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Lion Links: 10/5/18

Orlando City must adapt, USWNT thrashes Mexico, Lions in the community, and much more!

Soccer: 2018 CONCACAF Women’s Championship-USA at Mexico Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

How’s it going, Mane Landers? It’s Friday so let your hair down and relax because the work week is nearly over. We had United States Women’s National Team last night, so rest and recuperate today before a weekend filled with Orlando City soccer and even more USWNT action. Today is the last day of the 13-day stretch of not seeing the Lions, so brace yourself for whatever awaits tomorrow. But for now let’s get to some of the soccer news you may have missed from a very busy Thursday.

Lions Still Struggling to Adapt

Remember back in March when a new-look Orlando City team started the season sluggish before going on a six-game win streak? It’s like that now for the Lions after a coaching change in the middle of the season forced everyone to adapt to a new system and ideology. Except this time there is no miraculous winning streak. It’s been tough for the Lions to get on the same page since James O’Connor took over and injuries have done no favors in finding stability. With this season’s focus shifting to 2019, the players and O’Connor are determined to right the ship by then.

“When there’s this much change in the course of a season, it’s difficult to grind through those challenges,” Johnson said. “It’ll be fun to see how [O’Connor] continues to grow now that he has seen this group for a while now and how he can fix us and turn us into a winning team.”

Learning More About Orlando’s Goalkeeping Coach

Thabane Sutu started his goalkeeping career in Lesotho and has now found his way to Orlando City to serve as the club’s goalkeeping coach. A member of James O’Connor’s staff at Louisville FC earlier this year, Sutu discusses what his reaction was when O’Connor asked him to head to Florida, his thoughts on Orlando City’s goalkeeping unit, and his appreciation for the supporters filling Orlando City Stadium despite the results.

Morgan Scores Twice as USWNT Dismantles Mexico

The USWNT started its road to France in the best way possible with a dominant 6-0 victory over Mexico last night. Despite struggling this year in the NWSL, Orlando Pride forward Alex Morgan has been able to dial it up against Mexico as she scored her fifth and sixth goals against the rival country this year in just three meetings. Megan Rapinoe also impressed with a brace of her own, scoring in just the third minute of the game, and adding an assist on Morgan’s first goal.

Julie Ertz and Tobin Heath also scored in what is shaping up to be an exciting offense for the U.S. The team will continue its qualifying process Sunday night when it takes on Panama at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Emily Van Egmond Jets Back to Newcastle

After missing out on the playoffs with the Orlando Pride, midfielder Emily Van Egmond is being loaned to the Newcastle Jets for the upcoming Westfield W-League season in Australia. The Matilda helped Newcastle reach the semifinals last year and will look to do that and more when she returns for 2019.

“I love being pack in Newcastle and playing with the Jets, I’ve settled right back in after being away and can’t wait to get back out on the pitch for our first game in just over a month.” van Egmond said Thursday.

Free Kicks
  • In case you missed it, Orlando City academy players helped out in the community by working with the Orlando Union Rescue Mission to paint and touch up a homeless shelter.
  • The much anticipated second half of the MLS 22 Under 22 list was revealed yesterday with Alphonso Davies and Tyler Adams taking the first and second spots, respectively. No Lions made the list but it was revealed that Josué Colmán at least cracked the top 30.
  • FC Dallas will be without forward Cristian Colman for the rest of the season after the 24-year-old Paraguayan international tore his ACL.
  • The Brazilian Football Federation’s headquarters got a new look that I’m sure Pride fans can all approve of.
  • As the USWNT continues through qualifying, here’s a list of things to keep an eye out for during the month with the team.
  • Thankfully he is okay, but Napoli’s Arkadiusz Milik was robbed at gunpoint while driving home from his team’s big win against Liverpool.
  • If you read my links last Friday, you would’ve known that Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech was featured in FIFA 19 with his headgear on during contract talks. Well, it looks like the folks at EA Sports listened because their first patch for the game not only included the removal of the headgear, but added in a classy tie as well.

That’s all from me folks. I hope you enjoy your day before we go back to whatever result awaits us tomorrow. Have a great Friday!