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Lion Links: 4/26/19

Jansson brings rare stability, Eastern Conference chaos, OCB seeks first win, and more.

MLS: D.C. United at Orlando City SC Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

What’s up, Mane Landers? It’s another Friday and the start to a wonderful weekend here in Florida. I don’t know if any of you have looked at the upcoming forecast lately but it’s really going to start getting hotter here. Luckily, things are heating up on the pitch as well with Orlando City, the Orlando Pride, and Orlando City B all in action tomorrow. But for now, let’s start the day cool, calm, and collected with some links.

Robin Jansson Making the Most of Minutes

It’s not often that a player can come to a new league and fit in well with the team immediately, but Orlando City defender Robin Jansson is doing just that by starting in every game he has been available thus far. Jansson has been a welcome addition to an OCSC back line that was notorious for lacking consistency in 2018. With Orlando defenders often injured, it’s nice having some stability in the back and Jansson believes the team as a whole defended well in its recent matches.

“I think if you look back in the last game and the New York game, I think we worked in the defense as a team,” he said. “Because the defense starts higher up in the field and the whole team defends. So, I think those parts have been good and I think we need to do that all the time to control our defensive way of playing and then we attack from the defensive part. Because if you have a strong defense you will have good attacking as well.”

The Wild Wild...East?

With teams like Atlanta United, the New York Red Bulls, New York City FC, and the Chicago Fire in the Eastern Conference, it’s always a challenge to predict who will finish at the top of the conference standings. It gets even harder when none of those teams are even in the top six. Practically every team in the conference looks good enough to make a playoff run while also looking like they are one bad loss away from self-destructing.

For Orlando City, living on the brink of total collapse is second nature and success this year will be largely dependent on whether the signature summer slump will take this team down yet again.

Orlando Pride Focus On Discipline

With only one point to show from three tough games this season, the Pride are still searching for their first win of the season as they head travel to face the Utah Royals. There have been flashes of brilliance but Head Coach Marc Skinner is pushing the Pride to put together a complete performance on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball.

“You can’t build your castle on sand. That’s what we’ve got to be able to do — solidify our foundations and then move forward with flowing, attacking football. But you need to do the first parts first.”

Young Lions Head West

Orlando City B’s hunt for its first win of the season continues as the team travels to the old town roads of Frisco, TX for a match with North Texas SC, the affiliate club of FC Dallas, tomorrow at 5:50 p.m. ET. The Young Lions have a tough road test ahead of them as North Texas has won both of its games this season, but OCB has a few players who are starting to make their presence known. Defender Matheus Martins Silva, who made the USL Team of the Week last week, and goalkeeper Juliano Chade, ranked third in the league in saves, are both finding their form on the team while forward Ates Diouf remains a constant threat on offense (although he’s been dealing with a back injury of late).

Yanks Will Host Jamaica In Nation’s Capital

Listen, I love having the United States Men’s National Team play at Orlando City Stadium, but is there a better venue for the Yanks than in Washington D.C.? The USMNT will host Jamaica at Audi Field on June 5 in the final game before the Gold Cup begins later that month. It’s the 26th meeting between the two nations, with the most recent result coming in the 2017 Gold Cup Final when the Yanks defeated the Reggae Boyz 2-1.

Free Kicks
  • The Professional Football Association's Premier League Team of the Year was announced. Let me know in the comments below what you think. Does Paul Pogba deserve his spot? Should the team be called Manpool City or Liverchester FC?

That’s all from me folks. I hope all of you have an amazing Friday filled with fun and joy. Stay cool out there.