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Lion Links: 5/12/19

The Pride fall to the Thorns, OCB returns to Texas, James O’Connor confident in his attack, and much more.

MLS: D.C. United at Orlando City SC Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Sunday, Mane Landers, but more importantly, happy Mother’s Day to all of the amazing mothers out there. I’ll be spending the day with my mom and some of our family, and I hope that you all have a good one, no matter how you spend yours.

Not only is today a special day in the form of Mother’s Day, but it’s also the afternoon that marks the first clash between Atlanta United and Orlando City SC during the strange 2019 season. I’m sure you’re looking forward to it as much as I am.

All right. Enough of the small talk. Let’s get you your Sunday helping of Lion Links to hold you over until the Lions play in Georgia and the U.S. women play South Africa. Enjoy!

Pride Fall to the Thorns, 3-1

Entering the match as the team with the most goals conceded and fewest goals scored in the league, the Pride didn’t do much to improve upon those numbers as they fell at home to Portland, 3-1. Toni Pressley scored first, but goals from Dagný Brynjarsdóttir, Andressinha, and Caitlin Foord allowed the Thorns to comfortably leave the Central Florida area with three points safely secured. This one got notably chippy as the night wore on, but ultimately no red cards were brandished. The Pride next see action against the Utah Royals on May 25 in Utah.

Orlando City B Fall to North Texas SC, 4-1

After taking the lead in the match, OCB fell apart defensively and allowed four unanswered goals to let North Texas SC run away with all three points. The goal did break a 282-minute scoreless streak and a 348-minute scoreless streak from open play, but unfortunately for the Young Lions, this match got out of hand late as North Texas SC scored all four goals in the 69th minute or later. OCB falls to 0-6-2, with a total of two points on the table.

James O’Connor Confident in Lions’ Attack

Orlando City Head Coach James O’Connor has emphasized that he has confidence in his club’s ability to attack ahead of the Lions’ clash against heated rivals Atlanta United FC in Georgia today. The Lions have had issues in the attacking third so far this season, but O’Connor hasn’t lost faith in his attackers.

“I think the thing for us is, whether it’s Dom or whoever it is, if somebody doesn’t score in a particular game, people want to [say], you know, he hasn’t scored or he hasn’t done this, but we have every confidence in Dom, Tesho [Akindele], Nani, Chris Mueller. We feel as if we’ve created a good amount of chances in games,” Orlando City coach James O’Connor said.

Let’s hope he’s right, and the intense rivalry that’s to be played today proves it. One thing that O’Connor said that stuck out to me was especially important, and displayed patience and confidence in his team.

“The biggest thing for us is our belief doesn’t waver in the players whether somebody scores or doesn’t score,” O’Connor said. “For us, our belief is always there with the players. Whether somebody scores in a game or misses a chance or doesn’t score in a game, for us, you know, our belief in the players doesn’t fluctuate by game.”

Nani is Leading the Lions

The Lions’ Portuguese star is getting some attention from after showing off his 1-v-1 and attacking abilities for Orlando City this season. His power in the attack, as well as his passion for the sport on a daily basis, is what they credit to be some of his strongest attributes, and it’s hard to disagree with them. They even allude to a desire to see the Lions’ star man in the MLS All-Star Game in Orlando on Aug. 1. We’ll see, but if he keeps up his current run of form, it’s more than possible.

Free Kicks
  • Brazil and Orlando Pride star Marta is opening a dog shelter. Class, both on the field and off.

All right folks, that should hold you over until today’s early afternoon kickoff against rival side Atlanta United FC. Go Lions, and have a great night and a great week