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Lion Links: 5/27/22

Orlando Pride host the Washington Spirit tonight, Orlando City Open Cup quarterfinal scheduled, Brenden Aaronson signs with Leeds United, and more.

NWSL: Chicago Red Stars at Orlando Pride Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

How’s it going, Mane Landers? I hope you all are doing well as we get ready for the last weekend of May. All three of Orlando’s soccer teams are in action over the next few days so it should be an exciting weekend. Let’s dive right into today’s links from around the soccer world.

Orlando Pride Host the Washington Spirit Tonight

The Orlando Pride will take on the Washington Spirit at Exploria Stadium tonight at 7p.m. in their sixth match of the NWSL season. The Pride are still on the hunt for their first win at home this year and this will be their last match in Exploria Stadium until July. This is the first meeting between the two clubs this regular season, although they played twice in the NWSL Challenge Cup’s group stage. The Spirit reached the final of that tournament but are having a slow start to the season, sitting in eighth in the standings with just one win in four matches. Tonight’s match will also be the Pride’s Mission Rainbow match to pay tribute to the victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting six years ago and the players will wear jerseys with rainbow numbers on the back.

Orlando City’s Open Cup Quarterfinal Will be June 29

Unlike the other three U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal matches, Orlando City’s will take place during the final week of June as the Lions host Nashville SC on June 29. This date will help the Lions get some rest between this match and MLS games on June 24 and July 4. The Lions have hosted every match during their tournament campaign and have an opportunity to reach the semifinals for the second straight Open Cup. Tickets for this quarterfinal match go on sale starting on June 3, so make sure to come out and support the Lions if able to do so.

Brenden Aaronson Officially Joins Leeds United

American midfielder Brenden Aaronson’s move from RB Salzburg to Leeds United was reported throughout the week and became official on Thursday. The 21-year-old joins Leeds on a contract through 2027 for a fee reported to be $29.5 million. He reunites with Leeds manager Jesse Marsch, who helped bring Aaronson to Salzburg from the Philadelphia Union. Leeds was able to stay in the English Premier League by the skin of its teeth and Aaronson should have plenty of opportunities to impress next season.

Storylines Abound in Champions League Final

Two of the best teams in Europe this year will square off tomorrow at 3 p.m. in the Champions League final between Real Madrid and Liverpool. 62-year-old manager Carlo Ancelotti has guided Madrid through a difficult path to the final, defeating Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea, and Manchester City in the knockout stage, and could win his fourth Champions League trophy.

As for Liverpool, all eyes will be on Mohamed Salah as he seeks revenge against Madrid after losing to the Spanish club in 2018. In that final, Salah had to exit the match in the first half after dislocating his shoulder and watched his team lose 3-1 from the locker room.

Free Kicks

That’s all I have for you for today. Make sure to stay hydrated out there as the Florida heat gets harder to deal with. Have a wonderful Friday and rest of your weekend!