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Lion Links: 5/20/19

Orlando City wins big, the Women’s World Cup, Qatar’s new World Cup stadium, and more.

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MLS: FC Cincinnati at Orlando City SC Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Merry Monday morning, Mane Landers. What a weekend! Both Orlando City and OCB notched wins, and the Orlando Pride didn’t play. That’s kind of like a win. I hope you were able to watch at least one of the matches, if not both. Oh, and one of the biggest shows on television had its series finale last night. There are no spoilers in the following article.

Orlando City’s Huge Win

Orlando City came into Sunday’s match against FC Cincinnati desperate for a win with James O’Connor himself expressing the need for the Lions to get all three points. For the sixth home game out of seven, the Lions conceded the first goal, this time in the 24th minute. Orlando City did equalize before the half thanks to Tesho Akindele’s first goal.

Fortunately, the Lions did not stop there and absolutely decimated Cincinnati in the second half with a second goal from Akindele and a brace from Nani. Dom Dwyer finally managed to get back to his scoring ways, giving Orlando City its fifth goal of the game. The match was Orlando City’s most dominant performance this season.

Keep an eye out for The Bearded Guy’s five takeaways from the match and Dan MacDonald’s photo gallery later today as well.

The Women’s Game

With the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup a mere 18 days away, the soccer community turns its attention towards the women’s game. UEFA is looking to double the amount of women and girls playing the game. Players across the world have been fighting for better treatment for the women who play soccer. You might remember a DJ asking Ada Hegerberg to twerk at the Ballon d’ Or ceremony, FIFA not caring if the women have to play on turf during the last World Cup, and players of the USWNT suing U.S. Soccer for equal pay.

UEFA intends to implement this by including more women in positions of power within European federations and having more European clubs offer programs for all levels of soccer for women and girls. Meanwhile, the BBC has gotten in on the action with a “Change the Game” video featuring many of England’s top women footballers and music from South London rapper Ms Banks.

Hope Solo, Spectator

With the Women’s World Cup a mere 18 days away...wait a minute. Never mind, suffice to say the USWNT will be defending its World Cup title this year without the keeper that helped the U.S. win it in 2015. In case you forgot, Hope Solo was dismissed from the national team following her calling the Swedish team “cowards” after they played a very defensive match during the Olympics. For a while, Solo stayed in the news, given how big a part of the team she was. Now, Solo has moved on and is at peace with her current life, and her time with the USWNT. It’s hard to argue against her accomplishments for the U.S., and she will most certainly be a part of the BBC’s Change the Game initiative mentioned above.

Qatar World Cup Stadium Revealed

Qatar will host the 2022 World Cup. Awarding the competition to the small Middle Eastern country was one of the most controversial decisions ever made by FIFA, an organization known for controversial decisions. Some might even call FIFA and the motivations behind the Qatar pick corrupt. Indeed, there have been deaths attributed to the construction projects associated with the World Cup.

Regardless, the country has been getting ready to host the competition, and recently completed the new Al Janoub Stadium in Al-Wakrah, Qatar. It is a design inspired by the local boating industry, and will seat 40,000 for the World Cup. After the competition, the stadium will be able to be converted to a 20.000 seat venue for the Al-Wakrah Sports Club. The extra seats will be donated to other sporting projects around the world.

Free Kicks

Finally, I lied at the beginning of the article! The Game of Thrones has been won by none other than [redacted by the editor]. Didn’t see that ending coming, did you?