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Lion Links: 4/28/19

Lions draw, Pride fall, OCB trips, Nani flips, and more.

MLS: Orlando City SC at New York City FC Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Sunday salutations, Mane Landers! No, I’m not the Sunday links writer you deserve, but I’m the one you get. It was quite a busy Saturday with all three Orlando teams in action. While the results might not have been everything one could want it could have been worse. Not much worse, but still. So grab a cup of coffee, fire up the skillet, and let’s get the day started!

Lions Earn a Point on the Road

Orlando City headed north to take on rival New York City FC in a baseball stadium. That’s usually not a good place to play, but in the 18th minute Nani put the visitors up 1-0 on that postage stamp of a field. NYCFC equalized in the 51st minute, but the Lions were able to grind out the point on the road. There was hope for a second goal when Tesho Akindele seemed to give Orlando a 2-0 lead in the 33rd minute, only to have it disallowed after video review for Nani being offside in the buildup of the play. Still, road points are hard to come by, so the Lions will take it and come home to face Toronto FC next Saturday at 4 p.m.

And check back later this morning for Jennifer Warren’s five takeaways from the match.

Nani Brings Back His Famous Flip

Nani was the Lions’ big signing, and it certainly seems to be paying off with five goals for the Portuguese footballer. If you didn’t watch the match against NYCFC, you missed his goal, and almost as importantly, you missed the back flip.

There’s an argument to be made that not only was Nani a big signing for Orlando City, but he might have been the best MLS signing so far this season.

Pride Drop Another

Things didn’t get any better for the struggling Orlando Pride, as the Utah Royals came into Orlando City Stadium and delivered a 1-0 loss to Orlando. Christen Press put the Royals on top for good with a goal in the 19th minute. Despite 15 shots, with four on target, the Pride continued their disappointing start to the season having been out scored 9-1, shut out three times, and Orlando has nothing in the win column. Add in that Ashlyn Harris was injured, and it’s not been a great start.

OCB Falls to North Texas SC

Orlando City B headed out on the road for the first time, traveling to the Lone Star State where North Texas SC handed the young Lions their fourth loss of the season, 1-0. OCB started the match strong, and almost took the lead in the 18th minute when Moises Tablante’s shot went wide. North Texas SC weathered the initial Lion attack, came back into the match, and finally scored in the 42nd minute. To be fair, it was a defensive lapse on the part of the Lions on a corner kick, but it proved to be all North Texas needed.

Free Kicks
  • In case you’ve just crawled out from under a rock, there’s a little movie called Avengers Endgame that came out in theaters this weekend. It seems someone just had to ask some MLS players — including Orlando City’s Dom Dwyer — which Avengers character is their favorite.
  • Immigrants to the U.S. from countries that worship soccer seem to get support and a sense of community from soccer in the U.S. That’s not exactly shocking, but certainly important.
  • Anyone else think that FIFA meeting with human rights groups should have happened many, many years ago?
  • Feeling that soccer isn’t fun anymore? Want a break from all the seriousness that is EPL and MLS? Check out the guys at Hashtag United.
  • Finally, check out this talented fan’s artwork. It’s a nice rendition of Orlando Pride’s own Kristen Edmonds.

That will do it for today, but don’t worry I’ll be back again tomorrow for Lion Links two days in a row! It’s not a threat, but a promise. OK, it might be a threat. Go City!