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Lion Links: 6/29/19

OCB returns home, USWNT gets past France, Orlando City ready for Columbus, and more.

Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

First and foremost, a huge congratulations goes out to Orlando City striker Dom Dwyer and Orlando Pride star Sydney Leroux for the birth of their beautiful daughter Roux James Dwyer!

Now another congratulations to all of Roux’s aunts, the ladies of the United States Women’s National Team, for an excellent victory over France in the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup quarterfinals! It’s on to the semifinals for the USWNT, and on to the rest of the news in the soccer world for us with some links.

USWNT Handles France to Advance to WWC Semifinals

In a game billed as “Le Grand Match” and considered by many soccer fans to be a final-quality pairing in just the quarterfinals of the tournament, the USWNT defeated host nation France 2-1 at the Women’s World Cup on Friday. The French fans opened the match with a lovely tifo of Marianne, a “symbol of the French Revolution” and “liberty.”

However, the U.S. quickly silenced half of the stadium when a Megan Rapinoe free kick from the outside left edge of the 18-yard box found its way through traffic and into the back of the net. In the second half, Tobin Heath (my personal Woman of the Match) sent a low ball across the box that Rapinoe slotted home for the States’ second goal.

Wendie Renard was able to sneak a header past Alyssa Naeher but the U.S. saw out the match well for the deserved 2-1 result. With this triumph, the USWNT is now tied at 10 for the longest win streak in WWC history and Head Coach Jill Ellis got win number 100. The team will next face the Lionesses of England on Tuesday, July 2. Oh, and Alex Morgan may have stolen a baby post-match.

Orlando City B Hosts Greenville at Montverde

The Young Lions of OCB are back home for a two-match stretch that kicked off with a 2-0 loss to Greenville Triumph SC Friday night. It marked the fourth straight loss for the Young Lions — the third by a 2-0 score line — and the once productive offense has gone cold with no goals in the past three games. OCB will hope to bounce back next week when it hosts the Richmond Kickers as the USL League One season rolls on.

Lions Set to Play Columbus Tonight

Orlando City continues its tough stretch of matches at Mapfre Stadium tonight against Columbus Crew SC with a 7:30 p.m. ET kickoff. Our Ben_Miller chatted with Pat Murphy, the Managing Editor of the Crew blog Massive Report, for the Intelligence Report. Nani said the Lions are “focused and united” as the squad goes for the win.

In positive news for a future Orlando City match, New York City FC forward Héber Araújo dos Santos will mostly likely be out when the Pigeons come to town for the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal match on July 10.

England Sets Viewing Record During WWC

We now know for sure that the USWNT will be the team to play England in the WWC semifinals. For their part, the Lionesses have looked strong throughout the tournament and it seems like the whole of England agrees. As England beat Norway 3-0 in the quarterfinals on Thursday, 7.6 million people tuned in on BBC One to watch. That number improved upon the previous viewing record of 6.9 million for the England-Cameroon match.

The success of the squad has captain Steph Houghton flying high.

“I did everything I could to be fit and I’m standing here now as the captain of the winning team, leading them into a semi-final. But it wasn’t just about me, nor was it in the build-up – it’s about 23 players. Like Millie [Bright], Lucy [Bronze], we did everything we could, got looked after by the medical team and the physios, to put in a performance which warranted the win. So we’re really happy.”

Free Kicks
  • Here’s a reminder to get down to Exploria Stadium tomorrow evening to cheer on the Orlando Pride and celebrate Pride Night.

That’s all I have for news this morning. Support your local watch party tonight as you cheer on the Lions! I’m going to leave everyone with this thread about that iconic Brandi Chastain goal in the 1999 Women’s World Cup. Go City!