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Lion Links: 10/22/21

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Talking points from Orlando City’s draw, Mark Wilf discusses the Orlando Pride, USWNT draws with South Korea, and more.

MLS: CF Montreal at Orlando City SC Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

How’s it going, Mane Landers? I hope you’re all having a good week as we shift gears into the weekend. I don’t have many plans beyond work and some reading. It should be an exciting next few days with the MLS playoff race heating up. Before we dive into today’s links, let’s all wish a happy birthday to Orlando Pride midfielder Jade Moore!

Learning from Orlando City’s Draw

The Lions struggled to come out roaring in the second half of their 1-1 draw with CF Montreal, conceding a goal in the 51st minute. It was a disappointing goal to allow as Orlando dominated the first half, preventing Montreal from taking a shot and creating plenty of opportunities. The Lions will need to work on consistency throughout the match with tough Eastern Conference opponents left on the schedule and the postseason looming.

There were still plenty of good signs from the match as well, including Chris Mueller finding the back of the net for his first goal since July 3. Alexandre Pato also made his first appearance since the season-opener, although there were some moments of disconnect between him and his teammates as he shakes the rust off. If Mueller and Pato can find their form in the last weeks of the season, Orlando’s offense will be in good shape for the playoffs. The Lions are back in action this Sunday against the New England Revolution at Exploria Stadium.

Owner Mark Wilf Discusses Orlando City, Pride

Orlando City and Orlando Pride Co-Owner Mark Wilf visited the Pride’s training and spoke about the steps the Pride are taking to better protect players moving forward. As NWSL leadership undergoes change, Wilf is making player protection a priority for the Pride by increasing budgeting to hire more staff and creating better ways for players to report concerns. With the Pride eliminated from playoff contention, attention turns to next season and Wilf weighed in on the team’s search for a permanent head coach.

“We’re still in the midst of the interviews,” Wilf said. “Hopefully we’ll have that settled relatively soon because we have to get to work. We’re ready to begin looking at our roster, getting feedback from players and coaches on how we need to get better.”

Wilf also spoke on Good Day Orlando about his investment in the club and growth of soccer in the area as Orlando aims to host the 2026 World Cup.

USWNT Draws With South Korea

In the first of two friendlies between the two nations, the United States Women’s National Team drew 0-0 with South Korea. The Pride’s Alex Morgan started as forward for the USWNT but the offense wasn’t able to find a breakthrough despite putting eight of its 19 shots on target. In her penultimate match for the USWNT, Carli Lloyd came on for Morgan in the 63rd minute and she will play her final international match on Tuesday. After dominating in the friendlies against Paraguay last month, the USWNT had a tougher time against South Korea as its 22-game win streak at home came to an end.

Europa League Action Continues

West Ham United and Lyon remained perfect in the Europa League after big wins to inch closer to the quarterfinals. AS Monaco, Napoli, and Galatasaray were a few of the other clubs that came out victorious as the group stage reached its halfway point. It was also a good week for the Scottish clubs in the Europa League, with Celtic and Rangers both winning their first games of this tournament.

In the Europa Conference League, AS Roma and Tottenham Hotspur both fell. Roma traveled to Norway to play Bodo-Glimt and was stunned in a 6-1 defeat while Tottenham fell 1-0 to Vitesse in the Netherlands.

Free Kicks
  • Ali Riley gave an inside look into the Pride’s training as the season winds down.
  • Enjoy Daryl Dike’s tweet in reaction to Pedro Gallese’s amazing save against Montreal.

That’s all for today, Mane Landers. Stay safe out there and enjoy your weekend!