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Lion Links: 10/5/19

Orlando City’s defensive accolades, Pride host Spirit, OCB’s final game, and more.

MLS: Orlando City SC at FC Cincinnati Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

How’s it going, Mane Landers? The weekend is finally upon us and it is going to be a fun one with tons of soccer action to enjoy. Both Orlando City and Orlando City B close out their seasons so enjoy them while you still can. But for now, let’s get to some links from around the soccer world to help get your weekend started off right.

Orlando City Prepares for Final Game of 2019

The Lions will welcome the Chicago Fire to Exploria Stadium tomorrow afternoon in their last game of 2019. Both teams are eliminated from the playoffs but are playing for solid finishes to the season after draws last week. Orlando’s offense will be worth watching as Nani is just one assist away from breaking the club’s single-season assist record of 10. But the defense deserves some praise as well with a new season record in fewest goals conceded (barring something crazy) thanks to a team effort to have each other’s backs on defense. Although the playoffs are out of reach, Head Coach James O’Connor is focused on getting a strong performance from his team in front of the home crowd.

“We want to finish the season on a positive. I think trying to win the game becomes really important for everyone so I think that’s definitely the focus,” Head Coach James O’Connor said. “For us it’s making sure that we go out and finish it [the season] off in a way that we can have some pride.”

Pride Look to Quiet Surging Spirit

In their first of a two-game home stand to end the season, the Orlando Pride take on the Washington Spirit tonight at 5 p.m. ET. The Pride will be without five international players for the match but the Spirit will also be without Rose Lavelle, Andi Sullivan, and Mallory Pugh. Despite missing key players, Head Coach Marc Skinner believes it will be a great opportunity for players.

“I’d like the players to see it as an opportunity rather than a pressure situation,” Skinner said. “I want them to feel a little of the pressure, but I want them to perform. To perform when you’ve not played for awhile, you have to really absorb the moment.”

The Spirit will be a tough opponent and their latest result was a convincing 2-1 victory against the North Carolina Courage. The biggest obstacle for the Pride may be former Pride goalkeeeper Aubrey Bledsoe who has been playing incredibly well this season with 80 saves and eight shutouts.

Orlando City B Closes Out 2019 Season

OCB is set to play its last game of a rough 2019 season tonight at 7 p.m. ET against the Richmond Kickers. Although the Young Lions will finish the season in last place, there is some excitement surrounding the team after it won on the road last week against Greenville Triumph SC. The two teams have faced off twice this season, with each winning at home. The Young Lions will be on the road tonight and will lean on their offensive players for another win to end the season.

USWNT to Finish Victory Tour

Tomorrow night will mark the last game of the United States Women’s National Team’s Victory Tour after winning the FIFA Women’s World Cup this summer. The USWNT will face Korea Republic again in Chicago, IL after a 2-0 win on Thursday. That win was Head Coach Jill Ellis’ 106th victory with the USWNT, giving her the most wins in USWNT history. Tomorrow will be her final game at the helm as she leads the team for one last time.

Free Kicks
  • City Furniture partnered with Orlando City for a sleepover and pajama party at Exploria that ended with a gift of new beds for those in attendance.
  • Orlando City Assistant Coach Sean McAuley gave some tips and tricks for nailing the crossbar.

That’ll do it for today, folks. I hope you all enjoy your Saturday and all of the soccer action in store today and tomorrow. Vamos Orlando!