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Lion Links: 5/19/22

The Orlando Pride defeat North Carolina, the Orlando Academy teams are headed to the playoffs, U.S. Soccer gives equal pay to both USMNT and USWNT, and more.

NWSL: Orlando Pride at North Carolina Courage Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Top of the morning, Mane Landers! It’s rare I get a mid-week chance to provide your links, but I’m happy to be here. I’m especially happy that Amanda Cromwell got her second NWSL win. I’m also happy today is my day off of work. Those who listen to The Mane Land PawedCast might already know that, and those who don’t listen — why not? Let’s get to the links.

Pride Defeat North Carolina

The Orlando Pride travelled to North Carolina to take on the Courage for the first time in the NWSL regular season. The Pride were able to jump on North Carolina early with Sydney Leroux putting Orlando ahead in the fourth minute. The Pride added another before half when Leroux kept a play alive for Mikayla Cluff to make it 2-0 at the half. In the second half, Orlando honestly played pretty solid. North Carolina did get a late goal to pull one back, but in the end the Pride were able to hold on for the 2-1 road win. This was a great win by the Pride, and our own Sean Rollins has your match recap.

Orlando Academy Success

Both the Orlando City U-15s and U-17s have qualified for the 2022 MLS NEXT Cup playoffs. We mentioned it yesterday but the linked story has more details. The two squads topped their respective groups at the MLS NEXT Flex at the Maryland SoccerPlex in Boyds, MD. The U-17s are the defending national champions and head back into the playoffs in Frisco, TX. The U-15s were able to win three tight matches and will also be in Texas from June 25 to July 3. The future is bright for the young Lions.

Speaking of bright futures, both Wilfredo Rivera and Ian Silva have been called up to the Puerto Rican Men’s National Team for the Concacaf Nations League Round 1 games.

U.S. Soccer Announces Equal Pay

A huge point of contention between the players on the USWNT and U.S. Soccer has been the pay difference the women have received in relation to the players on the USMNT. The USWNT has been the more successful of the two, and now the team’s players will be paid commensurate with their performance.

The new collective bargaining agreements have been ratified by both the USSF’s board of directors and the two players’ unions. Getting the deal done took the men’s pool resetting their agreement to get it all done. The solidarity shown between the squads is as important as it is inspiring. Funds earned in the 2022 and 2023 World Cups will be pooled with 90% going to the players and 10% to U.S. Soccer.

USMNT News

With the Men’s World Cup coming up later this year, there are still some things that Gregg Berhalter needs to address with the few remaining fixtures at his disposal. Obviously, center back is a big question, as is the striker position. There are other things as well, but the friendlies against Morocco and Uruguay, and the Concacaf Nations League matches against Grenada and El Salvador, will provide an opportunity to work through these issues.

One area of uncertainty is keeper. Both Zack Steffen and Matt Turner have made their cases for being the starting keeper for the USMNT. Both are currently backup keepers for their respective clubs, though I’d argue Turner had the better of the two for the U.S. Turner seems poised to push for more with club and country, and we’ll see if it pays off for the keeper.

In other news, Rubio Rubin has been approved by FIFA to make the one time switch from the USMNT to Guatemala. The 26-year-old forward plays for Real Salt Lake.

Free Kicks
  • Erin McLeod is up for NWSL Save of the Week. Make sure you go and vote early and often.
  • USMNT defender Erik Palmer-Brown is ES Troyes AC’s Player of the Month for April. His efforts are a big part of Troyes’ efforts to avoid relegation in the French Ligue 1.
  • The USWNT U-16s defeated Norway’s U-16 squad 4-0 in the UEFA Development Tournament.

That will do it for today. Check back later for more coverage of the upcoming Orlando City match at Austin FC. Vamos Orlando!