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Lion Links: 4/25/19

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Orlando visiting familiar faces, OCB’s Silva in TOTW, Pride comments on Reign’s rough pitch, and more.

Nikita Taparia

Happy Thursday, Mane Landers. There are only a couple of days left until we get to witness the next installment in the classic Orlando City vs. New York City FC series. Let’s learn more about the match and more in today’s Lion Links!

Familiar Faces In Match Day 9

Orlando City (3-3-2, 11 points) will be making its way to the Bronx to take on New York City FC (1-1-5, 8 points) this Saturday. Including the Orlando City Invitational match earlier this year, this will be the third time the two teams have seen each other in 2019 and the 16th time since both teams entered MLS back in 2015. The club has prepared a ‘Know Your Opponent’ article for more information on NYCFC. The match will take place at Yankee Stadium this Saturday at 1 p.m.

Pride Comment on Reign FC’s ‘Difficult’ Pitch Conditions

If you watched the Orlando Pride-Reign FC game last weekend, you probably didn’t notice anything unusual with the field, but Pride players and Head Coach Marc Skinner had a different experience.

“What was really crazy is that if you look at it from the camera angle, you’d probably think, ‘Ah, looks like quite a nice pitch,’” Skinner said. “But the one half … probably just the assessment would be like a jigsaw puzzle. It kind of had connecting pieces where the if the ball would roll over, it would bounce.”

Alanna Kennedy, who scored Orlando’s only goal in the 1-1 draw, also commented on the conditions of the pitch saying the state of one half was “shocking.”

“...another half of the field was, in my opinion, shocking. I think they did a good job. From what I heard, they didn’t have much time to lay it, or whatever. But I don’t think that’s an issue that you should be dealing with in the league.”

OCB Defender in Team of the Week

Although Orlando City B suffered a 2-1 defeat to Forward Madison FC, center back Matheus Silva had a solid individual performance. Silva won 10 of 14 duels, completed 49 of 62 passes and made seven recoveries which earned him a place in the USL League One Team of the Week for Week 4.

Orlando City B (0-3-1, 1 point) will be traveling to Texas for its next match against North Texas SC (2-0-0, 6 points) this Saturday at 5:50 p.m.

The Impact of Orlando City Substitutions

In all of 2018, Orlando City had only seven games in which a substitute made an impact and contributed a goal or an assist when they came on. After eight games this season, the Lions have had a substitute contribute a goal or an assist in every single one of their matches. This surely is a positive sign of a strong team mentality, as well as strong individual mentality and Head Coach James O’Connor has praised his players for it.

“I think the most pleasing aspect for me as a coach is that we’ve got players that will accept the decision and then will be intentional about trying to go and impact the game.”

Free Kicks

That is all for me today, folks. Let’s enjoy what’s left of the week and hope for a trio of great results on Saturday!