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Lion Links: 4/20/19

Old friends become foes, O’Connor manages minutes, Orlando City B falls at home, and more.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Hey, Mane Landers. That’s right, it’s time for another Orlando City home match. I’ve got some information about that and much more coming right up. First, I wanted to wish everyone out there a very happy Easter! Even if it’s not your thing, I hope you get the opportunity to spend time with family and friends this weekend. But that’s enough of that now, you’re here for the soccer updates so let’s get to the links!

The Whitecaps Are Coming to Town

I know the real reason why you’re reading this right now is to kill time before heading downtown for this afternoon’s fixture against the Vancouver Whitecaps. For more on that, check out our chat with Caleb Wilkins from Eighty Six Forever. Another storyline to keep your eye on today is the friendship of two former Sporting CP teammates, Orlando City’s star Designated Player Nani and the Whitecaps’ Fredy Montero. In off-the-field news, the club named ParkWhiz its official parking partner for all Orlando City Stadium events.

James O’Connor Explains the Method to His Madness

Orlando City Head Coach James O’Connor outlined his reasons for managing player minutes this season.

“You have to look at load. We’re fortunate enough to have the GPS monitoring system, so we can see [how] far people have worked, the load, the distance they’ve covered, the intensity they’ve covered at,” O’Connor stated.

He also emphasized that his coaching staff looks at the individual players on the opposing teams and tries to line up the “best weapons” the Lions have to counter those individuals. O’Connor pointed out that there’s so much information that supporters and media don’t get regarding player fitness and readiness to play. In all honesty, while everything the coach said made absolute sense, it all seemed a little trite to me personally, but let me know what you thought in the comments below.

Orlando City B Loses to Forward Madison FC

The Young Lions of OCB took the lead in the first half but couldn’t hold it, dropping a 2-1 match with Forward Madison FC last night at Montverde Academy. OCB got a lifeline late when Don Smart was sent off for the visitors, but the attack became impatient and couldn’t break down Madison to find an equalizer. The Young Lions finish their four-game home stretch with no wins and now go on the road next weekend to face FC Dallas’ USL League One affiliate, North Texas SC.

U.S. Youth International Soccer Player Faces Racism While Players Protest

Chris Gloster, a United States youth international left back for Germany’s Hannover, faced racist chants and verbal abuse from traveling VfB Lubeck supporters this past week.

“I didn’t know how to react, because it was my first experience. My teammates really helped me through it. The team we were playing against, even their players were comforting me and helping me through it”, Gloster told The Scuffed Soccer Podcast.

News of this latest racially-driven disgusting incident broke on Friday, the same day that the Professional Footballers Association launched an initiative to make a stand against racism. The #Enough campaign thankfully found participants all across the world, including the Lions’ own Nani and Dom Dwyer.

Free Kicks

Now that I’ve distracted you for at least a few minutes, it’s time to get ready to head to the stadium. Wear your purple, bring the noise, and proudly support the crest. Go City!