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Lion Links: 2/22/17

Tickets selling fast, Pride openers announced, a look at two-striker success, Spector speaks, and more.

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MLS: LA Galaxy at Orlando City SC Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Good Wednesday morning, Orlando.

We’ve reached the middle of another week, one that sees us just a week and a half away from the March 5 season opener. This off-season has seemed to drag on forever, but the finish line is now in our sights. We’ll continue to bring you the news as the Lions continue to work out the kinks in preseason, starting with today’s newest batch of Lion Links.

2017 Single-Game Tickets Now Available

Orlando City single-game tickets are now available for 2017 home matches. Tickets hit the open market yesterday, and will be a bit harder to come by this season in a 25,500-seat stadium than they were in the cavernous Camping World Stadium the past two seasons. Demand is high, so don’t wait too long if you want to reserve some seats in the fantastic new digs without battling the secondary market later. And when I say don’t wait too long, I mean don’t wait at all, as Orlando City announced the home opener, as well as the April 15 bout vs. LA Galaxy are both already sold out of single-game tickets, although a few flex packs are still available that will get you into the Galaxy match.

Pride Release Part of 2017 Schedule

Speaking of that new stadium, the Pride announced their home and road openers for the upcoming year on Tuesday, and will make their debut at the club’s new home on Saturday, April 22 against the Washington Spirit. Their season-opening match will take place in Portland one week earlier, just as it did last year.

Fear the Forward Pairing

MLS soccer analyst Matt Doyle took a look at how the two-forward approach has become en vogue in the league recently. This is relevant to Orlando City, of course, because Head Coach Jason Kreis prefers to run a two-forward system as opposed to the lone-forward 4-2-3-1 that the Lions operated out of under former boss Adrian Heath.

Doyle mentions hybrid forwards in his breakdown, which the Lions seem to have in Carlos Rivas, who got the start up top next to pure striker Cyle Larin in last weekend’s scrimmage vs. Toronto. As a player with experience on the wing and up top, Rivas has the potential to be very dangerous if he and Larin develop chemistry as partners leading the line, which we saw was very much still a work in progress against TFC. The Lions will try to emulate the success that other teams who’ve employed two strikers recently — such as Toronto and Seattle — have seen.

Spector Joins ESPN FC

Orlando City center back Jonathan Spector joined ESPN FC’s Max & Herc podcast ahead of the 2017 season. A good first chance to hear one of the new Lions before his debut in purple. Listen here.

USWNT Planning Summer Friendly?

Reports out of Norway indicate that the U.S. Women’s National Team may be lining up a June friendly against Norway. If it pans out, the exhibition would serve as a pre-Euro 2017 tuneup for Norway, and it would be the USWNT’s first away friendly in over two years. Because of the USWNT’s drawing power domestically, the American women have featured exclusively on home soil over that two-year stretch in friendly matches. This could be a nice chance to get away experience in before another major competition.

That’ll do it for today, Mane Landers. Before we depart, enjoy some more sweet aerial footage of the new stadium courtesy of the club. Beautiful as it looks now, it’ll be even prettier when it’s packed to capacity a week from Sunday.