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Lion Links: 5/1/22

Orlando City defeats Charlotte, Pride prepare for home opener, results around MLS and Europe, and more.

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MLS: Charlotte FC at Orlando City SC Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Hello, Mane Landers. Hopefully you are recovering well after a packed day of soccer yesterday and an Orlando City victory but it is going to be a quick recharge as the action continues in the City Beautiful with the Pride’s home opener tonight. For the time being, let’s get you caught up on the news.

Orlando City Wins First Meeting vs. Charlotte

The Lions bounced back to their winning ways after defeating Charlotte FC 2-1 at home. This was the first-ever meeting between the two sides and the Lions took all three points. Goals in the first half from Ruan and Facundo Torres finished off a comfortable half for the home team. It was not until Orlando City gave up a penalty kick goal to Charlotte in the second half that the game felt close again. But the Lions were unfazed and held off Charlotte in the end to claim victory over the new expansion club. Our coverage continues later today with our five takeaways and player grades.

Orlando Pride Preparing For Home Opener

The Orlando Pride will kick off the 2022 NWSL season at home as they will face Gotham FC, a familiar foe the Pride played on the road just last week. After a winless Challenge Cup campaign landed the Pride in last place, the team will look forward to starting the season on the right foot and build on the positives. The revamped Pride will want to build confidence early with the young squad and that starts tonight at 7 p.m. on the home field. Keep it here for our match preview later, as well as full coverage of the match.

Around MLS

Let’s go around the league as MLS had a full slate of games on Saturday. Orlando City’s next opponent, CF Montreal, extended its unbeaten run by defeating Atlanta United with a goal from former Lion Kamal Miller and a late winner from Joaquin Torres. The New England Revolution defeated Inter Miami 2-0 at home and 19-year-old Homegrown Damian Rivera scored his first goal just under a minute into the game. The Columbus Crew ended their goal drought by scoring three and shutting out D.C. United, 3-0 at home. Cincinnati snapped its winless streak on the road by defeating Toronto FC, 2-1, with one goal coming from rookie Ian Murphy. In a long-delayed midwest match, the Chicago Fire blew a 1-0 lead and lost 2-1 to the New York Red Bulls. Out west, Real Salt Lake put on a gutsy performance at home and defeated the LA Galaxy 1-0. Austin FC visited the Houston Dynamo for a Texas showdown, and Sebastian Driussi’s goal was the difference as Austin came from behind to win, 2-1. Elsewhere, FC Dallas and Sporting Kansas City drew 2-2, and the Colorado Rapids beat the Portland Timbers, 2-0.

Notable European Results

A lot of soccer action happened across the pond over in Europe as well. In the Premier League, Liverpool defeated Newcastle 1-0 with a goal from Naby Keita. Manchester City won comfortably by defeating Leeds United 4-0 and have moved back to the top of the league standings. Crystal Palace defeated Southampton, 2-1 in late fashion thanks to Wilfried Zaha’s goal in stoppage time. La Liga action in Spain included Athletic Bilbao defeating Atletico Madrid, 2-0 and adding another blow to Atletico’s second-place hopes. The La Liga champions were crowned yesterday after Real Madrid defeated Espanyol, 4-0. The Real Madrid victory capped a milestone for Carlo Ancelotti as he is now the first manager to win titles in each of Europe’s top five leagues.

In Women’s Champions League action, Barcelona qualified for the final despite losing 2-0 to Wolfsburg, advancing on aggregate 5-3.

Free Kicks
  • Josh Sargent had a short return to Norwich City and the club ultimately suffered relegation.
  • The U-17 USMNT announced who it will face at the Development Tournament in Portugal.
  • The U-17 USWNT rolled over Curacao 11-0 in the Round of 16 and will face the winner of Cuba vs. Jamaica in the 2022 Concacaf Women’s U-17 Championship.
  • Charlotte FC and the Colorado Rapids have agreed in principle to a deal that will send forward Andre Shinyashiki to the expansion side.
  • Mino Raiola, one of the most influential soccer agents, passed away yesterday.
  • Cristiano Ronaldo could be returning to Real Madrid this summer. This story and more in the latest Transfer Talk.

That will do it for me today. Enjoy the Pride match tonight and I will see you all next time.