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Lion Links: 4/28/21

Orlando City sells out next three home games, Orlando Pride’s 2021 NWSL schedule revealed, Allie Long traded, and more.

SOCCER: APR 23 MLS - Orlando City SC at Sporting Kansas City Photo by Nick Tre. Smith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Hello, Mane Landers. I hope everyone is enjoying the nice weather. I can’t believe April is almost done and summer can’t get here fast enough. We have plenty to cover today, so let’s get to the links.

Orlando City Sells Out Next Three Home Matches

The Lions announced that their three home matches in May have been sold out and no individual game tickets are available to purchase. However, all of the 2021 locally broadcasted games will now be made available to LionNation Free members on the LionNation app and portal. Orlando City CEO Alex Leitão expressed his thoughts on this latest news.

“Orlando City fans are the best fans in Major League Soccer, so it’s no surprise to us that our limited inventory has been claimed for these early matches of the season. We are all excited to have soccer back and to be continuing to play safely in front of fans, especially in front of a modified capacity crowd at our home, Exploria Stadium,” said Orlando City SC CEO Alex Leitão. “With the great response we’ve seen from fans who want to be in the venue and who want to support our club, we’re really happy to be able to now make LionNation TV accessible to everyone in Central Florida so they can back the boys this entire season.”

In other news, the Lions acquired a 2021 international roster slot from Toronto FC in exchange for $200,000 in General Allocation Money.

Orlando Pride’s 2021 NWSL Schedule Revealed

We are now only a few weeks away from the Orlando Pride kicking off their NWSL regular season campaign. The Pride’s regular season starts on May 16 at Exploria Stadium against the Washington Spirit. Their first away match will be the following week against the North Carolina Courage on May 22.

With 24 games this season, the Pride will play 12 games at home and 12 on the road. There will be no break for the Olympics this summer so the Pride will have to manage that stretch of games without key players. The regular season ends on Halloween and the top six teams will make the playoffs, with the championship set for Nov. 20.

Allie Long Traded to NJ/NY Gotham FC

After three seasons with the OL Reign, midfielder Allie Long will be leaving the Pacific Northwest as she heads to Gotham FC via trade. In exchange, the Reign received $80,000 in allocation money and Gotham’s second round pick in the 2022 NWSL College Draft. The clubs also traded spots in the Discovery Ranking Order, which moved the Reign to the top of the list.

Long was part of the United States Women’s National Team that won the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Originally acquired by the Reign from the Portland Thorns in 2018, Long made 41 appearances for the club with three goals and three assists across 3,563 minutes.

She now joins Gotham, which fought to a scoreless draw with the Washington Spirit in the NWSL Challenge Cup. The result keeps the Pride alive in the tournament, with an important match against the Courage on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

Concacaf Champions League Quarterfinals Kick Off

The quarterfinals are underway in the Concacaf Champions League. Atlanta United was defeated 3-0 at home by the Philadelphia Union in the first leg Tuesday night. After a scoreless first half, Kacper Przybylko scored two goals and assisted on Anthony Fontana’s goal to take a commanding lead in the series. In Tampa, Toronto FC lost 3-1 to Cruz Azul after falling behind early in the match due to a beauty of a goal from range in the opening minutes.

Today, the Columbus Crew will host CF Monterrey at 8:30 p.m. and the Portland Timbers will welcome Club America to Providence Park at 10:30 p.m.

Free Kicks

That will do it for me today, Mane Landers. Enjoy your Wednesday, stay safe, and I’ll see you next time.