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Lion Links: 2/13/19

Orlando City faces the Union, Dwyer the most irreplaceable Lion, Pride players named to SheBelieves Cup roster, and more.

MLS: Philadelphia Union at Orlando City SC Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Hump Day, everyone. The Orlando City season looms larger on the horizon every day and many of us will finally get our first look at the 2019 squad in person on Saturday night when the Lions welcome New York City FC. That should be fun, and it will be nice to follow along with a game as it happens live rather than waiting for sporadic social media posts from the club.

There is a plethora of news items to get into today, so here we go.

Orlando City Falls to Philadelphia Union in Closed Scrimmage

Things didn’t go well for Orlando City at Championsgate on Tuesday afternoon, as the Philadelphia Union ran riot for a 4-1 win over 90 minutes. The teams agreed to play an additional half hour afterward, but no goals were added. Here’s a rundown of the City starters:

Chris Mueller opened the scoring for Orlando after the Lions worked the ball through traffic at the top of the area.

Things unraveled from there. The Union scored the next four over the remainder of the match, including a penalty surrendered by new right back Ruan in an inauspicious start. After only a few days of training with his new team, it wasn’t the start Ruan wanted but it’s early days for the Brazilian.

There are three preseason games left and only one of those is closed, so we’ve almost made it through the long, dark off-season. Preseason is preseason, and of course Dom Dwyer is still out with a quad injury, but this team seems to have the same issues scoring goals if the preseason is anything to go by. Three games, three goals. Look for more on that subject later today.

Warshaw: Dwyer is Orlando City’s ‘Most Irreplaceable Player’

Over at mlssoccer.com, Bobby Warshaw put together his list of players from each team that he deems the ‘most irreplaceable.’ For Orlando City, he chose striker Dom Dwyer.

If you have Dwyer in your team, you have to account for his specific skillset. Dwyer can be an elite striker in MLS and singlehandedly lift a team, but his unique attributes make him tough to replace.

I don’t disagree with his selection but possibly that says more about the squad than Dwyer. I love me some post-goal Dom back flips as much as anyone, and maybe more than most, but I’m not sure it’s a good sign if your striker is your most irreplaceable player. A dominating defensive midfielder or an attacking mid that you can’t dispossess seem like they’d be more valuable overall (provided you have a good backup striker who can put the ball in the net), but I’m not sure this team has that at this point. But we’ll see once the season starts.

Lions Have a New Radio Voice

Bruce Silverman will be Orlando City’s new radio play-by-play voice on 96.9 The Game. The former television play-by-play announcer for Miami FC tweeted out the news yesterday. Silverman also says he’s going to do “television” broadcasts for OCB games, which...having not heard of a TV deal for the USL League One side, I’m guessing is more streaming video on YouTube or the USL League One site.

Silverman has his own talk show as well, Silverman on Sports. He describes himself as “a hard-news guy in a sportscaster’s mind” on his website. I’m generally at the game or watching road matches on TV so I don’t think I’ve heard a single radio broadcast from the team yet but hopefully fans will like what Silverman brings.

Orlando Pride Stars Named to 2019 SheBelieves Cup Roster

To no one’s surprise, Pride striker Alex Morgan and goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris were named to Jill Ellis’ 23-player squad for the SheBelieves Cup, which kicks off in two weeks. England, Japan, and Brazil will come stateside to take on the Yanks in this year’s iteration of the tournament, which will take place in Chester, PA; Nashville, TN; and Tampa, FL. We hope to be on site for the last match on March 5 in Tampa against the Brazilians, for some Pride vs. Pride action. Notably absent will be Lindsay Horan, who is recovering from a quad injury.

Free Kicks
  • Congratulations to Orlando City forward Tesho Akindele.
  • Don’t forget, you can get a bus ride to see the SeaWolves play in Lakeland Saturday and a ticket to the game for just 25 bucks with this special offer.
  • D.C. United has a decision to make at backup goalkeeper — Chris Seitz, or former Lion Earl Edwards, Jr.?
  • Good news, you guys. Sky Blue FC is going to try to start operating like a professional club should. At least, so they say.
  • Those born on this date include legendary Grambling football coach Eddie Robinson (1919), general/pilot Chuck Yeager (1923), The Goldbergs grandpa George Segal (1934), Monkees bassist Peter Tork (1942), actress Stockard Channing (1944), Duke hoops coach Mike Krzyzewski (1947), musician (one of my absolute favorites) Peter Gabriel (1950), Henry Rollins (1961), actor Neal McDonough (1966), Swedish hockey legend Mats Sundin (1971), football’s Randy Moss (1977), and Netherlands/Lyon forward Memphis Depay (1994).

That’s all I’ve got for you on this particular Wednesday. Hang in there. The weekend is almost in sight and we’ve got to get to the purple palace for Saturday’s match.