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Lion Links: 5/13/22

Orlando City will host Inter Miami in Open Cup, Lions prepare for Toronto FC, Luiz Muzzi earns recognition, and more.

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MLS: Inter Miami CF at Orlando City SC Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

How’s it going, Mane Landers? I wish you all the best of luck today as we deal with Friday the 13th. Both Orlando City and the Orlando Pride are in action tomorrow as part of a weekend filled to the brim with soccer. With European leagues nearing their conclusions as well, these next few days should be exciting. But first, let’s dive into today’s links from around the soccer world.

Orlando City Will Host Inter Miami in U.S. Open Cup

In the U.S. Open Cup’s round of 16, Orlando City will face Inter Miami on either May 24 or 25 at Exploria Stadium in a Tropic Thunder showdown. It will be the first meeting between the two teams this year. The last time the Lions played Miami was on Aug. 27 last year as they battled to a scoreless draw in Orlando. The Lions have hosted their past two 2022 Open Cup matches, winning against the Tampa Bay Rowdies and Philadelphia Union. This will be Miami’s first road match this tournament and also its first against a fellow MLS side after beating Miami FC and South Georgia Tormenta FC in earlier rounds. The winner of this match will advance to the quarterfinals to face the winner between Nashville SC and Louisville City FC.

Elsewhere in the Round of 16, we will get another iteration of El Trafico as the LA Galaxy hosts LAFC in what is sure to be an intense game. The match-up between New York City FC and the New England Revolution is also one that should be exciting as both sides are loaded with offensive talent.

Orlando City Gets Ready for Road Match Against Toronto FC

After a 4-1 loss to CF Montreal last weekend, Orlando will aim to return to its impressive form on the road this season when it plays Toronto FC tomorrow at 3 p.m. It’s the first meeting between the two teams this year and Orlando hasn’t lost in its past four matches against the Reds. Toronto is coming off of a 1-0 loss on the road to the Vancouver Whitecaps and has not won a game since a 2-1 victory over the Philadelphia Union. The two sides won’t play again until late in the season on Sept. 17.

Luiz Muzzi Named 2022 SPORTYS Finalist

The Greater Orlando Sports Commission revealed the 60 finalists for the 2022 SPORTYS and many members of Orlando City Soccer Club were listed. Orlando City General Manager Luiz Muzzi is a finalist for Executive of the Year for his work rebuilding Orlando in MLS. Marcos Peres was named a finalist for Best in Sports Media for a second straight year, Jackie Maynard is in the running for Best in Communications & PR, and many others within OCSC were recognized as well. The winners of this year’s awards will be announced on June 25.

MLS NEXT Flex Begins Today

The qualification process for the MLS NEXT Cup playoffs starts today as young players around the country aim to impress in Maryland for the MLS NEXT Flex. The competition takes place across four age groups and splits 64 clubs into 16 groups of four, with the winner of each group securing a spot in next month’s playoffs. Orlando City’s U-15 side was drawn in a group with the Colorado Rapids, Atlanta United, and the Players Development Academy while the U-17 team will take on Albion SC San Diego, Sockers FC, and BW Gottschee Academy.

Free Kicks
  • Congratulations to Orlando City Homegrown Player Thomas Williams for graduating from high school!
  • The U.S. Para Men’s National Team fell 5-1 to Ukraine in the IFCPF World Cup semifinals and will take on Brazil for third place.

That’s all I have for you today, Mane Landers. I hope you all have a wonderful Friday and rest of your weekend.