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Lion Links: 5/20/22

Orlando City prepares to face Austin FC, Erin McLeod agrees to contract extension, Orlando City SC announces Sustainability Week, and more.

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

How’s it going, Mane Landers? I hope this Friday finds you well as we prepare for an exciting weekend that includes Orlando City, the Orlando Pride, and Orlando City B all in action. Let’s dive right into today’s links from around the soccer world!

Orlando City Gets Ready for Austin FC

With a week of rest under their belts, the Lions will hit the road for their first match ever against Austin FC this Sunday. In recent years, Orlando’s had a good track record when facing an MLS opponent for the first time, including a victory over Charlotte FC earlier this year. However, Austin FC is having a strong season and is coming off of a 2-1 win on the road against LAFC to claim the top spot in the Western Conference. Orlando center back Robin Jansson and forward Alexandre Pato spoke about how the team is preparing for a difficult match-up in Texas.

Orlando Pride and Erin McLeod Agree to Contract Extension

The Orlando Pride and goalkeeper Erin McLeod agreed to a one-year contract extension for her to be with the club through the 2023 NWSL season. The Canadian international has started in all four of the Pride’s games this season, making 11 saves to help the Pride climb to second place in the standings. With plenty of experience at both the club and international level, McLeod’s veteran leadership is important both on and off the field for a Pride team undergoing a rebuild.

Orlando City SC Announces Sustainability Week

Orlando City, the Pride, and the Orlando Utilities Commission are all teaming up for an inaugural Sustainability Week to further advance Exploria Stadium’s green initiatives. Exploria Stadium vowed to become 100% solar powered by 2030 after signing OUC’s Solar Pledge and uses an onsite recycling system. Orlando City SC President of Business Operations Jarrod Dillon talked about the initiative and how the club aims to provide sustainable options for the community.

“We are excited to partner with OUC in our Club’s inaugural Sustainability Week,” said Jarrod Dillon, Orlando City and Orlando Pride’s president of business operations. “We are proud of the progress we have made at Exploria Stadium and honored to continue leading at the forefront of green initiatives in our community. Having OUC work alongside us is a great opportunity to provide sustainable and resource options to our fans and our community. We are excited for this upcoming week and look forward to working alongside our partners as we strive for a greener, zero waste future.”

Chioma Ubogagu Speaks Up About Her Ban

Former Orlando Pride player Chioma Ubogagu is currently in England with Tottenham Hotspur and received a nine-month ban for failing a doping test for a banned substance in her acne medication. Ubogagu wrote about her surprise learning that the prescribed medication she received for a skin condition contained a banned substance that can be used to mask other banned substances. The 29-year-old forward detailed the process of applying for a Therapeutic Use Exemption, waiting to hear the results, and how this experience has affected her view on life outside of soccer.

Free Kicks

That’s going to be all from me today, folks. Have a wonderful Friday and rest of your weekend. Go Orlando!