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Lion Links: 5/17/19

Lions get minutes, USWNT shut out New Zealand, Marta and Camila called up, and much more.

MLS: Orlando City SC at Seattle Sounders FC Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

What’s up, Mane Landers? We’re coming off rare midweek matches and are diving straight into even more this weekend. Orlando City B is playing tonight and the senior Lions will look to dig themselves out of their recent slump. But before we get to the games in store for us, let’s start this Friday morning on the right foot with some links.

Young Players Earning Experience

In probably one of the most hostile road environments in Major League Soccer, Head Coach James O’Connor deployed a starting team filled with young talent. For many players, it was their first starts of the season and goalkeeper Greg Ranjitsingh’s MLS debut. Not only did the group of players get needed experience against a quality opponent, but it also gave an opportunity for some of the usual starters to get some rest during this grueling stretch of games.

Lions Weigh In After Losing Performance

With two very tough road games in less than a week, Orlando City’s was sure to be tested. While the Lions didn’t pass either test and get results, I believe they performed better than was expected. But midfielder Dillon Powers, who has already seen this team go through a losing streak during this time of year, is ready for the Lions to move past having decent performances and towards points in the standings.

“Again, I think we have had another good team performance and we have had good performances all year, but I think we need to really get serious with ourselves and start to really commit to results rather than just performances. At the end of the day that is what matters and that is what this is all about. We are happy to play good football but at the end of the day we need to win games.”

Be sure to check out more of what he and other members of Orlando City had to say after the loss in Seattle.

USWNT Cruises Past New Zealand

The U.S. Women’s National Team made quick work of Tom Sermanni’s New Zealand team in a 5-0 win as the two nations work out the kinks before the World Cup. Orlando Pride forward Alex Morgan started but couldn’t score in the affair, although the USWNT had no trouble scoring as a whole. Carli Lloyd had a brace and Tobin Heath, Rose Lavelle, and Sam Mewis each pitched in goals of their own to comfortably win. But the biggest moment may have come in the 60th minute as Pride defender Ali Krieger was subbed on for her 100th cap with the USWNT. Congrats Krieger, you earned it.

Brazil Calls Up Pride Players

The 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup roster announcements continue to roll in, with Brazil calling up the 23 women who will take the field for that country this summer. Two Orlando Pride players were called up, with six-time FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year Marta and defender Camila named to the roster as expected. The pair will be joined by former Pride teammate Monica and the 41-year-old Formiga who is headed to her seventh World Cup — the most of any male or female player.

U.S. Open Cup Second Round Recap

The second round of the U.S. Open Cup has came and went with 22 teams moving forward to the next round. Two amateur teams are left after winning in penalty kicks, with the Florida Soccer Soldiers taking down the Charlotte Independence and Orange County FC defeating Orange County SC.

There’s plenty of action to watch for in the third round, the last before MLS teams get involved. The Tampa Bay Rowdies travel to face OKC Energy FC, Erica Wynalda’s Las Vegas Lights will host Orange County SC, and Anthony Pulis’ St. Louis FC faces off against upset-minded Forward Madison FC.

Free Kicks
  • Orlando City captain Nani, who did not travel with the team during the past road trip, is rested and ready to bring the team together for a crucial opportunity for points against FC Cincinnati.
  • Make sure to head out to Montverde Academy tonight for Orlando City B’s game with Toronto FC II at 7:30 p.m. ET as the team continues to hunt for its first win.
  • The U-17 USMNT fell 2-1 to Mexico last night in the Concacaf Championship final. Not the result that was wanted, but great job to the players regardless.

That’s all from me, folks. I hope you all have an amazing Friday and a great rest of your weekend.