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Lion Links: 6/24/21

Orlando Pride win at KC, midweek MLS, Olympic rosters, and more.

Image courtesy of Orlando Pride

Our incredibly busy week of soccer in Orlando continues on. After Tuesday’s Orlando City game, we had another Pride match, a full slate of MLS games, both international tournaments, breaking news, and we have another Orlando City game tomorrow. A whole lot is going on, so let’s get into it.

Orlando Pride Continue Unbeaten Run

The Pride’s excellent start to the 2021 season continued with another win, in a bizarre midweek afternoon fixture at Kansas City. It was an impressive performance with a 3-1 win over a winless Kansas City team, featuring a brace from Sydney Leroux and a sublime goal from Marta.

It was a hard-fought battle, with relatively even possession and shots, but the quality of Orlando’s high-end players won out. The Pride are now sitting on 15 points through seven games, three points clear of Portland at the top of the table, and will play the Dash in Houston this Saturday.

Midweek MLS Results

After Orlando City got the midweek slate running on Tuesday, it was a full schedule on Wednesday night. In the Eastern Conference, the conference-leading New England Revolution held on to beat the New York Red Bulls 3-2 courtesy of a hat trick of assists from MVP frontrunner Carles Gil. Atlanta United and the Columbus Crew each fell 1-0 on the road to New York City FC and the Philadelphia Union, respectively. Cellar dwellers the Chicago Fire and FC Cincinnati battled in an early fight for the Wooden Spoon, with Cincy walking away with a 1-0 victory off an excellent Alvaro Barreal free kick, while Montreal and D.C. United played a dull 0-0 draw. Toronto FC and Nashville SC played arguably the match of the night. A back-and-forth affair ended 3-2 in favor of Nashville, after two Luke Haakenson goals in the final 10 minutes.

Out west, Adrian Heath’s Minnesota United continued its unbeaten run with a 2-0 home win over Austin FC, with goals from new signings Franco Fragapane and Adrien Hunou. The Houston Dynamo got out to an early 2-0 lead over the Portland Timbers before Dairon Asprilla and Jeremy Ebobisse helped the Timbers earn a 2-2 draw on the road. Sporting Kansas City beat the Colorado Rapids 3-1 at home, thanks to two goals and an assist from the red-hot Daniel Salloi. The Seattle Sounders continued their Supporters Shield pace with a 2-1 win over Real Salt Lake, LAFC beat FC Dallas 2-0, and the LA Galaxy somehow walked away with a 2-1 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps after the teams traded goals in second-half stoppage time.

US Women’s National Team Releases Olympic Roster

Vlatko Andonovski and the U.S. Women’s National Team announced their roster for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. Orlando Pride star Alex Morgan was, unsurprisingly, among the players selected. Also included were many familiar faces to major tournaments past, including Megan Rapinoe, Carli Lloyd, and Tobin Heath.

Among those not included were Pride stars Ashyln Harris and Ali Krieger. Harris took to Instagram to share her thoughts on not being selected.

The USWNT opens its Olympic campaign June 21 against Sweden.

Euros Round of 16 Set

The final group games of Euro 2020 are completed and the knockout stages are set. In Group E, Spain finally figured things out, thrashing Slovakia 5-0, while Sweden held on to a 3-2 victory over Poland. Both teams advanced to the knockout rounds. In Group F, former teammates Christiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema traded goals in a 2-2 draw, while Germany barely came back for their own 2-2 draw against Hungary. With the results, all three of Portugal, Germany, and France advanced to the Round of 16. Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Ukraine, and Portugal were the third-place teams to advance. The full bracket can be found here.

Free Kicks

That’s all for this morning. Stay hydrated as there are more games ahead, with the Lions heading to Miami tomorrow and the Pride visiting Houston on Saturday.