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Lion Links: 10/25/21

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Orlando City draws with the Revs, OCSC owners are confident in club leadership, Orlando Pride players abroad, and more.

Australia v Brazil Photo by Matt King/Getty Images

Merry Monday morning, Mane Landers! On this day in 2010, the USL announced that Orlando City would join the league for the 2011 season. That, and a result against the New England Revolution, is reason enough to celebrate this Monday morning. Yes, it might feel like points were lost (and they were), but if I told you that Orlando City would get a draw against the top team in MLS, you’d have most likely been happy with that prediction. Let’s get to the links!

Orlando City Draws With New England

The Lions went up 2-0 against the Revolution before conceding two late goals in a 2-2 draw. A header from Nani and a successful penalty kick from Daryl Dike put Orlando City exactly where it wanted to be against the Supporters Shield winners. But with 10 minutes left in the match, it all went sideways. The Lions were unable to stop Adam Buksa, as the Polish footballer scored a brace to give the Revs a point in Exploria Stadium. While it is one of those draws that feels like a loss, a result against the league’s best is nothing to scoff at.

Michael Citro has your match recap. Check back later today for Sean Rollins’ five takeaways from the match and Marcus Mitchell’s player grades and Man of the Match.

OCSC Owners Believe in Club Leadership

Since the arrival of Head Coach Oscar Pareja, Executive Vice President of Soccer Operations Luiz Muzzi, and Director of Scouting Ricardo Moreira, Orlando City has created a winning attitude and club culture. This resulted in the Lions making a deep run in the MLS is Back Tournament and earning a playoff spot for the first time in 2020. The trio signed Nani and Pedro Gallese while also drafting Daryl Dike. Muzzi and Moreira’s contracts are up at the end of this year, with Pareja’s ending in 2022. While new contracts need to be negotiated, co-owner Mark Wilf is keen on supporting the club’s leadership to keep the success going.

“We have a lot of confidence in our soccer staff at City,” Wilf said. “I think that’s pretty much what’s going to take us through the offseason. That’s the theme. We believe in this entire management side of City and that’s who we’re going to work with toward building the team next year.”

It will also be interesting to see how the team addresses its third Designated Player slot during this off-season, as well as if Nani and Mauricio Pereyra will be with the team next year as their contracts end after this season.

Orlando Pride Players Abroad

The Orlando Pride might be out of playoff contention, but several of their players are in action during the international break. Ali Riley’s New Zealand squad may have lost 5-1 to Canada, but the Ferns captain kept the result in perspective.

“I think there were a lot of positives that we can take from this game, actually. I know the scoreline is obviously disappointing, but I think the confidence we had playing out of the back, some of the spells of possession we had, some of the combinations, I don’t know if that’s something that we’ve seen a lot from the Ferns before – especially playing one of the top teams in the world.”

Erin McLeod was an unused substitute for Canada in the match. Elsewhere, two Pride players went head-to-head as Australia and Brazil met for a friendly. Emily van Egmond had an assist and then put the final goal in the net as Australia came away with a 3-1 win. Marta came on for Brazil in the 70th minute but couldn’t spark a comeback.

Hat Tricks Highlight EPL Weekend

It was quite a weekend in the English Premier League. The most eye-catching result was Liverpool’s 5-0 win over Manchester United at Old Trafford. Mo Salah scored a hat trick for Liverpool, bringing his total to 10 goals from the first nine matches this season and making him the top-scoring African player in EPL history. Nothing is for certain, but Solskjaer’s time at Old Trafford might be limited if things don’t change soon.

However, that wasn’t the largest margin of victory from this weekend as Chelsea defeated Norwich City, 7-0. Chelsea was without Romelu Lukaku, Timo Werner, and Christian Pulisic due to injury, but still dominated thanks to a hat trick from Mason Mount. Everton blew a 2-1 lead by allowing four late goals to Watford in a 5-2 loss at Goodison Park. Watford’s Joshua King earned his first hat trick in EPL against his former team. In a weekend filled with goals, the best one might have been from Newcastle United’s Callum Wilson to equalize in a 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace.

Free Kicks

There’s no way I’m going to try to top the Rock, so let’s just end it here. Don’t forget that the USWNT plays Korea tomorrow night in Carli Lloyd’s final international match.