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Lions Links: 6/4/19

Weekly honors for one Lion, Pride players prep for the Women’s World Cup, possible fan zone relocation, and more.

MLS: Orlando City SC at Montreal Impact Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Mane Landers, and a mostly happy Tuesday to you all. It was one result of each for Orlando soccer teams this weekend as Orlando City B got a draw, Orlando City recorded a win, and the Orlando Pride suffered another loss. There’s plenty to discuss today, so let’s get going.

Team of the Week Honors for Tesho

Tesho Akindele has been honored with a place on the most recent edition of the MLS Team of the Week. His inclusion in the starting XI comes after his commanding performance in Orlando’s 3-0 win over Montreal in which he scored a goal, put two of his three shots on target, and won three aerial battles. Outside of the numbers though, his hold-up play was very good for the most part and was key in helping the Lions to build their attacks from the back. Overall, he provided the sort of threat up top that OCSC will need if it’s going to keep winning games, and his inclusion in the Team of the Week was a worthy one.

Pride Players Gearing Up for Women’s World Cup

There are almost two healthy handfuls of Pride players who are currently away on national team duty ahead of the Women’s World Cup, and they’re all excited and raring to go for the start of the competition. Ali Krieger recently featured on the USWNT’s 23 Stories series, in which she discussed what kept her motivated and working during her time away from the national team. Alanna Kennedy and Emily van Egmond believe that Australia is primed to make a deep run in this year’s competition, and believe that this year feels different than the past. Last but not least, Shelina Zadorsky is excited to make her World Cup debut with Canada, especially since she spent an extended period of time outside of the national team picture after making her debut at only 20 years old. Best of luck to all the Pride’s World Cup players!

Pride Player Up for Weekly Award

Recognition for Orlando players doesn’t stop at Tesho this week, as Haley Kopmeyer has been nominated for the NWSL Save of the Week. The save came in the 32nd minute when she used her feet to save a McCall Zerboni shot when the midfielder found herself 1-v-1 with the Pride keeper. The save kept the score even at 0-0 and preserved the Pride’s hopes of notching the team’s first win of the 2019 NWSL season, and at home no less. Sadly it wasn’t to be as the Pride fell 3-0 to the North Carolina Courage, but Kopmeyer’s save is still deserving of recognition.

Possible Fan Zone Relocation

Orlando City is exploring the possibility of moving the location of the fan zone that is open to the public on game days. While the fan zone is currently on Church Street just to the south of Orlando City Stadium, the proposed change would see the fan zone shift to the vacant lot that the club owns east of the stadium. The club filed approval for a temporary use permit that would see the new location in use starting with the MLS All-Star Game, and continuing to be used for home games after that. The fan zone would include vendors, food trucks, music, a beer garden (huzzah!) and other attractions. If approved, the request would be good for one year with an extension taking the time frame to two years if certain conditions are met.

Toronto FC Signs Gonzalez

Toronto FC has signed Omar Gonzalez from Liga MX’s Pachuca, although he spent the last year on loan with Atlas, another Liga MX side. The word on the street is that the deal is for two and a half years with an option, and the transfer fee was a small one. Additionally, Gonzalez will not be available until after July 7, right before the MLS secondary transfer window opens on July 9. The 30-year-old center back is with the USMNT camp ahead of the national team’s 2019 Gold Cup preparations. Toronto also apparently sees Gonzalez as a “cornerstone” of the team’s defense as the Reds move forward, so it’ll be interesting to see how he fares in his return to MLS.

Free Kicks
  • There’s an update on Marta’s injury situation.

The only Orlando team in action this week is Orlando City B, as the Young Lions take on Forward Madison FC at 7:30 p.m. on Friday night. But don’t forget, there’s a “major club announcement” today coming from the club and the press conference will be streamed live. We sadly cannot be there, but we’ll cover it as best we can via stream. Y’all stay safe out there.