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Lion Links: 3/18/18

Pigeons vs. Lions, Youth Academy updates, a worthy Man of the Match selection, and more.

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MLS: Orlando City SC at New York City FC Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Greetings, Mane Landers, happy Sunday. I don’t know about you folks, but I’ve been left with a bitter taste in my mouth after watching yesterday’s 2-0 loss in Yankee Stadium. The season is a marathon though, and patience is the key to our sanity as this team obviously still needs some time to gel. At least some of those pieces are starting to see the field.

Luckily, I’ve got plenty of Lion Links to distract you in the meantime:

Orlando City Drops First Road Match

It was a textbook road match for about an hour, with Orlando City satisfied to stay organized, prevent chances, and try to hit on the counter. But unfortunately the Lions lacked sharpness in the final third and two second-half turnovers caused things to unravel in the game’s last half hour in a 2-0 road loss at New York City FC.

And, later today, Guilherme Torres will have our five takeaways from the match.

Lions and Pigeons Have Had Contrasting Fortunes

New York City FC and Orlando City entered MLS together in 2015, but NYCFC is one of the favorites in the East Coast in 2018 and has made the playoffs the last two years, while the Lions underwent a huge off-season overhaul. But Dylan Butler at writes that the two teams at opposite ends of the conference table were locked in a nervy duel before some mistakes undid the visitors.

“It was really difficult, and it was difficult for us to find the space to play and to express ourselves,” Vieira said. “That’s why this game makes me more happy than the other two games we played so far, because this one we keep our organization, our discipline on the field and we waited for the right time. When they make their mistake, we take our chances.”

Young Lions Continue to Show Their Stuff

The Orlando City youth team seasons continued on Saturday with the U-15, U-16/17, and U-18/19 teams splitting three matches against Boca United FC. The boys will be back in action today at 2:30 p.m. as they face off against the Jacksonville Armada FC Pro Academy teams. The youth teams have faced a rigorous schedule this year already, having previously played against Atlanta United, Concorde Fire, and Charlotte Soccer Academy. Keep an eye on these lads as they bloom into tomorrow’s stars, and take a look at their results from yesterday:

Do you have a future Lion in your home den? Follow this link and thank me later.

Lennart Thy Named Man of the Match Despite Absence

In a show of respect for the opposition’s star striker, PSV Eindhoven named Lennart Thy as Man of the Match despite Thy’s absence due to him donating blood to assist in the treatment of an acute leukemia patient. The young mascots that accompanied the players onto the field wore t-shirts that read “Follow Lennart, become a stem cell donor” on both sides, and the supporters of both sides broke into applause early on in the match as a sign of support. Thy first underwent this endeavor seven years ago, and has since decided to continue his heroic donations. We could use more people like Lennart Thy.

Free Kicks
  • Former Lion Tommy Redding saw his first action in a New York Red Bulls uniform yesterday, playing with Red Bulls II and notching a win with the side. Congratulations, Tommy. We miss you!
  • Tying a match up in stoppage time is exciting. Then there’s tying it up in the 97th minute. That’s just what D.C. United did yesterday as Luciano Acosta fired them to a last-gasp draw against the Houston Dynamo.
  • Former Lion Giles Barnes and American legend Landon Donovan received quite the welcome at Estadio Leon this weekend:
  • And finally, one last brilliant meme by the official twitter account of the Vancouver Whitecaps that all of us Orlando City supporters can relate to...because, you know, we’re in Orlando. Welcome to the club, Vancouver.

To round it all out, Mane Landers, take a look outside. It’s a beautiful Florida day: the sun is shining and the skies are clear. Pop your allergy pills, puff away with your nasal sprays, and step outside to enjoy this gorgeous Sunday. Remember that as every day passes, the Lions are settling in more and more and gelling better as a team. With time, City could be flying high. It’s important that we as supporters remain patient when the club needs it from us most.

Have a great week, Mane Landers.