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Lion Links: 2/20/22

Orlando City beats Rowdies 3-1, Marta scores in Brazil loss, USWNT faces New Zealand in SheBelieves Cup, and more.

Leagues Cup 2021: Quarterfinals - Santos Laguna v Orlando City SC Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images

Happy Sunday, Mane Landers! Join us in wishing the Pride’s 2022 third-round draft pick and preseason camp participant Jada Talley a happy 23rd birthday today. Orlando’s Marta and Toni Pressley turned 36 and 32, respectively, yesterday and we also wish them a happy birthday. Let’s get to the links!

Lions Top Rowdies 3-1 in Final Preseason Test

In the Lions’ final presason tuneup yesterday, Tesho Akindele, Mauricio Pereyra and Jack Lynn scored to power Orlando City to a 3-1 win over the USL Championship’s Tampa Bay Rowdies. The Rowdies’ Jake LaCava opened the scoring in the 20th minute. The stakes were low and the teams play in different divisions, but it still feels good to be the I-4 Derby champs.

Marta Scores in Brazil’s Tournoi de France Loss

Host France beat Brazil 2-1 in yesterday’s Tournoi de France action. Fresh off her 36th birthday, Marta struck first for FIFA’s seventh-ranked Brazil before fourth-ranked France came from behind to win. The Tournoi de France is an invitational tournament hosted by the French Football Federation and this year’s four-squad version also features the Netherlands and Finland.

USWNT Faces New Zealand Today in SheBelieves Cup

After drawing 0-0 with the Czech Republic in the SheBelieves Cup opener Thursday night, the U.S. Women’s National Team squares off today against New Zealand, a team the U.S. women beat 6-1 in their last meeting in the 2020 Summer Olympics’ group stage. The starting 11 on Thursday was the squad’s youngest since an April 2018 match with Mexico. Stars and Stripes FC’s Donald Wine suggests we watch for the USWNT to be aggresive, press high early and often, and let Midge Purce work some creative magic.

Fire Add Mexican Winger; Loons Welcome Back Paraguyan Forward

Not a day goes by without the announcement of a significant incoming MLS transfer, and yesterday was no exception. Chicago Fire FC made official yesterday its long-reported acquisition of Mexican winger Jairo Torres from Liga MX side Atlas FC as a Young Designated Player. Torres, 21, has eight goals and eight assists in 108 appearances across all competitions for Atlas and is signed through 2025. Another expected transfer was completed yesterday when Minnesota United signed forward Luis Amarilla from Argentine Primera División side Vélez Sarsfield through the 2023 MLS season with options for 2024 and 2025.

Tottenham Upsets Man City in Stoppage Time

Yesterday’s Manchester City-Tottenham match ended as one of the Premier League’s most thrilling encounters so far this season. Harry Kane scored in the 95th minute to give Spurs a 3-2 victory on the road, moments after City’s Riyad Mahrez equalized the game from the penalty spot in the 92nd minute.

Free Kicks

Seven more sleeps until Orlando City takes on CF Montréal in this season’s home opener at Exploria Stadium. Vamos Orlando!