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Lion Links: 5/26/22

Lions advance to Open Cup quarterfinals, City & Pride issue gun violence statement, Roma wins inaugural Europa Conference League, and more.

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

Happy Thursday, Mane Landers! Any morning after beating Miami — even if it’s in a shootout after a draw — is a good morning. I hope you take a moment to savor that feeling today. Let’s get to today’s links.

Orlando Knocks Miami Out in Open Cup PK Shootout

Orlando City advanced to the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open Cup with a penalty kick shootout win following a 1-1 draw against Florida rival Inter Miami CF last night at Exploria Stadium. Each team scored once in extra time to send the affair to penalties, where the Lions didn’t miss on their way to a 4-2 advantage. Orlando City will now host Nashville SC in a quarterfinal contest at Exploria on either June 21 or 22. Check out The Mane Land’s match report on last night’s big win.

Orlando City and Pride React to Gun Violence

Orlando City SC and the Orlando Pride issued a joint statement yesterday in response to recent mass shootings in the United States:

In addition, Oscar Pareja pleaded for an end to this kind of violence in his opening remarks following Orlando City’s match against Inter Miami. Ercan Kara closed his portion of the postgame presser with a similar message in German. The Lions also held a moment of silence before the match and flew flags at half mast.

U.S. Open Cup Round of 16 Action

Last night’s U.S. Open Cup Round of 16 action featured 13 Major League Soccer sides, two USL Championship clubs, and one USL League One outfit. Hany Mukhtar scored an 89th-minute goal to propel Nashville SC to a 2-1 win over Louisville City SC, advancing to meet Orlando. Union Omaha came from behind for a “Cupset” win over Minnesota United, 2-1. The New York Red Bulls beat FC Charlotte, 3-1. New York City FC knocked out New England on Santiago Rodríguez’s extra-time goal. Sporting Kansas City knocked out the Houston Dynamo, 2-1. The LA Galaxy got the better of their El Trafico rivals, 3-1 to advance. And in the last game to finish up, Sacramento Republic FC upset the San Jose Earthquakes, 2-0.

Mourinho’s Roma Wins Inaugural Europa Conference League

Italian side Roma claimed its first major European title in more than 60 years by beating Dutch club Feyenoord, 1-0 in the Europa Conference League final in Albania. 22-year-old Nicolò Zaniolo scored in the 32nd minute, handing Roma its first trophy in 14 years and manager Jose Mourinho a unique distinction. The “Special One” became the first manager to win all three major European competitions: UEFA’s Champions League (twice), Europa League, and Europa Conference League. He also led Porto to a UEFA Cup triumph in the 2002-03 season. Special, indeed.

Liga MX Final Starts Tonight

The two-leg final of Liga MX’s 2022 Clausura opens tonight with reigning champion Atlas hosting first-place Pachuca. The second leg moves to Pachuca on Sunday. Atlas captured its first Liga MX title since 1951 back in December by winning the 2021 Apertura. Pachuca dominated Liga MX this season on its way to the top of the table, buoyed by developing its own players and giving them minutes, an approach the club also took when it won its last league title in the 2016 Clausura.

Free Kicks

Have a great day, Mane Landers. Vamos Orlando!