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Lion Links: 4/14/22

Lions prep for Columbus and Tampa Bay, Pride to play twice on national TV, Daryl Dike eyes the World Cup, Champions League results, and more.

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Orlando City Soccer Club v Tampa Bay Rowdies - Disney Pro Soccer Classic Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

Happy Thursday, Mane Landers. It’s been a busy week already throughout the soccer world and this weekend it’s only going to get busier. While we approach the next matches for the various Orlando clubs, let’s get to the links!

Lions Prepare for Columbus and Tampa Bay

Orlando City is preparing to face the Columbus Crew in Ohio this Saturday while also keeping an eye on next Wednesday’s I-4 Derby at home against the Tampa Bay Rowdies in the U.S. Open Cup. The Lions’ recent success against Columbus and Pedro Gallese’s chance to set the club record for wins by a goalkeeper are just two of the storylines for Saturday’s match, when the Lions will hope to avoid any Lucas Zelarayán direct free kicks.

Former Orlando City goalkeeper and current club broadcaster Miguel Gallardo said the Lions will take the Open Cup match very seriously for many reasons. One of those reasons is that they know how important the rivalry with Tampa Bay is to their fans.

Pride Announce 2022 Broadcast Schedule

On Wednesday, the Orlando Pride announced the team’s broadcast schedule for the 2022 NWSL regular season and the club will feature in two nationally televised games. The Pride will play twice on the CBS Sports Network (CBSSN), twice on Twitch, and 18 times on Paramount+. The first CBSSN broadcast comes on May 27, when the Washington Spirit visit Exploria Stadium. They’ll play on the network again on July 2 when they host Racing Louisville FC.

USMNT’s Daryl Dike Eyes World Cup Role

Former Lion Daryl Dike hasn’t played for the EFL Championship’s West Bromwich Albion since Jan. 22 as he continues to rehab a torn hamstring. In an interview with The Athletic ($), Dike said that making the United States’ World Cup roster remains one of his goals for this year.

“I haven’t played in a very long time, hadn’t been in any World Cup qualifying, and so I know I have to do a lot to put myself on that roster,” Dike said. “Whether it be training all summer or doing everything I can, because I want it so bad. I think for me, not being in all these camps and not being able to play with West Brom, it’s kind of given me more fuel to do more things.

“I know that if I continue to work, that I’ll get the chance to be on these next rosters to prove myself and potentially be on the World Cup roster — and not even just be on the roster, but be a starting forward. So if I just put myself in the position once I get these opportunities to actually go out there and execute, that’s all I can hope for.”

Seattle Advances to CCL Final

The Seattle Sounders drew 1-1 with New York City FC last night to go through 4-2 on aggregate and punch their first ticket to a Concacaf Champions League final, where they will face Liga MX’s Pumas UNAM. Raul Ruidiaz scored in the 28th minute for Seattle before Santiago Rodriguez equalized for NYCFC in the 51st minute. Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Frei made several outstanding saves throughout the match to keep NYCFC at bay.

Manchester City, Liverpool Advance in Champions League

Manchester CIty and Atlético Madrid deadlocked 0-0 in a heated quarterfinal second leg to send the Cityzens through to the semfinals 1-0 on aggregate. Pep Guardiola knows a thing or two about Champions League semifinal action.

Roberto Firmino bagged a brace as Liverpool drew 3-3 with Benfica to advance to the semifinals 6-4 on aggregate. Get ready for today’s Europa League and Europa Conference League action when the U.S. Men’s National Team’s Sergiño Dest returns from injury to Barcelona’s Europa League battle with Eintracht Frankfurt.

Free Kicks
  • Orlando City’s Facundo Torres celebrated a birthday yesterday and his teammates sure know how to make him feel special.

Six more days until the I-4 Derby in the U.S. Open Cup. Tell us in the comments why you’ll be at Exploria Stadium for this one. Vamos Orlando!