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Lion Links: 2/17/22

Lions sign top draft pick, Orlando Pride news, a USWNT match preview, and more.

Image courtesy of Orlando City SC

Hello, Mane Landers. I hope your Thursday is going well so far. Our Orlando City Lions were quite busy yesterday on and off the pitch. Lets get to that and much more in today’s Lion Links.

Lions Draw in Latest Preseason Match

Orlando City took to the pitch against USL Championship side Miami FC in Osceola County Stadium yesterday as they continued their preseason schedule ahead of the MLS season opener at home later this month. This match did not see much action in the goal department as it ended a 0-0 draw. The starting XI featured a lot of young players. A few notable starters included Júnior Urso, getting his first playing time of this preseason, as well as recently signed youngsters such as Homegrown Alex Freeman and 2022 first-round MLS SuperDraft pick Jack Lynn (more on him in a moment). There wasn’t anything major coming out of this game and it seems the Lions were able to come out of it avoiding any injury setbacks, which is always a good thing when this close to the regular season.

Orlando City Signs First-Round Draft Pick

Prior to yesterday’s preseason game, Orlando City announced the signing of 2022 first-round SuperDraft pick Jack Lynn. The forward out of Notre Dame signed a one-year deal, with club options in 2023, 2024, and 2025. This looks to be a good investment for the Lions as they have brought in a young talent for potentially four seasons and will allow him time to grow within the system as there will be little expectation to perform early in his career while learning and developing under veteran strikers such as Ercan Kara, Alexandre Pato, and Tesho Akindele.

Orlando Pride Roundup

SBNation’s All For XI spotlighted Pride defender Kylie Strom’s soccer journey before arriving with the Orlando Pride. The article took a look at her experience playing in Europe early on and how it shaped her playing style. This is certainly an interesting read to learn more about what led Strom to end up playing in Orlando.

Newly acquired Megan Montefusco is looking to lead the charge for the Pride this season as the veteran defender has the mindset to call the shots from the defensive line. Montefusco talked about why she felt Orlando was the right choice for her and her leadership style on the pitch. The seven-year starter also has a tendency to join the attacking action and she is excited that her style of play will help benefit the rest of her teammates this season.

USWNT SheBelieves Cup Match Preview

As the USWNT prepares for the opening match of the 2022 SheBelieves Cup against the Czech Republic later tonight, you can get yourself caught up in time for the match with this preview brought to us by Stars and Stripes FC. The Red, White & Blue come into this match with a good mix of veterans and youth as they are still seen as the favorites in this match-up in Carson, CA. Those of us on the east coast will have to stay up late for this one as kickoff is scheduled for 11 p.m. U.S. Soccer has your five things to know about the Czech Republic women’s team ahead of their match against the USWNT.

Mia Fishel’s Decision Could Have Lasting Impact

When the Orlando Pride named Amanda Cromwell as the new head coach for the club, it seemed like it would be a great fit for the Pride to draft Mia Fishel and pair the former UCLA Bruins together in the pros. In the end, it was not to be as Fishel surprised many when she decided to sign with Liga MX Femenil side Tigres. The impact of this decision could cause the young, six-year-old women’s league in Mexico to become a major rival to NWSL and European leagues in a short amount of time.

Free Kicks
  • Freshly signed rookie Jack Lynn gave his initial feelings on officially becoming a Lion.
  • Orlando Pride forward Marta scored a penalty kick goal for Brazil in a 1-1 draw versus the Netherlands.

That will do it for me today. Have a great rest of your Thursday and enjoy tonight’s match-up between the USWNT and Czech Republic.