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Lion Links: 3/3/20

Pareja proud of chemistry, good defensive effort, Sonnett explores new home, and more.

SOCCER: FEB 29 MLS - Orlando City SC v Real Salt Lake

Good morning and happy Tuesday everyone. I had a litany of car trouble yesterday and didn’t get home until rather late last night, so I apologize if today’s links don’t have my typical flair. Frankly, I’m pooped. There’s lots to talk about today so let’s have at it.

Pareja Proud of Chemistry

One of the things Oscar Pareja was most proud of after Saturday’s home and season opener was the chemistry that Orlando City displayed both on the field and in the locker room. He wasn’t the only one who noticed it either, with third-year Lion Chris Mueller also noting that he felt like there was a new sense of companionship and family in the home locker room ahead of the first match. That feeling is something that Pareja went out of his way to try to instill, which was one of the main goals of the team spending over a week of preseason training in Cancun. Hopefully, as the chemistry among this team continues to develop, the results will start to come as well.

Solid Week One Defensive Effort

While Orlando City unfortunately wasn’t able to claim all three points in its week one outing against Real Salt Lake, that doesn’t mean that there weren’t positive things to be taken away from the match. For instance, even to the simple eye test Orlando looked very organized and solid when it came to the defensive side of things. There are statistics to back that up too, as the Lions allowed the lowest total of Expected Goals (xG) of any team during opening weekend with a miserly 0.16. The next lowest was Atlanta United’s 0.24 in their 2-1 win over Nashville SC, while the highest was the Seattle Sounders’ 3.70 in their 2-1 victory over the Chicago Fire.

Emily Sonnett in the Building

Emily Sonnett is officially a member of the Orlando Pride, and yesterday saw her take the time to explore her new home field of Exploria Stadium. She snapped some pictures at midfield, poked around the club store, and showed off her new spot in the locker room. Sonnett also spoke a little about how she was excited to have a new home field after previously visiting Exploria Stadium. Take a look.

Theme Nights & Ticket Packages Announced

Orlando City has dropped news regarding this season’s theme nights and ticket packages. The Northeast Pack includes the four home matches against the New York Red Bulls, Philadelphia Union, New York City FC, and New England Revolution, while the Florida/Georgia pack includes the two games against Atlanta United and Inter Miami. Some of the theme nights include a St. Patrick’s Day theme for the Lions’ next home game on March 14, and Americana, which will fittingly be on the club’s July 4 match against Toronto FC.

Free Kicks
  • Have a look at the scenes from opening day at Exploria Stadium.
  • Grant Wahl took the time to rightfully give props to Jenny Chiu for a stellar job interviewing and translating live after the home opener.
  • Exploria Stadium had the highest opening day attendance for a non-NFL stadium.

That’ll be all for me today, y’all stay safe out there.