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Lion Links: 5/15/22

Kyle Smith rescues the Lions. Pride save a point at home, results around MLS and Europe, and more.

MLS: Orlando City SC at Toronto FC Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports

Hello, Mane Landers. It was a packed Saturday for Orlando soccer as both the Lions and the Pride were in action. Let’s get right into today’s links.

Kyle Smith to the Rescue

It wasn’t the best performance from an attacking standpoint as Orlando City let many opportunities go to the wayside, but the Lions battled until the very end for the road victory against Toronto FC. Poor passing and touches cost Orlando goal-scoring chances early on in the match. The Lions ended the first half leading in most statistical categories but it was just the one shot on target that prevented them from having at least a goal going into the break. Toronto had its fair share of scoring chances, which led to a more open second half. After trading chances from both sides, it was Kyle Smith who rose to the occasion and put a header into the back of the net from an Alexandre Pato set piece corner for the game winner.

Pride Penalty Saves Point at Home

Back home in Exploria Stadium, the Orlando Pride played host to the Kansas City Current and it was a nail biter until the very end as the teams played to a 2-2 draw. It was the Pride who got off to a great start early on in the first half by piling on chances. Kansas City had a chance to take the lead before the half, but it remained scoreless at the break. Right after halftime, it was the Current who looked to be the stronger side on the pitch. Despite this, the Pride opened the scoring with a beautiful sequence that finished with Gunny Jonsdottir slotting home the goal. The Current responded with two unanswered goals, the second of which came in the 91st minute. The Pride did not quit and got just what they were looking for in the final moments — a penalty shot opportunity that Toni Pressley capitalized on.

Results Around MLS

It was another Saturday full of MLS action. CF Montreal went on the road and continued its unbeaten streak, extending it to eight, with a 2-0 win over Charlotte FC. Another unbeaten streak continued when New York City FC beat Columbus Crew 2-0 to extend its streak to five. The other New York side, the New York Red Bulls, faced off against the Philadelphia Union in a 1-1 draw despite Dylan Nealis’ red card for the Red Bulls in the 55th minute. FC Cincinnati defeated the Chicago Fire 2-1 on the road, thanks in part to a Rafael Czichos own goal in the 33rd minute. Out west, Gyasi Zardes and Diego Rubio finished their penalty shot chances to help the Colorado Rapids shut out LAFC, 2-0 at home. After a scoreless first half, the goals exploded in the second half between the Vancouver Whitecaps and the San Jose Earthquakes in a match that ended in a 3-3 draw. In the games that ended late, D.C. United drew Inter Miami 2-2, Houston beat Nashville, Real Salt Lake beat Austin, and FC Dallas beat the LA Galaxy. Oh, and Portland scored seven (!) times in a 7-2 win over Sporting Kansas City.

Notable European Results

Over in Europe, the FA Cup final took place between Chelsea and Liverpool and went all the way to penalties. Liverpool won the penalty shootout, 6-5 and claimed their first FA Cup in 16 years. In the Bundesliga, Dortmund defeated Hertha Berlin 2-1 and Erling Haaland scored in his farewell match for Dortmund. Bayern Munich drew 2-2 versus Wolfsburg. Stuttgart survived in dramatic fashion after a 2-1 win over Cologne and a fantastic Wataru Endo header in the 92nd minute. In Italy, former Lion Luis Nani’s current club, Venezia, has been relegated to Serie B after Salernitana’s 1-1 draw with Empoli. Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe and Angel Di Maria all combined on the scoresheet to defeat Montpellier 4-0 on the road.

Free Kicks
  • Orlando City’s Facundo Torres has been called up for Uruguay for the national team’s upcoming matches against the USMNT, Mexico, and Jamaica.

That will do it for me. I hope you all have a great rest of your Sunday and I’ll see you next time.