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Lion Links: 6/7/18

Orlando City begins U.S. Open Cup run, Pride to get three games on ESPNews, USMNT hires a GM, and much more.

MLS: U.S. Open Cup-Orlando City vs Miami United Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Hey, Mane Landers! Hope you are all having a great week and have a great rest of the week as well. We are about a week away from the World Cup in Russia and personally I am very excited. With my beloved Pittsburgh Pirates starting their usual decline and the NBA Finals and NHL Finals basically over, soccer is the sport to watch for me. Anyway, let’s get into the Links for today.

Orlando City Defeats Miami United FC. 3-0

Orlando City got its U.S. Open Cup run started with a bang, defeating NPSL side Miami United FC, 3-0. The game got off to a slow start for both teams but Stéfano Pinho opened the scoring in the 37th minute, assisted by RJ Allen. The Lions dominated from the beginning and came out of the gates hot in the second half which led to numerous chances. Dillon Powers netted his first goal in all competitions for Orlando in the 53rd minute while Victor PC Giro made the score 3-0 on a goal nine minutes later. Both goals were assisted by Sacha Kljestan. The game got chippy as the second half continued and Orlando City pulled out the 3-0 victory to advance to the fifth round of the USOC. Orlando City will wait for its fifth round opponent and move back to MLS action on Saturday against Vancouver Whitecaps.

Lions Look to Get Back on Track On Road Trip

While mired in a losing streak, Orlando City has a lot of traveling to do in the next two weeks. Including last night’s match against Miami United, the Lions have to travel nearly 8,000 miles from Miami to Vancouver to Montreal before returning home to Orlando City Stadium on June 23.

“These trips are fun,” midfielder Sacha Kljestan said before training Tuesday. “When you get away for a little bit you go to a few cool cities, you usually have one or two nights on your own to get out and get some dinner and take off the Orlando City gear and put on some normal clothes and just be bonding. It’ll be good for us.”

Orlando will take the entire roster to Vancouver and Montreal, creating good signs for players who have been hindered with injuries such as Lamine Sané and Jonathan Spector. Amro Tarek also returned to the club last night for the first time since the 2-1 loss to Toronto FC. Many players and the coaching staff believe that a strong road trip can give Orlando a good push to get back into the playoff contention discussion. The team has been streaky this season, but a win-streak right now would be the perfect time for the Lions to gain much needed confidence back heading into the back part of the season.

Three Orlando Pride Matches to Air Nationally on ESPNews

The NSWL announced that ESPN will broadcast six NWSL matches throughout the remainder of the season with one game a week. Each game will replace the original start time and be played in the evening, replacing the Lifetime broadcast.

The Orlando Pride are scheduled on ESPNews against the Washington Spirit twice and Utah Royals FC. The Pride will play the Spirit on June 23 and July 7. Orlando will play Utah Royals FC on July 14 on ESPNews to wrap up their stint on ESPN. All three of these games will be available for viewing on the ESPN app, with a pregame show before each match covering NWSL news and analysis. This is big news for the NWSL as the league has not aired live on ESPN since 2014 — before the Orlando Pride were even founded.

Earnie Stewart Named USMNT General Manager

Philadelphia Union sporting director Earnie Stewart was officially announced as the USMNT general manager on Wednesday. Stewart takes over the position that was just created and will begin the search for the next USMNT head coach. The position was created after the crushing loss to Trinidad and Tobago to help find a better method to fill the head coach position.

Stewart has familiarity with the USMNT, making 101 appearances for the squad while playing in three World Cups for the U.S. He immediately went to front office work after his playing days, starting as a technical director for Dutch Club VVV Venlo and ending up as the Philadelphia Union’s sporting director in 2015 after numerous stints with other clubs.

It will be interesting to see how Stewart starts this new era for USMNT soccer and hopefully lead the club into a bright future.

U.S. U-17 Women Throttle Bermuda

The United States U-17 women booked a spot in the Concacaf championship semifinals with a 10-1 demolition of Bermuda on Wednesday. The tournament resumed in Bradenton, FL, after being pulled out of Nicaragua earlier this year but the U.S. didn’t miss a beat. Eight different players scored for the U.S., with Maya Doms and Sunshine Montes each netting a brace. The U.S. showed good balance, scoring five goals in each half. The Yanks will face Canada on Friday in the final group play match.

Free Kicks
  • The Ali Krieger Sports Complex has its Grand Opening this weekend.
  • Rog from Men in Blazers is officially an American.

Rog is now an American. It took four generations and over 30 years of dreaming. But he is now as American as Barbecue, Freedom, and Neil Diamond. This film is one new immigrant's story. A bit like Scarface.

Posted by Men In Blazers on Wednesday, June 6, 2018

After the win last night, I have optimism that the victory over Miami United FC can push Orlando back in the right direction and the Lions must use that momentum against Vancouver this weekend. The Lions have been streaky, but lets hope they get on the right side of a win streak. Have a great rest of your day and week! Cheers!