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Lion Links: 4/11/19

Carlos Ascues out with injury, high praise for Marc Skinner, Gold Cup groups are set, and more.

Happy Thursday, Mane Landers! Double game weekend is upon us. Only two more days until Orlando City game day and three until the opening game for the Orlando Pride. We’ve got some news regarding both games, so let’s get to it.

Defender Carlos Ascues Out with Injury

In last Saturday’s match against Colorado Rapids, Orlando City defender Carlos Ascues was replaced by Oriol Rosell in the 30th minute after having to be forced off because of an injury. When asked about Ascues’ status after training yesterday, Orlando City Head Coach James O’Connor said “It looks like he tweaked his hamstring...I don’t think he’ll be involved this weekend.” It will be interesting to see whether the Lions keep three at the back this weekend without the Peruvian or if they’ll jump into a back line of four right from the start. We wish Carlos the best and hope for a speedy recovery.

High Praise for Marc Skinner

Orlando Pride open their season this Sunday against the Portland Thorns and, like the fans, the players can’t wait to get a new, fresh season started under Head Coach Marc Skinner. Pride stars Alex Morgan and Marta have some high praise for Skinner’s coaching style.

“I just really like his encouraging way of coaching,” Morgan said of Skinner. “He’s all about really paying attention to the small details and making sure that everyone is aware of their positioning at all times, but, along with the same time as giving us freedom to express ourselves on the field.

“I’ve just really found that he’s so easy to work with and that I want to just learn so much from him. I think that he has so much knowledge to be able to share. I think the team just feels really motivated and encouraged by him.”

With the opening day roster finally announced — including four signings — and all the positive talk from the team, we can’t help but get hyped up for the start of the season this weekend.

Lions Climb MLS Table, Stay Put in Power Rankings

After their 4-3 win over Colorado last weekend, Orlando City (2-2-2, 8 points) sits in sixth place in the MLS Eastern Conference table and tied in points with fifth place FC Cincinnati and the seventh place Montreal Impact. The Lions stay put in 15th place after Week 6 in the MLS Power Rankings, staying under Montreal and right above the Chicago Fire.

2019 Gold Cup Groups Are Set

We finally know what the groups and schedule will look like for the 2019 edition of the Gold Cup. The United States Men’s National Team, being the seeded team in Group D, will face Panama, Trinidad & Tobago, and newcomers Guyana. The USMNT will play its three group stage games from June 18-26.

  • Group A: Mexico, Canada, Martinique, Cuba.
  • Group B: Costa Rica, Haiti, Nicaragua, Bermuda.
  • Group C: Honduras, Jamaica, El Salvador, Curaçao.
  • Group D: United States, Panama, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana.
Free Kicks

Looks like this is it for me today. I hope everyone has a good rest of the week! Make sure to support the Pride this weekend as we get ready for the first double header weekend of the season. Vamos Orlando!