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Lion Links: 10/6/22

Orlando City falls to Inter Miami, new hires join Orlando’s front office, USWNT will face a formidable England team, and more.

MLS: Orlando City SC at Inter Miami CF Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

How’s it going, Mane Landers? If you watched last night’s game, it’s probably a rough morning. All we can do is take a breath, shake it off, and get excited about Orlando’s home game on Sunday. I’ve been pretty busy this week, so I’m glad it’s already Thursday at least. Let’s dive right into today’s links from around the soccer world.

Orlando City Crushed in Fort Lauderdale

The Lions went on the road and had a rough time in a crucial game against Inter Miami. The Herons struck early and Orlando fell 4-1 in a loss that included a rotated line-up, poor defending, and a lack of scoring chances. What’s worse is that center back Antonio Carlos picked up a yellow card and won’t be able to play in Orlando’s game on Sunday against the Columbus Crew.

The good news is that Orlando still controls its own destiny. A win over the Crew at Exploria Stadium on Sunday would book Orlando a ticket to the postseason. However, a draw won’t be enough unless FC Cincinnati falls to D.C. United. The objective is at least clear for the Lions on Sunday: win.

Orlando City and Orlando Pride Hire Executives

New faces are joining Orlando City SC’s front office as Kelly Hyne was hired as senior vice president of brand alliances and Chris Kamke will be chief strategy officer. Hyne has over two decades of experience with the Ladies Professional Golf Association and will be tasked with adding new partners to the club’s network. Kamke will lead Orlando’s efforts to expand and increase the number of projects to generate revenue and he brings a wealth of experience from his time with the Tampa Bay Lightning to the club.

“A little over a year ago when the Wilf Family purchased our clubs, they immediately made a commitment to building a world-class organization, on and off the pitch. In order to do that we need to recruit, develop, and retain world-class talent,” said Jarrod Dillon, president of business operations for Orlando City and Orlando Pride. “In adding two industry respected leaders in Chris Kamke and Kelly Hyne, as well as a number of recent promotions and new position investments, we have taken massive steps in assembling a world-class executive team and front office.”

England Will Be a Tough Test for the USWNT

The United States Women’s National Team is in Europe this week for a pair of friendlies. The first will take place tomorrow as the USWNT faces England, which is currently ranked fourth in FIFA’s world rankings. Since Sarina Wiegman’s appointment as manager in August of 2020, England has been undefeated across 24 matches and won the Euros this past summer. The Houston Dash’s Ebony Salmon is the lone NWSL player on England’s 24-player roster and could spearhead an offense that also features Beth Mead, Fran Kirby, and Lauren Hemp. England also boasts a formidable back line with defenders such as Lucy Bronze, Millie Bright, and Rachel Daly. In the midfield, Manchester City’s Keira Walsh is the straw that stirs the drink for the Lionesses and the USWNT will have to find a way to disrupt the momentum she can build.

Fallout From Abuse Investigation Continues

The Portland Timbers and Thorns announced that they have relieved President of Soccer Gavin Wilkinson and President of Business Mike Golub of their duties for both clubs following the findings of an investigation into systemic abuse in women’s soccer. You’ll need to get past the paywall for the full details, but The Athletic tweeted that Wilkinson signed a contract extension earlier this year that included morals clauses.

Meanwhile, the Chicago Red Stars board of directors is reportedly voting owner Arnim Whisler out as chairman.

Former Orlando City head coach and current Racing Louisville FC president James O’Connor released a statement in response to the club’s decision to hire Christy Holly, who has sexual assault allegations against him. The investigation also found that Sky Blue executive Mary Smoot was shocked that O’Connor told the media he received a “glowing review” of Holly from Sky Blue’s ownership. At the USL Championship match between Louisville City and Detroit City, fans held a silent protest.

Stars Shine in the Champions League

Some of the biggest names in Europe made an impact in the latest Champions League matches. Erling Haaland netted a brace as Manchester City cruised to a 5-0 win at home over Copenhagen. Angel Di Maria had a trio of assists in Juventus’ 3-1 win over Maccabi Haifa. After goals from Rodrygo and Vinicius Junior in the first half, Real Madrid held on for a 2-1 win against Shakhtar Donetsk. Lionel Messi gave Paris Saint-Germain a lead, but Benfica salvaged a 1-1 draw. Christopher Nkunku had a goal in the first half and Andre Silva scored twice in the second to lift RB Leipzig to a 3-1 win over Celtic. Christian Pulisic stayed on the bench as Chelsea won 3-0 against Sergino Dest and AC Milan.

Free Kicks
  • Orlando City, the Orlando Pride, and the Orlando City Foundation are teaming up with Special Olympics Florida to support its Race for Inclusion event.
  • Charlotte FC’s playoff push came to an end despite a valiant effort to claw back from two goals down for a 2-2 draw against the Crew. The game also features a Goal of the Year candidate. Lucas Zelarayan is a notorious free kick specialist, but this is a bit ridiculous.

Ukraine was added to Spain and Portugal’s joint bid to host the World Cup in 2030. While it’s not clear how many games would be played in Ukraine, the distance between matches there and in the Iberian peninsula wouldn’t be too different from the distances in the 2026 World Cup in North America.

That’s all I have for you today. I hope you all have a wonderful Thursday!