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Lion Links: 9/16/19

Playoff chances dwindle, O’Connor is proud, Skinner makes some promises, and more.

SOCCER: SEP 07 MLS - LAFC at Orlando City SC Photo by Joe Petro/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Merry Monday morning, Mane Landers! It was quite a weekend, with a blowout loss for the Pride and a pretty good comeback for a point at home for the Lions. With the MLS and NWSL regular seasons winding down, and the English Premier League getting rolling, there was plenty of soccer to enjoy. Let’s get to the links!

Playoff Window is Closing

Orlando City needed a win on Saturday night against the New England Revolution. Thanks to some weird and/or unlucky goals, the club was only able to secure a draw at home. The odds of making the MLS playoffs weren’t good before the match, and now they’re even slimmer. The Lions need to be perfect in their last three matches, and even then the club will need some help from the competition. Orlando City has a favorable schedule to finish the regular season, but has yet to win two matches in a row, let alone three.

O’Connor Proud of the Club

Following the draw against the New England Revolution, Head Coach James O’Connor addressed the media. He applauded the efforts of his team and the Orlando City supporters as well. He mentioned the performances of Nani, Dom Dwyer, Ruan, and others in battling back from 3-1 down. We learned plenty from the match and the players did indeed leave it all on the pitch with Dwyer finding the back of the net and the defense putting up a decent fight.

A Totally Different Beast

The Orlando Pride were utterly dominated by the Courage Saturday in North Carolina. Indeed, if not for several good saves from Ashlyn Harris, it would have been even uglier than the 6-1 result. The Pride were often knocked off the ball, as they have been for more than just this season. Marc Skinner is well aware that he and the club need to improve, and has a plan to do so. He even said following the match:

“Next season, this won’t be this team. That result won’t be that result. I promise you that.”

Here’s hoping he’s able to pull it off next season.

Protests in Iran

If you haven’t been following the story of the death of Sahar Khodayari, she was an Iranian woman who was arrested trying to enter a soccer game. She was sentenced to six months in prison, and set herself on fire outside the courthouse. She passed away in the hospital. NPR’s Lulu Garcia-Navarro interviewed former Iranian National Under-19 Women’s Team coach Katayoun Khosrowyar. Khosrowyar is currently head coach at Seattle’s Reign Academy. Given her history, she brings a unique perspective to the culture and the controversy of this terrible tragedy.

Free Kicks

I hope everyone has a good week, as it will be a big one for me personally. Perhaps I’ll let you know how it goes later in the week. Go City!