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Lion Links: 7/22/19

Lions fall at home, the Pride show gratitude, the Gareth Bale saga, and more.

MLS: New York Red Bulls at Orlando City SC Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

It’s Monday morning, and there’s nothing good to say about that. We reach another week of counting down the hours until those wonderful two days off. Let’s check in on how our Orlando City Lions fared at home against the New York Red Bulls last night, along with other news from around the soccer world.

Orlando City Loses to the Red Bulls

In a match that could have seen the Lions jump into a playoff position, the men in purple were instead defeated 1-0 by the Red Bulls. Rookie Kamal Miller arrived “hungry and focused,” though he didn’t see any minutes as Head Coach James O’Connor went with his first-choice back line. The result may not have been great, but hopefully you had a chance to add the newest CITYiD patch and the latest gameday poster to your collection last night.

Make sure to check back later today for the player grades and Man of the Match from Andrew Sharp as well as Sean Rollins’ five takeaways from the match.

Pride Thankful for the Support

Orlando Pride Head Coach Marc Skinner certainly wasn’t the only one expressing gratitude to the over 9.000+ fans that showed up on Saturday evening to watch the team win 1-0 over Sky Blue FC. Captain Ashlyn Harris had some thoughts on the subject.

Defender Alanna Kennedy also chimed in with her thanks, as did her back line partner Ali Krieger in this tweet. Krieger, in a extremely classy move, was seen “still going around the stadium signing autographs” for 45 minutes after the match.

Skinner took the opportunity to remind everyone what it should mean to play for the club, using Saturday’s heroine Marisa Viggiano as the example. Additionally, he congratulated newcomer Claire Emslie on her great debut and let all of the upcoming Pride opponents know that “you don’t come here and you go away with an easy game.”

World Cup Champion USWNT Players Return to League Play

The Pride weren’t the only NWSL team to have United States Women’s National Team World Cup winners return this weekend. Mallory Pugh and Bronze Ball recipient Rose Lavelle inspired a sellout crowd for the Washington Spirit, who went on to lose 2-1 to the Houston Dash. Tierna Davidson, Julie Ertz, and Alyssa Naeher of the Chicago Red Stars made their returns in a big 2-1 win against Abby Dahlkemper, Crystal Dunn, Jessica McDonald, and Sam Mewis of North Carolina Courage.

Gareth Bale Drama at Real Madrid

The situation with Gareth Bale at Real Madrid appeared to reach a breaking point on Sunday. Head Coach Zinedine Zidane held nothing back in a press conference, stating “we hope [Bale] leaves soon. It would be best for everyone. We are working on his transfer to a new team.” Bale’s agent, Jonathan Barnett, didn’t take too kindly to Zidane’s bluntness.

“Zidane is a disgrace to speak like that about someone who has done so much for Real. If and when Gareth goes it will be because it is in the best interest of Gareth and nothing to do with Zidane pushing.”

Free Kicks
  • The Pride “will likely need 36 or more points to make the playoffs,” basically meaning the squad would almost have to win out the rest of the season.
  • Josh Sargent, who was left off of U.S. Men’s National Team Head Coach Gregg Berhalter’s Concacaf Gold Cup roster for some reason, feels like he is in the best form of his life.
  • I’m definitely glad the Lions don’t have to deal with Harry Kane in Major League Soccer yet since he’s putting away strikes such as this one. Wayne Rooney is bad enough.

That’s all I’ve got for you this morning. I sincerely wish all Mane Landers have an excellent week. Go City!