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Lion Links: 3/30/18

Pride sign replacement players, Sané’s excitement, Generation Adidas Cup results, and much more.

Australia v Portugal - Algarve Cup 3rd Place Playoff Photo by Octavio Passos/Getty Images

What’s up, Mane Landers? The weekend is almost upon us and we have lots of soccer on the menu. Tomorrow will be the first time in 2018 that both the Pride and Orlando City play on the same day, so make sure to get lots of rest today. But before you finish up your work week, enjoy some links on what’s going on in the soccer world!

Pride Select Replacement Players

As anyone who follows women’s soccer can tell you, 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifying is underway. Orlando Pride players Marta, Monica, and Poliana will all be gone for the majority of April to help Brazil win the 2018 Copa América Femenina to qualify. To replace them in the coming weeks, the Orlando Pride have signed Abby Elinski, Christine Creighton, and Nàdia Gomes. Both Elinski and Gomes were a part of the 2018 NWSL College Draft class and all three acquisitions will give a nice injection of talent into the team along with recently signed UCF product Bridget Callahan.

Lamine Sané Excited for Orlando Home Debut

While the biggest storyline in Orlando City’s match against the New York Red Bulls tomorrow afternoon will be on midfielder Sacha Kljestan, defender Lamine Sané will be someone fans should keep their eyes on. Starting in place of the injured Jonathan Spector, Sané is excited to take the field with Orlando’s supporters at his back for the first time.

“I’m so excited to play Saturday,” Sané said. “For me, it’s my first game at home. [It’s been] a long time since I played 90 minutes in front of my supporters and I’m so excited.”

Sané will be starting as center back alongside Amro Tarek in what will hopefully be a winning pair for the Lions as they hunt their first win of the season.

New Pride Players Reflect on Playing First Home Game

The five new players who started for the Orlando Pride in their season-opening draw with Utah Royals FC got their first taste of playing in Orlando City Stadium. The Pride led the NWSL in attendance in the opening week after eclipsing 9,000 fans; no other team had attendance over 6,000. It was a nice welcome for the new players, and center back Shelina Zadorsky felt at home in her first Pride match.

“Yeah, it was special, for sure. Just walking through that tunnel, I just couldn’t stop smiling,” Zadorsky said after the match. “I had a huge smile on my face, whereas usually I’m pretty serious, I just get the straight face going, but I think it just feels like home to me. I think that the vibes here and the energy and the professionalism of this club really sets the standard for our league. I was just so pumped to get out there and play with these girls.”

Orlando City Partners With Challenger Sports

This summer, expect youth soccer camps to be coming to Central Florida after Orlando City announced a partnership with Challenger Sports. A total of nine camps will be held from June 5 to Aug. 10 in camps open to both boys and girls, aged 5 to 16. New to this year’s camps will be an app where participants can try skill challenges at home and receive personalized coaching straight from their phone.

Orlando’s U-17 Team Falls to Tigres in GA Cup

In the Generation Adidas Cup in Austin, TX, Orlando City’s U-17 squad lost 3-0 to Tigres yesterday. It was a disappointing outing for the young Lions but hopefully they can pull together and come back strong in their final game of the GA Cup against the Columbus Crew U-17s.

Orlando’s Favorite Couple Plays the Newlywed Game

Dom Dwyer and Sydney Leroux sat down with Fox reporter Adam Shadoff to test their compatibility in a rendition of the newlywed game. What’s Dwyer’s favorite color? What food is Leroux’s? Who has better style? Check out the video below for all the answers and much more.

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