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Lion Links: 4/23/19

Skinner is proud of the Pride, Pride players nominated for weekly awards, Alves is most decorated player, and more.

Nikita Taparia

It was a better weekend for Orlando soccer this week, with Orlando City SC beating the Vancouver Whitecaps for a second home win in a row, and the Orlando Pride picking up their first point of the young season with a 1-1 draw on the road against Reign FC. Unfortunately, Orlando City B suffered a tough loss to Forward Madison FC, preventing Orlando teams from going undefeated. It’s best not to dwell too much on the negative aspects of the weekend, though. and there’s plenty to talk about, so let’s get into the links.

Skinner Proud After Tough Week

It wasn’t an easy week for the Orlando Pride. After a midweek shellacking at the hands of the North Carolina Courage, the team flew across the country to face Reign FC all the way in Tacoma, WA. But the team earned a hard-fought draw against one of the best teams in the league, and after the game Head Coach Marc Skinner spoke about how the performance made him proud. After acknowledging just how grueling the cross country travel on a short week was, he went on to say:

“My overriding emotion is pride. It sounds cliche, but pride for what they’ve actually done in this week. Because that was tough. That was one of the toughest weeks you’ll find.”

He also believes that the team is growing and getting better at what they’re being asked to do out on the field and hopes that the point will be a stepping stone to bigger and better things.

Pride Players Honored

Ashlyn Harris has been nominated for the NWSL Save of the Week for a diving stop she made in Sunday’s draw with Reign FC. The save, which came in the 57th minute, helped preserve the 1-1 draw that would eventually see the Pride pick up their first point of the young season. Alanna Kennedy has also been nominated for the NWSL Goal of the Week for her sixth-minute overhead kick, which opened the scoring in the draw up in Tacoma. It’s certainly a worthy nomination that also found its way into the SportsCenter Top 10, coming in at No. 7. Congratulations, ladies.

Alves is Most Decorated Player

Dani Alves has become the most decorated player in soccer history. Following Paris Saint-Germain’s first place finish in Ligue 1, the Brazilian fullback secured his 42nd piece of silverware, passing Egypt’s Hossam Hassan who now sits in second place with 41 trophies. Alves has gotten those trophies a lot of different ways in a lot of different leagues, with a career that saw him play in Brazil, Spain, Italy, and France over the course of 18 years. At 35 years of age and still going strong, it’s also completely conceivable that Alves will add a few more trophies to his name before he decides to finally call it quits.

Americans Overseas Summary

It was another busy weekend for Americans plying their trade in foreign lands and luckily for you, our friends over at Stars and Stripes FC have you covered with a comprehensive roundup. In Germany, Andrew Wooten and Julian Green picked up two goals and an assist, respectively, while John Brooks scored a 90th-minute equalizer that helped Wolfsburg salvage a draw against Eintracht Frankfurt. In England, Antonee Robinson made the Championship Team of the Week, and Tim Ream played a full game in Fulham’s sixth win of the season. Cameron Carter-Vickers was the most accurate passer on the field for Swansea City’s 4-3 victory over Rotherham United, and Matt Miazga helped anchor the Reading back line in a 1-1 draw with Bristol City.

Free Kicks
  • PAOK fans were quite pleased that their team won its first Greek league title in 34 years.
  • Ex-Lion Rafa Ramos won the second division Dutch title with FC Twente, helping the team win promotion to the Eredvisie next season.
  • Orlando City B’s Tresor Mbuyu and his teammates have their priorities sorted out when it comes to protecting parts of their bodies during set pieces.

That’s all I have today. It’s a packed weekend of soccer in a few days’ time, with all three Orlando teams playing on Saturday. Orlando City B travels to Texas to take on North Texas SC, while OCSC has a 1 p.m. ET date with NYCFC at Yankee Stadium. The Pride will finish out the day with a home match against the Utah Royals in which the team will seek to pick up its first victory of the season. Y’all stay safe out there.