of the season. While there seems to be a few more wrinkles to iron out before a similar finish can be expected, Wednesday’s win is a step in the right direction. The next step will be getting a win Saturday against a D.C. United side that is winless in its past 10 games.

Orlando Pride Prepare for Showdown in Kansas City

In arguably the most anticipated match of the NWSL season so far, the Orlando Pride will take on the Kansas City Current Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Both teams are undefeated through 15 games and tied at the top of the table in both points and goal difference. The Current lead the league with 39 goals, while the Pride’s 11 conceded goals are the fewest in the league. While the NWSL Shield implications are obvious in this one, Orlando Pride Head Coach Seb Hines spoke on how the team isn’t letting the attention on this match distract from preparations. He also talked about how the Pride will need to do well in transition against Kansas City and about Anna Moorhouse’s performance in goal this season.

African Players Excelling in the NWSL

One of the biggest storylines of the recent NWSL off-season was the addition of many talented African players to the league, and they’ve made an incredible impact so far this season. Orlando Pride forward Barbra Banda and Kansas City Current forward Temwa Chawinga have been major reasons why their teams are undefeated this season, and they’re tied for the NWSL Golden Boot lead on 11 goals each. Chawinga currently has the tiebreaker with one more assist, but Banda has played in four fewer games.

Elsewhere, Bay FC forwards Racheal Kundananji and Asisat Oshoala have been helping the club turn its season around before they depart for the Olympics. Princess Marfo has also played a part in Bay FC’s rise up the table, and Houston Dash defender Michelle Alozie was also noted as one of the top African women’s soccer players in the world.

Euro 2024 Quarterfinals Kick Off Today

Only eight teams remain in this year’s Euros and today’s action features the kind of matchups that make this tournament so much fun to watch. The quarterfinals start with a heavyweight bout between Spain and Germany, arguably the two best teams of the tournament up to this point. The match also features some of the game’s youngest stars, as the Spanish trio of Pedri, Nico Williams, and 16-year-old phenom Lamine Yasal goes up against Germany’s Jamal Musiala and Florian Wirtz.

The later game will be between France and Portugal, with plenty of attention on Kylian Mbappe and Cristiano Ronaldo. Neither star, nor their respective teams, have been playing at their best this tournament, which makes today’s match an opportunity for either side to find its rhythm before the semifinals.

Free Kicks

  • The Current will be without forward Alex Pfeiffer for the rest of the 2024 season after suffering an ACL injury.

That’s all I have for you today. I hope you all have a fantastic Friday and rest of your weekend!

1 Comment

  1. Zontar

    July 5, 2024 at 9:52 am

    Marcus – Good find on the Tab Ramos article. I highly recommend it to anybody concerned about the USMNT.

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