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Lion Links: 4/15/19

Pride fall, OCB earns a point, James O’Connor’s decision, and more.

MLS: Colorado Rapids at Orlando City SC Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Merry Monday morning, Mane Landers. While it was a tough weekend for those wearing purple, it’s still nice to have the opportunity to see Orlando City, the Orlando Pride, and Orlando City B all in action. I feel like there was something else that happened this weekend.

Pride Fall to Portland

The Orlando Pride opened their 2019 campaign with a 2-0 loss to the Portland Thorns in Orlando City Stadium on Sunday. It was new Pride Head Coach Marc Skinner’s first regular season match so growing pains are to be expected. Caitlin Foord and Tobin Heath both scored for the Thorns, dooming the Pride’s first outing.

OCB Earned a Point

OCB had the best showing of all the Orlando teams, nearly getting all three points but settling for the draw when South Georgia Tormenta FC scored a stoppage time goal to draw even. The young Lions scored in the 59th minute when striker Ates Diouf gave OCB its first lead of the game and season. The equalizer for Tormenta FC came on a free kick from nearly midfield that found the head of Lars Eckenrode for the goal.

The Scoop on the Starting Lineup

James O’Connor made the decision not to start Nani or Dom Dwyer against Real Salt Lake. Given how the match progressed, and the difference the two made once they were subbed on, it was a questionable choice. O’Connor simply felt that given Nani played full games prior to coming to Orlando City, it would be wise to monitor his minutes. The same was said of Dwyer as he was late to start the preseason. The altitude of Rio Tinto Stadium was not the place to add on too many minutes according to O’Connor. We know how it turned out, but O’Connor’s reasons were not unsound.

Pride Players Trust Skinner

The Orlando Pride might have lost their first match, but the players are buying into Marc Skinner’s philosophy. It will be a tough road ahead given the Women’s World Cup this summer and it being Skinner’s first season. Ashlyn Harris is particularly taken with Skinner and her enthusiasm seems to be felt by many on the team. Hopefully, it will all coalesce and produce some results.

Free Kicks

That’s all for now, make sure to check back throughout the day for more Orlando City news.