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Lion Links: 4/4/19

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O’Connor needs better finishing, Monica not returning to Pride, Florida Cup dates confirmed, Pele in the hospital, and more.

Electronic Arts Debuts New Games At E3 Conference Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

As we enter the back end of the week, we are getting closer to a pair of Orlando City games. OCB hosts Toronto FC II in the Young Lions’ second game of the season at Montverde Academy tomorrow night and the senior team hosts the Colorado Rapids on Saturday night. In addition, the Pride will host Puerto Rico Sol in a free friendly on Sunday. While we wait for the local teams to take the field, let’s look at what’s going on in the world of soccer.

O’Connor Wants Better Finishing

Orlando City Head Coach James O’Connor is pleased overall with the way the Lions are playing in 2019 but he does need his team to finish better after scoring just six goals in five games.

“If you’re not creating chances, as a coach, I think you’re a little bit concerned,” O’Connor said. “When you’re creating the volume of chances and the quality of chances that we are, we just need to put it away.

“One of these days, we’ll catch someone, and we’ll take our chances and we’ll give someone a bit of a hiding.”

Monica Not Returning to the Pride

Pride defender Monica announced in February that she would not be returning to the Pride in 2019, which is why fans were confused to see her training with the team and starting in the preseason friendly against the USF Bulls. However, as Jordan Culver of ProSoccerUSA.com reports, Pride Head Coach Marc Skinner says that she is not a part of the team’s future plans. While it’s not a certainty that she won’t be back, it’s highly unlikely according to Skinner.

2020 Florida Cup Dates Confirmed

The Florida Cup has confirmed dates for the 2020 edition coming this winter. While the teams competing have yet to be announced, the games will occur from Jan. 13-20. Additionally, the event announced that Brazilian singing superstar Ivete Sangalo will return to the event again in 2020.

Tim Ream Unhappy with Relegation

U.S. Men’s National Team defender Tim Ream’s Fulham FC was relegated this week as they lost their ninth straight game. Following the team’s 4-1 loss to Watford on Tuesday, Ream said his team lacked desire and passion, stating that some players needed to speak up more during training. It doesn’t appear to be a pleasant time at Craven Cottage for Ream.

Pele Taken to Hospital

When a former soccer player in his late 70s is taken to the hospital, it’s usually not important news. But that’s not the case when that former player is Pele. The former Brazil, Santos, and New York Cosmos star was taken to hospital in Paris with a strong fever according to French media. The three-time FIFA World Cup champion was attending an event with France and PSG star Kylian Mbappe when he fell ill. According to reports, the hospitalization was a precautionary measure so hopefully he’ll be alright.

Tottenham Hotspur Opens New Stadium

After eight months of delays, Tottenham Hotspur finally opened their $1.3 billion stadium in North London. Goals by Son Heung-Min and Christian Eriksen lifted Spurs to a 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace and third place in the Premier League table. The stadium is expected to host NFL games in the future with a retractable field, like State Farm Stadium in Arizona.

Free Kicks


That’s all we’ve got for today. Just one more day until we get more Orlando City action, which can be good or bad depending on how you look at it.