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Lion Links: 3/15/19

Orlando Pride Media Day, Ubogagu’s journey, SeaWolves to host Tropics, and more.

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W-League Rd 1 - Brisbane v Perth Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images

What’s up, Mane Landers? I hope everyone enjoyed their pi day yesterday and celebrated both an appreciation of math and whatever pizza deal you were able to get your hands on. With it behind us, we now turn towards a St. Patrick’s Day weekend filled with soccer here in Central Florida with both the Lions and the SeaWolves playing. But before we can kick back in an Irish pub and watch our favorite teams, we have to get through one last work day. Luckily, we have some links to make your day that much smoother.

Orlando Pride Media Day

If there is one thing we learned from the Orlando Pride’s players and staff in yesterday’s Media Day, it’s that everyone is excited. New Head Coach Marc Skinner seems overjoyed about being able to see what the extremely talented players on his roster are capable of and the players feel energized about the system Skinner wants to implement. With an emphasis on letting the natural leaders on the field make decisions and roam a bit more than in the past, Skinner is encouraging his players to be bold and brave on the pitch. The six players available on Media Day are receptive to the idea and it should be a lively season for the Pride in 2019.

Chi’s Story Still Being Written

One of the more creative weapons on the Pride, Chioma Ubogagu is sure to benefit from Skinner’s system and this season could be the next step in what has been an incredible year for her. The 26-year-old has worked her way into receiving international call-ups for the Lionesses of England while also performing well for the Pride and the Brisbane Roar in Australia. While her addition to the English international squad is surprising to some, Chi’s goal in her debut and eventual inclusion in the SheBelieves Cup has a summer in France firmly on the table.

Orlando SeaWolves Ready for Home Stand

To call the SeaWolves streaky would be an understatement. In case you haven’t been following their season too closely, they started the month of February with three straight wins before losing three in a row. In last weekend’s road trip they reversed their luck with an impressive win in Kansas City before a shellacking in Milwaukee, where they lost, 13-2. It’s been a roller coaster of a season for the SeaWolves and only eight games remain in the season.

If they want any shot at the postseason (the top two teams of each division advance and Orlando is in fourth with plenty of games in hand) they will need to make the most of tonight’s home game against the Florida Tropics and tomorrow’s crucial bout with the Kansas City Comets.

Western Hemisphere World Cup Qualifying Changes?

It’s far from more than just a discussion point, but today’s FIFA council meeting in Miami will include talks about Concacaf and CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying being merged together. The reports come on the heels of discussion about the 2022 World Cup field being increased to 48 teams and a merger would be interesting, to say the least, with matches presumably held in venues from Toronto, Canada to Buenos Aires, Argentina. Make sure to check out this great guide to what all is on the docket for the council’s meeting and the behind-the-scenes leverage involved.

Free Kicks
  • If you have time today, watch this great feature about a young player joining Orlando City’s academy this summer. Subtitles are included, tissues are not.
  • We’re a little late on this, but a belated happy birthday and congratulations to Kay Rawlins on having her very own day in Orlando. She’s earned it.

That’s all from me, folks. I hope each and every one of you have a great day and an even greater weekend.