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Lion Links: 5/25/19

The Lions lose, Pride ready for road match, USWNT players are everywhere, and more.

Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to Saturday, Mane Landers! We made it through another week and we’re getting rewarded with a three-day weekend for our troubles. It’s going to keep feeling weird to me that Orlando City has already played, but at least we still have the Pride match tonight. Let’s get to the news so that you can go out and enjoy this long Memorial Day weekend!

Orlando City Falls at Home

After a dominant 5-1 win last week, the Lions struggled to find any offense last night and were shut out in a 1-0 loss against the LA Galaxy. Although the Galaxy did not have Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Jonathan dos Santos’s goal was enough to put the game out of reach for the Lions. Orlando City came close throughout the match, but lacked the final ball to equalize.

And check back later today for Jenn Glasheen’s five takeaways from the match and Nick Leyva’s photo gallery.

Tesho Akindele and James O’Connor Forever

It’s kind of funny to me that we’re suddenly seeing an uptick in stories about Orlando City from other media outlets. I have no doubt that should we have a rough summer — knock on wood — that will drop off and we’ll be back to being the black sheep club of Major League Soccer. In other words, enjoy what’s out there while you can!

There was this feature about Canadian international Tesho Akindele and his transition from FC Dallas to the Lions, as well as this piece about Head Coach James O’Connor’s playing days. I’m a Stoke City fan, so I really enjoyed seeing clips of O’Connor from his time in the red and white. An interesting parallel between Akindele and his coach are that both possess “strength of character,” perhaps something that O’Connor sees in the striker which earns Akindele playing time.

Depleted Orlando Pride Head to Utah

With the 2019 Women’s World Cup right around the corner, we all know how tough the next several weeks will be for the Orlando Pride. The squad is missing eight players to international call-ups. One of those internationals, Shelina Zadorsky, got the start for the Canadian Women’s National Team in its 0-0 draw with Spain on Friday. Back in the U.S., the Pride are out west to play Utah Royals FC tonight at 8 p.m. ET and the club wants you to know the opponent. The Mane Land big boss, Michael Citro, chatted with Lucas Muller of RSL Soapbox for this intelligence report. Mr. Citro was also kind enough to return the favor for Muller, who has his own version of an intelligence report here. The Pride need our support now more than ever — make sure you cheer the ladies on from a watch party, or even your couch, this evening.

USWNT Go Big for Media Day

Friday was media day for the United States Women’s National Team squad that will be representing the country in France very soon.

Before the sun came up Friday morning, the women were in New York City’s Times Square for an appearance on Good Morning America. The team then made a stop at the Twitter offices, where beautiful posters of each player adorned the walls.

Part of media day was a kickoff to the “WNT Everywhere” campaign that “will increase the WNT players visibility by bringing artistic and digital experiences to cities throughout the country in addition to the team’s Send-Off Series matches.” The Pride’s Alex Morgan features on one of the art installations right here in downtown Orlando.

The final stop of the day was at the FOX Sports headquarters. Former USWNT star Aly Wagner, along with Alexi Lalas, presented the 2019 squad with a really rad customized foosball table. has a full rundown of the media day events in this article.

Free Kicks
  • Orlando City stud Nani received an “A” grade as a new signing in this video from MLS.
  • Professional Referee Organization Director of Senior Match Officials Mark Geiger attempted to explain the new FIFA Laws of the Game.
  • Los Angeles Football Club, co-owned by the legendary Mia Hamm, hosted a Women In Sport night last week. MLS Works shared some images of the event and as a woman who watched the match, I know I had chills when the pictured tifo was unveiled.

Now go enjoy some fun and sun before the Pride play tonight. Go Pride and go City!