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Lion Links: 6/8/19

The FIFA Women’s World Cup begins, another Lion gets called up, OCB wins, and more.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome Mane Landers to the first weekend of Orlando City’s international break. While there may not be a Major League Soccer match for the Lions this weekend, the boys of Orlando City B were in action last night. Plus, there’s this little thing called the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup that kicked off Friday afternoon. As you can imagine, a lot of the internet is abuzz with World Cup fever, so let’s take a look at all that fun stuff and more.

OCB’s Young Lions Extend Unbeaten Run to Four Games

Orlando City B improved to 3-0-1 in its last four games after a 2-1 home win over Forward Madison FC last night at Montverde Academy. The squad has now won three straight home matches and climbed to just one point out of a playoff position. Captain Rafael Santos opened the scoring in the 23rd minute when his one-touch shot from the top of the box beat Madison’s goalkeeper. In the 63rd minute, Thiago Souza doubled the lead for OCB with another golazo from distance. A late goal from the visitors definitely made the Young Lions’ faithful a little nervous but they were able to see out the victory and improve to 3-5-3 on 12 points for the season.

Rookie Lion Gets Called Up to USMNT U-23’s

In a quiet announcement that mostly flew under the radar, Orlando City rookie forward Benji Michel was called up to the United States U-23 Men’s National Team training camp. The camp will be held in Utah from June 9-16, meaning that Michel will most likely not be available for the Lions’ U.S. Open Cup match against Memphis 901 on June 12. Speaking of Memphis, Orlando City is training in preparation for its first Open Cup game of 2019.

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Women’s World Cup News Roundup

Like I mentioned in my opening above, there is a ton of news about the start of the Women’s World Cup in France. posted an interesting read about the United States Women’s National Team’s quest to retain the title of World Cup Champions. Fellow SB Nation blogger Kim McCauley dove into the story of Marta and just how much she’s contributed to the sport of women’s soccer. The New York Times got in on the action with an extremely important article in which the prestigious newspaper spoke with 108 Women’s World Cup players about the sacrifices they must make to play the game they love.

Also, four University of Central Florida women’s soccer team players will be competing in the World Cup: Aline Reis for Brazil, Sophie Howard for Scotland, and both Kathellen Sousa and Konya Plummer for Jamaica.

If you’re going to be keeping up with the Women’s World Cup — and you should be — MLS complied this handy guide to watching, streaming, and following this year’s matches. Finally, the first game was actually played. Host country France beat South Korea, 4-0 in front of a sellout crowd at Parc des Princes in Paris. There are three matches on tap for today, Germany vs. China at 9 a.m. ET, Spain vs. South Africa at 12 p.m., and Norway vs. Nigeria at 3 p.m..

Orlando SeaWolves Make Two More Off-Season Signings

Orlando’s Major Arena Soccer League team, the SeaWolves, announced the signing of two additional players for the 2019-20 season. Thiago Freitas, one of the leading offensive producers from last season, inked a two-year contract. The SeaWolves acquired the forward in a trade with the Harrisburg Heat back in Dec. 2018, and Freitas went on to score a career-high 14 goals. On the defensive front, Edgar “Pato” Martinez comes to the squad from Deportivo Don Roge of the Liga Mexicana de Futbol Rapido of Mexico.

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