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Lion Links: 9/28/19

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Pereyra’s pay, Orlando City B wins on the road, Edmonds nears 100 appearances, and more.

SOCCER: AUG 05 NWSL - Sky Blue FC at Orlando Pride Photo by Andrew Bershaw/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Welcome to the weekend, Mane Landers. Hopefully you all aren’t sick of me as I bring you yet another heaping helping of Lion Links to start your day. I don’t know about you, but this week has been exhausting, so I’m looking forward to winding down in the sun and taking it easy. Tomorrow is going to be a big day with both Orlando City and the Orlando Pride in action so make sure to recharge your batteries while you can.

Pereyra’s Pay Unveiled

The Major League Soccer Players Association released the latest edition of the MLS Players Salary guide, which now includes players signed in the secondary transfer window. Orlando City midfielder Mauricio Pereyra will earn a base salary of $960,000 in his first year in MLS, with $1,078,000 in total guaranteed compensation, making him the fourth-highest paid player on the team behind Nani, Dom Dwyer, and Sacha Kljestan. A free transfer, Pereyra is touted as a key part to Orlando City in the future.

Robinho’s salary was also given and the 24-year-old will earn a base salary of $198,000.

Orlando City Ready for Final 2019 Road Game

For the first time, Orlando City will travel to Nippert Stadium to face FC Cincinnati. The game also doubles as the Lions’ final road game of the season as they look to improve an away record of 3-7-6 and keep playoff hopes alive. But even if the Lions are eliminated, there is plenty worth keeping an eye out for as Nani is two assists away from the club’s single-season record while Brian Rowe is one save away from reaching 100 on the season. So long as Orlando doesn’t give up 10 goals in the last two games, it will finish with its fewest goals conceded in a season (currently at 46 goals conceded) and is one clean sheet away from breaking the club’s single-season record of seven.

O’Connor Address Orlando’s Dropped Points

One of the Lions’ biggest issues this year has been giving up leads and they have dropped a whopping 20 points this season, fifth-most in the league. In six of their nine draws this season, the Lions have had a lead going into the 70th minute before letting opposing teams equalize. It’s a trend that has frustrated Head Coach James O’Connor in his first full season with the team, but he has plans to solve the problem in the future by making sure the team doesn’t sit back after taking a lead and instead attacks vulnerable defenses.

“It’s something culturally that is part of the makeup of Orlando that we’re trying to chip away at and change,” O’Connor said. “The frustration for us all is that we’ve seen the opportunities that we’ve had and we haven’t quite gotten over the line. That’s the biggest frustration for all of us, because we desperately want it.”

Orlando City B Wins a Game

The impossible happened last night — Orlando City B won 1-0 against Greenville Triumph SC. Not only did Orlando City B win, it did so on the road against a playoff team without giving up its lead. The Young Lions scored in the 53rd minute after Will Bagrou got his heel on the end of a free kick for the lone goal of the game. This was OCB’s first road win of the season, first victory since May 22, first clean sheet since May 17, and sixth-straight game scoring a goal. The Young Lions also got their sixth red card of the season, but the win is all that matters.

What to Watch For in the Pride Match

Although out of the playoff picture, the Orlando Pride have a chance to dig their way out of the bottom of the table before the season is up. The key to that goal will be tomorrow’s 11 a.m. match against Sky Blue FC — great entertainment during your Sunday brunch. Sky Blue FC is five points ahead of the Pride and also out of the playoff hunt.

But what will be most interesting to keep an eye on is the Pride’s starting lineup. Sydney Leroux has a chance to return to the field for the first time this season while Kristen Edmonds could make her 100th NWSL appearance in front of her hometown crowd in New Jersey. Speaking of the venue, enough fans were expected to come that the game was moved to Red Bull Arena and it’s very possible that Sky Blue’s attendance record will be broken.

Free Kicks

That’s going to be it from me, folks. There was quite a bit of Orlando soccer news for you to chew on for the rest of the day. Make sure to stay hydrated since summer never ends in Florida. Have a great Saturday!