Merry Monday morning, Mane Landers! Welcome to the first Lion Links of July. Orlando City might have pleasantly surprised us on Saturday, but the Pride were not able to do the same yesterday. Throw in an ugly United States Men’s National Team win against Curacao, and I suppose we should be happy. Still, I think it could have been better.
Before we get into today’s links, let’s wish a happy birthday to former Orlando Pride Head Coach Tom Sermanni, who turns 65 years young today.
Orlando Pride Make Mistakes in Home Loss
The Orlando Pride hosted Sam Kerr and the Chicago Red Stars at Exploria Stadium on Sunday. I purposely separated Kerr as she is arguably the world’s best striker and proved it, scoring a hat trick on Orlando. Chioma Ubogagu had brought the Pride level in the 22nd minute, only to have Kerr put Chicago up again just before the half. She added her third in the 55th minute. The Pride weren’t quite done, as Camila earned a penalty and Marta gave the Pride their second goal in the 79th minute from the spot. The comeback fell short though as the Pride fell 3-2 at home. The Pride will try to bounce back when they host the Washington Spirit on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET.
USMNT Wins Tough Quarterfinal Match
The USMNT hosted Curacao in Philadelphia for the quarterfinals of the Concacaf Gold Cup. Christian Pulisic was able to find Weston McKennie on a cross to provide the only goal of the match in the 25th minute. The Yanks won 1-0, but it was not a great showing from the Americans. Curacao gave the USMNT all it could handle, including in the second half when the island nation had more possession and chances. Regardless, the U.S. advances and continues its Gold Cup campaign.
Other Gold Cup Results
The U.S. will now face Jamaica in a semifinal game that will be a rematch of the 2017 Gold Cup final. Jamaica was able to squeeze past Panama yesterday after Darren Mattocks converted a penalty for the lone goal of the game.
If you missed the match between Mexico and Costa Rica, you missed a good one. Raúl Jiménez started the scoring for Mexico in the 44th minute, but Costa Rica drew level on a Bryan Ruiz kick from the spot in the 52nd minute. The match went 120 minutes and ended 1-1 after extra time. Mexico advanced after penalty kicks, 1-1 (5-4). Mexico will face Haiti, which rallied from two goals down to advance on a 3-2 win over a Canada side that sat Lions Will Johnson and Kamal Miller.
Swiss Player Missing
Switzerland’s national women’s football team forward Florijana Ismaili is missing following a swimming accident on Lake Como in northern Italy. Ismaili plays for BSG YB Frauen in the Swiss Nationalliga A. Ismaili was visiting the lake on Saturday with a teammate when she jumped off a boat and into the lake. She never resurfaced and divers searched for her on Saturday and Sunday. As of the writing of this article, no further details are available.
- Weston McKennie has extended his contract with Schalke 04 through 2024.
- Gregg Berhalter has the USMNT competing again, and not just against other national teams. Prior to the match against Trinidad and Tobago, the team competed in an “iron chef” cook-off against each other. The emphasis was on preparation and teamwork, though good food was hopefully the result.
- Mix Diskerud shared his thoughts on Christian Pulisic. While Diskerud thinks that if Pulisic continues to develop into the player many are hoping, it’s still a bit early to annoint him as the greatest American player ever.
Check back for all your World Cup, Orlando City, and Orlando Pride news. Go Yanks!