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Lion Links: 4/16/19

Harris nominated for an award, RSL takeaways, OCYSA coaching list released, and more.

Belgium v United States Photo by Katharine Lotze/Getty Images

Happy Tuesday, everyone. It wasn’t the best weekend for Orlando soccer as both Orlando City and the Orlando Pride suffered losses. However, Orlando City B did pick up its first point of the season, so there’s something to be said for that. There’s lots to discuss today, so let’s get to the links.

Harris Up for Weekly Award

Ashlyn Harris has been nominated for the NWSL Save of the Week award for the first week of the NWSL season. Harris’ nomination comes courtesy of her effort to save a long-rage blast from Lindsey Horan during the first half of the Pride’s 2-0 loss to Portland Thorns FC in the season opener. Not only did Harris do well simply to get across goal and get a hand on the moving effort from Horan, but she also pushed it out for a corner. When she made the save in the 27th minute, it kept the game at 0-0, but ultimately the Pride still fell to Portland. Regardless, congratulations to Harris for her nomination and here’s hoping that it’s the first of many.

Takeaways from the Real Salt Lake Game

While Saturday’s loss to RSL was anything but what the team or fans wanted, there are still some valuable things to be gleaned from it. For one, the game highlighted the importance of having Dom Dwyer and Nani on the field as often as possible. Simply put, the team looks much more dangerous when the two of them are on the field. While it made sense to give the pair some rest, the team instantly looked better going forward once the pair was subbed on and it was unfortunate that the substitution only came after the team went 2-0 down. Overall, things are still pretty positive even after the team’s third loss, but things will still need to improve and become more consistent, especially as things move into the summer months that have so often given the Lions trouble.

OCYSA Coaching List Released

The Orlando City Youth Soccer Academy has announced its 2019-2020 Coaching List. Once again the list carries some names that should be familiar to longtime fans of Orlando City. Seb Hines, Luke Boden and Lewis Neal are all back as coaches in the youth academy system. Neal spent time with Orlando City during both the MLS and USL years and will be coaching a boys U-19 team. Boden was also on the Lions’ squad during the USL and MLS days and will be coaching same U-19 team as Neal. Finally, Hines will be coaching boys U-13 and U-16 teams after spending time with Orlando City after the teams move to MLS.

Generation Adidas Cup Updates

Orlando City emerged from its Generation Adidas Cup clash with Atlanta United with two points. Not a typical point total to come out of a single game with, it was due to one point being awarded for a draw at the end of regulation and a point awarded for winning the penalty shootout that followed. Orlando played Atlanta to a scoreless draw after 50 minutes of play but was then able to win the shootout 5-4 to come away with points in the team’s opening game of the Generation Adidas Cup. Unfortunately, that result was followed up with tough losses to Chicago and Tijuana, leaving Orlando bottom of its group with two days of group play remaining.

Free Kicks
  • Orlando City held pat at No. 15 in ESPN’s MLS Power Rankings.
  • Orlando City co-founder Kay Rawlins will be speaking at Inclusion Incorporated.

That’ll do it for me today. Multiple Orlando soccer teams will be playing this week with the Orlando Pride kicking things off on Wednesday against the North Carolina Courage. Orlando City B and Orlando City SC will provide the meat in the soccer sandwich with Friday and Saturday games, respectively. Finally, the Pride will finish things up with another game on Sunday. Y’all stay safe out there.