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Lion Links: 3/27/22

The Pride fall to the Courage, OCB victorious in opener, an MLS recap, the USMNT is in Orlando, and more.

NWSL: Orlando Pride at North Carolina Courage Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Mane Landers! Yesterday was a mixed bag of results, and we’re only halfway through the busy weekend with the Lions and the USMNT playing later today. I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty hyped, especially since the U.S. will be in the friendly confines of Exploria Stadium. If you have tickets, raise a voice for those us who can’t be there. Let’s get to the links.

Pride Fall in North Carolina

The Orlando Pride traveled to WakeMed Soccer Park to take on the North Carolina Courage in their second match of the Challenge Cup. Unfortunately, the Pride lost the match 1-0. Orlando was able to keep the Courage off the board until the 61st minute, despite giving up more shots and the majority of the possession. Gunny Jónsdóttir was called for a handball in the box and Merritt Mathias converted the penalty to give the Courage the lead. That goal was enough despite the Pride creating more chances after going down a goal. The Pride’s next match is against NJ/NY Gotham FC this Wednesday at Exploria Stadium.

OCB Win Opener

Orlando City B defeated Chicago Fire II by a score of 2-0 as Jack Lynn scored a brace in his debut. Wilfredo Rivera provided the assists on both of Lynn’s goals. On the other side of the pitch, Javier Otero started in goal for the young Lions and made several saves throughout the match to get the clean sheet for OCB. The match was not without some drama as Justin Reynolds was sent off for Chicago when he denied Rivera a scoring chance in the first half, and Erick Gunera-Calix earned a second yellow in the second half. Orlando City B will next be in action on April 3 against NYCFC II at Osceola County Stadium.

MLS Results

It’s a light weekend in MLS with only two matches played on Saturday. Charlotte FC defeated FC Cincinnati 2-0 at Bank of America Stadium thanks to a brace from Karol Świderski. His first goal came in the sixth minute, and he added the second in the 55th minute. Cincinnati had its opportunities with five shots on goal, but they were unable to convert. The late match saw Real Salt Lake fall 1-0 to Sporting Kansas City. Johnny Russell wasn’t able to break through for SKC until the 81st minute. RSL did get some chances with two shots on goal, but Sporting’s Tim Melia was able to keep the clean sheet.

USMNT at Exploria Stadium

The U.S. match against Panama is a must-win as World Cup qualifying nears conclusion. The U.S. will have home field advantage thanks to the supporters in Orlando. The U.S. is light at the fullback position, but should still be able to handle Panama. If the Yanks win, and Costa Rica either draws or loses to El Salvador, then the U.S. will qualify for the World Cup. Our fellow SBNation site Stars and Stripes FC has everything you need to know heading into the match tonight.

Free Kicks
  • Christian Eriksen suffered a heart attack last year, but scored in his international return for Denmark.
  • The U-20 USMNT drew 2-2 against the Argentina U-20 national team in front of several big names, including Lionel Messi. The young Yanks will continue their Argentina trip this Tuesday against River Plate.
  • Speaking of Messi, he may have played his last official match for the Argentina National Team at Alberto J. Armando Stadium in Buenos Aires, better known as La Bombonera. Argentina defeated Venezuela, 3-0.
  • Finally, drones are cool.

That will do it for today. Enjoy the massive day of soccer ahead of us. Vamos Orlando and Go USA!