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Lion Links: 6/1/19

Orlando City travels to Montreal, the Pride host the Courage, OCB hits the road, and more.

Matt Stamey-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to June! It’s a rather big day for the soccer world, as the 2019 UEFA Champions League final is played in Madrid this afternoon. The all-English Premier League match features favorites Liverpool battling Tottenham Hotspur.

I’m still flying high from Chelsea’s drubbing of Arsenal to claim the 2019 UEFA Europa League championship — more on that later. Here at home, we get to look forward to Orlando City taking on the Montreal Impact at Stade Saputo with a 5 p.m. ET kickoff. The Orlando Pride then close out the day hosting North Carolina Courage in Orlando City Stadium at 7:30 p.m. That’s a lot of soccer to be excited about, so let’s get to it.

The Lions Head to Montreal

The big men in purple flew to Montreal yesterday for today’s match against the Impact, the team’s second meeting with the third-place Eastern Conference club.

Orlando City Head Coach James O’Connor called Montreal a “very organized team, having a good year” and added that the Lions need to “create some problems for them when we have the ball.” Forward Tesho Akindele continued that thought by stating that the Lions plan to “go in and try to impose ourselves.”

Somewhat thankfully, the Impact will be without major Lion killer Ignacio Piatti, though Head Coach Remi Garde still believes his team can get results. The Mane Land’s Ben_Miller had a chat with Paul Vance of Mount Royal Soccer for this week’s Intelligence Report in case you missed it. If you’re going to be downtown for the Orlando Pride match this evening — and you should be — Lion’s Pride is hosting a Champions League and Orlando City watch party.

More Details About New OCSC Training Facility Emerge

As it was announced earlier this week, Orlando City is bringing Orlando City B along with the Orlando City Development Academy to the previously announced new first team training facility at Osceola Heritage Park in Kissimmee, FL. Osceola News-Gazette Sports Editor Ken Jackson has an update about the plans here. Meanwhile, newly hired Academy Director Marcelo Neveleff was added to the United States U-20 Men’s National Team coaching staff for the U-20 World Cup.

Orlando City B Scores Twice in Draw

OCB wasn’t able to hold onto a first half lead, but was able to earn a respectable 2-2 draw against Tucson last night. It took 44 minutes before a goal was scored, but the Young Lions struck first with a free kick goal from Rafael Santos. The tides turned in the second half with two goals from Tucson to take the lead, but OCB was able to equalize thanks to a Koby Osei-Wusu strike in the 78th minute. OCB had enough in the tank to secure the draw and extend its unbeaten streak to three games. The team is now no longer at the bottom of the table and will look to ride momentum into a home match with Forward Madison FC on June 7.

Countdown to 2019 Women’s World Cup is On

Now, it’s a mere six days until the Women’s World Cup gets underway in France. It’s kind of hard to believe that it’s here already since it feels like we were all saying “this summer” just yesterday. The United States Women’s National Team spent Friday training at the grounds of Tottenham Hotspur, which is in Madrid for the Champions League final, of course.

USWNT veteran Kelley O’Hara sat down for an interview with’s Glenn Crooks to dish on what it feels like playing in her third World Cup. “I’ll try to bring consistency and calm but also a little bit of swagger” to the back line, O’Hara stated. In anticipation of the upcoming tournament, EA Sports added a Women’s World Cup mode in FIFA 19, featuring 22 women’s national teams.

Free Kicks

Enjoy this day full of soccer everyone! Go City and Pride!