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Lion Links: 4/14/19

Lions visit Salt Lake City, SeaWolves close their inaugural season, the Pride and NWSL are back, and more.

MLS: Orlando City SC at Real Salt Lake Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Sunday, Mane Landers. We’re smack dab in the middle of it all now with Orlando’s MLS and MASL teams taking the field last night and the NWSL and USL League One sides entering the fray late this afternoon.

Let’s jump into your daily dose of soccer news.

The Lions Travel to Salt Lake City, Lose 2-1

Orlando City SC traveled to Salt Lake City to take on the namesake Real Salt Lake and well, it didn’t go well. At all. The Lions fell behind by multiple goals before ultimately getting one back through a terrific Nani free kick. But this time the Cardiac Cats couldn’t come all the way back.

And keep an eye out for five takeaways from the bearded guy and our player grades and Man of the Match from Guilherme Torres later this morning.

SeaWolves Finish Inaugural Season with 6-4 Win

The Orlando SeaWolves hosted the Florida Tropics in their final match of the club’s inaugural season, and walked away with a 6-4 win. The SeaWolves got the best of the Tropics on the season, winning four of the the two team’s six clashes. The statistics for this one are a bit surprising, considering that the Tropics out-shot the SeaWolves 41 to 26 (32 to 20 on target), but the SeaWolves found the win to close out their season. The SeaWolves ended their season with a record of 9-15, where many of the team’s losses came after conceding early and attempting a late-game comeback. The team had a fairly good season considering the fact that it was a brand new team, and one can only hope to see improvements come next season.

The NWSL Season is Back

It’s officially here! After another long off-season, the National Women’s Soccer League is kicking off its seventh season today. The Orlando Pride, of course, host the Portland Thorns at Orlando City Stadium in an early test for a club with a new head coach in Marc Skinner and a newly shaped roster. Interested in tuning in to catch some NWSL action this season? If so, you’d better be educated on how to do just that (as a lot of fans will need to adjust to streaming matches online this season). And downloading apps to catch matches and replays? What a time to be alive.

Can the NWSL Capitalize from World Cup Exposure?

With the aforementioned NWSL season upon us, the question has been raised if the league can expand its reach and exposure when, inevitably, some of the league’s finest players hoist this summer’s World Cup trophy. With marquee players from the majority of the competitive countries plying their trade in the NWSL, the NWSL finds itself in an interesting position. The league’s stars will soon garner the attention of the entire world, potentially reaching millions of viewers that could find themselves more interested in what the NWSL has to offer. The major focus of the league should be how to turn the momentum of the World Cup into a renewed (and for most, new) interest in the top-flight American women’s soccer league. Some of the most important questions that have yet to be fully answered? How will the sponsors engage consumers? And how well can the NWSL compete with the growing success of women’s leagues abroad?

Free Kicks
  • Minnesota United opened their new stadium yesterday (in a wild 3-3 draw)...and apparently New York City FC’s Sean Johnson decided to give the Loons a house warming gift.

All right folks, so maybe we could have seen more from our boys in purple last night, but the season is young. Try to let that one go, enjoy all of your Pride and NWSL action today (it could prove to be a tough one for the Pride though), and cheer the Young Lions of OCB on to (hopefully) their first victory, and then have a great week.