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Lion Links: 7/19/19

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Orlando survives in Portland, Pride focused on winning, Morgan’s media mission, and more.

MLS: Orlando City SC at Portland Timbers Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

What’s up, Mane Landers? It’s another great Friday as we start to say goodbye to the work week and hello to a weekend packed with Orlando soccer. If you stayed up last night to watch Orlando City take on the Portland Timbers then make sure to take a nice nap today. We’ll all need to recharge our batteries as we get ready for both the Orlando Pride and Orlando City B’s games tomorrow and the Lions again on Sunday. But for now, let’s get to the links.

Orlando City Recap

The Lions made the long trip across the U.S. to face off against the Portland Timbers, drawing 1-1 thanks to a strong defensive effort. Although the Lions stuck first before giving up their lead, the result was satisfying and the team stretches its point streak to four games across all competitions. The Lions will have a short turnaround with a match against the New York Red Bulls looming this Sunday, July 21 at Exploria Stadium, but Head Coach James O’Connor rested a good number of players.

Check back later today for my player grades and Man of the Match, as well as the five takeaways from the match courtesy of David Rohe.

USWNT Players Rejoining Pride at the Perfect Time

The final group of players who were gone for the World Cup have now returned as Alex Morgan, Ali Krieger, and Ashlyn Harris are back after winning the World Cup with the United States Women’s National Team. The timing couldn’t be any better as the trio join a Pride side that has come alive recently with 13 goals scored in the past five games.

The increase in offense hasn’t led to a meteoric rise in the standings, but it has shown that this team wants to win, is still fighting, and has some life. The trio of U.S. women are hoping they can ease back into the swing of things after keeping tabs on the Pride while in France and help turn strong efforts into positive results.

Claire Emslie Warmly Welcomed

Scottish international Claire Emslie was signed by the Pride right before she left for France, where she had a great tournament that was cut short in the group stages. It’s been a hectic month to say the least for the 25-year-old forward, but she’s starting to settle in here in the City Beautiful with a new kit number (lucky number seven) and plenty of new fans as the Pride faithful welcome her to the city.

MLS News and Happenings

Orlando’s draw wasn’t the only league action last night. D.C. United got back to its winning ways against FC Cincinnati, winning 4-1. With the midweek games finished, attention now turns to the weekend’s slate of games that are headlined by the LA Galaxy taking on Los Angeles FC. Comparisons between LAFC star Carlos Vela and global sensation Zlatan Ibrahimovic rage on as just one of the many story lines for the game.

Meanwhile, the San Jose Earthquakes traded away $110,000 in 2020 General Allocation Money to the Columbus Crew in exchange for $150,000 in 2019 Targeted Allocation Money. Riveting stuff, I know. In more exciting news, Raul Ruidiaz won MLS Goal of the Week, the Leagues Cup is doubling in size next year, and All-Star opponents Atletico Madrid added two exciting new players who will be competing in the skills challenge as well.

Free Kicks
  • I’ll end links with this groundbreaking change to the rules of soccer that will impact every level of the game from the professional to the amateur level.

That’s all from me, folks. I hope you all have a great Friday and an even greater weekend. Make sure to stay hydrated if you plan on being out and about.