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Lion Links: 7/4/19

Orlando City hosts Philly, USMNT plays the Reggae Boyz, USWNT and Pride get ready for weekend games, and more.

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Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

Happy Fourth of July to all of you wonderful Mane Landers! Don’t blow off any bodily appendages or let yourself get dehydrated in those 100-degree temperatures. The Lions of Orlando City kicked off the festivities last night with some post-match fireworks (and way too many fireworks within the match for my liking), while the United States Men’s National Team fought for the U.S. of A. against Jamaica in the Concacaf Gold Cup. Time to take a look at how both of those teams did, along with the rest of yesterday’s soccer news.

Lions Start July With a 3-1 Loss to the Union

Orlando City returned home to Exploria Stadium last night for a battle with the Eastern Conference-leading Philadelphia Union. Star striker Dom Dwyer was back in the 18, but Tesho Akindele — a very underrated signing if you ask me, and a few others — got the start between Nani and Chris Mueller up top. Dwyer did eventually make it on to the field in the second half. It was definitely too little, too late, since the Lions were already down by two goals and to only nine men on the pitch.

Mueller got things rolling in the eighth minute with an incredible dribble inside from the right flank that he slammed into the back of the net himself. It was one of the most beautiful goals I’ve ever seen from the team in purple and provided Orlando City with an early lead. For the rest of the first 30 minutes, it seemed like the home team had a decent grasp on the game. Everything then started to fall apart at minute 32.

And check back later today for our five takeaways from the match.

If you watched the My65 broadcast last night instead of going to the stadium, you may have seen our very own bearded guy.

USMNT Advances to Gold Cup Final with 3-1 Win Over Jamaica

Weston McKennie scored the opener and, after a lengthy weather delay, Christian Pulisic scored a brace as the United States Men’s National Team advanced to Sunday’s Concacaf Gold Cup final with a 3-1 win over Jamaica. It sets up a potentially beautiful Sunday with the USWNT taking on the Netherlands in the morning in the World Cup final and the men facing rival Mexico in the nightcap for confederation supremacy.

Orlando Pride Prep for Washington, Celebrate Social Media Milestone

The Orlando Pride will host the Washington Spirit at Exploria Stadium on Saturday with a kickoff set for 7:30 p.m. For those of you who don’t want to subject yourself to the second Orlando City versus Philadelphia Union match in three days, make sure you get your tickets and plan to be there to support the Pride.

On Twitter, the social media team for the Pride celebrated hitting 100,000 followers. In an expression of gratitude, the team will be giving away a pair of tickets for Saturday’s match. Check out the tweet below and get yourself entered to win.

USWNT to Face Netherlands in Women’s World Cup Final

It’s official (as mentioned above) — the United States Women’s National Team will play the Netherlands in the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup final on Sunday at 11 a.m. ET.

The very first WWC semifinal match to go to extra time saw the Orange Army come out victorious over Sweden, 1-0. Speaking of the Orange Army, how about that killer tifo the Dutch fans displayed at the start of the match? It will be the reigning European champions’ first appearance in a WWC final.

As you can probably guess, there were tons of USWNT stories yesterday. Here’s a rundown of them all:

Free Kicks

Now go celebrate the nation’s independence with your family and friends! Just drink some water while you’re at it!