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Lion Links: 4/6/19

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PRO addresses controversial calls, Pride players in action, OCB recap, and more.

Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Mane Landers! Anybody miss me last week? Yeah, I didn’t really think so — I’m sure everyone was way too preoccupied with the interesting refereeing calls during the match against D.C. United last weekend. More on that in a minute. My personal good news is that I am successfully moved into my new place and will be spending this weekend unpacking the last two rooms. The good news for Orlando City is that the Colorado Rapids being in town today means three points are there for the taking.

PRO Attempts to Explain

How do you know when a league’s officials are terrible at their jobs? When they have to publish a statement every week in an attempt to justify bad calls, that’s how. This week’s “The Definitive Angle,” billed as “PRO’s analysis of the week’s video review use in MLS,” included a rather haphazard and contradictory explanation for the lack of calls surrounding the controversial Wayne Rooney-led D.C. United free kick from last Sunday’s loss. Here’s the brilliant — pardon the pun — reason why D.C.’s Frederic Brillant wasn’t called for fouling Lions goalkeeper Brian Rowe.

“Rowe and Brillant came together in the goal area. However, the ball was some distance above them both, neither would have been able to reach the ball even if they had not come together, the ball had already passed them when contact was made and that contact was normal and had no effect on either player’s ability to play the ball.”

The justification for the foul on Orlando City forward Dom Dwyer is equally as insane, so just do yourself a favor and read the post for a good laugh.

Orlando City B Plays Its Second Match of the Season

The reformed OCB squad hosted Toronto FC II at Montverde Academy last night but suffered a 2-0 loss. The Young Lions were victim of yet another red card, with defender Emmanuel Hagan receiving his second yellow card early in the second half. Coming back from a deficit is hard enough, and having to do so a man down proved too much for OCB.

Pride Players in International Action and NWSL News

Yesterday afternoon featured a pair of Women’s international friendlies, as countries across the globe warm up for this summer’s Women’s World Cup. Several Orlando Pride players were involved in the England vs. Canada and Spain vs. Brazil matches. While forward Chioma Ubogagu was on the bench for England, her Pride teammate Shelina Zadorsky started for Canada, which managed to win the tight match 1-0. Zadorsky seemed happy after the solid victory.

In the other game, Marta started for Brazil and managed to score her side’s only goal in a 2-1 loss to the Spaniards. Meanwhile, the National Women’s Soccer League released the official list of players allocated for both the U.S. and Canadian Women’s National Teams throughout the 2019 season. In addition to Zadorsky for Canada, goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris and forward Alex Morgan are allotted to the USWNT as expected.

U.S. Open Cup to Stream on ESPN+

Those who have subjected their eyes and ears to the mostly awful streams of U.S. Open Cup matches from the last few years are sure to appreciate this news. On Friday, ESPN announced that its paid streaming service, ESPN+, would be the exclusive broadcast partner for all Open Cup matches until 2022.

“This exciting property joins a robust collection of soccer’s best domestic cup competitions on ESPN+,” stated Burke Magnus, Executive Vice President of Programming and Scheduling for ESPN.

For only $4.99 a month, you can now have access to streams of Orlando City’s MLS matches (or at least the majority of them), OCB games, and all of the U.S. Open Cup.

Free Kicks

That’s all I have for you guys this week. No major Orlando City news is positive though, right? I suppose we’ll see in a few hours when the Lions take the pitch to battle the Rapids. Go City!