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Lion Links: 4/18/22

Amanda Cromwell’s challenge, a new Pride jersey is on the way, the FA Cup final is set, and more.

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

Merry Monday morning, Mane Landers! It was a mixed bag of results, but Orlando City’s win over the Columbus Crew was a thing of beauty. While the Pride didn’t win, they did finally score multiple goals in a match. I love this time of the year, since there is so much soccer to watch, you can almost do nothing else all weekend. Let’s get to the links.

Checking in with Amanda Cromwell

Taking the job as the Orlando Pride’s head coach was the right choice at the right time for Amanda Cromwell. The team is in a transition period with the departure of several big-time players this off-season and the introduction of a younger group of players. Orlando is a familiar place for Cromwell, given that she coached at UCF, and she was looking for a challenge. However, losing Marta due to an injury has forced Cromwell to adjust the team’s game plan heading into the regular season.

“We were playing a certain system because of Marta, because of how she can control the tempo of the game and really run the show in the midfield,” she said. “Losing her, we have to make some adjustments. Not only with personnel but a little bit with philosophy and how are we going to manufacture goals.”

Cromwell is up to the challenge of coaching the Pride and wants to build up the community as she builds the team. Hopefully the end result is more supporters at Pride matches in Exploria Stadium.

Pride Jersey Will be Revealed Thursday

The Pride dropped a teaser for their new away kit and it will be revealed this Thursday. Judging by the emojis and imagery, it seems the kit will maintain the space theme of the Ad Astra kit and possibly involve Artemis, the Greek goddess of the hunt and the moon. Artemis is also the twin sister of Apollo, which ties into NASA’s Apollo 11 mission that launched from the Space Coast. The Ad Astra kit’s reveal involved the jersey being sent into space so it will be interesting to see what is in store for Thursday.

MLS Sunday Results

There were only two matches in MLS on Sunday, but both involved plenty of goals. Valentin Castellanos scored four goals to set a single-game club record in New York City FC’s 6-0 win against Real Salt Lake at Yankee Stadium. Thiago Andrade provided the Pigeons’ other two goals in the rout as Real Salt Lake is now winless in four straight matches. In the other match, LAFC got back to its winning ways by defeating Sporting Kansas City 3-1 on goals from Cristian Arango, Ismael Tajouri-Shradi, and José Cifuentes. Sporting KC’s only goal was an own goal by Diego Palacios.

The FA Cup Final is Set

Chelsea defeated Crystal Palace 2-0 to advance to the FA Cup final. Crystal Palace did a good job keeping Chelsea in check for the first half, but it wasn’t to last. Ruben Loftus-Cheek gave the Blues the lead in the 65th minute after coming on for the injured Mateo Kovacic in the first half. Mason Mount doubled Chelsea’s lead in the 76th minute to help ensure the victory.

The win sets up a rematch of the Carabao Cup between the Blues and Liverpool. That match ended in a draw with Liverpool winning on penalties 11-10. Now, the two sides will meet again on May 14 following Liverpool’s 3-2 victory over Manchester City on Saturday. Chelsea is trying to finish its season with some silverware, while Liverpool aims to complete the quadruple.

Free Kicks
  • Ercan Kara’s goal made SportsCenter’s Top 10 plays. They even pronounced his name correctly.
  • Brad Guzan went down with an Achilles injury according to Head Coach Gonzala Pineda in Atlanta United’s 0-0 draw with FC Cincinnati, though that is an unofficial diagnosis. Bobby Shuttleworth will start in goal for the Five Stripes moving forward.
  • Atlanta is reportedly looking to add American forward Matthew Hoppe as the 21-year-old hasn’t received much playing time with Mallorca in La Liga.
  • A 95th-minute header by Bruno Guimares won the day for Newcastle over Leicester City. What a way to win it.
  • Evidently, it was a day for spectacular goals as Catarina Macario scored an Olimpico for Olympique Lyonnais.

Enjoy your week, and I’ll see you at Exploria this coming weekend. Please feel free to say hi if you see me. Vamos Orlando!