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Lion Links: 3/25/21

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Orlando City defeats Philadelphia Union, MLS schedule announced, Andres Perea and Benji Michel play in loss to Mexico, and more.

Image courtesy of Orlando City SC

Happy Thursday, Mane Landers. I hope you and yours are doing well. It’s been a news-packed week so far, and the pattern continued yesterday. On that note, let’s get right into the links.

Orlando City Defeats Philadelphia Union 3-1

Orlando City was victorious over the Philadelphia Union in a preseason scrimmage on Wednesday, winning 3-1 at Osceola County Stadium. The Lions’ goals came through Alexandre Pato, Chris Mueller, and Matheus Aias. Orlando City is set to have its next scrimmage on Saturday against the Columbus Crew.

Orlando City’s 2021 Schedule Released

MLS has released the full season schedule for the forthcoming campaign. Orlando City had its fixtures announced yesterday and on paper, it looks as if September could be a very difficult month for the side.

“Even if Orlando doesn’t advance past the Leagues Cup quarterfinals, September looks to be the most difficult month of the season. Five of the six Orlando opponents made the playoffs in 2020 — MLS Cup winner Columbus, Montreal, Philadelphia, New England, and Nashville. Only Atlanta United missed the postseason a year ago out of the September foes. Four of those six matches are on the road — Atlanta, Philly, New England, and Nashville.”

It will be interesting to see how Oscar Pareja’s men fare this season. Given the positives of last year, confidence is high going into the new campaign.

Perea Starts and Michel Subs On in Loss to Mexico

Andres Perea played 60 minutes in the U-23 United States Men’s National Team’s 1-0 defeat to Mexico. Benji Michel also entered the game at the 72-minute mark. The Orlando City pair and the team as a whole were below their best on the night. Mexico bested them to secure the group-topping win on a goal by Uriel Antuna off a terrible giveaway in his own end by Sebastian Soto.

While the match did not mean much, as the U.S. had already qualified for the semifinals, winning would have awarded bragging rights. Also, a win would have seen the team face the side that came second in Group B. Now, however, they will face either Canada or Honduras this weekend. Which team that is, exactly, will be determined today.

Megan Rapinoe Takes to Capitol Hill Over pay fight and unequal NCAA amenities

World Cup champion Megan Rapinoe voiced her dismay with the gender inequality shown in sport on Capitol Hill. The 35-year-old stated that the true potential of women’s sport will not be known until changes are made.

“With the lack of proper investment we don’t know the real potential of women’s sports. What we know is how successful women’s sports have been in the face of discrimination, in the face of gender disparity, in the face of a lack of investment on virtually every single level.”

Rapinoe also went on to defend transgender athletes. She was asked if she thought their participation put women at an unfair advantage by Representative Scott Franklin of Florida.

“As a member of the LGBTQ community, I firmly stand with the trans family and that whole community. And as someone who has played sports with someone who is trans I can assure you all is well, nothing is spontaneously combusting,” Rapinoe said.

In spite of an abundance of pushback from external noises, Rapinoe is refusing to back down and doing all she can in hopes for gender equality.

Free Kicks
  • Pato took flight for his goal against the Union.
  • The Orlando City U-23 side won by a margin of 3-0 over Deportivo Lake Mary in the Young Lions’ UPSL season opener. This fantastic strike was the side’s third of the night.

That’s all for this Thursday’s set of links. As always, thanks for reading. Have a good second half of your week.