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Lion Links: 3/15/22

Junior Urso wants to score more, Orlando City adds three new soccer school locations, Poland and Scotland schedule a friendly to benefit Ukraine, and more.

MLS: FC Cincinnati at Orlando City SC Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Tuesday, everyone. I’m still dragging after the time change and had myself half convinced that today was Wednesday and we were already halfway through the week. The realization that I was wrong made for a rude awakening, so let’s distract ourselves from the misery that is a Tuesday by exploring today’s links. But first, let’s wish Orlando City captain Mauricio Pereyra a happy 32nd birthday.

Junior Urso Wants More Goals

Junior Urso recently sat down for an interview in which he expressed his belief that he can, and should, score more goals. The midfielder bagged Orlando City’s lone goal of Saturday’s game and is pleased that he’s gotten off the mark already.

“The first two years you know, I think I missed a lot of goals...but I feel like I can score more. When I was in China one season I scored 11 goals, and in Brazil, seven goals. So I think this is good.”

It would certainly be welcome for Orlando to have a goal scoring threat from the defensive midfield, so here’s hoping that Urso’s goal over the weekend is only the first of many this season.

Orlando City Adds Three Youth Soccer School Locations

Orlando City has added three more locations to its Orlando City Youth Soccer Network. There will now be Orlando City Soccer School locations in Windermere, Clermont, and Lake Nona. OCYSN now has nine soccer schools in and around the Orlando area. All three locations will have programs serving players up to the age of 18 and will have access to gyms, locker rooms, and a variety of fields. Orlando City President of Business Operations Jarrod Dillon spoke about the addition of the new locations, saying:

“The addition of three new soccer schools to our Youth Soccer Network is an incredible way for us to expand and continue to spread our love for this game with our community here in Orlando”

Scotland and Poland Schedule Ukraine Benefit Friendly

Scotland and Poland have scheduled a friendly next week that will take the place of the Ukraine vs. Scotland World Cup qualifier that was scheduled to take place on March 24. FIFA granted Ukraine’s request to postpone that game, which will now be played in June against the winner of Austria vs. Wales. That game will still be played next week as scheduled, while Poland has been granted a bye to the next round after Russia was suspended by FIFA following the country’s invasion of Ukraine. For every ticket sold to the friendly between Scotland and Poland, 10 pounds will go to UNICEF United Kingdom’s emergency appeal for Ukraine. Fans will also have the opportunity to donate an additional amount when purchasing tickets if they so choose.

PSG Training Ground Vandalized

Paris Saint-Germain’s training ground was vandalized Monday following last week’s disappointing exit from the UEFA Champions League. Sporting director Leonardo and president Nasser Al-Khelafi were the subjects of graffiti sprayed at the ground, as were PSG players themselves. Messages included “Leonardo get out” and “10 years of mediocrity,” which were sprayed onto the club’s buildings in Saint-Germain, Paris, and Boulogne. The messages were taken down quickly and the ground itself was empty since the players are off until Tuesday. The graffiti follows Neymar and Lionel Messi being booed during Sunday’s Ligue 1 match.

Free Kicks
  • Orlando City fell five spots to 19th place in ESPN.com’s MLS power rankings.
  • Zack Steffen was back in the matchday squad for Man City’s 0-0 draw with Crystal Palace yesterday.

  • U.S. Soccer is hosting a kickoff party next Saturday ahead of the United States Men’s National Team match against Panama in Orlando on Sunday, March 27.

That does it for me today. Y’all stay safe out there.