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Lion Links: 7/26/21

Orlando City loses big, Becky Burleigh named as the Orlando Pride’s interim coach, the USMNT advances to the Concacaf Gold Cup semifinals, Flavio says goodbye, and more.

FBL-CONCACAF-GOLD-USA-JAM Photo by ANDY JACOBSOHN/AFP via Getty Images

Merry Monday morning, Mane Landers! Was there a match other than the United States Men’s National Team’s win last night? I seem to have blacked out for part of Sunday evening. I’m definitely choosing to remember the Orlando City match I got to attend in person last Thursday. I’m not saying my presence is the reason the Lions won that match, but I wasn’t in New York yesterday. Coincidence? I’ll leave that up to you. Let’s get to the links.

Orlando City Falls Hard

The Lions were blasted off the tiny pitch in Yankee Stadium, losing 5-0 to New York City FC. The lineup can only be described as a B squad with a few regular starters sprinkled in. Despite the score, it was a defense-heavy squad and Pedro Gallese made a ton of saves. None of it was enough, as Orlando City was utterly dismantled in a match that we will all want to forget as soon as possible.

Check back later today for the player grades and Man of the Match from Topher Adams, and our five takeaways from yours truly.

Orlando Pride Name Interim Head Coach

The resignation of Marc Skinner left the Orlando Pride front office with the task of hiring a new head coach for the Orlando Pride. The search is expected to potentially take as long as the remainder of the season. As such, the club is bringing in former University of Florida women’s soccer head coach Becky Burleigh as interim head coach. Burleigh has an impressive resume, and will be tasked with guiding a recently struggling Pride team through the rest of the season and hopefully a trip to the NWSL postseason.

As mentioned, the Pride have been on a bit of a slide and lost 2-0 to OL Reign this weekend. Ashlyn Harris is taking on more than the normal captain duties. In spite of a difficult week due to the coaching change, she is fully invested in trying to help the Pride reach higher.

USMNT Advances to Concacaf Gold Cup Semifinals

The USMNT won 1-0 against Jamaica in a chippy match on horrible turf at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX. Orlando’s Daryl Dike started the match, but didn’t get many chances to contribute and was subbed off in the 63rd minute. To be fair, Jamaica’s Andre Blake was very good in goal most of the night. The match was a typical Concacaf match with plenty of fouls. The U.S. finally broke through in the 83rd minute when Matthew Hoppe got on the end of a cross and headed home the winning goal. The victory puts the U.S. through to the semifinals where it will take on Qatar this Thursday at 7:30 p.m.

Fare Thee Well, Flávio Augusto da Silva

The Flávio Augusto da Silva era in Orlando is over, but the club’s former owner is forever a Lion.

“I don’t feel that I’m leaving,” Augusto da Silva said. “I’m not leaving; I’m just not owning the shares of the club. For me, Orlando City is still the same. I’m still around, I’m still watching the games. ... I’ll still feel like an Orlando City member forever. Nobody can take this from me.”

Supporters of Orlando City and the Orlando Pride have much to thank him for, as he shepherded the club from the USL into MLS. Despite recent results, Augusto da Silva leaves the organization in a good place from the senior squads all the way down to the burgeoning academy program.

Everton Wins Florida Cup

In the 2021 Florida Cup, Everton defeated Millonarios FC in penalties (10-9) after the two sides played to a 1-1 draw. Andrés Llinas Montejo scored in the 18th minute to give Millonarios an early lead, but Everton equalized through a penalty converted by Demarai Gray in the second half. In the ensuing penalty shootout, Everton goalkeeper Asmir Begovic secured victory by converting his penalty and then immediately making the final save. It’s Everton’s first bit of hardware under new skipper Rafael Benítez.

Everton will take on Liga MX’s Pumas on Wednesday while Millonarios will face fellow Colombian club Atletico Nacional.

Free Kicks
  • In case you missed it, the United States Women’s National Team rebounded in the Olympics and rolled New Zealand, defeating the Football Ferns by a score of 6-1. First Lady Jill Biden attended the match against New Zealand and the Pride’s Alex Morgan, who scored in the 86th minute, thanked her for her support.

The USWNT plays its last group stage match against Australia tomorrow morning at 4 a.m. and only needs a draw to secure a spot in the quarterfinals.

  • Josh Sargent, Mark McKenzie, Brenden Aaronson, and other Americans were all in action this weekend as some European clubs started their seasons.
  • In the earlier Gold Cup match on Sunday, Canada moved on to the semifinals after defeating Costa Rica 2-0. Junior Hoilett and Stephen Eustaquio were the goal scorers for Canada, with Orlando’s Tesho Akindele coming on in the 70th minute.

That will do it for me. I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty tired after this last week. Are you planning on getting up (or staying up) for the USWNT match tomorrow? I’m not sure I can do that again, but we’ll see. Go USWNT!