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Lion Links: 7/3/19

USWNT advances to World Cup final, Philadelphia’s recent struggles could be good for the Lions, the Orlando City Foundation is auctioning Pride in our City jerseys, and more.

England v USA: Semi Final - 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup France Photo by Marcio Machado/Getty Images

Good morning, Mane Landers! It’s Wednesday and a game day at Exploria Stadium! I’m way too excited to be back in the purple seats. Let’s get to the links.

The USWNT is Headed to the Final

After a thrilling match that held three goals (Christen Press, Alex Morgan, and England’s Ellen White) in the first half, a controversial penalty, and VAR taking back what would have been a game-tying second goal from England in the 67th minute, the U.S. survived and advanced. As Orlando City fans, we’re no stranger to phantom fouls, which to me looked like what happened to White in the 79th minute, resulting in England being awarded the penalty. Unstoppable as White was all match, Alyssa Naeher proved to be superwoman when she saved the penalty by Steph Houghton and held on to it to keep the score at 2-1 for the Americans. It was quite a roller coaster, but you can read the full game recap on USWNT 2-1 win over England.

Additionally, Alex Morgan was named Budweiser’s Woman of the Match, on what was her 30th birthday! What a way to celebrate.

Orlando City prepares for Back-to-Back Meetings with Philly

Orlando City is about to take on the Philadelphia Union in back-to-back matches. The Lions are coming off a great June and a 4-1 streak, but the Union didn’t have as much luck in June with a 2-1-2 record. Could Philadelphia's weakened defense and recent struggles help the Lions claim victory? Orlando City Head Coach James O’Connor weighed in.

“I think when you have a lot of games, you have to really manage the load. That’s obviously one of the biggest things. It’s a case really of just managing the players and seeing who’s in a position to go again and who maybe needs some rest.”

Orlando City Foundation Pride in Our City Auction is back

The online auction features game worn and autographed jerseys from the Pride’s June 30 match, and the pride warm-up tops worn by Orlando City players before their May 24 and June 26 matches. The auction is live now and will be open through July 9. At the time of this writing, Marta’s is already at $600!

❤️ It's BACK! The Pride In Our City online auction is back again and features game worn and autographed jerseys...

Posted by Orlando City Foundation on Tuesday, July 2, 2019
MiB Coming to Orlando

Men in Blazers, a popular podcast duo with a show on NBCSN, are coming to Orlando for the MLS All-Star Game. They’ll be at the ACE Cafe July 29, tickets are $25.

Heartbreak hits as body of Swiss International was Found

On Saturday Florijana Ismaili, a midfielder for the Swiss women’s soccer team, and a friend hired a boat off the Swiss border on Lake Como in Musso, Italy. It’s reported that Ismaili jumped from the boat but did not resurface. Search efforts led a diving robot to where her body was recovered.

Free Kicks

That will do it for me today, Mane Land! Can’t wait for tonight’s match against the Philadelphia Union, who are currently No. 1 in the Eastern Conference. Here’s hoping we see some of the grit we saw against the Crew! Be sure to check back in for all things OCSC vs. Philadelphia and USMNT vs. Jamaica.