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Lion Links: 4/22/22

Orlando City will face the Philadelphia Union in Open Cup, Young Lions called up, Orlando Pride prepare for Gotham FC, and more.

NWSL: North Carolina Courage at Orlando Pride Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

How’s it going, Mane Landers? I hope you all are enjoying all of the soccer this week and are looking forward to this weekend’s slate of games. I have a relaxing few days ahead of me after a hectic work week. Before we dive into today’s links, let’s all wish a happy 40th birthday to former Lion and soccer legend Kaká!

Orlando City Drawn Against Philadelphia Union in Open Cup

Orlando City will host the Philadelphia Union on May 10 at 7 p.m. in Exploria Stadium in the U.S. Open Cup’s Round of 32. It is a tough draw for both clubs considering they are currently the top two teams in the Eastern Conference, but at least Orlando won’t have to travel to Philadelphia. The game is sandwiched between two trips to Canada for the Lions as they play CF Montreal on May 7 and then face Toronto FC on May 14. The two sides faced off in the Open Cup back in 2018, with the Union bouncing the Lions from the tournament in the quarterfinals.

As for Orlando’s rivals, Atlanta United will travel to play Nashville SC and Inter Miami will host South Georgia Tormenta FC. Tormenta is one of 11 teams outside of MLS remaining in the tournament. Former Lions Santiago Patino and Victor “PC” Giro will aim to help San Antonio FC upset the Houston Dynamo in a Texan showdown.

Orlando Pride Unveil New Kit Before Challenge Cup Finale

The Pride will play their final match of the NWSL Challenge Cup tomorrow at 7 p.m. against NJ/NY Gotham FC. It’s been a rough tournament for the Pride as they have only scored three goals and are still on the hunt for their first win of 2022. That being said, forward Darian Jenkins scored twice in the Pride’s recent 4-2 loss to the North Carolina Courage and that momentum may continue against a Gotham side that fell 3-1 to the Washington Spirit. The Pride have conceded eight goals in the past two games but Gotham has yet to score multiple goals in a game during the Challenge Cup.

The Pride also unveiled their Luna kit as a secondary kit for the next two seasons. Like the Ad Astra kit, this one is inspired by Florida’s Space Coast and features a design of the moon and curved stripes to represent orbital rings.

Young Lions Called Up for U.S. Camp

United States U-19 Men’s Youth National Team Head Coach Marko Mitrovic called up 33 players for a training camp, including four Orlando City players. Alex Freeman, Gonzalo Agustoni-Chagas, Favian Loyola, and Ethan Subachan were all invited to the camp that begins today and lasts through May 1 and takes place in Carson, CA. Freeman signed as a Homegrown Player and has played in all four of Orlando City B’s games so far in the MLS NEXT Pro. Agustoni-Chagas has also featured for OCB this year while Loyola and Subachan have done well in Orlando’s academy. The camp will help prepare the players for the 2022 Concacaf U-20 Championship in Honduras this summer.

USWNT Will Host Colombia for Pair of Friendlies

The United States Women’s National Team will take on Colombia in a pair of friendlies in late June. The first game between the two will take place on June 25 in Commerce City, CO and then they will play again in Salt Lake City on June 28. Colombia is ranked 26th in the world and is second to Brazil in South America. These matches will help prepare the USWNT for the Concacaf Women’s Championship in Mexico the following week. That tournament will serve as Concacaf’s qualifying for the 2023 FIFA World Cup and the 2024 Olympics.

Free Kicks

That’s going to be all I have for you today, Mane Landers. I hope you all have a great Friday and rest of your weekend. Go Orlando!