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Lion Links: 5/11/19

Orlando City heads to Atlanta, Pride ready to host Portland, U.S. U-20 squad announced, and more.

Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Welcome to Saturday, and happy Mother’s Day weekend to all of The Mane Land moms out there! It’s a little strange for me not to have an Orlando City match to be hyped for today, but the Orlando Pride are hosting the Portland Thorns in Orlando City Stadium at 7:30 p.m. ET. Plus, we’ll have OCB this afternoon and the Lions to watch tomorrow afternoon when we’ve all had enough family time for the day!

OCSC Prepares to Start Busy Week of Matches

I’ve really been looking forward to the Lions taking on our wonderful, friendly, and welcoming neighbors of the north, Atlanta United, for the first time this season. The defending Major League Soccer champions — bought not built — aren’t having the best start under new head coach Frank De Boer, so now’s the time for Orlando City to take three big points off of them.

If you’re traveling to the match, or perhaps have already traveled, The Mane Land’s JGlash has an awesome piece about the excitement of road games that you must check out. Our Ben_Miller had a talk with Sydney Hunte of the Atlanta United blog Dirty South Soccer for this week’s Intelligence Report. The club has its official preview of the game and there is also this preview of the “hostile environment” the Lions will be in at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

If you’re like the majority of us and can’t make it to Atlanta for match day, Lion’s Pride is hosting the official watch party. Let’s all just hope that Dom Dwyer has been spending as much time working on putting the ball into the back of the net as he has selling watches.

Ex-Lion Justin Meram Can’t Get Orlando Off His Mind

If you managed to miss it, one of the most controversial former Orlando City players, none other than blink-and-you’ll-miss-him-in-purple Justin Meram, was traded to Atlanta United this past week. I’m personally psyched for us to be able to play him in an Atlanta shirt, since I can’t stand those either. Apparently, Meram feels “blessed” to have been traded and De Boer thinks “he is a player who can contribute on different spots.” Whatever you say, bro. The best quotes to have come out of Meram’s mouth so far are the ones he told reporter Doug Roberson of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

I don’t exactly think we’re the ones that are “holding onto something,” Justin.

Orlando Pride Hosting Portland Tonight, Shout Out “Sister Club”

Since the men are away this weekend, there’s no excuse not to head downtown later this evening to watch the Pride play Portland for the second time this season. While you’re there, make sure to pick up the new Pride home “Reflection” kit.

Unfortunately, the Pride will be without U.S. internationals Ashlyn Harris, Alex Morgan, and Ali Krieger, as well as Canadian international Shelina Zadorsky. But the Thorns will also be missing Adrianna Franch, Emily Sonnett, Lindsey Horan, and Tobin Heath to the USWNT camp and leading goal-scorer Christine Sinclair to Canada’s camp. Meanwhile, the team shouted out partner club VfL Wolfsburg’s women’s side for winning the Bundesliga, and Wolfsburg returned the favor.

U.S. U-20 World Cup Squad Named

U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team Head Coach Tab Ramos announced the 21 young men who will be representing the country at the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup later this month. Ten MLS players will feature on the team, including three from current Orlando City Executive Vice President of Soccer Operations Luiz Muzzi’s former club, FC Dallas.

The Philadelphia Union supplied two of the 10 MLS players, another club known for having a great academy system. In a somewhat surprising move, Timothy Weah made the U-20 team though Josh Sargent and Tyler Adams did not, indicating that the latter two will most likely feature for the U.S. Men’s National Team in the Concacaf Gold Cup.

Free Kicks
  • Make sure you vote for Orlando City B goalkeeper Juliano Chade in the USL League One battle for Save of the Month.
  • While you’re on Twitter, sign up for the FIFA Women’s World Cup bracket challenge too.
  • USWNT players Tobin Heath and Christen Press, among others I’m sure, took to Twitter to shamelessly shill for Hulu. At least they had some fun with it!
  • In the last bit of USWNT news, some of the players made a video to thank the moms in their lives in honor of Mother’s Day.

There you have it. Now, get down to the stadium to support the ladies of the Orlando Pride tonight and then get out there and support your local watch party for the Orlando City match tomorrow. Go City!