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Lion Links: 4/27/19

Bleed Purple sequel, Orlando City and Pride previews, Kaku suspension drama, and more.

Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

It’s a big day today! All three of our purple teams will be in action, with the senior Lions kicking things off at 1 p.m. ET against New York City FC. The boys of Orlando City B travel to take on North Texas FC at 5:50 p.m. and then you can wrap up the day at Orlando City Stadium as the Pride host Utah Royals FC with a 7:30 p.m. kickoff. Before all of the craziness starts, let’s get to the links.

Orlando City Releases “Bleed Purple Part 2” Documentary

Friday morning, the OCSC Twitter account teased that the second part of the documentary series “Bleed Purple” would be coming later in the day.

Shortly after 3:30 p.m., the account went live with the premier of “Bleed Purple Part 2.” This installment picked up with the scrimmage against the New York Red Bulls at IMG Academy, while spotlighting Brian Rowe and his shortened preseason as a Lion. After the obligatory training footage and talks, clips of City’s dominant performance against the New England Revolution in the final match of the Orlando City Invitational are shown.

Sacha Kljestan’s now infamous opening day locker room speech then kicks off the highlight package from the 2-2 New York City FC draw. The squad’s trip to Chicago for the second draw of the young season leads into the much more uplifting footage from the Lions’ first victory over the Red Bulls. Narration from Head Coach James O’Connor wraps up the almost 16-minute long video. Make sure to check it out below.

New York City FC Hosts Orlando City

The Mane Land’s big man Michael Citro has this week’s match preview of the Lions’ trip to the joke of a soccer pitch that is Yankee Stadium. That’s also where you can find information about both teams’ projected lineups and how to watch the match — may the odds be ever in your favor if you’re going to try to stream it. Even though it seems way too early in the season, today’s match will actually conclude the series with NYCFC for the year since the Pigeons were the Lions’ first opponent back on March 2. In addition to the preview pieces, Ben_Miller sat down for a chat with Christian Smith of the NYCFC blog Hudson River Blue for the intelligence report as well.

Orlando Pride vs. Utah Royals FC Preview

The Pride will take over Orlando City Stadium tonight for the second time this season when Utah Royals FC comes to town. If you’re not already planning to be out there, the team has you covered. Hopefully, we’ll get to witness the Pride pick up their first three points of 2019. The squad appears to be ready to come together as a team, a sight that was unfortunately lacking in the previous three matches.

Sporting KC Fans React to Red Bulls’ Kaku’s Suspension

Shocking a total count of no one, the Major League Soccer Disciplinary Committee extended the normal one-match red card suspension for NYRB’s Kaku after he kicked the ball into the stands in Kansas City and a fan was hit. What did, however, surprise quite a few people was the length of the extension, a mere two additional matches, and how MLS sneakily went public with the decision right before Wednesday’s mid-week games. The Kansas City Cauldron, an official supporters’ group for Sporting Kansas City, published a statement reflecting their negative reaction to the news. I don’t see how anyone could reasonably argue with their position and I can only hope that should a similar incident ever happen involving a Lions fan, MLS would take it more seriously than it took it this time.

Free Kicks
  • If you hurry, you can still make it out to this event hosted by the Orlando City Foundation and I highly recommend you do so.
  • The hosts of the MLS ExtraTime podcast have some opinions about Nani and other Designated Players in the league.
  • USL League One teased next week’s upcoming expansion announcement.
  • In less than 50 days, the United States Men’s National Team will start its 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup journey.
  • Former D.C. United and Real Salt Lake midfielder Freddy Adu is now featuring in a where are they now, sadly.
  • Finally, in my happy Chelsea news of the week, three of the team’s female players made the Professional Footballers’ Associate Women’s Super League Team of the Year.

Enough links, get out and support your local Orlando City watch party and then make sure to be at the stadium to bring the noise for the Pride tonight. Go City and go Pride!