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Lion Links: 8/15/19

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Orlando City vs. Sporting KC, Pride look toward Utah, Marta suspended additional match, and more.

SOCCER: AUG 14 MLS - Sporting Kansas City at Orlando City SC Photo by Andrew Bershaw/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Here we are, Thursday after a midweek game! I hope everyone has their preferred source of caffeine and is ready to take on the day. It’s certainly going to be a long day, but let’s get to the links.

Orlando City Edges Sporting Kansas City 1-0

Points are at a premium and Orlando City needs every one it can get if the Lions are going to make a final push for the elusive playoff spot the team has been reaching for since joining MLS. What the Lions really need is to take points even when the performance isn’t good and that’s exactly what happened last night as Tesho Akindele scored early and Orlando hung on for a 1-0 win at Exploria Stadium on “Neon Night.” The Lions eclipsed their 2018 win total and equaled the club record for shutouts in a season (7). Brian Rowe tied Joe Bendik for the individual shutout mark (also 7) for one season set in 2017.

And stay tuned later today for Dave Rohe’s five takeaways and a photo gallery from Nick Leyva.

Orlando Pride has eyes for Utah

The Pride have no choice but to shake off the double red cards picked up by Julie King and Marta last weekend as they prepare for their Saturday match against Utah Royals FC.

Marta Earns two game Suspension

To hear Ali Krieger tell it, the ref lost control of the game last weekend against the Houston Dash. Marta was involved in a scuffle that ended with a Dash player on the ground. Looks like the Pride will have to work hard to compensate for the absence of the Brazilian for the next two matches.

Former Lion Austin da Luz to Retire

Former USL Orlando City Lion and current North Carolina FC captain Austin da Luz has announced he will retire follow the 2019 USL Championship season.

“It feels like it’s the right time to step away. The team’s in a good place, the club’s in a good place, and I’m just really excited about continuing to watch it grow from the outside,” said da Luz.

Mediation Breaks Down for USWNT, USSF

Unfortunately for the USWNT in their fight for equal pay, things aren’t going well. Negotiations broke down on Wednesday and it appears this battle will go to court. The U.S. Women’s National Team and U.S. Soccer Federation agreed to go to mediation after the World Cup — won for the second consecutive cycle by the United States — but the two sides reached an impasse.

Spokesperson Molly Levinson released the statement on behalf of the U.S. players after mediation ended Wednesday evening.

”We entered this week’s mediation with representatives of USSF full of hope,” Levinson said in the statement. “Today we must conclude these meetings sorely disappointed in the Federation’s determination to perpetuate fundamentally discriminatory workplace conditions and behavior.

”It is clear that USSF, including its Board of Directors and President Carlos Cordeiro, fully intend to continue to compensate women players less than men. They will not succeed. We want all of our fans, sponsors, peers around the world, and women everywhere to know we are undaunted and will eagerly look forward to a jury trial.”

Free Kicks

That’s going to do it for me today, Mane Landers. I hope everyone has an amazing rest of the week.