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Lion Links: 5/3/21

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Orlando City’s youth development, MLS weekend results, Americans playing abroad, trouble at Old Trafford, and more.

SOCCER: MAY 01 MLS - FC Cincinnati at Orlando City SC Photo by Andrew Bershaw/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Merry Monday morning, Mane Landers! Hopefully you’ve recovered from celebrating Orlando City’s 3-0 romp of FC Cincinnati. That was the most complete showing from the Lions so far this season, and launched the club into third place in the Eastern Conference. Also, the Orlando Pride secured their second consecutive clean sheet following a 0-0 draw against the North Carolina Courage.

Orlando City Continues Youth Investment

Head Coach Óscar Pareja and Executive Vice President of Soccer Operations Luiz Muzzi are continuing to build a top-to-bottom organization in Orlando like they did at FC Dallas. The importance of developing local young players and bringing them up through the ranks to the senior team is crucial to the long-term success of the club. OCSC added Orlando City Soccer School South and Seminole locations to expand its youth network. The Seminole location will be at the Seminole Soccer Complex, near the Orlando Pride’s training facility. The South location will be at Osceola Heritage Park, the current Orlando City training ground, and home to the Lions’ academy system.

Third Week of MLS Wraps Up

There were plenty of positives for the Lions after their first win, but the result was tough on Cincinnati as it has given up 10 goals in three matches. The New England Revolution handed Atlanta United its first loss of the regular season so far, defeating the Five Stripes 2-1. The Revolution are at the top of the Eastern Conference, though a lot can happen before the Lions meet them in September. D.C. United suffered its second loss, falling to the San Jose Earthquakes 4-1. Things are not going well for former Orlando City gaffer Adrian Heath as Minnesota United sits in last place after losing 1-0 to Austin FC.

Americans Abroad This Weekend

Daryl Dike wasn’t able to score in Barnsley FC’s 2-0 loss to Preston North End FC and the club’s last regular season game will be this Saturday before the Championship playoffs later this month. Elsewhere in Europe, Giovanni Reyna continued his run of form by scoring a brace in Borussia Dortmund’s 5-0 home win over Holstein Kiel. There were plenty of other Americans making appearances throughout the European leagues, including Josh Sargent, Tyler Adams, Christian Pulisic, and Tim Ream.

Protest at Old Trafford Postpones Match

Despite an off year for my English Premier League team, Liverpool, I was looking forward to watching its match against Manchester United. Sadly, it was not to be as hundreds of United supporters took to the streets outside Old Trafford to protest the Glazer’s ownership of the club following the whole Super League debacle. While the protest was planned, the escalation of the supporters breaking into the field was not. The result is that the match has been postponed as the club was unable to secure the stadium following the incident. Where things go from here is still up in the air.

European Title Races Reach Their Finish Line

Ajax has secured the Dutch league title for the 35th time after a 4-0 win over Emmen. The club clinched the Eredivisie with three games to spare and a 14-point lead over second-place PSV Eindhoven. While Ajax added to its titles, Inter Milan ended Juventus’ run of nine consecutive Serie A titles after beating FC Crotone 2-0. It’s been over a decade since Inter has won the league, as its last title came in 2010. Inter earned this title while riding a 15-match unbeaten streak, with its last loss coming to Juventus in the Coppa Italia. The club has only lost two matches all season.

A brace from Lionel Messi helped FC Barcelona complete a comeback against Valencia CF and win 3-2. The result keeps things tight in the La Liga title race between Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Sevilla. France’s Ligue 1 is also far from over as Lille has a slight lead over Paris Saint-Germain with three games left in the season. In the English Premier League, Manchester City has the chance to claim the title with a win over Chelsea this Saturday.

Free Kicks
  • If you’re like me, you want to relive that beautiful Nani goal. Of course, it isn’t the only goal like that he’s scored for the Lions.
  • Former Lion Santiago Patiño is on a bit of a tear with San Antonio FC in the USL Championship. Patiño has scored two hat tricks for the USL Championship side. It might be nice to still have him in purple.

That’s going to be it for now. Have a wonderful Monday and rest of your week.