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Lion Links: 6/28/19

O’Connor’s anniversary, USWNT faces France, Pride set for Chicago, and more.

MLS: U.S. Open Cup-New England Revolution at Orlando City FC Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

What’s up, Mane Landers? The brutal summer heat is fully upon us but at least we get some great soccer to go with it. Today’s the big World Cup game between the United States Women’s National Team and France, a quarterfinal match that honestly feels more like a final. But that’s just the start to all of the soccer this weekend with Orlando City B hosting Greenville Triumph SC later tonight and Orlando City, the Orlando Pride, and the United States Men’s National Team playing in the coming days.

Before I get you primed for all of that action, let’s wish a happy birthday to Pride goalkeeper Haley Kopmeyer, who turns 29 today. Congrats Kop!

O’Connor Reflects On His Year

Today marks one year since James O’Connor was announced as the head coach for Orlando City last summer. It’s been a wild ride with many ups and downs, but O’Connor does believe that the team has improved (a sentiment felt by Bobby Warshaw as well) from where it was this time last season. Only time will tell if O’Connor can finally take the Lions into the playoffs, but for now he is focused on making sure the Lions have a strong second half of their season.

USWNT Prepared For French Showdown

Your boss shouldn’t be too upset today when you watch or get updates on the USWNT match against France today. It’s one of the biggest U.S. soccer games in recent years with the two sides evenly matched and the pressure on. The match comes in the middle of a heatwave throughout France, but most members of the U.S. are well accustomed to playing in insanely hot temperatures. However, France has been training at Clairefontaine, one of the best training grounds in the world.

It’s set to be a great match and while many Orlando fans will be focusing on forward Alex Morgan, it is the USWNT midfielders who could end up being the stars of the show. Let’s go USA!

Orlando Pride Set for Chicago

While Morgan, Ali Krieger, and Ashlyn Harris are in France, the Orlando Pride will return to Exploria Stadium for Pride Night and their match with the Chicago Red Stars. Coming off of their first win of the season and having World Cup players return to the team, the Pride are riding some momentum into this game as they try to climb the standings.

As for the Red Stars, they are trending in the opposite direction with no points or goals since May 19. However, this may have more to do with missing league-leading goal scorer Sam Kerr and new addition Savannah McCaskill still finding her legs on the team than any deeper issues.

Orlando City B Comes Home

The Young Lions will try to get back on track with their game tonight against the Greenville Triumph at 7:30 p.m. ET. It’s been three straight losses and two consecutive games without scoring for OCB as the team dropped back to the bottom of the league standings. Regardless of the losing streak, OCB is only six points out of a playoff spot. But if it wants to work itself back into the playoff picture OCB will have to take care of business at home against the Triumph.

Free Kicks
  • In case you missed it, Pride rookie Marisa Viggiano got some recognition by the National Women’s Soccer League for her nice move in the box to help cause the own goal.
  • After his goal Wednesday night, Wayne Rooney has cemented himself on the list of Orlando City’s tormentors. He spoke a bit about his mentality when facing the Lions and his hopes for the next time they face off.
  • For the Pride’s home game against the Chicago Red Stars this Sunday at 5 p.m. ET, there will be a cool game day poster available that was designed by midfielder Erin Greening. Make sure to come out and grab one for the Pride’s first home game in weeks.
  • Here’s a little refresher on the MLS All-Star Game in case you’ve been busy during this hectic month. Orlando is getting ready for the event with an awesome mural you can check out below, although it’s unexplained why Chris Mueller was included.

That’s all we have for you today. Check back later today for coverage of the USWNT and OCB, and all weekend long we’ll cover the rest of the club’s teams as well as the USMNT.