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Lion Links: 4/16/17

Orlando City wins at home again, the Pride fall at Portland, Lions succeeding in the community, the MLS All-Stars will face Real Madrid, and more.

Nick Leyva, The Mane Land

Happy Easter, Mane Landers! As President Donald Trump once said, “we’re gonna win so much it'll make your head spin.” Now, most people assume he was talking about our country and its affairs, but I think maybe he was actually making a bold prediction about Orlando City. Whether you agree with Trump’s ideology or not, something we can all agree on is that the Lions are on fire this season.

I know it's easy to get carried away but when you really think about what's been happening this season, you realize it truly is exciting. The Lions currently sit among the top teams in the Eastern Conference with no Kaká, games in hand, and probably the best part is that it's the defense that is carrying the team. Again, we can’t shouldn’t get carried away, but it should be a great season. Anyway, here’s what happened in the world of Orlando soccer yesterday.

Orlando City Defeats LA Galaxy 2-1 at Home

Will Johnson and Cyle Larin provided the scoring and Joe Bendik and the back line did another outstanding job against a talented Galaxy side to keep the Lions perfect at home this season. There is plenty to get to about the game, so here’s what you need to know:

Check back later today for more fallout from yesterday’s win, including our five takeaways from the match and a photo gallery.

Orlando Pride Lose in Their Season Opener 2-0 Away to the Portland Thorns

Things didn’t go as smoothly for the women. The Pride went to the toughest road venue in the NWSL and will come home with no points from their season-opening trip to Providence Park. The Thorns defeated the Pride, 2-0, with a Nadia Nadim penalty and a Christine Sinclair goal on either side of halftime. The Pride had opportunities but did not cash in on them. The women will get their turn in Orlando City Stadium next Saturday against the Washington Spirit.

Orlando City Recognized For Impact in the Community

It seems every week national media outlets are publishing something about Orlando City — other than game recaps, of course. Most of the recent talk has been about the club’s fantastic new stadium. This time, FOX Sports has done an article on how well the Lions have done as an expansion club. The club’s success has really seemed to surprise people, mostly because there have been two notable MLS expansion failures from Florida. Many thought OSCS was just another train wreck waiting to happen. It feels good to know that we, the fan base, have proved all of those know-it-all MLS analysts wrong.

MLS All-Stars Will Take on Real Madrid

In most American major sports leagues there is a lot of debate about all-star games. They have been criticized for lacking importance and quality of play. For the most part, Major League Soccer has done a good job at conquering these problems. The game doesn't have any importance, but it is fairly competitive and definitely has great quality of play. This is because we have our best players come together as one and going up against one of Europe’s best clubs. This year, the challenger will be the Spanish giants, Real Madrid. The game will take place Aug. 2 at Soldier Field in Chicago. Barring any injuries, we should be able to see some of the world’s best players, such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, and Sergio Ramos take on the MLS All-stars — which, based on current form, would possibly include our own Jonathan Spector, Cyle Larin, and Joe Bendik.

Villa’s Strike Reminiscent of Other Long-Range Goals

New York City FC took on the Philadelphia Union Friday night, David Villa absolutely humiliated last year’s All-Star goalkeeper, Andre Blake, with a 54-yard strike. The strike initiated a lot of buzz on twitter while also prompting FourFourTwo to compile an article of seven other long-range wonderstrikes.

That's it for today’s Lion Links. I hope you enjoyed it. I certainly enjoyed the victory yesterday. It was kind of sad to see the Pride lose after an off-season full of optimism but it's just the first game and Marta is on the way. Go Lions!