Happy Sunday, Mane Landers. I hope you’re all doing well in your inevitable recoveries from what was a highly disappointing season for the Lions and Pride. It’s tough to pull out the silver linings, but as the cliche goes, “there’s always next year.” Sheesh.
All right, let’s do this. Here’s your Sunday serving of Lion Links. Enjoy.
Pride End Disappointing Season with 2-2 Comeback Draw vs. Reign FC
The Orlando Pride drew Reign FC 2-2 last night to close out an abysmal season in which the Pride went 4-16-4 overall and, again, failed to even come close to sniffing postseason action. Head Coach Marc Skinner’s side started off well in last night’s match, scoring first and looking impressive at times. That ended quickly. Reign FC fought back and earned a lead after goals from Darian Jenkins and Jodie Taylor, who both scored before halftime. In dramatic fashion, however, Marta found the back of the net off of a deflected corner kick that fell conveniently to her feet. She didn’t disappoint. The Pride took a consolation point from the last match of the season, and head into an off season of uncertainty, but with an obvious goal of growth in all aspects of their play.
GOAT tings. #ORLvRFC pic.twitter.com/VxS5TYWSsX— Orlando Pride (@ORLPride) October 13, 2019
Pressley Returns from Breast Cancer Treatment
Of course, the Pride’s draw was overshadowed by the return of Toni Pressley to the pitch. Pressley subbed on for Julie King in the 72nd minute to a standing ovation, marking her return after missing three months to undergo breast cancer treatment. Goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris handed the defender the captain’s armband in a show of solidarity.
“For her to hand that over to me in that moment was so special,” Pressley said. “It was a special moment and it’s something that I’ll never forget. It felt amazing to have everyone be behind me and give me that extra push to get on the field. I think it’s a testament to how wonderful our fans are. Just to have them, it means the world.”
Bigger than the game.@Toni_Deion returns to the field after her breast cancer diagnosis earlier this year. #ORLvSEA pic.twitter.com/bQWOHwP969— NWSL (@NWSL) October 13, 2019
James O’Connor Thanks Supporters
You will be missed, James...you will be missed. And guess what, he’ll miss us, too. In an open letter penned by the Lions’ former gaffer, James O’Connor thanked the supporters, and left Orlando in the classiest of manners.
I have and will always bleed purple – first as a player, then as a coach. I’d like to thank Orlando City for the opportunity to come back to lead the Lions on the pitch. While the results weren’t what we had hoped – yet, I know we were progressing toward the success we all – coaching staff, medical and performance staff, and supporters – wanted for the club. The foundation is set and, along with the vast amount of cap space now available, my hope is the club can go on to fulfill its ambitions.
I owe a special thank you to the players, and to the diehard supporters that have stood by us through thick and thin. Your commitment to this club is unwavering, and our squad knows every time they put on the jersey – they’ve got you right behind them as the 12th man.
Thank you always,
The search for O’Connor’s replacement is on. Stay tuned.
USMNT Milestones and Looking Ahead to Canada
The U.S Men’s National Team’s rout over Cuba was historic for many reasons, so where should we start? Hat trick hero Weston McKennie scored the second-fastest goal in USMNT history (Clint Dempsey has the fastest) in the first minute, but then went on to score two more before the 13th minute to score the team’s fastest ever hat trick from the start of play. Jordan Morris tied the single-match assist record, helping McKennie notch his first two goals in the opening five minutes. The team as a whole scored six in the first half alone — also a new record for the program. Up next? A young Canadian squad which shouldn’t be underestimated. Grab some intel on them now before the match is at our doorsteps. Unfortunately, the U.S. is down a man for that match with the news that Miles Robinson has had to withdraw due to a strained hamstring.
- Let’s show our support for a good cause, led by one of our very own.
This is how I feel about being half way towards our goal of 500 balls — Christopher Mueller (@cmueller1662) October 12, 2019
Check out the raffle we are starting!
Tag 3 friends, retweet this, follow my account (@cmueller1662) and donate a ball to enter
Good luck! Let’s keep making a change, together ✨#BTB pic.twitter.com/iWxyJodjdG
- Join the conversation:
Co-founder of @OrlandoCitySC, @Kay_Rawlins, invites you to the biggest conversation our community has ever had. Thursday, October 24 everyone in Central Florida can either host a table, or join a table. Let's talk about things that matter! #CFFTableTalk https://t.co/P6RFPdgtYm pic.twitter.com/hQS2qq0Rn6— WUCF TV (@WUCFTV) October 12, 2019
- New York City FC’s Anton Tinnerholm decided to stay in MLS over a move to Europe. I think the Big Apple may have charmed him and his family.
- Italy has qualified for Euro 2020 after beating Greece yesterday, 2-0.
- Speaking of Italy, Claudio Ranieri has been officially announced as Sampdoria’s newest manager.
- Iker Casillas, former Spanish No. 1, has always been a classy one, but this highlights that.
Iker Casillas sent Sergio Ramos a touching message after the defender surpassed him as the most capped Spanish player of all time— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) October 12, 2019
(via @IkerCasillas) pic.twitter.com/OwtNX3dBKH
- Manchester United looks set to break a world record with the club’s next shirt deal.
- (Insert expletive to complement this play here.)
That flip throw— NCAA Soccer (@NCAASoccer) October 12, 2019
That goal #NCAASoccer | @BroncoSportsSOC pic.twitter.com/yoVPgSKFqF
All right folks, that’s all I have for now. Enjoy the remainder of your Sunday and have an excellent week!